Pre-Season Snowmobile Maintenance Checklist and Tips

Author:SEO Troop

A well-maintained snowmobile will not only last longer and run better, but it’ll also be safer to operate. That’s why it’s important to follow a maintenance schedule before hitting the trails or any other area of operation for that matter. That said, Motovan has the following pre-season maintenance for a snowmobile to check out and is different from that of other types of ATVs because of the special conditions this type of vehicle is exposed to. Cold temperatures, high humidity, and moisture are constant factors that affect all machines powered by combustion engines. 

Check out this pre-season maintenance checklist and tips for keeping your snowmobile ready for action when you are courtesy of Motovan. It’s important to follow these steps every time before you hit the trails so you can get back out there faster once winter ends.

Check the fluid levels

The first step in pre-season snowmobile maintenance is checking the fluid levels in the engine, transmission, and suspension. This will help you spot any problems that may have occurred throughout the last season or two and will let you know if you need to do repairs before hitting the trails again. 


The engine’s coolant level should be between the “min” and “max” marks on the reservoir’s side. If the level is below the minimum mark, add the recommended amount of ethylene glycol (antifreeze) so you don’t risk damaging your engine. 


Transmission fluid should be at the “full” mark, while suspension fluid should be at the “max” mark. If you need to add any of these fluids, be sure to use the same brands and types specified in the owner’s manual.

snowmobile maintenance checklist

Clean the carburetor and intake manifold

You should clean the carburetor and intake manifold before starting a pre-season snowmobile maintenance schedule. This will remove any dirt and grime that may have built up during storage. Be sure to use a carburetor cleaner that’s safe for use with EFI engines. 


Start by removing the air filter and cleaning it thoroughly with warm water and soap or a mild cleaner. You may also want to replace the air filter, especially if the old one is worn or dirty. 


Next, remove the carburetor’s bowl plug, spray the cleaner into the carburetor, and then run the engine until the cleaner is gone. Remember to liberally spray the intake manifold as well to remove any built-up residue and grime. After cleaning the carburetor, reinstall the bowl plug to prevent debris from falling in.

snowmobile oil change

Change the oil and filter

Changing the oil and filter is another important step in pre-season snowmobile maintenance. This will help you catch any potential problems with your engine and parts, as well as extend the lifespan of your machine. While the type of oil you should use will depend on your engine, you may want to use synthetic oil as it has a higher viscosity and maintains its viscosity in cold temperatures. 


Ideally, you should change the oil and filter every 100 hours of operation. If you follow this recommendation, you won’t have to change the oil again until just before the next season. Consult your owner’s manual for other recommendations and tips on how to change the oil.

Inspect the brake pads and rotors

The next step in pre-season snowmobile maintenance is inspecting the brake pads and rotors. While you’re at it, check the wheels and tires for any signs of wear and tear. 


The brakes are important to the safety of your passengers and yourself, so keep them in top condition by replacing worn-out pads and rotors. 


If the brake pads are less than 1/2” thick, replace them. If the rotors are worn or warped, replace them as well. Remember to replace any worn tires as well to keep your snowmobile safe and steady on the ground.

Test the battery and charging system

The battery and charging system are important parts of any snowmobile, so it’s a good idea to ensure they’re in good working order before hitting the trails again. You can test your battery’s condition by starting and running your snowmobile for 5 minutes or so. If it can’t turn over and start properly, it probably needs to be replaced.


You can also jump-start your snowmobile’s battery with another vehicle if it isn’t charged or strong enough to start the engine. Just be sure to use jumper cables and follow the instructions carefully so you don’t damage your machines.

Summing up

Pre-season snowmobile maintenance is important because it helps you catch and repair problems before they become bigger issues. When you follow this checklist and perform the steps listed above, you’ll be able to hit the trails faster and more safely once winter ends. Remember to always wear safety gear when operating your snowmobile, especially during pre-season.


Thanks for reading! If you have any further inquiries, please contact us at Motovan and we’ll be happy to help!