During the summer months, a snowmobile is subjected to high temperatures that can cause greater rates of chemical activity. This chemical activity acts on several areas of the snowmobile and can cause degradation of its durability. As an example: the battery’s charge will deteriorate, seat covers can crack and obviously the gasoline will become stale. The purpose of storing your snowmobile properly is to try and reduce the chance of any part of it failing due to lack of use.

When storing your snowmobile, completely clean and polish it. Use a cleaning solvent on greasy areas with a high pressure car washer. However, use caution. The water from a high pressure car washer can easily be forced under decals and past bearing seals, which will cause the decals to peel and the bearings to corrode. With the machine, engine and drive system clean and dry, inspect for damage, wear or cracks. Scratches and bare metal spots can be spray painted. Most snowmobiles use plastic skis, however if your snowmobile has steel skis be sure to paint the ski bottoms as a part of your storage ritual.

Basic Storage Preparations:

  1. For fuel injected models completely fill the fuel tank with gasoline and add a fuel conditioner / stabilizer in proper proportions to preserve the fuel. By limiting the air space within the fuel tank, you ensure that oxidization of the fuel will be minimal and condensation cannot occur. Start the engine and run it for a few minutes to allow the freshly treated fuel to work its way into the throttle bodies.
  2. For carbureted models be sure to completely drain the fuel tank and carburetor float bowls.
  3. After the engine has cooled off, remove the spark plug caps and spark plugs. Pour a teaspoon of engine oil (Yamalube 4 0W30) into each spark plug bore. Install the spark plug caps onto the spark plugs, and then place the spark plugs on the cylinder head so that the electrodes are grounded. Turn the engine over several times with the starter allowing the oil to coat the cylinder walls. Remove the spark plugs from the spark plug caps, and then install the spark plugs and the spark plug caps.
  4. Remove the drive belt and be sure to store it “unrolled”. This prevents damage to the drive belt and clutches. If the belt was left on the machine, it would set to its installed shape and not rotate properly around the clutches when the snowmobile was put into use the following season. This also prevents the possibility of condensation forming between the belt and clutch sheaves.
  5. Reduce the tension on the track by loosening the rear axle nut and then backing off the track tensioning nuts to their limit. This prevents the track from stretching and cracking during the storage period.
  6. Coat all exposed metal surfaces nuts, bolts, fasteners with preserving oil like WD40. This will prevent them from rusting. Keep the oil away from plastic and rubber parts so they don’t deteriorate. Also be sure to lubricate all specified points as pointed out within your owner’s manual with grease or oil (Yamalube 5W30).
  7. Remove the battery and store it in a cool, dry place making sure it is out of the sunlight. Charge the battery once a month with a small charger that is rated at no more than 2 amp/hr. The recommended type of charger for this procedure is available from your local Yamaha dealer.

Store the snowmobile in a dry place away from all sources of moisture and animals (birds and rodents). The snowmobile should be loosely covered and safely stored on blocks. Blocks should be safely placed under the front frame section and rear bumper. The track and skis should be suspended above the floor / storage area surface in order to allow the snowmobiles shock absorbers to be stored in an unloaded state. Do not start the engine during the storage period, as this may remove the oil from inside the engine.

Photo: Phippards

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