How to Inspect Your Snowmobile Before Riding

Whether you just picked it up from the dealer or you’re in mid-season form, a pre-ride inspection is the first place to start any Ski-Doo adventure. The following guide will ensure a proper pre-ride snowmobile inspection gives you endless enjoyment on every ride.

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Ski-Doo Snowmobile Pre-Ride Checklist

Most of the items on our snowmobile pre-ride checklist do not require the engine to be running. Go ahead and disconnect your tether cord from your sled.

1- If you’ve recently been riding or your snowmobile has been parked outside, remove any ice, snow and slush from the running boards, suspension, air filters, lights, seat, controls, and dash area.

2- Check your snowmobile track and hyfax (also called slider shoes) to make sure they’re in good condition. Look for any broken lugs and rips in your track. If you see any, replace them. Make sure your hyfax are not worn past the wear indicator strip on the side.

3- Check your snowmobile steering. Turn the handlebars in both directions and make sure they move freely, and the skis turn along with the handlebars.

4- Next, check the oil, fuel and coolant and top off if necessary. You should also take a moment to check for any leaks. If you find one, repair it before your next ride.

5- Double check that all storage compartments, hood, and accessories are secured properly.

6- Squeeze the throttle and brake levers several times to ensure both move freely without obstruction.

7- Apply and release the parking brake to see if it works properly. Look at the brake fluid reservoir near the brake lever and check the fluid level.

8- Inspect your drive belt. A quick look inside the left side panel is all you need. If you notice signs of wear like cracks, flat spots or peeling, be sure to change it. Check that it sits at the proper height between the clutch sheaves: you should be able to see the bottom of the drive belt cogs. Adjust the belt height according to the instructions in your Ski-Doo Operator’s Guide if necessary.

WARNING: Never operate your engine without the belt guard securely installed or with the side panels opened or removed.

9- Put your helmet on and secure the buckle and set your parking brake. Start your snowmobile to complete the final two pre-ride inspection steps.

WARNING: To prevent serious injury or death from carbon monoxide, never run the vehicle in poorly ventilated or partially enclosed areas.

10- Check that your headlights are working on both low- and high-beam settings. Ask a friend to check that your taillight works and the brake light illuminates when you squeeze the brake.

11- Finally, make sure the sled shuts down properly. Check that the engine stops when you hit the red stop switch and that it also shuts down when you remove the tether cord cap from the snowmobile.

Now that you’ve completed your Ski-Doo pre-ride inspection checklist, it’s time to get out and enjoy the ride. We’ll see you on the snow!

Frequently asked questions

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