Across the northern United States, snowmobile lovers are gearing up for winter rides. But before heading down the trail, take time to inspect your snowmobile thoroughly. Failing to check your ride before heading out can leave you stranded, and nobody has time for that!
Should this be your first year as a snowmobile owner, be sure that you have all the paperwork in place. A snowmobile license may not be a requirement, but many insurance companies sometimes offer better rates for certified or licensed drivers.
Basic Snowmobile Preparation
- Walk around the snowmobile to confirm everything is where it should be and that nothing is loose. Take a few minutes to check any belts, wires, etc., are in top condition. If you notice any cracks, frayed areas, tears, or other signs of age or damage, now is the time to make replacements. If you have a grease gun, now is the time to load it with lubricant and get everything ready. Get the lubricant and many other products from your local AMSOIL dealer, The House of Syn.
- Clean it up. Ideally, you cleaned your snowmobile before storing it for the summer months. But that wasn’t a one-and-done task. Before your first ride of the season, take a few minutes to wipe everything down and remove any debris. It is also a good time to wipe down the seats and remove any bags used to block off air intake or exhaust pipes.
- Inspect the carburetor, spark plugs, pump, and other features that keep the engine going. Your owner’s manual will provide a list of key elements to check. Dirty carburetors, clogged fans, damaged belts, or throttles can result in a trailside breakdown.
- Look at the skis. As one of the more important pieces of your snowmobile, you want them to be in prime working condition. Do you have steel skis? Then, check for holes. Check for nicks, cuts, or gouges for snowmobiles with plastic skis. Check to see that they are straight. If bent, you may need to put the snowmobile in the shop. Of course, if you have a vice, then you can take the DIY approach.
- Check the oil and oil filter. Now is a good time to top off the oil reservoir. AMSOIL 2-Stroke Interceptor Oil will keep your snowmobile’s engine in great shape.
- Be prepared for any emergencies. Have a box or bag packed with extra mechanical items (oil, spark plugs, etc.) as well as fire-starting materials, a lighter, flares, snacks/protein bars, lip balm, gloves, and any other items you may need in the event you get stranded on the trail. No one wants to think about an unexpected camping trip, but you don’t want to get stuck, either!
Snowmobile riding is a great winter activity. But don’t leave everything to chance. Inspecting your ride and planning for any scenario will make this year’s rides the best ever!