Snowmobile Parts & Maintenance

If your car breaks down at the side of the road, at least a tow truck can reach you. But if you’re out snowmobiling, a maintenance-related breakdown can mean a very long hike back to rescue. So, before you bring your machine out of storage and head out into the snow, make sure you do the maintenance work that will help keep you out of trouble. You could skip the maintenance, but if you do, you should check out our post about heated jackets. You’ll need one.

A snowmobile doesn’t have as many parts or systems as a car, so there’s less to do at maintenance time.


Start with the tracks. A misaligned track can wear out or get thrown off, causing a crash. It’ll make your snowmobile burn more fuel, too.

Inspect your snowmobile’s track for wear. You’re looking for cracks, torn lugs, tears, and other damage. You should also look for and replace any damaged track clips. Track belt tension should be checked as well; consult your owner’s manual for the amount of force to use and how to make adjustments.


While you’re checking the belt, check the suspension. Start with the hyfax (that plastic slider strip attached to the rails). If it’s worn, the aluminum rails could start to wear out instead, and those are complicated and expensive to repair.

Spin each wheel, looking for cracks or damage, and make sure they spin freely. Next, lubricate the rear suspension, taking care to use a low-temperature lubricant meant for snowmobiles. The wrong grease can turn into a solid when it’s cold out, and that’s not going to lubricate anything.


If you didn’t change it in the spring, change your engine oil right away. Old oil is dirty and won’t protect your engine. You’ll want a new filter, too, to help keep that new oil clean.

If you didn’t use a fuel storage stabilizer, you might find that your carburetor or fuel injection system needs a time-consuming and expensive cleaning. Modern gasoline doesn’t age like older fuels, so adding a stabilizer before putting your snowmobile in storage is key. Make sure your carb throttle linkage (and choke linkage) can move freely. If they stick, use a lubricant meant for that application.

Now is also a good time to put in new spark plugs and a new air filter to keep your engine running smoothly.

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You should change your transmission fluid and chaincase oil in the spring to keep the CVT and drive chain in good condition. If you skipped that step, doing it now is better than never. Check your owner’s manual for the right fluid levels. Keep in mind that they’re going to be a lot lower than what you’re used to with your car or truck. Don’t overfill any fluids.

Set the chain tension while you’re in there by following the manual. A loose or tight chain can lead to failures on the trail.


Don’t forget to check your lights. Your head- and taillights are both important because it can get very dark on the trail. It’s also a good time to test your battery. You did leave it on a charger for the summer, right?


Yes, snowmobiles need brake service too. The fluid should be changed, and the pads and rotors should be inspected to make sure they have enough material for another winter.

That was a long list, but going through it will save you a much longer walk home. Keeping up-to-date on your snowmobile maintenance can make your riding season more fun and less stressful. And anytime you need parts, head to your local NAPA Auto Parts store to make sure you get exactly what you need.

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