It's the first snow of the year, and as a snowmobiler, the world is your playground. Like a child on Christmas morning, you giddily run to your sled. You turn the key and … nothing. Don't get stuck indoors — here's a thorough preseason checkup and some simple tips for maintaining your snowmobile this winter.
preseason snowmobile maintenance
Before you break out your snowmobile for its first jaunt of the season, it's important to do some preseason maintenance. Consult your owner's manual for a full maintenance guide, but here's a checklist to get you started.
what to replace
Replace these components at the beginning of snowmobile season, after your sled has been sitting for several months:
- Spark plugs
- Oil and oil filter
- Fuel filter
what to give a once-over
Not everything on your machine needs to be replaced. A simple inspection of other possible trouble spots should do the trick. Give the following parts a once-over at the beginning of the season and every time you ride to make sure everything is working properly:
- Lights — test them before you need to use them
- Steering — test at a low speed before hitting the trail
- Throttle — make sure you don't get stranded
- Track — tighten nuts and bolts, check alignment, and look for signs of severe wear
- Battery — check the charge and make sure your cables are connected properly
- Drive belt — check for signs of wear
- Skis — check alignment and condition
- Chassis —lubricate a few times each season
- Brakes — finally, make sure you can stop (you know, just in case)
what to top off
Check all of your snowmobile's fluids and top off any that are running low. Check these while the engine is cold:
- Engine coolant/antifreeze
- Brake fluid
- Chain case oil
When the season's over, you should also consider draining your snowmobile's fluids if it's going to sit for an extended period.
Proper maintenance is key to keeping your machine in working order, but it isn't a guarantee against all the dangers of the icy trail. Only snowmobile insurance can give you the protection — and peace of mind — you need.
Start your free snowmobile insurance quote online to tailor a policy with Esurance or through our trusted partner and back up your ride with helpful coverages, discounts, and top-notch customer service.
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