Summerizing your snowmobile, in other words, getting your snowmobile ready to store for the summer, is crucial to make sure it will operate well once you fire the engine back up after storage. With a few easy steps, you can prevent issues associated with storage from appearing.
My name is Chaz, and I’m a snowmobile enthusiast. I’ve been riding for over 25 winters, which means I’ve also put my sleds away for storage for over 25 summers. I’ve learned a lot about how to do this properly over the years.
In this post, I’ll show you some easy and practical tips to help summerize and store your snowmobile for the months without snow on the ground.
Open up the garage, and let’s go.
Table of Contents
Before getting into the steps you should take to summerize your sled, I want to highlight a few critical considerations regarding where you should store it.
The ideal place is a dry location indoors, such as a shop or garage. An indoor area will help keep moisture and sun away from the machine – both of which can have a nasty effect over long periods.
Covering up the snowmobile with a fitted cover or shop blanket can prevent dust and other debris from getting into weird places while it’s sitting.
Leaving a snowmobile underneath a tarp in the hot summer sun can cause moisture to build up, alongside excess heat. This is not an ideal way to store a sled, but one that I commonly see.
How to Summerize/Store a Snowmobile
Here is a list of everything I do to get my snowmobiles ready for summer storage. You don’t have to do these steps in order, but I would recommend completing each and every one.
1. Give it a good wash
Before putting your snowmobile into summer hibernation, you want to give it a good wash. This will get rid of all the dust and grime that might have accumulated during winter use either on the trail or in transit.
I either take my sleds on the trailer to the car wash and spray them down or do the same thing with a hose and hand wash at home. Be sure to address hard-to-reach places that may have mud or grit stuck on them. Also, let everything dry before covering.
2. Stabilize the Fuel
Fuel is corrosive. When it’s left in the gas tank for long periods, it can begin to corrode fuel lines and filters. It can even negatively affect the engine in the long run. When the fuel evaporates during storage, this corrosion is amplified.
Pour a fuel stabilizer such as Sta-Bil into the fuel tank before storage. Follow the instructions on the container, but I usually use a half-full tank when I do this.
3. Grease the Machine
Greasing is another vital part of the summarization process. It can prevent rust and help your snowmobile stay lubricated when not in use.
Use a grease gun to grease any zerks that exist within your suspension, steering, or drivetrain. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on what type of grease to use for this.
I also spray WD-40 all over the place. This prevents rust and will help bolts from seizing, alongside other benefits. Spray down the skis, tie-rods, springs, and any other metal areas. Just try not to get it on your clutch or belts.
4. Fog the Engine
This is a step that some snowmobile owners do and others do not do. If you can start your sled’s engine up every couple of weeks during the winter, you probably don’t need to fog it. If you leave it for months, I would recommend fogging.
You’ll need to open up the airbox of the snowmobile to fog the engine. You’ll also need a can of engine fogger for snowmobiles. Startup the engine and spray the fogging spray into the carb openings for around 5-10 seconds.
Fogging the engine puts a layer of oil over many of the internal components. This is typically only done on 2-stroke engines, so check with your manufacturer if you ride a 4-stroke before fogging.
Once you have fogged, put the airbox back on and complete the rest of the needed storage prep. Just note that you’ll most likely need to replace your spark plugs before riding the sled the following winter.
5. Elevate the sled and release springs
Once you have your sled in its storage location, you will want to get the rear end up into the air and release the spring tension. This helps the springs last longer and prevents the track paddles from bending or folding during storage.
Place a jack stand under the sled’s rear end to get the back up in the air. You can also use a storage lift if you have one. Once it is elevated, unhook the springs. If you don’t have a lift, put a strong crate or something similar under the front end of the chassis.
The idea is to get the weight of the sled off of the track and suspension components, so they don’t have tension on them all summer.
6. Cover it up
Once you have done steps 1 through 5, it’s time to cover up the sled. Again, an indoor location is better than an outdoor one because it will be cooler and eliminate moisture. If you have a garage, you can place a snowmobile cover, blanket, or tarp over the sled.
If you do have to store your sled outside, do it properly. Rigging up a tent or tarp to block out sun and moisture is a good idea—something to provide shade and deflect rain. Then you can put a snowmobile cover over your machine. Just make sure it is well secured.
Wrapping it All Up
You don’t have to properly summerize your snowmobile, but it’s recommended to do so. Otherwise, you will shorten the machine’s lifespan and create possible maintenance issues. The steps listed here are easy and highly recommended for anyone putting their sled away for the summer.
A little effort can go a long way, and these simple steps will help you maximize the value of your sled while ensuring it functions properly when you want it to in the winter.
Do you have any summerizing tips that weren’t mentioned here? Let us know in the comments below.About Chaz Wyland