Winter is around the corner, and it’s time to take your Ski-Doo for a spin. But before you ride your sled across snow-covered terrains, make sure it’s ready to take the brunt. Nothing ruins a snowy adventure more than your sled breaking down.
Here are a few snowmobile maintenance tips to get your Ski-Doo or any other sled ready for the season.
Cleaning and General Inspection
If you haven’t been checking up on your sled regularly, the chances of pest infestation are high. To begin with, perform a general inspection of your sled to make sure there’s no nesting in the track, under the hood or seat.
Once you rule out any pest problem, give your sled a thorough pressure wash. And apply a degreaser in between to remove stubborn grime, stains and dirt effectively.
If you somehow forgot to add fuel stabilizer while ‘summerizing’ your sled last spring, drain the tank and add fresh fuel before the start-up. Now depending on whether you have a 2-stroke or 4-stroke motor, you may want to clean the carburetor or fuel injectors using the manufacturer-recommended fuel additive.
Your sled has been sitting for a long time. Therefore, it is important to inspect spark plugs and wiring. Replace worn-out spark plugs and frayed wiring to avoid misfires and poor throttle response. Check the condition of the throttle cable as well. See if it requires lubrication or replacement.
This part of snowmobile maintenance is crucial to its overall performance. Inspect the track for any signs of wear, torn lugs or missing clips. It should be properly aligned and tensioned, as it can make a huge difference to your sled’s performance and fuel efficiency. Track alignment can be checked by measuring the distance between the track and suspensions on both sides. If there’s a difference, that means the track alignment is off and needs to be adjusted. Since we are talking about alignment, there’s one more area that needs inspection...
After you have adjusted the track, make sure the skis are properly aligned as well. In order for your sled to handle well and as predicted, the skis should toe out up to a half-centimeter. In simple terms, the distance between the tips of the skis should be slightly more than the spacing between the tails.
If you are not able to figure this out on your own, have your sled inspected by a professional.
Pre-season maintenance is incomplete without chaincase servicing. It is important to change the oil and set the chain tension. Also, if the brake fluid has not been changed in years, it’s high time you do it now.
Belt and Clutches
Check for cracks and delamination on the belt’s surface, as well as exposed cords on the sidewalls. If the damage is noticeable and alarming, replace the belt before your season’s first ride.
While you are inspecting the clutch, look for the glaze on its face. Remove the glaze with emery cloth and wash the clutch with soap and warm water. After that, wipe it down with a piece of microfibre cloth soaked in isopropyl alcohol.
For complete peace of mind, take your sled to a certified workshop for inspection and pre-season maintenance.