Off-Season Snowmobile Upkeep
While temperatures outside are still cool, before long it will be time to pack up the winter coats and boots, hang up the snow chains or tires and store the snowmobile. And while storing some of these winter items is easily done, proper care and storage of a snowmobile requires a bit more than putting it in the shed or garage and calling it a day. In fact, you will probably need to set aside an hour or two to be sure the task is done correctly.
Preparing your Snowmobile for Off-Season Storage
Wash it off –
If possible, put your snowmobile up on a rack where you can clean it thoroughly. Begin by using a pressure washer to rinse any mud, slush, or road salt off. Then, wash it with a basic mix of warm water and soap. Dry it thoroughly. Once dried, apply a coat of wax to add some extra protection. If you plan on using a cover on your snowmobile, take a few minutes to wash and dry the cover, too.
Check the fuel system –
Reduce the risk of condensation forming or water entering the fuel system by storing your ride with a full tank of fuel. Fill the tank up and then add AMSOIL Gasoline Stabilizer available from local dealer The House of Syn. The stabilizer prevents gasoline solvents from breaking down and causing corrosion to the fuel system. However, also remove any carburetor float bowls and drain out any excess fluid.
Remove the battery, belt, and spark plugs –
Batteries lose their charge quickly, especially when not used frequently. Extend the life of the battery and minimize the risk of belt damage. Remove these items during storage. You can use a battery tender or trickle charge the battery to keep it in good shape when not in the snowmobile. For the spark plugs, remove them and pour a tiny amount of 2-cycle motor oil in the cylinder to prevent rust.
Fog the engine –
This is done to coat the engine and protect the parts against air, corrosion, and moisture. Do it in a well-ventilated area. If you would rather not do this step, skip it but you will need to pull out your snowmobile at least once a month during the off-season and crank it up. This protects the various components.
Get the grease! –
Prevent moisture damage and rust. Use a lubricant such as a lightweight oil and apply it to exposed surfaces. This includes suspension rails, exhaust, nuts, bolts, etc. When you pull out your snowmobile next season, apply a degreaser to remove the oily residue. It’s inconvenient, but it beats having to replace rusted or damaged parts!
Store it –
If possible, store your snowmobile inside a shed or garage. It is still recommended that it be covered, as this keeps uninvited guests from setting up house while your snowmobile is not in use. If you do not have a covered space to store your ride in, then don’t neglect to cover it completely, being sure that it is not sitting on the ground, but on ramps or something similar.
Properly caring for your snowmobile at the end of season will make being able to ride next year a quicker process. Do the work now, so you can have fun later.