After the last of the rideable snow melts away and the trails officially close in spring, snowmobile ride plans transition to thoughts of summer recreation. However, before making a trip to the storage facility to trade out snowmobiles for boats, ATVs, campers and other warm-season toys, you’ll want to properly prepare your snowmobile for the long offseason. Here are a few general tips to that’ll help make sure your sled is snow-ready when winter rolls around again.
Always refer to the owner’s manual provided with your snowmobile for manufacturer recommendations and procedures on preparing your snowmobile for storage, including important annual maintenance requirements. All snowmobile brands differ and will list specifics on things like preserving the life of batteries and engines, checking fluid levels, fasteners to tighten, and parts that need to be greased.
The items in your onboard storage compartments always seem to multiply after a great season of riding trips across the snowbelt. Remove all those items and separate trash from treasures. Be sure all your leftover trail snacks are cleaned up to help keep rodents away. Before returning items like tow ropes and tool kits into those compartments, make sure they are cleaned and dry to prevent corrosion on tools and stop mold and mildew from forming.
You can take this detailing step to great lengths, but at bare minimum, wash and wax your snowmobile before storing. A snowmobile and its components are exposed to many harsh elements that can tarnish appearances, cause premature wear and decrease performance if left unwashed for long periods. A simple hand wash with a dedicated automotive soap, and application of your favorite bodywork-safe wax after surfaces are thoroughly dry, will keep your snowmobile looking and performing like new. Pro Tip: Furniture polish makes a great spray-on wax and is used by most powersports manufacturers on display units at events. Be careful not to get overspray on drive belts or seats.
The premium octane gasoline in your snowmobile begins to go bad within a few weeks. When left untreated, some of the fuel components could begin to oxidize and form a gum-like substance, which settles in fuel lines, tanks, filters, carburetors or injectors. This can reduce your engine performance and cause difficulties with starting.
Refer to your owner’s manual for recommendations on whether to store your snowmobile with a full or partial tank of gas. This gas will be sitting idle for many months and will need to be treated with a fuel stabilizer such as Quicksilver® Quickstor® Fuel Stabilizer.
If possible, store your snowmobile indoors for the best protection from the elements and rodents. Use a corrosion inhibitor such as Quicksilver Corrosion Guard Engine Protect on all metal components. Raise the track off the floor by blocking up the back end, making sure the snowmobile is secure. Then cover the snowmobile with a fitted OEM cover, or a heavy waterproof fabric tarp, to protect it from dirt and dust. The same tactics apply to storing your snowmobile outdoors.
Taking the necessary time to properly prep your snowmobile in the spring will give you peace of mind your favorite winter toy is protected. Now you’re ready to enjoy your time on the lakes, trail systems and campgrounds this summer.