Snowmobiles are one of the ways to have fun during the heavy snow period. But when the winter season is over, it hits you that you need a place to store your precious equipment. It’s essential to look for a safe place to store your snowmobile when not in use. Store your snowmobile in a place where the snow melts out from underneath. And one of the common ways of storing a snowmobile is to keep it in the garage.
A garage provides nearby storage for your snowmobile as well as helps keep it in tip-top condition. Storing your snowmobile in the garage will ensure it’s safe from damage so that you can use it the next winter season without any problem. But to achieve this, you need to learn how to store it properly. Proper snowmobile storage includes preparing the garage, cleaning your snowmobile, taking care of the moving parts, among other things.
Storing your snowmobile in the right way in the garage can save you money and extend your snowmobile lifespan. If you’re looking for the right way to store your snowmobile, you’re in the right place. Here’s your guide to storing your snowmobile in the garage.
Think of Snowmobile Maintenance First
You first have to maintain your snowmobile before you think of storing it in the garage. Pre-ride maintenance is very important when the storage period nears. Your snowmobile parts ranging from the exhaust system to electrical components will need care once before your first snow.
If you have no idea about the maintenance needs, you need to consult a professional. Just ensure your snowmobile is in good shape before keeping it in the garage. Not being able to use it while in storage is not an excuse to neglect it.
Prepare the Garage
After ensuring your sled is in good shape, turn your attention to the garage. Prepare your garage to ensure it can comfortably accommodate the snowmobile. Make sure your garage doesn’t leak, is free from dust, and not humid. Preparing your garage will get rid of any potential problems that may endanger your snowmobile.
Once you’re done with the storage area, turn to your snowmobile and prepare it for storage.
Scrub It After Your Adventure
Enjoying a snowmobile during winter can leave you with salt and dirt to build up. But that’s part of having winter fun. But you must know that you can’t store your snowmobile with all the buildup. Giving it some scrubbing should be your priority before storing it in your garage.
Use warm and soapy water to remove all the salt and dirt buildup. Scrub the hood, tunnel, seat, and even the nose pan. After that, rinse it thoroughly to ensure no residue remains behind.
Lastly, ensure you spray a grease-cutting cleaner under the hood. Also, spray an engine with a degreaser near the oil reservoir on the exhaust ports. After that, rinse the entire sled well. Being that you’re going to store it in a couple of months, ensure you apply some wax to keep dirt away over those months.
Now that your sled looks clean, you don’t have to cover it with a dirty cover. After all, your snowmobile storage will only keep your sled clean if your cover is clean as well. So ensure you wash the cover too. You can hand the cover or throw it into a washing machine. In addition, apply a coat of wax into your sled. This will not only extend the life of your snowmobile but will also make future cleaning easier.
Store Your Snowmobile with Full Tank If Possible
If you can’t fill up your tank, ensure you don’t drain your entire gas tank. Remember that most snowmobiles nowadays are fuel-injected, meaning that their system relies heavily on the presence of fuel to enable lubrication. Therefore, getting rid of that fuel deprives your sled engine of what it needs as protection.
Taking away that fuel can also cause condensation inside the fuel tank, creating a lot of problems that you wouldn’t love dealing with. Use a fuel stabilizer in the tank to prevent gasoline breakdown and protect it against condensation.
You can store the sled with a full tank in gas and stabilizer. Another option is to fill it less than halfway, then pour in new gas when stepping on winter.
Regardless of what you decide, ensure you run your snowmobile with the stabilized fuel for a few minutes before putting it away in your garage. This will help protect it while in storage by moving stabilized fuel through the engine.
Also, please read the directions given on the fuel stabilizer bottle before applying it to familiarize yourself with the amount to use based on the quantity of gas in the tank.
Lubricate the Moving Parts
One thing you wouldn’t want is ending up with a funny sound sled after summer storage. And you can only avoid this by lubricating all the moving parts before storing them in your garage. Ensure you lubricate the fittings on the suspension and the steering system. Don’t forget to grease any lube points that you have to during storage.
As you do the lubrication on the moving parts, don’t forget the metal surfaces. Ensure you spray these surfaces using WD-40 to protect them. Be careful not to spray the clutches. Lubricating the greasing fittings shouldn’t be a one-time thing during storage. It should be a regular maintenance routine during winter season storage.
Greasing will protect your snowmobile from damage as a result of rust and corrosion during summer storage. When you’re ready to step out for the winter adventure with your snowmobile, wash everything using a degreaser to remove any oily residue that might be in your sled.
Keep the Engine of Your Snowmobile Fogged
Ensure you fog your sled’s engine before putting it away in the garage. This is the only excellent way to protect your snowmobile’s engine elements, such as corrosion during storage. While corrosion can damage your sled during summer, fogging, on the other hand, can help by displacing the moisture and adding extra lubricant to your engine.
To allow fogging in your engine, start by removing the airbox and foam. This will help you gain access to the carburetors and even throttle bodies. While your sled engine is still running, spray the fogging oil into each intake. Do this alternatively until the engine sputters out. You can also do this until you notice a thick white cloud coming out of the exhaust.
The white cloud is the reason why the process is called fogging engine. Fogging oil is mostly available in auto parts stores, so you don’t have an excuse for not knowing where to get them.
If your sled is oil injected? Don’t worry, hold open the oil pump cable, then run the engine for ten minutes. This will see you pumping a thick oil mixture into the engine as well as protecting your snowmobile.
Also, after fogging the sled engine, ensure you stabilize the fuel as well. After that, use the drain on the float bowl to drain the carburetor. Draining the carburetor will help get rid of excess fuel. It’ll also keep the fuel from evaporating and create a chalky residue that can block passageways and damage the metal.
Check the Track for Signs of Wear and Tear
One last thing you wouldn’t want to deal with in your sled storage is the unnecessary tension. Tension is bound to happen in your snowmobile’s track during summer storage. So ensure you reduce the tension on the track to help keep it from stretching and cracking while storing it in your garage for a long time.
You have to remember that you have to tighten the track back up before hitting the snow adventure when the icing season is back. The only time you have to do this and prevent your sled from wear and tear is during summer when storing it in the garage. If you can’t repair the sled track, then ensure you replace it before winter knocks on your door.
Some of the signs showing that you need to replace your track include fine cracks in the rubber and several missing track clips. Missing lugs are also clear signs that you need to inspect your track thoroughly. If you notice these signs on your sled, you need to start looking for a replacement immediately.
Take Out the Battery and Belt
The next thing you need to take care of when storing your snowmobile is the battery. Ensure the area you place the battery is temperature-controlled and out of sunlight. The battery should be fully charged while not in use. You can ensure this by using battery tender or trickle charge the battery.
Remove the battery from the sled and use a battery charger and maintainer to maintain it at the optimal charge while you’re not using it. While storing your snowmobile, detach the battery from it. Leaving the battery together with your sled will damage the battery. This is something you wouldn’t want to deal with when the summer is over and you’re looking forward to enjoying the snow.
Keeping your battery fully charged not only makes it ready for your next adventure but also extends its overall lifespan. When it comes to the belt, ensure you remove it to reduce the risk of condensation that can build up between the belt and the clutch. Removing the drive belt will keep the belt from setting its installed shape to your sled. This will prevent the belt from rotating correctly when you’re ready to hit the winter again. You should store the belt unrolled.
Store Your Snowmobile off the Ground
You’ve worked so hard to ensure that every part of your snowmobile is ready for garage storage. So don’t forget this most important part. Where and how will you store your snowmobile? The most important part is to ensure your sled is off the ground. Even if your garage is safe from any outside element, ensure your snowmobile stays off the ground.
Storing your sled on the garage floor, even if it’s a dry floor, exposes it to moisture. And if moisture invades your snowmobile, get ready for expensive repairs and replacement due to corrosion. You should jack up the rear end and unhook the springs while storing it. Doing this ensures that there is no tension from the rear suspension, improving the longevity of your winter friend.
In addition, you can put the front-end chassis of your sled on wooden boxes to support it so that it can hang freely. This will not only relieve the tension but will also leave your snowmobile in a tip-top shape on your next road-snow trip.
Also, your storage facility makes a huge difference in how you will store your snowmobile. Your garage should be dry and in perfect condition all the time.
After off-ground storage in your garage, ensure you cover it with a specifically built soft cover for that purpose. A loose cover will trap moisture in its underneath, which is something you don’t want to hear after all the effort you have put in getting your sled ready for storage. Raising your sled above the ground also allows the suspension to relax and prevent any potential stains on the floor of your garage.
Wade off the Critters
Still, storing your snowmobile off the ground can do you lots of wonders, especially if you store your sled in a garage or shed. Make sure your snowmobile is out of reach for rodents that can make it their home. Your snowmobile should spend the summer of a set of snowmobile dollies not only to keep it off the ground but also to make it easier to move around when you need to.
When it comes to putting stubborn critters away, you can use prevention methods such as scattering dryer sheets around the sled to repel the mice. You can stuff steel wool in the muffler outlet and carburetor intake. Also, use steel wool to stuff cooling system intake and outlet holes.
Other ways to curb these critters include using mothballs over the hood. Also, cover your snowmobile with a soft, lightweight, and fitted cover to prevent scratches and moisture buildup.
Ensure you block off all the holes in the snowmobile. These holes are the exhaust, air intake, and cooling holes. If you don’t deal with these small holes, you will be in for a rude shock as critters can attempt to make a home in your snowmobile. You’ll also have to deal with acorns, twigs, and bark coming out of your sled when snowmobiling for the first time.
Use steel wool to block these holes, and you will keep your snowmobile free of uninvited guests during storage.
Keeping Your Snowmobile Running for a Few Minutes Every Month
Being that you’re not out there enjoying the winter with your sled doesn’t mean that you should shut it down. Don’t wait until you are taking it out for you to run the engine. What if it fails to start? The last thing you want to deal with when summer and you’re prepared to enjoy your winter is to have such problems.
Keep running your snowmobile for a while every month that it’s in your garage storage. Make a habit of starting it up and letting it run for a few minutes, then turn it off. Do this repeatedly to prevent sediment from settling and make the seals not dry out. This is also an assurance that your snowmobile is in perfect shape while not in use.
Storing your snowmobile properly in the garage is essential to its longevity. Taking the right precautions when storing your snowmobile in the garage will save you time, money, and frustration when you hit the snow for the first time after a long rest. You wouldn’t want to get fired up to ride, only to realize that your sled has a big problem that you could have solved with the right storage. If you follow the above tips to the letter, nothing of that sort will interfere with your winter fun.
So save yourself from getting into trouble with your sled by checking things off the list as you work on them, then go through it again. Storing your snowmobile in a well-maintained garage will leave your sled in good shape for your next snow ride.