Much in the same way that our snowblowers never seem to run right after the first snow of the year, taking a little bit of time to put the final prep on your snowmobile and other ice fishing mechanical gear will pay big dividends and keep you from a big bill and month-long wait at the dealership.
Here are the steps I take to ensure a winter of worry-free snowmobile use:
- Drain/siphon out all gas if it has sat for more than 6 months
- Use an ethanol-free gas to fill the tank
- Use a fuel additive or treatment
- Reinstall the battery after doing a quick maintenance charge and checking to make sure it is still good
Tip: Small wheeled carts and rollers are great for moving snowmobiles around your garage or storage facility. Trying to man-handle a heavy machine is a recipe for a sore back.
Now is a great time to inspect the track, grease any fittings, and check your owner’s manual for any suggested maintenance. Be sure to check out your travel trailer as well. Remember: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of pain.
Check out the video below to see how I prep my snowmobile prior to winter.
Editor’s note: Capt. Ross Robertson of Bigwater Guide Service and his crew provide educational guide trips for monster walleyes and smallmouth bass. The Bigwater team fishes ice-out to ice-up on the Great Lakes, spending the majority of the year on Lake Erie’s western and central basins.
Image and video by Capt. Ross Robertson