Proper Storage of Your Snowmobile
Snowmobiles are a piece of equipment that generally gets used for a maximum of 4 months out of the year in many areas. That means that they must be stored for approximately 8 months out of the year. Taking extra precautions and preparations when storing your snowmobile for the warmer months will make it easier to enjoy the winter months with a fresh and maintained machine at the beginning of the season. Following are some basic rules and tips to follow when storing your snowmobile in order to ensure the maximum amount of enjoyment when the first snow falls in your area.
One of the most important things to remember when storing your snowmobile is that it should be stored in a climate-controlled space. Several storage companies offer this service if you are willing to pay for an ideal space to store your sled. If this is not possible, find a place that will have a minimum of temperature changes so condensation will not build up on or in the parts of your snowmobile. Before covering it and storing it for the warmer months, spray it down liberally with WD-40 because this will help keep the parts lubricated and protected during the months when it is not in use.
As for the gas tank, there are different theories as to the ideal amount of fuel to keep in your snowmobile during the storage months. Some owners have argued that a full gas tank will cause condensation and corrosion in your sled. Fuel also loses its potency after awhile, so if it is left in the tank for too long, it will no longer be functional. Others have argued that an empty gas tank during the storage season will prevent the fuel from deteriorating. If your snowmobile uses an oil mix, the mixture could also separate and cause other parts to become clogged if the mixture is left in the tank. The best thing to do is to read the owner’s manual to find out what your specific snowmobile manufacturer recommends.
Snowmobile owners should also check the mechanical aspects and moving parts of their machine when preparing it for storage. These things are often overlooked at the beginning of the snowmobile season and the warmer weather of the storage season is more convenient for this type of preparation. Check each nut and bolt to make sure they are tight. If there are missing parts or things that need repairs, make the necessary repairs before storing the snowmobile. Also, remove the spark plugs and add a very small amount of 2-cycle engine oil in each empty spark plug cylinder in order to prevent them from rusting. Plug the openings on the snowmobile, such as the exhaust pipe, with an old rage to prevent condensation from forming on the inside of the pipe. Also, remove the seat to prevent rodents from forming a nest inside of it.
When the snowmobile season starts, the first thing you should do is to pull the start rope a few times in order to properly lubricate cylinder walls that house the spark plugs. You can then re-insert the spark plugs that you removed prior to storage or, even better, use new spark plugs. Be sure to check the fluid levels before operating your snowmobile because low or empty fluids could cause serious damage to the engine. Look for surfaces that have become scratched or nicked and touch-up the areas with rust-resistant paint. Letting a small area go without doing this could turn into a large bare area that is subject to rust and corrosion. Finally, add a coat of wax for optimum performance and reattach the seat properly before going on your first snowmobile ride of the new season.
Following these simple steps will help ensure that your snowmobile will ride properly for years to come. It is important to refer to your owner’s manual in order to get a complete listing of what needs to be done with your specific model before storing it for a long period. Having an expert look over your sled at the end of every winter season could be costly and is often unnecessary. Many storage facilities offer areas and climate-controlled units specifically designed to fit the needs of snowmobile owners. With the proper equipment and preparations, however, your garage or storage shed can be the ideal and most cost-effective way of storing your snowmobile for the winter months.
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