Top 10 Must-Have Items for On-the-Trail Snowmobile Repair

Carrying a basic snowmobile repair kit with you on each trip is a prudent decision because you never know when a breakdown might occur.


With that said, here's a look at 10 items every snowmobile repair kit should have:

1. Operator's Manual

Because snowmobiles vary, it is important to make a photocopy of your sled's operator's manual and take it along with you. I'd recommend just photocopying the manual's pertinent parts and securing it inside a resealable plastic bag. You may also want to consider laminating any essential diagrams to further protect them from the elements.

2. Drive Belt

Having your sled's drive belt break during a snowmobile run can really put a damper on your day, not to mention leave you stranded. That's why it is always a good idea to carry an extra one in your repair kit.

3. Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are an inexpensive yet essential part of your snowmobile's engine. Therefore, it would behoove you to stow a few spares into your snowmobile repair kit.

4. Starter Rope

Starter ropes always seem to break at the most importune times, so it is advisable to bring along a spare. You can customarily buy a spool of starter rope online for as low as $19. You'll want to consult your sled's owner's manual before you make your purchase to ensure that you are buying the right size rope.

5. Tow Rope

A tow rope is important to have just in case your sled ends up stuck. You may opt to purchase a tow rope separately or as part of a kit. You may expect to pay around $35 for a tow rope kit. Making a tow rope kit of your own will normally cost you about the same.

6. Emergency Flares

When it comes to emergency flares, you have a few options to choose from. You may opt to purchase hand-held flares, smoke flares, aerial flares, or sound signals. I'd suggest that you choose a flare that is approved for both day and evening use. Aerial flares will tend to cost you approximately $55 for a four-pack. They are available at most marine and outdoor sports shops.

7. Extra Gas

The amount of extra gas that you should carry with you will vary based on the length of your trip. Be sure to allow at least enough to get you back home. I'd recommend that you exceed that amount slightly to compensate for any wrong turns taken during the trip.

8. Extra Oil

Of course, the type and amount of oil needed will vary based on your sled's make and model. If it is a new machine, you can usually find out what oil weight you need by consulting the owner's manual.

9. Flashlight

A flashlight is good to have when it comes to repairing your snowmobile in low light conditions. I like packing a waterproof shake flashlight because it eliminates the problem of battery replacement. A few shakes of the flashlight generally yields at least five hours of illumination. You can typically pick one up online or through most outdoor outfitters for less than $5. Adding a few light sticks to your repair kit isn't such a bad idea either. They take up little room and are usually inexpensive.

10. Tool Kit

At a minimum your tool kit should include assorted screwdrivers, a vise grip, socket wrench, and sockets. You might also want to throw in an old toothbrush for cleaning discharge off battery connectors, sandpaper, a multi-tool, wire and duct tape. Track clips, self tapping screws, and a spare hose are also helpful to have on hand.

Killeen Gonzalez enjoys winter sports with her family and has traveled extensively.

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Updated Wednesday, Feb 29, 2012