Snowmobile Overheating: How to Fix This Instantly in 2023

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Winter is the holiday season, and many people enjoy the snow with their families skiing or snowmobiling.

Snowmobiling is a fun activity you can do with your friends and family. However, snowmobiles are similar to motorcycles, and overheating is common and can raise concerns.

Let’s look at the common issues with snowmobile overheating and how to deal with them.

Why Do Snowmobile Overheats?

When a snowmobile overheats, it means that its engine has reached a temperature higher than what is considered safe for your snowmobile. There can be several potential reasons for the overheating of your snowmobile like lack of coolant, malfunctioning cooling system, riding your snowmobiling continuously on high RPMs, etc.

Can You Ride a Snowmobile If It Overheats?

Snowmobile overheating is common, especially when it is idle and you are trying to warm up the engine.

This phenomenon is universal and does not cause any harm to the engine. After cooling down a little, the snowmobile engine’s pistons will return to the standard size and run smoothly.

Snowmobiles will continue to run if the engine is overheated a little during riding in ideal snow conditions for snowmobiling.

Still, beyond certain temperature limits (set on an average of 1800 F), the computer will shut down the engine automatically to prevent any damage to the engine’s stator.

After cooling the engine down a bit, it can function normally and provide optimal performance, but frequently overheating will cause damage.

Do Snowmobiles Overheat on Ice?

Overheating can occur during riding, even in ideal snow conditions, for several reasons—for instance, the use of cheap insulation material for the stator coils of the engine.

When the engine gets heated while riding at high speeds, the heat is retained, and the stator insulation might get damaged and cause the wires inside to short circuit causing the engine failure.

Also, some snowmobiles can overheat due to improper cooling of the engine.

When running at low speeds, the engine may not drive enough power for the coolant to circulate enough and reduce the heat.

So, running the engine at higher speeds/power is advised, causing more snow to be thrown on the vehicle’s heat exchangers, which helps in better cooling.

What to do if your snowmobile overheats

Is Overheating Dangerous for Your Snowmobile?

Snowmobile overheating is a common problem that can be caused for many reasons. You can avoid any damage from happening to the engine in case of overheating.

If the snowmobile overheating is rampant during idling, there is no problem. The temperature will drop once the snowmobile starts throwing enough snow on the heat exchangers.

In the case of riding at high speeds, it is common for the engine to get overheated. I like to let the engine cool down for 30 to 40 minutes to prevent any damage.

When left unattended, it can become hazardous for both the snowmobile and the rider.

What are the Problems Caused by Overheating?

When the engine overheats, major damage-prone areas are the stator coils, engine pistons, or rings.

Overheating the pistons can cause engine seizures if not attended to after repeated overheating.

Your piston heads may also break with repeated cycles of overheating, causing fuel and coolant to leak.

Leakage of snowmobile coolant due to the blowing of the pipes is also possible if the coolant tubes are not checked from time to time, as frequent overheating can damage the walls of these pipes.

Causes of Snowmobile Overheating

Snowmobiles are similar to cars or bikes, the causes of overheating can mean many things. Some main problem areas are discussed below.


It can be very trivial to check for correct quantities of engine oil. Still, the lack of necessary oil can cause the fuel mixture to overheat the engine and, in the process, cause the piston heads and rings to melt, finally leading to engine seizure.

Causes of Snowmobile overheating


Insufficient quantities of snowmobile coolant and antifreeze in the engine can cause damage to the engine.

Check for the proper flow of coolant in the cooling pipes and look for leaks to prevent the engine from overheating.


Using the right fuel is a crucial part of keeping the engine’s integrity in check. Using fresh energy is thus essential as power left out from the previous season might be filled with impurities.

Leaving fuel in the tank for months together is also a problem as it can clog the pipes and cause the engine to overheat.

What To Do If Your Snowmobile Overheats?

As there are many reasons for the engine to overheat, fixing the problem can be difficult if the cause is not identified.

Low Speed

It is essential to maintain a minimum speed while riding as enough snow needs to be thrown on the heat exchanger to remove the heat from the coolant.

Also, more coolant circulation is vital for adequate cooling, so appropriate coolant for the machine is advised.

High Speed

At high speeds, the cause of snowmobile overheating can be excessive power from the engine.

This problem can be solved easily by shutting off the engine and letting it cool down for a few minutes to prevent damage to the engine components. So, if your snowmobile overheats, it’s not a good idea to continue operating your snowmobile at high speed.

If the problem persists, it is necessary to check for the basic components of the engine like the oil, fuel, and coolant used.

If all these are perfect and the engine is still overheating, take the snowmobile to a garage and check the components one by one for signs of damage or incorrect connections which might be the cause of the problem, and rectify it immediately with the help of an engineer or mechanic for smooth performance.

Other Additional Remedies

Use an extra fan or radiator attached to the back of the snowmobile to help cool the engine for long rides. It is also good to use this method when the outside temperature is a bit higher.

When riding in thick snow, you can also use ice-scratchers under the tunnel to throw more snow toward the heat exchangers will aid in better cooling of the engine coolant and, in turn, the engine. If you think about buying them, you can read our article on the ice scratchers for snowmobiling to get the best picks.

Final words

As I mentioned above, snowmobile overheating is a common problem that can arise for many reasons discussed. But, you can also prevent overheating.

So, it is better to keep the snowmobile well-maintained and follow safety tips when riding your snowmobile to prevent any overheating that occurs because of technical issues.

Taking a few remedial steps like installing a radiator or fan, using the appropriate fuel and coolants, and using scratchers can help keep the engine temperature in check and thus provide uninterrupted and smooth performance.

Have more questions about snowmobile overheating? Leave a comment below, and we will get back to you.

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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.