7 Important Snowmobile Repairs You Need to Perform Every Season
There are more than 600,000 registered snowmobiles in Canada. The fact is, this is a popular activity that is done for fun, and there are competitions all over the country – well, at least where there’s snow.
If you are a snowmobile enthusiast, or if you just like to ride for fun, keeping your machine in good, working condition is a must. If you don’t make the necessary repairs and provide regular maintenance, this may become impossible.
The good news is, there are certain snowmobile repairs you can make to ensure your machine works efficiently and safely any time you want to go for a ride. Keep reading to learn what those repairs are.
1. Change the Chaincase Oil
The chaincase lube is going to break down with the heating and cooling cycles. It may also become contaminated by water or other metal slivers from the sprockets and chain.
While the majority of chaincases build since the mid part of the 1990s have a drain plug installed to make draining the oil easily, other machines have to have the cover removed for this particular service. If you aren’t sure how to do this, then it may be best to leave it to a snowmobile repair tech.
2. Scour the Clutch Sheaves and Adjust the Belt
The clutches are imperative to get power to the ground. While you may have an engine that breathes fire and offers unparalleled horsepower, none of that matters if the power doesn’t make it to the ground.
The simplest and most basic part of clutch maintenance is belt tension and traction. Getting the snowmobile belt to hook up and to start in the proper “gear” makes a huge amount of difference when you are accelerating.
You can use an emery cloth (or something similar) on the sheaves to remove any accumulated glaze. Be sure to work from the center of the clutch to the outer edge on both fixed and moveable sheaves.
A word of warning – avoid using steel wool for this process. It is too fine and is only going to polish the surface.
Once you have scuffed the primary and secondary clutches sheaves, reinstall the bet and set the proper amount of tension. If the belt is too loose, then the machine may begin to bog on the low-end until the clutches reach the proper gear ratio. If the belt is too tight, it is going to squeal when rubbing against the sheaves.
3. Grease the Snowmobile
This is, perhaps, the most essential and easiest service for regular and ongoing snowmobile maintenance. Spending a few minutes injecting fresh grease into the chassis may determine whether or not the snowmobile is problem free the next time you take it for a ride.
Be sure that you also hit all of the important areas, including the drivetrain, steering components, front suspension, and rear suspension. Using fresh grease in the jackshaft and driveshaft bearings is particularly important, because if it isn’t present, the bearing may fail. If this happens, you are going to wind up stranded.
4. Inspect the Exhaust System
The snowmobile’s exhaust system is where quite a few issues may arise. The manifold gaskets may begin to leak, springs can break, and mounts may crumble.
Make sure to inspect the exhaust manifold and the exhaust outlet regularly. If your engine is more than a few years old, then it may begin to leak from the cylinder’s exhaust manifold. While this isn’t going to reduce power or cause a breakdown, it can cause quite a mess.
Be sure to open the hood and look at the front cylinders. If they are covered in oil, then your manifold needs attention. In most cases, this mess is the result of loose hardware that’s supposed to attach the cylinder to the Y-pipe.
If the sled is older, the issue may be the gaskets. The good news is, gaskets are pretty affordable. However, if this isn’t the culprit, you may need to take it in for professional repairs.
5. Inspect the Wear Bars
Taking the time to inspect your snowmobile’s wear bars or sometimes referred to as carbides is another easy maintenance task. It is also one you should do on a regular basis.
Be sure your skis have quality wear bars under them, that can withstand abuse if the sled encounters low-snow conditions. You should notice cutting carbide on each of the bars.
If the carbide is gone, or almost gone, then you need to go ahead and replace the bars.
6. Check the Lights
Brake lights and tail lights are crucial when riding. It ensures your sled can be seen at all times.
The good news is, inspecting the lights is another simple task. Just turn your snowmobile on and activate the lights. If there are any that aren’t working, replace them.
Keep in mind, if you notice that certain lights aren’t working while you are on a trail, be sure to use hand signals. This will help prevent any potential accidents.
7. Additional Inspections and Repairs to Make
While the above inspections and repairs are vital, there are other parts of your snowmobile that need to be looked at too. Some additional tasks to do to keep your snowmobile running properly include:
- Adjust the track and align the skis
- Inspect the brake pads
- Inspect the torque arms and suspension rails
- Evaluate the wheels and bearings
- Inspect the snowmobile sliders
By investing in the services, maintenance, and repairs mentioned here, you can keep your snowmobile running properly and efficiently year after year.
Snowmobile Repairs: Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
As you can see, there are a number of snowmobile repairs you can make regularly to prevent issues with your machine. By investing in this maintenance, you are not only going to save yourself time, money and frustration down the road but you can sell your snowmobile for more money by showing the next owner all the regular maintenance you have done on your snowmobile.