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Summerize Your Snowmobile & Snowblower

Prep your winter machines for the off-season with these maintenance tips
By Mark Boncher
Published: March 4, 2014
Summerize? Yes, it is actually a word. And I’m not talking about condensing rambling sentences. What I am talking about is how to correctly “summerize” your winter machines. Storing your snowmobile and snowblower for the summer is just as important as winterizing is for your boat and summer toys. You will likely not be using your snowmobile or snowblower all summer, so you don’t want the machines to degrade from lack of use in storage.
Ski-Doo snowmobile summerize offseason
There are a myriad of other things you can do when summerizing your sled, but these are some of the basics.

Check your manual. If you own a newer Ski-Doo E-TEC snowmobile, it has an “automatic summerization mode,” making this a quick, easy process.

Make sure you have fresh spark plugs (at least stored with the sled).

Fill your sled up with fresh gas and add your favorite fuel stabilizer to it in the correct amount. Products should provide a stabilizer-to-fuel ratio.

Start up your sled, let it run, and let the fresh gas with stabilizer in it make its way through the fuel system.

Fog the engine. To do this, remove the airbox/intake into the carbs or throttle bodies and then spray fogging oil into the carbs while the sled is running. The fogging oil will be sucked into the engine causing it to stall (this is normal and correct), but more importantly, the oil coats all the internal components to eliminate seizure of the bearings and rings or degradation of other important parts. (Spraying fogging oil directly into the cylinders and then gently pulling the cord to turn over the engine is also advised by some.)

Check your drive belt for wear. Replace if necessary.

7. Grease any grease zerks/fittings in the suspension and spray down any aluminum or metal inside and out with WD-40 (except clutches) and perform any other needed annual maintenance per your manual. (If you have a 4-stroke machine, an oil and filter change may be in order.
Snowblower offseason summerize maintenance
When you're brave enough to risk jinxing springtime by putting away your snowblower, here are some summerizing tips.

Check your manual for any model-specific tips.

Replace your spark plug, or just have a new one on hand.

Top off the gas tank with new fuel.

Add fuel stabilizer in proportion to the amount of gas in your tank. Products should provide a stabilizer-to-fuel ratio. (Try Med RX, STA-BIL, Star Tron or another type of stabilizer that doesn’t allow fuel to “phase separate,” or for water to separate from the fuel.)

Start up your snowblower and let the stabilized fuel make its way through the fuel system. This will help keep the stabilized fuel throughout the lines, float bowls, etc. from turning to varnish or plugging the carburetor.

Check your drive belt to make sure it is not overly worn, or coming apart. Replace if necessary.

Lubricate all external pivot points on the levers, cables, linkage, and axle with WD-40, grease, or another lubricating alternative. And be sure to lube all grease zerks/fittings as well.

NOTE: Draining the entire fuel system is another way to summerize both snowmobiles and snowblowers. Which method you choose can be left to personal preference; either way will work if done properly.
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