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Five Snowmobile Maintenance Tasks to Help Reduce Breakdowns
Imagine being out in the wilderness with your snowmobile. You're having fun but a whopper of a storm is on the way. So you decide to turn around and head for home. As you attempt to do just that, the snowmobile experiences mechanical problems. The problems are so severe that you eventually find yourself stranded in the wilderness.
Not a happy scenario, right? Well, thankfully, you can reduce the risk of that happening to you by properly maintaining your sled during the winter season.
Here's a look at five things you should check before hitting the trail:
1. Check the Recoil Starter Rope
Before heading out on a run it is always a good idea to check your snowmobile's recoil starter rope for fraying or other potential problems. After all, without it you'll have a heck of a time trying to start your sled.
2. Check the Drive Belt
When you are giving your snowmobile's drive belt the once over, be on the lookout for signs of shredding and flat spots. Either one could cause your drive belt to fail and leave you hoofing it through the snow. It could also cause additional problems should the sheared off pieces find their way into your sled's clutch or other sensitive areas. You'll also want to make sure that the drive belt fits properly and the pulleys are in working order.
3. Check the Battery
The backcountry is no place to discover that your snowmobile's battery is dead. Therefore, it is a good idea to periodically check the battery's electrical connections and its voltage level. You may also want to check the battery's electrolyte levels and remove any grimy build up.
4. Check the Track
Examine your sled's track for wear and tear. Make sure that the studs are not showing through, the clips are in working order, and that all the lug nuts are properly tightened. This is important to do because worn tracks could give you problems when it comes to stopping. In addition, broken or bent clips could cause the track to derail or cause damage to the sliders.
5. Check the Spark Plugs
Properly working spark plugs are essential for achieving optimal fuel efficiency as well as starting your sled's engine. You'll want to examine the spark plug's firing end for deposits, fouling, melting, and breakage. It is also a good idea to check the color of the spark plug's firing end. Examining the spark plugs can also tell you a lot about your snowmobile's overall condition. For example, fouled spark plugs could indicate that you are using the wrong oil to fuel ratio, and new spark plugs that don't spark could indicate that there is a problem with your sled's electrical system.
Killeen Gonzalez enjoys winter sports with her family and has traveled extensively.
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