Follow a maintenance schedule
Maintenance is the next most-important step to achieve long life. Whether you perform your own service or hire someone else to do the repairs, follow a regular schedule. Wear components must be checked, bolts and fasteners should be inspected and clutches should be cleaned, if not rebuilt. If you bring your sled to a shop for a check up, don’t just assume the mechanic will give it a thorough check over; ask the shop for a specific list of what its tune-up includes. Do a little math by taking the “tune-up” price and calculating how much time the mechanic will spend servicing your snowmobile, based on the shop’s hourly labor rate. If the special price only covers 30 minutes, for example, it might not be worth it. If that’s the case, find another shop that will perform more work for your money.
Give it a bath
Wash your sled after you return from a trip, and when you prep it for summer storage (you do “prep” your snowmobile for storage, don’t you?). This helps prevent rust and corrosion on the metal components by rinsing away road salt that collects while trailering. Wash away any grease or oil that might accumulate from spills, gasket leaks, etc. Always let the sled dry off after a bath and run it on a jackstand to get rid of any water in the clutches, bearings or suspension shafts. Another good reason to wash a snowmobile is that it’s inevitable that you’ll spot other things that need to be repaired.
Protect your sled during the off-season
Put your machine away for storage correctly by adding fuel stabilizer, fogging the engine, greasing all of the zerks and raising the track off the ground and unhooking the torsion springs. If you can elevate the skis, do that, too, to extend spring life up front. Faded, rusted components and damage to plastic and vinyl will happen if a snowmobile sits outside in the elements. Store it indoors in a dry and clean location and keep the sled covered to protect the metal, plastic and vinyl surfaces.
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