Before the seasons change and snowfall is in the weather forecast, get the snowmobile ready with basic maintenance and upkeep. Pre-season check-ups or repairs can make a difference for comfortable snowmobile riding when the powder’s right. Here are some basic functional tips, comfort tips, and care ideas for your sled.

While the best time to service a snowmobile is at the end of each season, it’s a good idea to inspect the sled before hitting the trails.

Four functional areas include the rear suspension, track, front suspension, and engine compartment.

A visual inspection of both suspension areas should include checking for rust, cracks, and loose or missing bolts and nuts. The tracks should be free from deep cracks, and be sure there are no damaged or missing track clips or studs.

The engine compartment needs normal maintenance, just like your car or pickup truck. Visually inspect for cracked or broken engine mounts, corrosion on the clutches, and heavy rust. Make sure the drive belt is not worn or frayed, and the fluid levels are adequate.

If you aren’t qualified to perform repairs on the sled, find a qualified mechanic to help.

Comfort is important when riding in freezing temperatures over a long trail. A snowmobile suit ads warmth and dryness for the rider, and there are a variety of types on the market. But the part of the sled that provides the most comfort is often the one overlooked pre-season and throughout the winter months.

Snowmobile seats are designed to withstand weight pressure over long periods of time, like motorcycle seats. But weather conditions can cause the seat crack; or rips and tears can occur during normal mounting and dismounting.

Moisture inside the seat can add weight to the sled, and this moisture can also freeze within the seat if not dried properly between rides.

Normally, vinyl repair kits cover and mask the problem, but without properly treating and caring for the seat. The products within the kits themselves are prone to becoming brittle and cracking during colder temperatures.

Consider a new snowmobile seat upholstery by a qualified professional. Reupholstery is less expensive than a new seat, and additional foam shaping can give added comfort to the ride. You can also get custom vinyl colors or designs for a fresh look on the seat.

There are a number of patents pending for new snowmobile seat design, offering better comfort and reduced moisture absorption.

When choosing an upholstery fabric for snowmobile seats, look for cold crack vinyl that will withstand the drop in temperatures without wearing and cracking. The inside foam cushion can often be formed to provide better seat comfort, and quality stainless staples will prevent rust during seat assembly.

Choose the cleaning product carefully for seat care, just as you would for polishing the frame. Some products can dry the vinyl or create a slippery coating that can be hazardous when riding.

Call D&N Upholstery to schedule snowmobile seat reupholstery, or to order high-quality cold crack vinyl for the sled.