What To Do If Your Snowmobile Won’t Start?

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Sometimes when preparing your snowmobile for winter, you may find that your snowmobile is not starting.

Spark, air, and fuel are the main components that make the snowmobile engine work properly. It will be quite helpful for you to have taken care of these to avoid any problems when on the sled.

You can, of course, take your snowmobile to the mechanic to fix but if it were a simple problem that needed a simple fix that you could do at home, you do not want to have wasted all that time and energy lugging a machine around.

Your snowmobile getting stuck in the snow and being unable to start, is a situation we want to avoid at all costs. Many a time, your snowmobile won’t start when cold, and many factors play into why. So, let’s find out how to inspect a snowmobile that is not running correctly. 

What to Do If Your Snowmobile Won’t Start?

If you are wondering what you should do if your snowmobile is not starting. Keep reading:

snowmobile won't start when cold

Check the Spark

The spark will help ignite the air/fuel mixture to start.

The first place which should be checked is the spark plugs. You can remove them and plug them back into the plug caps to test. This is easy to do and does not need a specialist. If you’re lucky, this might just be your solution.

When I was out in the mountains some years back, I was in a predicament where my snowmobile turned over but wouldn’t start. After making sure my tank had not run out, I checked my spark plug, and lo and behold! there was my problem. It was an easy fix and did not need me to spend extra money.

Ground the plug on the head bolt and turn the motor over. If there’s a spark, it is visible. You will have to change the plugs if there is no spark or only a weak one. The cost of spark plugs is nothing compared to the price of your snowmobile.

If there is still no spark, there can be an issue with the electrical system. Make sure to check all the electric components. This part is a little trickier and if you don’t feel confident, this is probably the right time to take help from a professional.

Air/ Fuel Mixture

If you have a sled that has not been running for a long time, the carbs and the gas lines can quickly dry out, making it difficult to start the sled. You can use the starting fluid or a carb cleaner.

The engine should fire when the fuel is sprayed in the carburetor intake; this will help draw the gas with the help of the fuel system.

The engine can stall after it is done running off of the starting fluid if the gas is not being drawn through.

Try to do this in a restricted manner as the starting fluid won’t lubricate the engine in addition to the mixed gas or the oil injection of the motor.

snowmobile turns over but won't start

The engine could become flooded if it’s over-choked while trying to start. The choke can be turned off, and the spark can be plugged out to fix it; it should be done until all the fuel is dissolute, then, clean the plug and put it back in.

You can drain the excess gas from the drain plugs, which are located on the end case at the lower end.

If the sled floods out immediately or does not get into the combustion chamber, you should clean them.

Ensure that the fuel pump, lines, and filters are in excellent condition.

Low/No Compression

Check whether you have low or no compression in one or all cylinders if your snowmobile refuses to start.

There should be enough reduction to compress the air/fuel mixture; this will, in turn, raise the mixture’s temperature and will be enough to start the combustion process.

A tester can also help you check the compression on the sled’s cylinder. If the compression is low, you should check it out and take the head off.

Low compression can be due to worn-out piston rings, a scored cylinder or piston, or several other reasons.

Final Words

Before you get to worrying too much when your snowmobile is not starting, try to troubleshoot your snowmobile to the level of your expertise. There can be several reasons for the snowmobile not working.

The main reasons for engine failure are the spark, air, and fuel. And these are easy fixes that many are comfortable with. If these three are intact and your snowmobile still won’t start, you might need to take the help of a qualified mechanic or your snowmobile manual.

You can take several preventive measures before starting the snowmobile. You can follow the safety tips whenever you go snowmobiling.

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Thomas Miller
My name is Thomas Miller. I have been riding snowmobiles for the past 10 years and I'm completely in love with snowmobiling because it's fun, relaxing, and a great workout.