While shopping for snowmobile supplies, you must have come across the name snowmobile injection oil.
But what it is? And what are its functions? Also, if you had to buy one for your snowmobile, which one would you?
All these questions will be answered in this article related to snowmobile injection oil, so read on to find out all about snowmobile injection oil.
What is the purpose of snowmobile injection oil?
There are many functions of injection oil, which we will discuss in detail:
A lubricant forms a layer between moving parts, preventing any metal to metal contact, which can result in an abnormal amount of friction.
If this is allowed to happen when the engine is running at high RPM ranges, which snowmobile engines (especially 4-stroke engines) do, there can be problems such as scuffing and scoring of piston rings and cylinder, repairing which can cost you around 3/4th the cost of a new engine altogether.
Hence, it is very important to form this layer. Further, a good lubricant forms a layer that resists breakage even in case of a very thin film and protects the engine of your snowmobile.
A lubricant is expected to have cooling properties as well. This is because oil is primarily pumped at places where there is friction. And friction generates heat, which needs to be taken care of, otherwise, it could result in overheating at bearings, and ultimately damage, leading in the not-so-smooth operation of your snowmobile.
It does so by a circulation system, which constantly keeps the oil in motion. The oil in motion carries the heat away with it and radiates it in the radiator, and gets cooled. This cooled oil is pumped back to the oil sump, hence the engine of your snowmobile remains cool and functions normally.
A lubricant cleans, which means that it carries away any sludge formation on piston rings and cylinder liner, while you operate your snowmobile, and cleans the microscopic metal powder formed at moving parts due to friction.
A good injection oil also cleans the exhaust valves, which are lubricated by the same oil, which ensures the free operation of valves and prevents stuck valves when you store your snowmobile for a long time and switch it back on again.
This perfectly brings us to other properties of an injection oil, which is dispersant property.
Dispersant property means that once impurities get carried away by the oil, they should remain suspended in oil. These impurities are later removed by the filter, which has a fine mesh-like structure, which traps all of these.
This ensures that impurities don’t remain concentrated at one spot, and continuous cleaning action takes place in the concerned parts in your snowmobile.
Inhibition of rust formation
Rusting and corrosion are problematic, be it any part of the engine. Hence, injection oil needs to take care of that as well.
First, the film-forming property does not allow air to come in contact with any part of the engine of your snowmobile which is lubricated, preventing oxygen required for oxidation to be available at the surface of the metal.
Also, rust inhibitors are added as additives, which prevent already corroded parts to get further degraded and minimizing its effect on other parts of your snowmobile.
Neutralizing acid formation
Acid formation happens due to the byproducts of combustion producing gases such as oxides of Sulphur and nitrogen. Mainly, the most corrosive acid or sulfuric acid is formed due to Sulphur dioxide formation.
This acidity, if not controlled can lead to corrosion and things such as pitting et cetera, which will harm the engine, and reduce its life, and ultimately the life of your snowmobile.
To avoid this, we use neutralizers, which are basic in nature. The idea of protection offered can be had by checking the Total Base Number (TBN) of the oil, where the higher number will indicate that a greater quantity of acid will be required to neutralize the base content of the oil.
How Does Injection Oil Work in Snowmobiles?
First of all, we need to discuss the injection oil system present in snowmobiles, which is responsible for the circulation of the oil throughout the system.
Where we fill the oil is called the oil tank, generally where you see the level indicator as well. Suction from this tank is taken and supplied to the engine through a pump.
The parts of the engine that are lubricated from this oil are the timing cams, inlet, and exhaust valves, the main bearings of the crankshaft, the cylinder liner, and in most cases, the clutch as well if it is wet type.
When the oil is pumped, it gains pressure due to the action of the pump and results in inflow to various parts (through bores on the shaft to bearings, in case of the crankshaft).
The type of lubrication achieved here is hydrodynamic lubrication.
How to Choose Injection Oil for your Snowmobile
For understanding how to choose injection oil for your snowmobile, we will need to understand how injection oil is rated and what difference in properties comes from changes in ratings.
When we talk about oils, we have naturally occurring mineral oils, which are extracted from the earth. These mineral oils can provide good lubrication properties, but begin to fail at high temperatures and speeds due to their chemical and physical properties.
To solve this issue, we have additives, which boost certain desirable properties of mineral oils and make it suitable for usage.
Now, with the introduction of four-stroke and newer high-speed two-stroke snowmobile engines, it was found that using mineral oil was simply not ideal, as additives have their limits.
This led to the invention of a new kind of oil, known as synthetic oils, which are far more superior to mineral oils. These are produced by refining, then systematically breaking down the mineral oils to the desired form.
The time and resources required to do this refinement in mineral oil, making them considerably costly than mineral oils, but as said earlier, their quality and durability is much better.
Now, the base oil, to which additives are added (either mineral or synthetic), along with the type and quantity of additives determine the grade of oil.
Now that we have understood this, let us discuss the grades of oil that are available. We will discuss the Japanese Automobile Standards Organization (JASO) system of grading the lubrication oils.
For two-stroke engines
JASO FA: Now obsolete, specified the basic parameters, such as detergency et cetera
JASO FB: Increased lubricity over FA graded oils.
JASO FC: All parameters except detergency, exhaust smoke and exhaust system blocking the same as FB graded oils.
JASO FD: Same as FC graded oils, but the detergency requirements were increased. (Best)
For four-stroke engines
Since four-stroke engines operate at lower temperatures, but higher speeds, special oil needed to be developed, so a new grade series of oils, JASO M‘x’, was introduced by JASO.
‘x’ can be:
MA: designed for high friction application, works safely with wet clutches.
Has two further subcategories, MA and MA2
MB: designed for low friction applications, may or may not work with wet clutches (check with the supplier). (Best)
Now to choose an oil for your snowmobile, refer to the owner’s manual, where it will be clearly stated which quality of the oil is suitable. Use oil of that grade, but do not use oil of grading lower than that.
You can also use oil of higher grade, and it will help with the longevity of your sled in long term, but there is no change in performance, even with the added cost that you will have to pay for it.
Best Snowmobile Injection Oils
When we discuss the best snowmobile injection oil, the recommendation may vary from person to person. But if you ask us about our favorite snowmobile injection oil, we would recommend going for AMSOIL branded oils for both two-stroke and four-stroke engines.
We recommend AMSOIL oils, because they offer suitable protection at a reasonable price, along with much cleaner valve operation than any other injection oil available in the market does.
AMSOIL DOMINATOR® Synthetic 2-Stroke Racing Oil
Made especially for two-stroke engines, this oil is superior to most of the other injection oils available in the market.
This oil has a pour point of -54C, which is quite low as well, desirable from a product of such high quality.
Only care for this oil to be taken is that it should not be used with Alcohol or Nitro-Methane fuels.
AMSOIL Formula 4-Stroke® Power Sports Synthetic Motor Oil
This oil is made for four-stroke engines, with JASO MA/MA2 grading, suitable for most snowmobiles.
This oil has a pour point of -50C, a total base number (TBN) of 9.1, which ensures that your engine is well protected from any acid formation, and quick startup protection, which otherwise could result in unwanted wear and tear.
The only thing to keep in mind when using this oil is to not mix it with other oils, which will lower the life expectancy and effectiveness of the oil.
We hope that this article made you aware of snowmobile injection oil, its functions, and working.
If you keep all this discussion in mind, there is possibly nothing that could go wrong, while you go out for buying injection oil for your snowmobile next time.
Keep in mind that our recommendation was just for reference purposes only. If your maker suggests another grade/brand of injection oil, go with that and your snowmobile will run just fine.