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Summer Snowmobile Preparations

Summer Snowmobile Preparations

Riding a snowmobile in the winter is a lot of fun, but that fun has to come to a temporary end at the end of the season. When the snow melts and the forecast calls for warmer days ahead, it’s time to store away your snowmobile until next winter. When it comes to summer snowmobile preparations, there are 10 major things you need to do to ensure your ride is ready to go at the start of the next season.

  1. Clean it: The most important of the summer snowmobile preparations is to properly clean it. Chances are that your ride has some mud, slush, road salt, and general build-up on it from riding all the way into the warmer temperatures. There is also the potential for dirt and build up to corrode important elements such as the paint job, nuts, or bolts if you store it away still dirty. Also, it’s just nicer to start next season with a ride that’s already clean and ready to go. Make sure you use warm, soapy water with your favorite cleaner to scrub and clean any nooks and crannies, as well as a pressure washer on a low, safe setting to clean the exterior body. You also want to make sure you thoroughly dry your ski since moisture can rust out metal components over time.

  2. Apply wax: Once the machine is clean and dry, you can apply wax to the paint job. This will make your paint job last longer and ensure a safe barrier to keep your ride protected while in storage. You can apply the wax right after cleaning and drying or complete some necessary upkeep tasks and then wax. The bottom line is that you should use a wax at some point before storing the ski and always use a safe wax designed for snowmobiles of the best results.

  3. Fog the engine: One of the most important steps in summer snowmobile preparations is to fog the engine. Make sure your model requires fogging before doing this step just in case. If you do all the other steps on the list and skip fogging the engine, you are doing your ski a great disservice in maintenance and care. Fogging the engine helps prevent failure, malfunction, and corrosion to give you a long-lasting engine full of power.

    When fogging, make sure you are in a well-ventilated area for safety reasons. While you can check your owner’s manual to make sure you follow any model specific guidelines, the general process of fogging requires you to remove the air box, start the engine, and then spray fogging oil in the throttle body while the engine is still running. You want to continue this process until the engine starts to sputter or white smoke comes out of the exhaust.

  4. Drain the carburetor: Another of the most important summer snowmobile preparations is to prepare the carburetor. You will need to remove the float bowls and drain any excess fuel before storing your ride away for the season. This process keeps the fuel from creating a residue which could damage the interior system.

  5. Maintain the fuel system: If your model is a carbureted model, you want to store it away with an empty tank, but you should check the owner’s manual to be sure. If you have a fuel injected model, you should fill up the tank before storing it away. Storing it with a full tank reduces the risks of condensation forming in an empty tank which could lead to water in the fuel system. It’s also important to add a fuel stabilizer to your tank which will help prevent the fuel from breaking down and corroding the carburetor. When adding the fuel stabilizer, you don’t just pour it in and move on. Much like fogging, the solution works better if you let the engine run so it can flow through the system. You only need to run the engine for a few minutes to ensure the fuel stabilizer makes its way throughout the engine.

  6. Inspect and repair any damages: After a rough riding season on frigid temperatures, your ski may have a few damages. It’s best to take care of any replacements or repairs prior to storing it away for the end of the season so it’s ready to go when winter comes back around. From damaged runners to fender dents, make sure you go over every area of your ride and make any necessary repairs as part of your summer storage checklist.

  7. Grease lube points and chassis: Rust is a major concern for any snowmobile owner. This is why it’s crucial to grease lube points and chassis before storage. Any point with a grease fitting should be full to avoid rust. You also want to add a lightweight oil to any areas that are exposed such as exhaust, nuts, bolts, and suspension rails. This will create a barrier during the off-season to prevent any damages. You want to make sure you rinse it all off with a safe degreaser before riding season starts up again.

  8. Remove the battery: You want to remove the battery from the ski and store it in a temperature control location where it’s safe from moisture, sunlight, and heat. If you leave the battery hooked up to the ski, it will lead to it draining the battery of its energy. It’s a good idea to use a battery tender to keep the battery changed up during the off-season. You should also remove the drive belt when you remove the battery. This will prevent the belt from not rotating properly during the next riding season because it settled in a different shape during storage. It’s best to store the belt in an unrolled position during storage to prevent any issues.

  9. Raise it off the ground if possible: When storing your ski, you should aim to keep it up off the ground. If you store it on the floor of your garage, there is the chance that condensation will lead to rust. It’s best to invest in a reliable set of snowmobile dollies to keep your ride elevated off the ground. This will prevent damages and even make it easier to move the ski if you need to during the off-season.

  10. Cover it: Finally, you want to cover your snowmobile before storing it away. A cover will protect against scratches, damages, dirt, and moisture buildup. There are plenty of covers on the market to accommodate the size and shape of your snowmobile. You should look for a soft, lightweight cover and make sure your ski is properly dried before putting the cover on to avoid any moisture concern.