Do you own a snowmobile? Are you looking to use it again this coming winter? Thankfully, it is one of those recreational wonders that can keep you sane even in the middle of a pandemic.
Interestingly, sales of snowmobiles increased this year. Families are searching for recreational activities that are safe and fun.
But if you already happen to own one, the question for you is this: how is the current condition of your snowmobile? When was the last time you took it out for repair and maintenance?
And how often should snowmobile repair be?
Continue reading below as we give you the basics on snowmobile repair and care.
The Tune-Up Conundrum: How Often Should It Be?
How often should a trip to the snowmobile repair and maintenance center be? Generally, you should take it to the maintenance center at least once a year. Moreover, this trip should be before the start of winter.
Think of your snowmobile as your car. If it is in storage for the majority of the year, then you need to conduct a general check-up before taking it out in the snow. This is crucial as your safety is at stake.
Data reveals that one of the culprits for snowmobile accidents is poor maintenance. Sometimes, it is a defective part that causes a mishap.
Thus, you need to take your snowmobile to the service center at least once before the start of the new season.
The Basic Check-Up
Aside from taking your vehicle to the snowmobile repair center, you should also perform your own pre-season check. To do this, you must first know the key areas and parts to check.
Start with the basics by checking the headlights and taillights. Make sure every single light is working. If one of them isn’t working, don’t hesitate to replace it with a new one.
Also, you need to check the condition of the sparkplugs and brakes. These two play valuable roles in the safety and performance of your snowmobile.
Furthermore, don’t forget to check if the battery is still working. You also want to check the condition of the idler wheels and bearings.
The same thing goes for the track. Check if there are any damages to the track especially if you take your snowmobile to rough terrain. Additionally, check the traction tension.
Invest in a tension gauge and adjust the tension if necessary.
Last but not least, you need to check the snowmobile’s fluid levels. This means checking if it has enough fuel and oil. Moreover, you should also check if the filters are still in great shape.
If you bought a more recent model, the oil and fuel filters become more important than ever. These filters are integral in the performance of oil-injected and electronically-controlled fuel-run snowmobiles.
Also, there are no warning lights that will tell you if the filters already need immediate replacements. Hence, you have to check them manually.
Things to Expect from the Service Center
For a more extensive check-up, you need to take your snowmobile to the repair center. Keep in mind that you only have a limited amount of knowledge. There may be underlying problems that require the expertise of a professional.
Also, you don’t have all the tools necessary for a thorough check-up. A detailed inspection requires special tools like a snowmobile lift. This tool carries and elevates your snowmobile so the repairman can work effectively on the underside of your vehicle.
But what are the things you can expect if you take your snowmobile to the maintenance center? For starters, they will examine the clutch sheaves and adjust the belt accordingly.
The clutch is what enables your snowmobile to generate power to the ground. As for the belt, the repair expert can replace an old belt and replace a new one using the appropriate tightness.
A belt that is too tight will result in noises as it makes contact with the spinning sheaves. On the flip side, having it too loose will cause your snowmobile to bog down on the low-end.
The repair center will also inspect your snowmobile’s exhaust system. This is one of the most problematic areas in most snowmobiles. Here, springs can break and gaskets may leak.
This is also the area where some of the mounts can crumble.
You can also expect the repair center to check the torque arms. They will also put some grease on the skid frame.
Tips for Riding Your Snowmobile Safely
Lastly, part of snowmobile maintenance is learning how to ride it safely. If this winter will be your first time to ride one, it is best to take a snowmobile safety course first. Here, you will learn all the rules and regulations on snowmobile safety in your state.
You will learn the fundamental riding techniques that will keep you and your snowmobile safe.
Also, you need to invest in an emergency repair kit. This, of course, is on top of your first aid kit.
Your snowmobile repair kit should contain essential tools. These include a spare belt, duct tape, and a tow rope. Additionally, your kit should have some extra spark plugs and a pry bar.
And if you wish to explore new areas, avoid taking your snowmobile over frozen rivers. There is no way to determine how thick the ice is. And since your snowmobile is not the lightest of things, it can easily crack the ice.
Also, be mindful of the trail you’re looking to traverse. Study the trail beforehand and take note of the possible hazards. As we mentioned earlier, the rough and tough terrain can damage your snowmobile.
Gravel, for example, can derail your tracks.
Lastly, never ride your snowmobile without giving it a good round of inspection. Get your mobile’s manual and go over the checklist. Also, expand your knowledge by watching snowmobile repair videos online.
Go Beyond Snowmobile Repair
By focusing on your snowmobile repair and maintenance, you can ensure the safety of your rides. You can also extend the life of its moving parts and maximize your investment in the process. But there are many other things to learn aside from snowmobile repair.
We invite you to read our other articles on other winter-related topics.