Hey everyone, it’s the Fred Content Crew back with another quick writeup! Sledding season has arrived and preparation is the key to longevity! I’ve created a simple checklist for anyone who is pulling their snowmobile out of storage and getting ready for some winter fun. If you notice any discrepancies while running through this list, check your owner’s manual or make a snowmobile service appointment. Let’s get started!
1. THROTTLE LEVER
Squeeze the throttle and ensure it moves smoothly and returns quickly back to the closed position.
2. BRAKE LEVER
Squeeze the brake lever. It should feel firm and not too soft, and should not come all the way back to the grip.
Rotate the handlebars fully to the left and then fully to the right, checking to make sure there are no obstructions and everything moves smoothly.
Check grips, throttle housing, and break to make sure they’re not loose.
Fully charge the battery and make sure it has good voltage by testing it. If the battery isn't performing, replace it.
Check the track tension and alignment as per the manufacturer’s recommendations, and also check the rest of the track for any damage such as missing lugs, rips, or tears. If your track is equipped with studs, you’ll want to make sure all of the studs are in good condition and replace any that are missing or damaged.
Check each suspension wheel by spinning them with your fingers. The rubber should be grippy on all the wheels and the bearings should roll freely.
Check the hyfax sliders on the suspension rails by looking for areas where they are worn thin and replace them if there is any concerning wear.
Ensure all lubrication joints have been serviced, including the grease points (which are usually done before spring storage).
Inspect the ski bottoms for excessive wear and replace worn carbides or wear bars.
11. SKI ALIGNMENT
Check ski alignment. They should always be slightly wider up front, with up to ¼” toe-out. There should be no toe-in.
12. LIGHTS & EMERGENCY SWITCH
If you’ve plugged your exhaust for winter to prevent rodents from entering the pipe, now is a great time to remove the plug. Start your sled and check that the lights work. Headlights, tail lights, brake lights, and emergency stop switches should all be functioning.
13. DRIVE BELT
Remove the belt guard and check the drive belt for excessive wear and damage. Also, check the drive belt tension by checking the ride height in the secondary clutch and adjust the tension as required. If you see any signs of separation, glazing, edge cord, or narrowing of the drive belt it will need to be replaced.
14. CHAIN TENSION
Check chain tension and make sure it is finger tight.
15. OIL AND FLUIDS
Top off and/or change oil and other fluids, and check for fluid leaks.
Following this list should give you a comprehensive overview of your snowmobile and allow you to troubleshoot any issues before they arise in the field. Will you be using my list this winter? Let me know on Instagram or Twitter! P.S. - If you’re in the market for a new snowmobile this year, we just dropped an article for Alberta's best used sled finds so check it out. Also be sure to visit our partners at Revival Powersports for the best selection of used snowmobiles or to finance any snowmobile in Canada!
As always, thanks for reading!