Pre-Season Snowmobile Maintenance

While we’re still enjoying the beautiful fall temperatures here in the Barrie/Orillia area, before we know it the snow will begin falling, and the excitement of winter sports will take off! Before you get your snowmobile fired up for its first cruise of the winter, it’s crucial to perform some quick preseason maintenance to protect it from damage, allowing you to get the most out of your toy this season. Although every snowmobile model and make will vary slightly, here are some basic maintenance tips to keep in mind:

Because your snowmobile has been sitting for several months, the following parts will likely need replacing prior to your first jaunt this winter:

  • Fuel filter
  • Spark plugs
  • Oil and oil filter
  • Chain case oil

What to Inspect:
It’s important to keep an eye on all aspects of your machine; not every part will require maintenance or replacing, however for your safety you should inspect the following parts before winter arrives, and throughout the season each time you take your sled out:

  • Battery: Ensure all cables are connected correctly and it’s being charged properly
  • Lights: Check them before you go out for a ride
  • Throttle: A stuck throttle on the trail can be dangerous, especially if the snowmobile is being used by an inexperienced rider
  • Track: Watch for signs of wear, and perform any adjustments necessary for correct alignment
  • Skis: Verify they are still in good working condition, if your carbides are worn it can ruin your skis. Grease nipples are also present on your skis and should get a shot of lubrication.
  • Chassis: Grease your rear suspension every season
  • Drive belt: Be sure there are no tears or worn areas, a sign of wear is an indication the belt should be replaced. A brand new belt is always more fun at the beginning of the season anyways and you can ride with greater confidence.
  • Brakes: It is imperative these are tested on a regular basis, if levels are low be sure to check for leaks in the line.
  • Clutch: Dissemble and clean to ensure a longer life.
  • Carburetor: – Should also be dissembled and cleaned, today’s ethanol fuel levels do not turn clean through a two-stroke motor.

What to Fill Up:
Check over each and every fluid for your snowmobile, and refill any that need to be topped off. Be sure to monitor these when the engine is cool, for safety reasons.

Try to always ride with a friend, if you do ride alone take greater care because it could be a long walk back home. Worse, if you are injured on a trail by yourself it could be hours before help could arrive, another good reason to ride with a friend or stick to the trails you know close to home.

If you do bring a cell phone make sure to keep it in a warm place, like around your ankle in your sock. You might laugh at this point but it will keep your cell phone warm enough to use, just make sure not to take too many pictures and drain the battery.

Looking after your snowmobile with regular, ongoing maintenance is an important step in ensuring a safe ride every time; however accidents occur, and there are incidents that cannot be predicted. Only with snowmobile insurance can you guarantee your needs are covered, and you’ll receive the protection necessary for a snowy season of fun!

To receive a free insurance quote for your snowmobile, in Barrie, Orillia or Simcoe County call Will Marshall Insurance Brokers Ltd., 705-726-2551.

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