A snowmobile provides your family with an abundance of adventure, excitement, and a lifetime of memories. It deserves to live a long, healthy life. But outside of buying a cover and wiping down the sides, what else can you do to extend its lifespan and enjoy it for the long haul? We've taken the time to outline the top seven gestures you can do to help prolong your beloved snowmobile's life and keep your family on the snow.
Create and Follow a Thorough Maintenance Schedule
Creating a comprehensive maintenance schedule for the off-season and peak usage times can help you ensure all working parts are healthy. This can also help you stay ahead of any significant updates to your machine. Things such as cosmetic upkeep can keep the shell in pristine conditions, in addition to bodywork, engine work, and routine fluid checks.
Ensure your maintenance schedule covers all your bases and consists of tune-ups or the help of a professional. Sometimes, we sit with things so often it is easy to overlook important criteria. By employing the help of a professional about once a year, you can have another set of eyes checking over your machine and guide you through ideal maintenance needs.
Break In the Snowmobile Correctly
Breaking in your snowmobile is a must-do on the list of ways to extend its life. To ensure you break it in properly, you want to follow the manufacturer’s specifications and the specific machine’s demands to ensure the lines are ready for wear. Another key thing to consider for an accurate break-in is how many miles the throttle needs to run to maintain optimal performance. It’s essential to note that each machine will have varied break-in patterns, and your manufacturer’s guidelines will outline best practices for your snowmobile.
Use the Highest-Quality Oil
Many manufacturers test their machines with various oil types to seek out the best for their specific machines. They look for a specific set of criteria that highlights cleanliness, durability, and overall run quality. From these factors, they create manufacturers’ recommendations for the best quality oil for their particular machines. It's in your best interest to use the recommended oil and stay on top of its maintenance.
Don't Let Damages Linger
When you invest in a snowmobile and wish to have it around long-term, it's inevitable that you will experience damage or accidents. And while sometimes people may ignore these issues for a brief period, it's best to consider fixing any and all damages right away to avoid part compensation or long-term consequences. Another factor to consider is how long the machine sits in storage. This length of time can do a number on existing damages. Tackle snafus head-on, regardless of the problem, to ensure you keep your snowmobile functioning and healthy.
Nurture the Machine's Drivetrain
During your scheduled maintenance, a significant component to factor into care and handling is the machine's drivetrain. This part may fail faster through poor maintenance than almost any other part. There are a few things you can do to prevent a failing drivetrain:
- Fill the chain case with fresh oil of the appropriate values
- Grease other components periodically, such as the jackshaft and the driveshaft
- Adjust the chain according to the manufacturer's best practices
Thoroughly Clean Your Snowmobile and Its Parts
Some may find enjoyment in cleaning their snowmobile and all its parts, but this is a vital step to ensuring a long, healthy, snow-filled life. This also gives owners an opportunity to inspect various body parts for damage or lingering ailments and creates the space to show others in the family how to take care of their machines. By properly cleaning the snowmobile, you can prevent corrosive behaviors from salt or buildup, and this will directly impact the body's ability to withstand the test of time.
How often you clean your machine will vary depending on how frequently you ride, so consider adding this at the bottom of your scheduled maintenance list and visiting it when the time calls. Also, remember to factor in various smaller components such as bearings, clutches, and shafts.
Allow time for your machine to dry thoroughly before taking it back to the snow or storage space. Anytime you leave the water to sit on the delicate metals and in crevices, you increase the likelihood of avoidable corrosion or damage to parts that may eventually require replacing.
Take Proper Storage Measures
While storage might be considered more of a cosmetic investment, proper storage measures can move mountains in terms of extending the life of your snowmobile. Depending on where you live full time, you will have your machine in storage for roughly 6 to 8 months out of the year. It's vital for it to rest in a dry, climate-controlled environment where you have easy access for routine check-ins.
Another thing to consider is the in-season downtime. The windows between rides create opportunities for any number of things to go wrong, so invest in a weatherproof cover that fits your machine snugly. This can help you keep it cleaner for a longer period and protect it from additional exposure when not in use. This cover can serve you in the off-season while in storage as well.
The most challenging part of owning a snowmobile is understanding all its intricacies and maintaining its life. Those that enjoy their machines know that the work is well worth the time and energy, and many snowmobiles will last a few decades or more when given the proper care and handling.
Here at Peak Boys, we specialize in assisting you in your powersports journey and wish you the experience of a lifetime each time you ride. We carry a range of powersports parts, including all the necessary snowmobile components to assist you in following scheduled maintenance and upkeep. Contact us today to learn more about our specialty parts, products, and features.