Did you know the fastest-growing sport in the U.S. right now is snowmobiling? The high cost of buying a brand-new snowmobile may not be affordable to many would-be new riders. This makes them opt to buy second-hand snowmobiles.
Despite that, you need a high-performance snowmobile to enjoy your experience at its full potential. Deciding on the correct mileage and condition for a used snowmobile can be confusing. Surprisingly, a high mileage snowmobile can as well perform well and live beyond its expected service life.
How many miles will a snowmobile last? This is the question many mechanics and dealers keep getting from their customers.
Keep reading to learn more about snowmobiles and how to make them last longer.
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How Many Miles Will a Snowmobile Last?
The life expectancy of a snowmobile is approximately 15.000 miles (or 24.000 km). Anything above 10.000 miles (or 16.000 km) would be considered high mileage. But remember, this also varies depending on the model and the manufacturer.
People fear buying high mileage snowmobiles due to their fast depreciation rate and the high maintenance required. However, a well-maintained snowmobile can last and exceed what is considered high mileage while still holding up its value.
To measure your snowmobile’s lifespan, determine how often it’s used and for how many miles. If you ride your snowmobile 100 miles (or 160 km) every weekend, it will wear out pretty quickly.
How Can You Extend Your Snowmobile Lifespan?
The lifespan of your snowmobile is dependent on how you use it. With proper maintenance, you will enjoy longer snowmobile distance travels for decades.
Here are tips to extend your snowmobile’s lifespan.
Tracks should be well tensioned and aligned. A well-maintained track not only prevents premature wear but also gives better fuel economy. Constantly inspect the snowmobile tracks for wear and damage.
Look out for torn lugs; chunks could be missing and not forgetting delamination (separation of layers). The gap between the track and the slide rail should be approximately 1.25 inches with 10 pounds of down pressure applied.
This downward pressure should be applied at about 12 inches from the rear suspension axle. This gap specification may vary depending on the suspension, design and other factors.
Remember, your track alignment has to be done before tensioning.
Chaincases must be serviced regularly by changing the oil and ensuring correct chain tension. The lubes help in the lubrication of the moving and rotating parts and help in cooling.
The oil may be contaminated by water and wear particles. Luckily, snowmobiles made after the mid-1990s have a drain plug and hence it’s effortless to drain the old oil.
Equally important is the tension of the chain. If not well tensioned, a loose chain will miss or damage the sprocket teeth. Additionally, a loose chain can make it hard to engage gears.
Inspect Wear Bars
Always check the condition of the wear bar before going out for a ride. They are located at the bottom of the skis. They are made of steel or carbides, which are hard materials.
Wear bars protect the snowmobile skis from harsh conditions and hard surfaces, and also enhance the steering capability. While they are durable and require minimal maintenance, they wear down and require regular maintenance and replacement. If you are having a hard time steering in icy conditions, your wear bar should be checked.
Routine maintenance of your suspension is crucial for a smooth ride on your snowmobile. Careful inspection and greasing of the suspension hardware should be a must. Look out for cracks, wear, and loose bolts and nuts.
Remember, a compromised suspension exacerbates the breakdown of other components of your snowmobile.
Loose Bolts and Nuts
Though not very common on modern sleds, regularly check loose bolts and nuts, for tightness. For easy access, roll the sled on its side and inspect the tightness of the bolts at the rear suspension.
Check for a loose shock mount and torque arm bolts. Pay close attention to the steering system hardware. A loose steering system may lead to poor or no mobile control.
Greasing is one of the easiest maintenance tasks you can perform on your snowmobile. It’s always good to check the manufacturer’s recommended grease for your snowmobile. But even without the guide, a high-quality low-temperature synthetic grease should work well.
Beware of some conventional greases which might hold moisture and encourage rusting. Make sure not to miss any grease points, as that could spell doom for that component.
Hyfax is plastic made from UHMW (ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene). It is strong and resistant to wear and abrasion. Compared to the cost of a snowmobile, a hyfax is cheap.
They protect the aluminum rail from wearing out in the tracks.
Notably, not all snowmobiles come with the hyfax in the sleds from the manufacturers. As such, it is recommended to modify and add them to protect your snowmobile. Depending on the quality and brand, a new hyfax ranges from 30 to 80 dollars.
Oil and Fuel Filter
The American manufacturer Polaris recommends regular fuel filters change after every 2000 miles. Dirty fuel filters cause snowmobiles to ride rough or have low power. Additionally, the gas mileage might be poor since the clogged filter causes the wrong fuel volume.
Dirty fuel filters may also lead to blockage of fuel injectors.
A clean oil filter is as important as having clean oil. Always change the filter when changing oil. This is because the new oil might pick up some wear from the old filter as it passes through.
Your snowmobile has a lot of moving parts. The parts need to be kept in good working order at all times.
Changing your oil often ensures your snowmobile stays in top running shape. It’s a simple thing to do, and it’s something that every rider should do regularly.
Wash and Wax Regularly
Snowmobile collects a lot of water, dirt and salt during the riding season. Thorough cleaning will make it presentable and prevent rust formation and corrosion. Use warm soapy water.
Pressurized water will help remove hard-to-remove dirt stuck on the machine. Use a vacuum, if possible, to suck out dust and particles from hard-to-reach areas. Degreasing agent and WD-40 might also come in handy to remove grease and some rust from the engine.
After cleaning, remember to wipe with a clean cloth and leave it in the open to dry. Use metal protectant spray agent to protect exposed metal parts. Waxing also protects plastics and leather but adds to a shiny finish.
Avoid using any colored polish or wax agent as they may stain the original colour.
Drive Less in Deep Snow or on Rough Terrain
Snowmobiles are fast and fun. They can also be dangerous if caution is not observed. Whenever possible, avoid riding in deep snow or over rough terrain.
There is a chance of getting stuck or tipping over in deep snow. This could cause serious injury to the rider or damage to your snowmobile. On average, three snowmobilers die, and more than 500 get injuries every year.
You can protect yourself and your machine by avoiding hostile terrains.
Check Drive Belt and Clutches
For good inspection of the drive belt, take it all out. While out, look out for loose cords and any defect in its shape. Scrub away any graze at the sides.
Clutches are essential for transferring power from the engine to the wheels. They should always be in top-notch condition. While the belt is off, take time to clean them.
After taking back the belt, check for any deflection. Make sure the belt is sitting slightly just above the secondary sheave. If not, that could mean it’s worn out or misalignment of the clutches.
The belts and shoes wear down over time. They need replacement every two years at least.
You should tell that you need to replace your belt or horse. If you can see the cord, it’s probably time to replace them.
Battery and Lights
A snowmobile battery should last for at least two seasons or roughly 20 hours of non-stop use.
If your battery doesn’t last as long, you can try a couple of things. Check if the cell connections are clean and tight. If not improving, it’s time to replace the battery or claim a replacement if still under warranty.
Inspect lights before setting out for any ride. Taillights and brake lights help to notify trailing riders of your intentions. Also, confirm the headlights are functional.
If they are dull or not working, replace them immediately.
Extend Your Snowmobile’s Lifespan
A snowmobile can last decades if properly taken care of. Snowmobiles withstand low temperatures and sticks and rocks. They’re also strong enough to handle a few crashes by novice riders.
With proper maintenance, you don’t have to worry about how many miles will a snowmobile last? You don’t have to be an auto expert to maintain your snowmobile. You can partner with professionals in snowmobiling for assistance.
Visit our website to learn more about snowmobiles.