How to do in-season maintenance for your trail sled?

Once you get a taste of that Ski-Doo feeling, you’ll never want it to stop! Proper snowmobile maintenance will ensure you get the very most out of every ride and every season.


Most of the items outlined in our mid-season snowmobile maintenance checklist can be done in your own garage or even a trailer. Each process is outlined in your Ski-Doo Operator’s Manual. If you have questions or are uncomfortable performing any of the following items, your Ski-Doo dealer is always ready to help keep you on the snow.

Skis, Carbides and Hyfax

These parts will wear out over time on any snowmobile. Early season rides or riding frozen lakes with low snow conditions can do a number here. Check the bottom of the skis for damage and excessive wear. The bottom surface should be smooth. Inspect the runner and carbide, too. If they’re bent, missing pieces of carbide insert or overly worn, it’s time for replacement.

The hyfax or slider shoes on rails of the rear skid should also be part of any mid-season snowmobile maintenance. Inspect the slider shoes on each slide rail for wear. If it’s worn past the wear indicator line at any point, it’s time to replace. The most common area for wear is towards the front of the rail.

Track Tension and Condition

Look for rips, tears, holes, or missing lugs in your trail snowmobile tracks. You’ll also want to check track tension (deflection) and alignment. This process is outlined in your Operator’s Manual. On new Trail sleds, tracks tend to stretch in the first few hundred miles, so this is a “must” on any mid-season checklist.

Inspect rear suspension components

There are several areas to look over in the rear suspension that may need attention over the course of the riding season.

Rear idler wheels: Look for rips, tears or chunking in the rubber and spin each wheel by hand to ensure the wheels spin freely and easily.
Ice scratchers (if equipped): Check each scratcher for damage and each tip for wear. Remove each scratcher from the holder and let it extend to ensure it reaches the ground with tension.
• Chassis/rear skid lubrication: Hit all the lubrication zerks on the chassis with a low-temp grease such as XPS Synthetic Suspension Grease. This will remove any water that has crept into the suspension joints and keep everything moving freely all season long.

Drive Belt Integrity and Tension

Remove the drive belt and check the full diameter, inside and out, for damage. Look for signs of separation, edge cord, glazing or excessive wear (narrowing). These are good indications it’s time to replace. Replacing a worn belt in the garage is much easier than on the side of the trail.

Upon reinstalling the drive belt, ensure it’s set to the proper tension (deflection) and sits at the proper height in the secondary clutch. This process is outlined in your Operator’s Manual.

Injection Oil (2-stroke)

Some Ski-Doo trail sleds use a Rotax 2-stroke engine and require injection oil. Check injection oil reservoir level and fill if needed. It’s always recommended to use XPS 2-stroke oil for maximum performance and longevity of your Rotax engine.

Engine Oil (4-stroke)

Some Ski-Doo trail models use a Rotax 4-stroke engine that require engine oil with periodic oil changes. While you most likely won’t have to change your oil mid-season, checking the engine oil every few rides for proper oil amount or any contamination should be common practice. The process is outlined in your Operator’s Manual. If you do need an oil change mid-season, an XPS Oil Change Kit has everything you need in one convenient box. Your Ski-Doo dealer can also help with this service if needed.

Fluid Leaks

Take a peek inside the belly pan and under the sled to check for any unexpected leaks such as oil, brake fluid or coolant. Check shocks as well and inspect for any leaking around the seals. If you see any of these signs, consult your local Ski-Doo dealer for assistance.

Mid-Season Storage

If your Trail sled is going to be sitting idle for more than a couple weeks, adding some XPS fuel stabilizer will help maintain the integrity of the gas in your tank. Placing your battery on a battery tender during storage periods will also ensure your sled is ready to ride the next time you are.

No one wants to miss out on a mile of winter. Following this mid-season trail snowmobile maintenance checklist will keep you on the snow all season long. If you run into any questions along the way, your local Ski-Doo dealer is just a phone call away for help.

Happy riding!

Frequently asked questions

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