Servicing & Transporting Your Sled
If you’ve been cheating on your sled with your dirt bike all summer, you’ll need to give your sled a good tune-up. Take it to a pro for servicing or, if you’ve got pro skills, service it yourself before you take it out for the first rip of the season. If you plan on performing the service yourself, make sure you check the owner’s manual first for any specific maintenance procedures you should be following.
The Snowmobiler’s Pre-Season Checklist:
- Air intake: Check that the air intake isn’t clogged up with debris.
- Throttle: Squeeze the throttle lever to ensure it moves freely without getting stuck.
- Brake: Check the brake lever to ensure it works smoothly and springs back into the original position when released.
- Track: Check the track for any damage that might have occurred while the machine was in storage. Look for frayed or worn down-looking areas on the rubber.
- Bogie Wheels: These help to keep the track from hitting other parts of the track suspension. Check the condition and lubrication of the bogie wheels, looking for broken nuts or bolts.
- Slide rail/hyfax: This is a buffer that prevents the rubber part of the track from being torn up by the moving metal part of the track. Check the owner’s manual for wear specification and replace this part if it becomes thin.
- Wear Bars (“Skags”): Without these important parts on your skis, you'll basically slide right off the trail when you try to turn a corner. Check the skags often and replace them if they're worn down.
- Lights: Check the front lights, rear lights, brake lights and reflectors to ensure they're fully functional and that the bulbs haven't burnt out. Replace any dead bulbs.
- Injection Oil Mix (2-stroke)/Oil Level (4-stroke): Without the proper amount of oil, your engine will seize and require expensive repairs. The oil and oil filter should both be replaced before each season.
- Gear Oil Level: Without gear oil the track of your sled will seize up. Check with the manufacturer for the level and type of oil your sled requires.
- Spark Plugs: If these parts aren't kept clean, your engine won’t run well and will eventually stall. Check the spark plugs regularly and carry spares.
- Drive Belt: This belt is turned by the engine, which in turn moves the machine's track. The belt can wear out over time and should be checked regularly. If possible, you should keep a spare belt on the sled.
- Battery: Make sure the battery is fully charged and replace it, if necessary.
- Carburetor: The carburetor helps deliver fuel to the engine. It's a pretty intricate system of hoses and jets that give the machine the right amount of fuel to air mixture. When inspecting it, look for any dirt or grime that might be clogging it up and for any damaged or cracked hoses.
- Fuel Filter: Check and replace the fuel filter, if needed.
- Handlebars and Steering System: Make sure the handlebars turn smoothly and the skis respond accordingly.
- Shocks: Most machines have three shocks. Two on each side at the front where the skis are and one under the seated rider. These are springs that absorb any impact on the skis.They should be checked for rusting, as well as any damaged or broken springs.
- Windshield: Check the windshield for any cracks or damage which might compromise its ability to protect your face from debris.
- Fluid levels: Make sure the fluids are topped up and that nothing is running low. The type and amount of fluids needed will vary depending on the machine. Check the owner’s manual for specifics.