By Roy Jarvis, Yamaha Service Technician
Welcome to another fun-filled season of snowmobiling! Something to keep in mind is that even though your sled is prepared for the first ride of the season, it is every rider's responsibility to keep his or her machine in top condition right up until the last ride of the season. To do this we have to offer our machines some basic in-season maintenance, not only so that we can enjoy a full winter's worth of riding, but also to provide us with a little peace of mind when we find ourselves 150 kilometres from nowhere.
I would like to start off with a few pre-operation checks that should be considered before each and every ride. The most obvious check is for fuel and oil. Be sure that both are checked and 'topped up' before every ride. For most snowmobiles in our lineup, we recommend a minimum pump Octane of 88. Phazer 4-stroke and 2011 Apex owners take note that it is imperative to use only a minimum pump Octane of 91.
Other fluid levels that are often overlooked by most people are the engine coolant and the brake fluid. It is worth the few seconds it takes to verify the brake fluid in the sight glass of the master cylinder, and anti-freeze level in the reservoir tank. Both of these aforementioned fluid levels should be between the 'low' and 'full' marks on their reservoirs. It is imperative to check the engine coolant level when the engine is 'cold' to prevent an inaccurate reading (as well as the chance of being burned by hot coolant).
Other daily checks include the following:
- Throttle lever operation
- Throttle Override System (T.O.R.S.)
- Brake lever
- Starter rope
- Engine stop switch
- Drive belt (always remember to carry a spare belt and plugs)
- Drive track alignment and tension
- Sliders, skis and carbides
Once these items have been checked, we can start the engine. Once the engine has warmed up, check the operation of the headlight beam switch for both 'hi' and 'low' beam settings. Verify that the brake and taillight are both operational.
Another item of interest is proper chassis lubrication. Though this is not a procedure that must be executed before every ride, it should be done at least two or three times over the course of the season. You will notice that your machine has been equipped with many grease gun nipples. For these, use high quality, low temperature grease. By doing this, you will prevent premature wear and corrosion on steering and suspension components.
All of the items listed in this article are located in your owner's manual, so please refer to it for easy reference and guidance when performing any or all of these pre-operation procedures.<< Back