Tech Tip: Prepare Your Snowmobile for Summer Storage
Mountain Sledder | On 22, May 2009
It’s the time of year when most sledders pack up all their winter gear and pull out their golf clubs. When putting your sled away for the summer, it’s important to properly prepare your snowmobile for summer storage. Taking the right steps will help prevent issues from arising during your sled’s 6-8 month hibernation.
Prepare Your Snowmobile for Summer Storage
- First things first; give your sled a good cleaning after your last ride of the year. Spring rides are usually pretty dirty, so be sure to wash away all that dirt and road grime. Use a pressure washer at home or hit up the car wash after your last ride. It’s also a good time to degrease the engine compartment. Any oil and grime on there will only become more stubborn to remove after an extended period of time. You might as well blast some air in the clutches to remove belt dust while you’re at it.
- Park your sled somewhere out of the way so it doesn’t have to be shuffled around. Indoors is obviously the best choice. But if that isn’t an option, at least try to find a shady spot out of the sun, and cover your sled with a quality tarp.
- Stabilize your fuel. Some folks say to fill your fuel tank so there’s less air space in there for moisture development and vapour pressure to build up. Regardless of whether you fill your tank or not, be sure to add the proper amount of fuel stabilizer to the remaining fuel. This will prevent the deterioration of the fuel which can result in lowered octane and other problems. Be sure to run your sled for a bit to allow the stabilized fuel to run through the rest of the fuel delivery system as well.
- Fog your engine. Use either the manufacturer automated engine fogging procedure (for example on the Ski-Doo E-TEC engine), or administer an aftermarket engine fogging product via the air intake.
- Plug the exhaust pipe to prevent critters from crawling up in there and calling it home. Steel wool works better than cloth because mice and other creatures can’t chew through it easily.
- Remove the belt and spare, and find a clean storage place to lay them out flat for the summer. This will allow the belts to relax into a normal shape rather than be forced into an oblong shape for an extended period of time.
- If your sled has electric start, unhook the cables from the battery terminals to reduce battery drain and prevent possible corrosion. You can put your battery on a trickle charger, or just plan to give it a maintenance boost a couple of times throughout the summer.
- Lubricate suspension components. Be sure to grease any fittings in your skid. Apply a drop of oil to your ball joints to help keep them rust free.
- Take the load off your suspension. You can achieve this by blocking up the front to take the weight off the skis. At the back, the tunnel can be suspended by the bumper, or better yet, tie into the tunnel hangers for better support.
- Cover your sled to keep it clean, and make sure that dust isn’t finding its way into the airbox.
Last of all, make a list of any maintenance/repair issues that you don’t have time to address at the moment. It’s more fun wrenching on sleds in the autumn anyway. It gives you something to do when the weather is lousy and you’re getting amped on the upcoming season. But you might have a hard time remembering what needs to be dealt with in 6-months time, so it’s a good idea to jot it down now.
Summer Storage Video
Here’s a video that’s a few years old now, but still contains information relevant today. Happy boating season!