Snowmobile Coolants: The Complete Overview

Snowmobile riding has become a very important winter sport among people with access to backcountry tracks and deep snow-filled areas.

With avid snowmobile riders enjoying all day with their snowmobiles, it is important to keep the machine in good condition while riding.

Preventing the snowmobile from overheating is one such task that comes with utmost importance. There are many reasons for overheating and not using a proper coolant is one of them.

Let’s see what a coolant mixture is and how to work with one.

What is a snowmobile coolant?

A snowmobile coolant is a chemical that is used in the reservoir of the engine or expansion tank to decrease the freezing point of the liquid that flows around the engine. It also serves another purpose, by raising the boiling point of the liquid in the cooling system, it prevents it from evaporating.

Snowmobile coolants are generally made of 1 part of Anti-freeze and 1 part of water. Pre-mixed versions are available for purchase, but they tend to be more expensive than buying separately and mixing when needed.

There are 2 types of Anti-freeze, which are differentiated by the main component used namely, ethylene glycol and propylene glycol and are green and orange in color respectively.

Warning – The two types must not be mixed with each other and must be mixed only with water.

What is the purpose of snowmobile coolant?

The main function of a snowmobile coolant is preventing the engine from overheating. This is done by circulating the coolant through the engine and removing the heat through the heat exchangers. Problems with coolant and its level can cause serious issues with the engine, so it is important to check its level to maintain the engine performance.

The other function it performs is the prevention of engine components like fuel and oil to freeze and seize the engine due to cold external temperatures. This is performed by reducing the freezing point of the liquid in the engine.

How to burp snowmobile coolant?

Burping is the process of bleeding the cooling system of your snowmobile to remove any air that might have entered the closed system. This air can cause parts of the cooling system to become hot spots that accumulate heat. This can lead to overheating of the engine in certain parts. If there is too much air in the system, it can cause serious problems to the engine.

The first step involved in burping is adding coolant into the coolant tank using a funnel or a bottle with a tube attached and is fixed to the coolant tank. The next step is to lift the front of the sled to a higher position. This can be done with the help of a normal winch used for cars or a lift with the help of straps.

Placing the tank in a high position helps to circulate the coolant through all the pipes of the cooling system. This will flush out all the air in the system as the coolant tank is in the highest position. Repeat the process a few times to remove all the air in the system and make sure the coolant level is more than the level specified in the tank.

How to fill coolant in a snowmobile?

Filling coolant or antifreeze in your snowmobile is a simple process but can be messy. First, buy a coolant as per the specifications mentioned by the manufacturer. Next, remove all the coolant in the system from the lowermost hose of the cooling system. Make sure the entire coolant comes out of the system. To aid in removal, the sled can be raised or parked on a slope.

Make sure the coolant is mixed as per the specifications of the coolant manufacturer. Now slowly add the coolant mixture to the coolant tank with the help of a hose or funnel. This helps to reduce spilling and also allows the air bubbles in the system to escape rather than circulating inside the system.

When your coolant tank contains more than the level specified in the tank stop adding more. Start the engine and let the coolant circulate. Now check the level again and pour more coolant if necessary.

How to drain coolant from a snowmobile?

Draining old coolant mixture from a snowmobile can be necessary when filling it with new coolant. This process can be done in several ways and some of them can be a little messy.

The easiest way to remove all the coolant from the system is to lift the snowmobile’s front a little higher and open the lowermost hose of the cooling system. This will remove most of the coolant present in the system with the help of gravity. But there will be traces of the old coolant left in the system. To remove it, open the coolant tank cap first. Use a small hand blower or vacuum cleaner to suck the remaining coolant mixture from the bottom hose to remove all small traces of the coolant.

The other method that can be used is by using a vacuum to remove the coolant directly through orifices in the cooling system. This method can be used to completely drain the cooling system when there are no lifting tools available to raise the sled up and down.

How to check coolant level?

After filling the snowmobile’s cooling system with coolant mixture, it is important to check the level of coolant present in it. This is a simple procedure and can be done by opening the hood of the snowmobile. After opening the hood, make sure the snowmobile is cooled down. Look at the coolant tank and check if the amount of the coolant is above the level specified in the tank.

Some old models do not have lines or markings to indicate the level, so check with the manual for knowing the required amount of coolant. Start the engine to circulate the coolant through the system and check the levels again. Add more coolant if required.

How does a snowmobile coolant system work?

A snowmobile coolant system is similar to a car and runs by circulating the coolant mixture over the engine.

When the engine runs, the coolant is circulated throughout the system and aids in transferring the heat from the engine to the coolant. As the coolant has a high boiling point, the heat is transferred to the coolant continuously.

The coolant then transfers the heat to the heat exchangers of the snowmobile. The heat is then transferred to the air or snow that is thrown at the heat exchangers through the fins.

How much antifreeze does a snowmobile hold?

The amount of antifreeze or coolant a snowmobile can hold depends on the manufacturer and the model of the snowmobile. The cooling system used by the snowmobile also influences the amount of antifreeze required. The use of special cooling systems increases the amount of coolant required. An average of 5-6 liters of coolant mixture is required for any snowmobile.

Final words

A snowmobile’s cooling system is a very important part of the engine. So, it is necessary to know the requirements and procedure associated with the different tasks that the cooling system requires. As overheating can be a common problem caused by faults in the cooling system, it is required to use the right coolant and follow the specified guidelines mentioned in the manual to keep snowmobiling a fun and adventurous task.

Vikas Kajla
Vikas loves winter. When there is snow, you can't find him inside the house. He'll be out probably doing skiing, snowboarding or maybe snowmobiling.

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