What could go wrong if you don’t summerize your sled?
“It might be something as simple as it won’t start because it
seized up because it wasn’t lubricated,” said Nicholson. That
could mean rather costly engine repairs, not to mention lost
So, how does one summerize one’s snowmachine?
SnowOps spoke to Nicholson and other experts on the ins and
outs of preparing your sled for that long period of rest.
One snowmobiler’s summerizing process may differ a little
from the next guy’s, but some parts of it are of critical importance
and therefore should be skipped by no one.
“First of all,” said Alan Butler, “one of the most important
things is the fuel. You should not drain your tank, but make
sure there is no more than a quarter-tank of fuel. Then you
should put in a fuel stabilizer and run the snowmobile for
ten or 15 minutes so that the stabilizer has the chance to get
through the fuel system. The stabilizer stops gum building up
in the injectors or the carburetors. That’s one of the most important
Butler, president of Snoman (Snowmobilers of Manitoba),
also recommends that you “lift the back of the snowmobile
up and run it. Make sure all the bearings are dry, there’s no
water left in them. And you should make sure to grease all the
points that are grease-able.”
Lubrication is essential, as is protecting your sled from
dust buildup by covering it with a tarp. Before you do that,
though, remember one basic thing that we all learned in
childhood: Clean up after yourself. Nicholson says you must
“clean it thoroughly so dirt and grime don’t damage it over
While Butler recommends a quarter-full gas tank, Nicholson
prefers to fill the tank to prevent condensation and then
top it up with fuel stabilizer.
Remember to run the engine for several minutes so that
the stabilizer gets adequately distributed. The stabilizer has
to get to the fuel injector or carburetor to do its job, advises
Sask Snow CEO and president Chris Brewer.
If your vehicle has a four-stroke engine, Brewer recommends
changing the engine oil and oil filter. Then, just to
be clear, he hastens to add: “You have to make sure that you
get that gas treatment in the tank regardless of whether it’s a
two-stroke or a four-stroke machine.”
Whether your snowmachine is new or a “classic” model,
the concerns are the same. “The fuel now starts to deteriorate
after about 30 days,” said Butler. “That’s why it’s really important
that you put a fuel stabilizer in and run the machine long
enough for the stabilizer to work its way through the system.
To help ensure trouble-free winter recreation, springtime is the
right time for snowmobile inspection and maintenance
PHOTO COURTESY OF SASK SNOW
Like the bruin, your machine must also be
prepared for its yearly period of inactivity.
38 April 2018 | snowopsmag.com