When there’s more mud and dirt on the trails than snow, it’s time to start getting your snowmobile ready for its long summer nap. Here are some tips for properly preparing your snowmobile for storage to help ensure it’s in good shape for next winter.
Dashing through the snow all winter can cause salt and dirt to build up on your machine, so a wash is your first order of business. Warm, soapy water will typically get the job done on the hood, tunnel, seat and nose pan, SnowGoer Magazine says. Rinse thoroughly. Spray a grease-cutting cleaner under the hood and an engine degreaser near the oil reservoir and on the exhaust ports, then rinse well.
Now that your snowmobile is shiny and clean, you don’t want to put a dirty cover over it. Most covers can go right into the washing machine, says the Sault Ste. Marie Snowmobile Association.
You probably don’t want to drain your snowmobile’s fuel tank before it goes into storage. Most of today’s “sleds” are fuel-injected, according to American Snowmobiler Magazine, and the engine parts typically rely on fuel for lubrication and protection.
Fuel can degrade over time and may corrode engine parts. Pouring a fuel stabilizer into the tank will help prevent this, SnowGoer Magazine says. Read the directions on the bottle of the fuel stabilizer to find out how much to use based on how much gas is in the tank. Run the engine for a few minutes after pouring it in to help ensure treated fuel is flowing throughout the system, according to SnowGoer Magazine.
Coating the inside of your snowmobile’s engine with fogging oil may help protect your crankshaft bearings, connecting rods and other engine parts from air and moisture, which can cause corrosion and make those parts prone to fail, SnowGoer Magazine says. Fogging oil displaces moisture from metal to prevent corrosion and forms a protective coating, and can be found at most automotive retail shops. You’ll want to gain access to the carburetors or throttle bodies by removing the airbox and foam or air horns, says SnowGoer Magazine. With the engine running, spray the fogging oil into each intake for a few seconds, then switch to the other cylinder.
Greasing joints on your snowmobile’s suspension should probably be a part of your regular maintenance regimen during the winter season, but it may be particularly important right before you store it. Coating all the lube points may help ensure water doesn’t cause rust and corrosion during the summer, according to the Sault Ste. Marie Snowmobile Association.
Consider putting a jackstand under the rear bumper and unhook the springs, says SnowGoer Magazine. Set the front end of the chassis on a wooden box so it hangs freely, too. This can relieve tension on the track and suspension, helping them to last longer.
If you’re storing your snowmobile in a garage or shed, you may want to place a few mothballs under the hood and on the tunnel to help keep out rodents and other varmints, SnowGoer Magazine says.