Proper Snowmobile Summerizing = Good Preventative Maintenance…
I’ve had some inquiries about snowmobile summerizing. I’m not the least bit mechanically inclined (which is why I don’t have any working on my sled photos!) And besides, I live in the city without a garage or workshop. So my total summerizing effort involves trailering my snow machines to my Ski-Doo dealer, Gateway Powersport & Marine. I also store my sleds there for the summer.
But regardless of whether a dealer does it or you do it yourself, the importance of snowmobile summerizing for every brand and model can’t be under estimated. The fact is that snowmobile summerizing is as much about getting your snow machine ready for the next season as it is about putting it away properly after a winter’s use.
That’s because the more you do to your snowmobile now, the less likely you are to have trouble when you fire it up for that first ride next winter. Or any one thereafter.
Snowmobile Summerizing – Clean It Up
Before I take my snowmobiles to my dealer, I give them a thorough power washing to clean off any accumulated dirt, grime, crude and grease. I remove any marks on the hood or cowling where my knees have been rubbing all winter with either a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Or brake cleaning fluid if I need something stronger. I strip off my old trail permit with a hair dryer and Goo Be Gone. Then use a mild detergent to clean the mirrors and both sides of the windshield. I clean the seat and protect any unpainted under carriage parts with 303 Aerospace Protectant. Now add a coat of polish and it will shine like new!
Snowmobile Summerizing – Stabilize It
With my snow machines now showroom clean, I add the appropriate amount of fuel stabilizer to the tank. Following that I run them for several minutes to let the stabilized fuel flow through the engine. Then I take them to my dealer to complete the snowmobile summerizing process and store them until next season.
Snowmobile Summerizing – Look It Over
As I said, if you look at snowmobile summerizing as the first step in preparing for next winter, that process should include inspection (and repair/replacement) of many parts. These include track, drive belt, sliders, carbides, bearings, idler wheels, suspension, lines and hoses, and brake & throttle cables. It should also involve a clutch & brake cleaning, coolant check, engine & chain case oil changes as needed, Spark plug replacement and a thorough grease & lube. This way, while getting your snow machine ready for storage, you also get any repairs over with right away while taking preventative action to avoid future troubles.
Snowmobile Summerizing – Shut It Down
After fogging out your engine with extra lubricant to prevent corrosion of gumming up of engine parts, your dealer should also remove the belt to take pressure off the clutches. It’s also good to remove the battery and put it on a Battery Tender or similar device (you could take the battery home to do this). Obviously, once all this is done at your dealer, you’re pretty much committed to storing there since your snowmobile is temporarily inoperable. Note that with Ski-Doo ETEC engines, much of the engine summeriziing process is simplified by the push of a button!
Snowmobile Summerizing – Store It
Even if your snow machine is being stored inside, you might want to consider blocking the exhaust outlet, air intake and any other openings with steel wool to keep out nesting varmints. And perhaps a few strategically placed mothballs. Then make sure its storage cover is on (if outside, never in the direct sun). Also that the track tension is released and the weight of the sled off the suspension using a snowmobile lift or blocks.
Of course, during next fall’s “winterizing” process, you or your dealer will have to reverse some of these procedures to get the snow machine running again. And the gas may require a shot of octane boost before starting the engine.
As I said at the beginning, I’m no sled technician. So it’s entirely possible that I’ve missed or misstated a few steps in snowmobile summerizing. But I do know one thing for sure. The primary take away is that proper snowmobile summerizing is key to the performance and longevity of your snow machine. It’s also the best way to protect your investment – which is exactly why I take mine to my dealer!
The tips and advice in this blog are the opinions of the author, may not work in every situation and are intended only for the convenience and interest of the reader, who has the personal responsibility to confirm the validity, accuracy and relevancy of this information prior to putting it to their own use.