High mileage for a snowmobile is 10,000 or over. Of course, the type of miles put on the engine and maintenance of the sled in general play a role in longevity alongside mileage.
I’m Chaz, an avid snowmobile enthusiast who has covered many miles in the snow on all types of sleds. Over the years, I’ve seen some machines last well into the upper lifespan of high mileage but have watched others suffer from poor performance sooner than expected.
In this post, I’ll go over the average mileage you can expect out of your snowmobile and why that is always an important consideration when buying a used and even a new sled.
Before you add any more miles, read this!
Table of Contents
Why is Mileage Important?
Just like a car, a snowmobile relies on an engine and other critical components to keep running. Over time, these components will inevitably begin to wear down. The higher the number of miles on a snowmobile, the more likely maintenance issues become, among other downsides.
The higher the mileage, the more wear and tear a snowmobile has seen. This can be a good measure of how long a machine has left in its operating lifespan and how much it is worth.
The more wear and tear a snowmobile has, the more maintenance and attention it will need. Mechanical components wear out, as do the electronics and all other parts of the sled.
Mileage isn’t the only consideration when buying a used machine, but it is probably the most important. If you get a sled with very high mileage and questionable maintenance history, it might not last very long.
How Many Miles is a Lot for a Snowmobile?
I consider 10,000 miles or more high mileage. Some people say that 8,000 miles are approaching high mileage as well. It depends on who you ask, how well a machine has been maintained, and the snowmobile brand.
The average rider will cover maybe 50-100 miles a day when they are on the trails. Let’s say they go out 20 times a year, which ends up averaging 1000-2000 miles a year. So a sled with 8,000-10,000 miles will usually be 5-10 years old.
That’s another way of thinking about mileage on a snowmobile. It’s an indicator of age and, again, similar to a car, the older it is, the more issues you might have.
Low Mileage Snowmobiles: Pros and Cons
A lower mileage snowmobile is going to be more reliable and cost less when it comes to maintenance. If you can find a used sled with 5000 or fewer miles, there’s a good chance that it won’t need significant maintenance.
The lower number of miles, the more you will save in maintenance and upkeep initially. The downside is that lower mileage machines will cost you more upfront, no matter if they are new or used.
High Mileage Snowmobiles: Pros and Cons
Let’s start with the downside to a high mileage snowmobile first. Higher miles mean that a snowmobile is closer to the end of its lifespan. If you get one that has over 10000 miles, you can expect to experience added maintenance costs.
You can also see performance issues with higher mileage machines. This can range from a loss of power to poor handling. It’s not just your engine that wears out with many miles, but other components of the sled as well.
The upside is that you won’t have to pay a lot for a sled with high mileage. If you can find one with a good maintenance history and a snowmobile brand known for longevity, this can make it a great value.
But if you buy a snowmobile for cheap just because it has high miles, it can quickly become a lemon as well. You might end up paying a lot for repairs, or it could simply die.
No matter how many miles are on a snowmobile, things can still go wrong. A low mileage machine can have maintenance issues. I’ve also seen sleds run for years and years well beyond the high mileage mark I mentioned above without any problems.
High mileage is a general indicator, not a strict rule when it comes to the life of a snowmobile.
Here are a few questions people ask when wondering what high mileage is for a snowmobile.
How many miles does a snowmobile last?
I would say that the average lifespan of a snowmobile is 10000-15000 miles. I’ve seen sleds live a lot longer than this with good maintenance, and I’ve also seen them die before hitting 10000. But more often than not, they will fall into this lifespan.
Is 6000 miles a lot for a snowmobile?
6000 miles is right in the middle of an average mileage lifespan for a snowmobile. If you know that a 6000-mile sled was well maintained, it can be an excellent investment. If you can work out a reasonable price without a maintenance history, this is still an acceptable range.
What is the most dependable snowmobile?
In my experience, the most dependable snowmobiles I have used have been Polaris and Yamaha models. Anything with a Yamaha 4-stroke engine is prized because of its longevity. The Yamaha Phazer is a go-to option for many riders who demand dependability.
The End of the Road
Any snowmobile you choose will eventually wear down – no machine will last forever. That said, you can get decent performance out of a high mileage sled that will extend past the 10000-mile mark.
If you are looking to purchase a used snowmobile, I suggest looking for one with between 3000-6000 miles. This will give you plenty of life to not have to worry about too much maintenance while saving money over purchasing new.
Again, it’s important to remember that knowing how well a sled has been maintained can be more important than its exact mileage. I would buy a sled with more miles and a flawless maintenance history than one that has been beet up for only a few thousand miles, any day.
The most important thing is that you get on the trails and put some miles of for yourself!
How many miles are on your snowmobile? Have you ever had a sled that performed really well with high mileage? Let us know in the comments below!About Chaz Wyland