Guest Author - Lisa Linnell-Olsen
Storing your sled correctly during the off-season prevents problems and helps set you up to be ready for the next winter. Knowing how to do important off-season maintenance will help you perform the task. Check your user manual. Here are some of the steps that you may need to take:
Stabilize the gas, or drain it and fog the system. This will prevent rust and corrosion from occurring throughout the combustion system. This step will likely prolong the life of your engine. It is necessary to treat or remove the gas from your machine because of the way gasoline breaks down after a few weeks of sitting. Some of the chemicals present after sitting will increase oxidation (rust and corrosion).
If you go the fogging route, know that fogging oil will prevent corrosion of the whole combustion system as it protects from moisture collected due to condensation during storage.
Lubricate necessary parts the ownerís manual for your sled should list which parts will need to be lubricated when you put your sled away for the off-season. Mostly likely, it will be your suspension and steering parts that will require lubrication. Be sure to use the proper lubricant (grease, oil etc.).
Avoiding the clutch, spray down the engine and the track with a silicone protectant spray. This will also help to prevent corrosion of these systems.
Remove the belts. Belts can dry out and crack over time. Take off the belts and spray with a sutiable lubricating spray. Store the belts in a protected area so that they will be ready to reinstall when winter hits.
Use a cleaner wax on all painted surfaces. Once again, this is to help stop corrosion.
Put your snowmobile in a protected area. This step is more to keep animals, insects and children from damaging your sled during storage. When I was growing up, wasps got under the seat of my Dadís snowmachine and built a nest. That canít be good for the machine! Insects and animals looking for a summer nesting site may find one inside your snowmachine, and creating damage in their efforts to build a home. If you donít have a garage or storage shed, consider purchasing a slipcover or renting storage space.
You probably noticed that corrosion is your biggest enemy during storage. Keeping moisture away from parts that can oxidize is critical. With these steps, and by following the suggested maintenance for your snowmobile, you will preserve your snowmobile and have an easier time next winter!
Have any more valuable snowmachine storage tips? Please share them with our other readers in the Winter Sports Forum!