Snowmobiles Explained: Environmental Issues

snowmobile2In the past few days our discussion of snowmobiles has run the gamut from power systems to track mechanics and steering. Today, it’s time to take a step back from the nuts and bolts to see the forest for the trees. Just what are the environmental implications of recreational sleds, and what plans are in the works to increase engine efficiency? Unlike the environmental effects of automobiles and boats, those of snowmobiles remain understudied and to some extent uncertain.

The history of snowmobile engines reflects that of outboard motors in one key way. As recently as a few decades ago, both were being manufactured with little regard for their environmental impact. The amount and content of exhaust emitted by the engines was eventually deemed unacceptable, and the rise of four-stroke engines challenged two-stroke manufacturers like Yamaha to step up their game.

Today’s snowmobiles feature reduced emissions and increased engine efficiency. Where once speed and maneuverability were a sled’s main selling points, eco-friendliness has now joined the list. Modern-day snowmobiles run best on specially formulated 2 stroke oil. Snowmobile manufacturers continue to struggle with noise pollution concerns, however. Many sled makers have taken concerted steps to reduce noise levels.

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Snowmobiles Explained: Staying on Track

2-cycle-oilIn yesterday’s installment, we took a look at the four main components of a snowmobile’s drive system: the engine, clutch, track and skis. We’ll shift gears slightly today to focus on the track in particular and the steering system in general. The track is designed to maximize traction as the sled moves along the snow. It could be likened to that of a tank, with one major difference: tank tracks are stiff and durable above all other considerations because of the role they play in warfare. Snowmobile tracks, on the other hand, are meant for optimal swiftness and maneuverability.

It goes without saying that snowmobile tracks are more effective on snow than wheels would be, but why is this so? The answer comes down to a question of physics. By spreading out the point of contact with the snow to a larger surface area, tracks create plenty of traction. The treads on the track are rough enough to create friction and grab onto the snow at regular intervals.

Snowmobiles steer in much the same way as other vehicles with handlebars. However, the steering system brings up another major difference between tank tracks and sled tracks. Tanks are often given outfitted with double tracks, which are charged with steering. Snowmobiles come equipped with twin skis at the front of the sled. The width and spacing of the skis make a significant difference when steering. Narrow skis allow a snowmobile to take sharp turns. Tomorrow we’ll take a look at the improvements that have been made to 2 cycle oil formulations.

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Snowmobile Maintenance IV: Carburetor Cleaning

snowmobile1Over the last few days, we’ve discussed the ins and outs of a seasonal snowmobile tune-up – from salvaging the upholstery to checking for exterior scratches and ensuring proper fluid levels. In today’s final installment, we’ll shift over to one of the most common causes of engine failure: the filthy carburetor. It doesn’t take much more than regular hand tools, a can of carb cleaner, some ingenuity and a willingness to get your hands dirty.

For those who don’t already know, the carburetor is the device charged with mixing air and fuel in an internal combustion engine. Commence the cleaning process by crimping fuel lines to prevent any leakage while you work. Remove any throttle cables that might get in your way, as well as the fuel lines. Loosen and remove the carburetor, then inspect it for residue.

If residue is found to be blocking the two main jets in the main carb body, place the carburetor in a bath of car cleaner. It should then be blown dry and inspected once more. Reverse the procedure to reinstall the carburetor. That’s it! Before hitting the trail, it’s never a bad idea to top off your snowmobile with Yamalube 2s oil. Happy sledding, and remember to drive safe.

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Snowmobile Maintenance III: Under the Hood

yamaha4We continue today with part three in an ongoing series dealing with snowmobile maintenance. With winter temperatures already established across many areas of the country, those powdery drifts of snow likely aren’t far behind. In order to keep your sled running with reliability and efficiency all season long, it’s best to perform a scrupulous preseason tune-up. Let’s go under the hood to check the integral inner workings of the sled.

By now you might have noticed a pattern inherent to these visual inspections, and the process of checking the drive belt is no exception: looks for cracks and other blatant signs of wear and tear. A belt is just one of several spare parts that an avid snowmobiler should keep on hand at all times. Next, find your throttle and oil cables, checking to see if they’ve been damaged in the offseason or have become frayed with use.

Perhaps most importantly, make sure that all fluid levels are correct, including coolant, brake fluid, chaincase oil and 2-cycle Yamaha oil. Checking chaincase oil can be rather tricky depending on the make and model of your sled, so be sure to consult the owner’s manual first. Don’t just take it for granted that your fluid levels are low and simply need to be topped off. In many cases, there’s a reason for dramatically reduced fuel levels – and it might be a costly, mechanical one.

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Snowmobile Tune-up II: Visual Inspection

gettingairToday we pick up right where we left off in our preseason snowmobile maintenance process: the visual inspection. Having checked for cracks in the hood, we now turn our attention to the upholstery. Seat covers may become nicked and scratched with use, and in some cases they might slip right off the mounting. These details might seem trivial or superficial, and it’s true that your snow machine can operate no matter the state of the seating. Now is a good time to shore up any aesthetic flaws, however. Try gluing a similar fabric underneath hole in the leather or synthetic seating.

Now it’s time to get a look at the underbody of your snowmobile – specifically, the track and the rear suspension. Check for bent or broken suspension parts and ensure that the sliders haven’t deteriorated. When inspecting the track, think about it the same way you would the tires on a car. The slightest sign of wear is more than enough evidence in favor of replacement. Driving with a worn track is basically tempting fate; you could end up walking several miles back to civilization through deep snow.

Tip the sled onto its side to get a glance at the skis and runners. Again, you simply have to check these parts for serious signs of wear. Steel skis should last you many years provided they aren’t bent or allowed to corrode. Plastic skis could be cut or otherwise impacted rather easily, so check them with added prejudice. If you haven’t already done so, top off the engine with Yamalube 2s oil. Tomorrow we’ll go under the hood!

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Preseason Snowmobile Maintenance, Part I

snowmobileNow that November’s icy chill has replaced any thoughts of summertime fun, many outdoors enthusiasts are putting their boats away for winter. We’ve discussed proper winterization techniques in the past, but now it’s time to focus on an equally invigorating recreational pastime: snowmobiling. No matter your preferred outdoor pursuit, it’s important to conduct a preseason checkup.

By ensuring that your sled is ready and equipped for snowmobile season, you can save yourself constant trips to the repair shop. Over the next few days, we’ll investigate the most common problems that afflict snowmobiles in the offseason and attempt to diagnose a solution. The first step might seem brutally obvious – your snow machine has probably been lurking in a far corner of the garage, so you’ll have to remove the sizable layer of dust that’s settled on top of it.

Either take your snowmobile to a local carwash or do the work yourself with a garden hose, a sponge and a bucket of sudsy water. Once it’s clean, you’re ready to begin inspecting the outer areas of the sled, beginning with the hood. Be on the lookout for any signs of serious wear or neglect – cracks in the outer body, deteriorating hood latches, decals peeling off, etc. In tomorrow’s update, we’ll continue with the visual inspection and eventually go under the hood to replenish the old supply of Yamaha 2s oil.

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Are You Ready for Snowmobile Season?


Outdoors enthusiasts’ tastes change with the seasons. In summer, they can be found fishing from the deck of a small personal craft or perhaps splashing around shore on a waverunner. But as the air begins to take on that distinctive crispness and the leaves take on a reddish hue, their thoughts turn to other endeavors. The boats are stored safely and securely in an out building – away from those who would steal their valuable outboard engines.

But just as many boat owners are going about the painstaking process of winterizing their crafts, they are also thinking of taking the snowmobile out of storage. Before too long the ground will be covered in a powdery layer of fresh snow. Even though that first ride might feel far out of reach, it’s still best to make sure that a sled is in tip-top shape for snowmobile season.

Begin by checking the fuel and oil levels. If it isn’t already, be sure to top things off with some Yamaha 2s oil. People also have a tendency to forget about other crucial fluid levels such brake fluid and engine coolant. Brake fluid levels can be verified by taking a gander at the sight glass of the master cylinder. Anti-freeze can be viewed in the reservoir tank. As long as both of these fall somewhere between the “low” and “full” designations, you should be fine.

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Planning Ahead for Winter Fun

Planning Ahead for Winter Fun

August is just around the corner, and before we know it fall will be on the horizon. Most anglers and other boat enthusiasts can squeeze out a few more months on the lake, but what comes next? It’s never too early in the year to prepare for snowmobile season as you’ll want to spend every free moment tearing through the powder when the time comes.

Snowmobile manufacturers try to lure consumers with revamped designs and pleas for brand loyalty, but the primary feature that truly distinguishes snow machines is the engine. As is the case with outboard motors, the choice is fairly straightforward: 2-stroke or 4-stroke. Just when it appeared that 4-cycle motors would dominate the market for environmental reasons, Evinrude created the E-TEC direct-injection system for its outboard motors. Ski-Doo, one of the world’s leading snowmobile manufacturers, was intrigued with these new, cleaner-running 2-stroke engines and modified them for winter.

The 600 H.O. E-TEC 2-cycle produces fewer carbon monoxide emissions than any 4-stroke version on the market. It meets and exceeds all Environmental Protection Agency standards for snowmobiles and runs best on Yamaha 2s oil and other similar specialized products. Its popularity has made 2-stroke engines relevant once again in the cold winter months. Before the snow begins to fall, evaluate the bevy of wintertime options.

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Racing Outboard Motor Oil

Racing Outboard Motor Oil

Two cycle oil for high-performance racing motors needs to contain a heavier synthetic base than most to protect the pistons and bearing that are under more strain from the rigors of racing. High performance two cycle motors can include stock or modified motors, including snowmobiles, personal watercraft, Moto X motorcycles, ATVs, go-carts and certain outboard motors.

Performance motor oils need to reduce friction and burn clean, because high performance two cycle motors run hotter than recreational outboard motors. The properties of appropriate performance motor oil will also provide some protection against wearing of essential engine components.

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Evinrude indsutry leaders for almost a century!

Evinrude E-Tec“Bess Cary loved ice cream. One day, during a picnic on an island in a Wisconsin lake, Cary asked fiance Ole Evinrude if he would row back to shore to get her a dish.
Sweat poured down his face as he raced to get the ice cream back to his dear Bess before it melted under the hot summer sun. That was when Evinrude thought to himself, “There has to be a better way.””

And Evinrude outboard 2 cycle motors were born, and with them a long history of reliability and non-stop innovation. In the market of 2 cycle outboard engine oil Evinrude continues to lead with both its Evinrude XD 50 and XD 100 oil types for all kinds of 2 cycle engines. See for yourself how to increase your outboard motor’s performance with near half-off oil prices at domo-online!

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Must Have Info – Read This!

Help Preserve Healthy Coastline with Evinrude XD 50 Engine OilAn Environmental Guide for Watercraft Operators
Reprinted from Evinrude XD 50 Engine Oil website
©Personal Watercraft Industry Association

All boaters participate in the ecosystem, a system created by the interaction of a community of organisms with their environment. We are not separate from nature, but a part of it. As boaters, we cannot ignore the effect we have on the environment. The waters that we enjoy may be impacted by our actions. Every boater has a responsibility to learn and use environmentally safe boating practices and products (like Evinrude XD 50 Motor Oil) that will protect the waters for the future.

As a watercraft rider, you are considered a boater. Watercraft are defined as Class A inboard boats by the U.S. Coast Guard and are required to follow most boating regulations.

The Personal Watercraft Industry encourages you to adopt the following simple guidelines to preserve our natural resources.

Beware and show you care by following these general rules.


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