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Storing your Ski-Doo snowmobile for the summer is often a sad day for snowmobilers but taking the right steps in spring can make all the difference once the snow starts to fall next season. Ski-Doo Brand Ambassador Matt Downey walks you through his summer snowmobile storage tips, tricks and product recommendations.
Most Important Snowmobile Summerization Steps
1. Fuel system - Take care of the fuel in your tank
2. Engine and Chaincase oils - Get the old oils out and put in fresh oil
3. Prevent corrosion – internal and external
Snowmobile Fuel system
Odds are you’ve had to use ethanol-blended fuel, but even if you haven’t, probably the most important thing you can do is to add fuel stabilizer to any remaining fuel in the tank and run your sled long enough to get that mixture into the complete system. This is essential for long-term summer sled storage.
For all Ski-Doo owners, now’s the time to refresh your chaincase oil. Take the old out and put in fresh oil so any moisture from winter use is eliminated and your chain and gears are coated with clean oil.
This is more of a reassurance than a “must-do” for storing your sled. Since you’re already in the zone for swapping out old fluids for new, you might as well change the brake fluid, too. It’s more peace of mind than anything that you’ll have fresh stopping power when you hit the snow for that first rip next season.
This step is for sleds equipped with Rotax E-TEC 2-stroke engines only. Park your sled in a well-ventilated area near its final summer resting place. Running your sled through the E-TEC summerization mode automatically preps your sled’s engine for long term storage, and a successful start to the following season. The process is outlined in your owner’s manual (page 232 of the 2019 trail/crossover manual, pg. 185 of the 2019 mountain manual), and in the video above.
This summer sled storage step seems like an obvious one, but it’s probably the most overlooked. Grab the bucket, sponge and a hose and give your sled a good scrub and a rinse. This removes any dirt and salt that might be sitting on your sled, just waiting to corrode those metal parts. This step is especially necessary if you use an open trailer to transport your sleds. Even if you use an enclosed trailer, think of all the salty road crossings, and muddy corners you’ve carved throughout the season. Once thoroughly washed and dried, give it a good shining with a protective polish/wax before tucking your snowmobile in for the summer. Doing so will keep harmful substances away from the finishes on your sled and have it looking sharp when you pull the cover off next season.
And don’t forget to keep the inside looking as good as the outside. It’s equally important to get all dust and debris that may have accumulated inside the side panels. While you’re in there, remove the belt and give the clutches and brakes a good once over with cleaner so they’re operating at max performance when you throw the belt back on come next winter.
This is the one that gets missed! You’ve spent an entire season doing whatever it takes to get “That Ski-Doo Feeling” and your sled has absorbed every bump, drop, mogul and sidehill along the way. All those moving parts have worked hard. It’s time to show them some love. Your Ski-Doo snowmobile is outfitted with grease zerks to make this one of the easiest steps in the summer snowmobile storage process. You’ll find them near the base of the suspension arms in the rear skid, and you may also have a couple near the ski spindles depending on the year and model of your snowmobile. Consult your owner’s manual to make sure you find them all. A few pumps with the grease gun will have things nice and limber for next season.
While performing this task take the opportunity to inspect all rear suspension component for wear or tear. Such as wells bearing, track and sliders, this way you can plan the replacement for next fall or do it a as summer project.
Put Your Snowmobile to Bed
With the above items checked off your summer sled storage list, it’s time to find that perfect seasonal resting place for your snowmobile. Consider lifting your sled off the ground, letting the track and skis hang freely so your sled’s suspension doesn’t sit compressed without moving for months on end. Jack stands work great for this, but typical items you probably already have in your garage – such as a 2x4 of adequate length – can work just fine. Cover it with a snowmobile cover, or even a tarp – but breathable covers are best to get moisture out. Doing so will keep it protected from any harmful substances that might accidentally find their way to your sled, and have it looking showroom-fresh when winter comes again. And if rodents are a concern, don’t be afraid to sprinkle a few moth balls under the hood and along the running boards, and block the muffler outlet with an old rag… just don’t forget to remove them before you fire it back up in the fall!