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How to Prepare for Offseason Snowmobile Storage


It’s been another great season of darting through the countryside on your snowmobile, but now it’s time for you to start thinking about storing the vehicle away for the offseason. Before you call it a season, make sure you’ve thoroughly planned ahead so you can keep your snowmobile safely stowed away until the snow and winter weather return.

Here are a few steps you should take as you get ready to store your snowmobile.

Give it a good cleaning

Keeping your snowmobile clean is one of the best things you can do to keep it in good condition for years to come. Throughout the season you will build up a lot of dirt, salt and grime on the machine, so giving it a good, thorough wash with warm, soapy water is a very important step to take before you move on to any other maintenance tasks. Be sure to rinse it well after scrubbing!

Wiping down snowmobile
Wiping down snowmobile with mircofiber cloth

Beyond just using soap and water, you can use grease cleaners and degreasers under the hood and around the engine and exhaust ports, and rinse those areas off as well.

Perform basic fuel maintenance

There is a common misconception that you should fully drain the snowmobile’s fuel tank before storing it away for the winter. However, many of the parts in today’s snowmobiles rely on the presence of at least some fuel for lubrication and long-lasting protection, because they are fuel-injected.

Sta-bil fuel stabilizer is popular among snowmobile owners
Sta-bil fuel stabilizer is popular among snowmobile owners.

So rather than draining the fuel from the tank, you should instead stabilize the fuel. If you just let the fuel sit untouched in the tank over the offseason, it will start to degrade over time, potentially corroding some of the parts in the engine. You can purchase fuel stabilizers to pour into the tank. The amount of stabilizer you need to use depends on how much gas is left in the tank—directions on the stabilizer should provide you with some helpful instructions. Once you’ve put the stabilizer in the tank, you’ll need to runt he engine for a few minutes to get the stabilizer flowing throughout the fuel system.

Clean the cover

All the work you’ve done on cleaning off your snowmobile will have been for nothing if you throw a dirty cover on top of it. You should be able to throw the cover in the washing machine. Cleaning the cover ensures the removal of debris that could otherwise scratch up the surface of your snowmobile.

Engine fogging

Fogging the engine is another common step snowmobile owners take before storing away their machine for the season. This process involves putting a coat of fogging oil on the snowmobile’s engine of the purpose of protecting engine parts from humid air and potential corrosion.

Popular fogging oil lubricants you can use
Popular fogging oil lubricants you can use

You can purchase fogging oil at just about any auto shop. You may need to remove parts like air horns or the airbox to get access to important engine parts. Spray the fogging oil into each engine intake for a few seconds while the engine is running.

Lubricating joints

This is a task you should take on during the season as well as before storing the machine away. Grease up the joints and lube points to prevent water and moisture from causing corrosion when you store the machine away for the offseason.

Know the finer points of proper storage

Proper, safe storage is all about location. For one, you should make sure you get the machine off the ground to avoid moisture from the surface of the ground or floor affecting the skis or other parts of the machine and causing corrosion. You might put a jackstand under the rear bumper and unhook the springs, and then set the front end of the chasses on a stand or box. This has the added benefit of removing some of the strain on the suspension.

Getting the snowmobile off the ground
Getting the snowmobile off the ground is a benefit when storing your snowmobile

You’re most likely going to be storing the machine in a shed or garage, which means it’s always possible that rodents or other pests could come in seeking a home. Consider setting some mothballs under the hood and around the machine to keep pests away. Make sure doors close tightly with weatherstripping and that cracks that lead outside are sealed up.

If you have the opportunity, be sure to get one last ride in before the snow’s all gone! Here’s to another successful snowboarding season.

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