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How to Change Your Snowmobile Battery

How to Change Your Snowmobile Battery

A snowmobile is a great way to get around in the winter while having some fun. Whether you ride your machine for practical reasons like getting around your property or you ride it with friends for a bit of adrenaline, your snowmobile will eventually need a battery replacement. If you have concerns about how to change your snowmobile battery, we have the inside tips and information you need to make it easy.

Know When to Change the Battery

The first thing in how to change your snowmobile battery is knowing when there is trouble. There are a few signs of trouble which are obvious. For starters, if the snowmobile refuses to turn on, chances are you have a dead battery. If the vehicle turns on but then fizzles out or the lights dim right after turning it on, chances are you have a low battery which will be dead soon enough. There are a few things which cause a battery to go bad. The main cause is simply that the battery is old and it’s time for a new one. Another reason a battery gives up is because the vehicle isn’t being used frequently enough to maintain the charge. The third biggest reason batteries lose their juice is because you never clean your terminals and have a lot of buildup on them weakening the connection/draining energy. The good news is that once you determine that your battery is finished, it is a relatively easy fix anyone can perform.

  1. Find the right battery: The first step in replacing the battery on a snowmobile is to find the right battery. You can’t choose just any battery for a snowmobile. You need to check for compatibility by reading the specs on the current battery or the owner’s manual to ensure you get the right one for a replacement. The sticker on the battery will tell you the important specs of the battery such as voltages to ensure the right choice. You also want to check size because getting the wrong size for the housing is an all too common yet avoidable occurrence.

  2. Safety first!: Whenever you are doing anything under the hood with the battery, you should make safety a top priority. You want to make sure the vehicle is turned off before you open the hood since any live components of the battery are liable to give off shocks. You should always make the vehicle is turned off, your hands are dry, and that you have adequate lighting to see what you are doing with your hands or any tools.

  3. Disconnect negative wire first: Speaking of proper safety, it is always important to remove the negative wire first before doing anything else with the battery. The negative cable should be the firt thing you remove because it is usually the ground cable so removing it first is the easiest and safest option. The negative cable is the black one.

  4. Remove the air box: The next step in how to change your snowmobile battery once you have removed the negative cable is to remove the air box. The air box is basically in the way of the battery so you really can’t replace the battery without removing it. You will want to remove this air box, along with the attached hoses, to give yourself the access needed to replace the battery. You should consult your owner’s manual to get the exact specifics on performing this task according to your model.

  5. Remove positive wire: With the air box removed, you will have better access to the battery and can now remove the positive wire from the battery. You should take great care to avoid letting the positive wire touch the negative wire as it can be dangerous. Even with the vehicle turned off and the negative wire disconnected, there is till the potential for sparks, charges, and electrical arcing so it is paramount to your safety to take care with this aspect. Make sure you drape the wires in opposite directions to avoid them touching.

  6. Take out the old battery: Once the wires are out of the way and placed away from one another, you can remove the battery by carefully sliding it out of the compartment. It should slide right out in most models, but if you do meet some resistance, use care not to damage the housing from excessive pulling.

  7. Clean the terminals: Once you have removed the battery from the housing compartment, you should clean the wire terminals to ensure the best connection. A buildup of crud can make even a new battery shorter in life span and less powerful for a vehicle so this is a must. Using a damp towel, take some time to clean the wire terminals to remove any crud or buildup. Make sure you remove all the corrosion to give your new battery a better level of performance and overall longevity.

  8. Inspect for any issues: While you are in there and the housing is empty, this is a good time to check around for any issues. If you find any loose components, such as steering components, you can take the time to tighten them while the area is exposed. You should also look for any signs of damage to the rest of the area such as the air box, terminals, and housing. If you find any issues, take the time to fix them before moving on with a new battery.

  9. Install the new battery: Once you have thoroughly dried the housing and terminals from the cleaning phase, you are ready to install the new battery. You want to make sure the battery fits snuggly inside the open space of the housing and that there is nothing obstructing it in its placement.

  10. Reconnect wires and re-install air box: Next, you will reconnect the positive wire (usually red) to the battery first while taking great care to keep it away from the negative (black) wire. Once the positive wire is on, you can reinstall the negative wire and then reconnect the air box attaching the associated hoses as well. Make sure everything is tight and secure before closing the hood to avoid any issues and you are good to go!