As winter draws to a close, storage of your snowmobile becomes an off-season priority. Indoor storage is best to protect the vehicle from weathering and theft. If you don't have garage space, you can rent a self storage unit that is sized just right for backing your trailer into. The following tips will further make sure the snowmobile is ready for storage.
Tip #1: Treat your fuel
Most late model snowmobiles have fuel injection engines. This means the best way to prepare for storage is to top off your gas tank with fuel, and then to add a fuel stabilizer to the tank. The stabilizer keeps the fuel from separating or breaking down in storage. After adding the stabilizer, run the snowmobile for a few minutes so the stabilized fuel works through all the fuel lines.
Tip #2: Remove the drive belt
The belt is the most integral part to a smoothly running snowmobile. If the drive belt is left in place during storage, it will mold to the shape it is in. This means it can no longer rotate, so it will jam in the clutch and you won't be able to operate the machine. Fortunately, snowmobiles are made for off season storage, so most drive belts can be removed with the loosening of a lever or a screw. Check your owner's manual for the procedure for your specific make and model.
Tip #3: Wash and rinse
Snow, salt, and dirt can lead to rust or corrosion on the snowmobile during summer storage. Wash the entire machine thoroughly, paying special attention to the underside. Then, rinse it to remove any remaining dirt and residue. Finally, dry down everything and then apply a preserving oil to rubber and leather items, such as seats, lever knobs, or the dash. This will prevent them from drying out and cracking.
Tip #4: Loosen the track
The snowmobile track should have a rear axle nut that, when turned, will loosen the track. This way the track isn't held tautly all through storage. Storing without the tension prevents damage caused by stretching during storage. Just make sure to tighten it back up before using the snowmobile again next winter.
Tip #5: Mind the battery
You can either remove it and store it at home. It will likely require a jumpstart to work again. Another option is to store it on a trickle charger, which will keep it from going completely dead in storage. Check with the storage facility, as some may have restrictions with storing a battery on site.