You’ve driven thousands of miles over the winter, spring is coming or your season is over. The end-of-season maintenance will have to be done. I will explain in detail what is recommended or feasible to do at home. These tasks are simple and can help you avoid surprises for the next winter.
Treatment for Gasoline
The fuel we use in our snowmobiles contains solvents, which makes it volatile. When these products evaporate, they create vapors, which create corrosion and residue. You can see these during carburetor maintenance, greenish-gray deposits or yellowish color. To avoid this reaction, a “fuel stabilizer” is used.
With the right dosage, this product will slow down the evaporation of the fuel and maintain its properties.
Empty or Full Tank
For non-ethanol gasoline, at least half the tank should be left empty or more. The reason: is to avoid drying out the seals and fuel lines.
Using fogging oil, this technique consists of spraying oil through the intake manifold into the engine. This oil sticks to the crankshaft bearings, piston arms and cylinder walls. This will protect the components from air and moisture.
The application of the storage oil is different for each brand of snowmobile, the application of the product is generally done through the intake manifold. Start the engine and keep the rpm higher than normal. Remove the air bowl, and spray at the inlet of each carburetor or intake manifold. Spray the product, 5 to 10 seconds, in each carburetor alternately. When white, opaque smoke is seen coming out of the exhaust, you can stop the engine.
Some manufacturers have their own way of doing this technique or the snowmobile itself has a built-in “SelfFoggin” mode. Consult the manufacturer’s manual or directly to your dealer.
Here are 2 schools of thought:
- Option 1: Run the snowmobile occasionally in the summer
- Option 2: Apply storage oil so you don’t have to touch it all summer
For enthusiasts who like to start their snowmobile in the summer (2-3 minutes):
- Prevents sediment build-up in the cooling system.
- Circulating gasoline also prevents seals from drying out.
- Allows for engine lubrication.
- Pleasant to smell a two-stroke engine.
- The engine will not get hot enough and run long enough to burn off all the moisture in the engine.
- You will accumulate moisture inside the engine which could damage the crankshaft and piston arm bearings.
- For those who choose to store their snowmobiles for the summer and only see them again in the fall.
- Good protection for internal engine parts that will be protected from rust and moisture.
- If you start your snowmobile, you’ll have to start the process all over again.
- In the fall, you’ll have to replace the spark plugs because they’ll get very dirty.
Remove the belt
Remove the traction belt during the summer season. The belt, which will be static in the pulleys, will sag due to the pressure of the secondary pulley plates. To do this, remove the belt and store it in a flat, dry place away from the sun. Never start your snowmobile without the belt.
Greasing and Lubrication
When applying grease, note that water may come out of the ends of the pivot points. By applying grease, you prevent the creation of rust during the summer. For the front of the snowmobile, use a spray lubricant on the exposed ball joints. The joints will be protected from rust and cleaned of calcium accumulated during this last season.
Rest for the Suspension and the Track
During the summer season, keep the rear of the snowmobile elevated and off the ground. When elevated, your track studs will not sag. Not touching the ground, will not transfer moisture or cold to your track. The price of the tracks is exorbitant and you have to take care of them. You can take the pressure off the rear wheels of the suspension, which will eliminate the stress on the track. Another suggestion would be to remove the tension from the springs, which will increase their life span.
Take the time to walk around the snowmobile and make a list of upcoming repairs for the next season. Throughout the summer, you can store parts or plan your budget.
Extending the Life of your Battery
Remove the battery from the snowmobile and store it in a dry, well-ventilated area.
Two options are available:
- Smart charger: The voltage will be maintained and stabilized throughout the summer.
- Conventional charger: you will have to plug it in 2 to 3 times during the summer.
Protect your Snowmobile
On metal surfaces, apply a protective product such as “WD40” to leave a protective layer against moisture. On vinyl, synthetic/natural rubber, plastic and leather, a product like “303 Aerospace Protectant” will nourish the materials and prevent fading or drying out. In the fall, cleaning and your snowmobile will be like new and ready for winter.
Storage of your Snowmobile:
The ideal place is of course dry and temperate. If necessary, opt for a shady place, away from the sun and rain. Scatter mothballs in the engine compartment and storage compartments, they will repel insects. Putting fabric softener sheets in the exhaust and air intake will help keep small rodents away. A protective cover can prevent natural damage.
End-of-season maintenance is important and should not be neglected. It will protect your snowmobile for the duration of the summer. In addition, the inspection allows you to make a list of upcoming repairs for the next season. Being a snowmobiler is very expensive, it would be good to put everything on your side to avoid unnecessary costs. Here are my tips or recommendations, now it’s up to you to see how you can apply them in your own way. The main thing is to take care of your snowmobile. Always consult your snowmobile’s manual to avoid forgetting some important details. If you have any questions, ask a specialist or your dealer.
Have a good summer.