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Buying a Used Snowmobile

Things to Look For When Buying a Used Snowmobile

Great deals are available for used snowmobiles at dealerships and consignment shops and through private sales in newspapers, free print shoppers, yard sales and online. For about 3 to 4 thousand dollars, you can pick up a good used 3 to 4 year old snowmobile. Low mileage is not as important as other features, such as the following:


How was the snowmobile stored? Preferably in a well ventilated shelter not exposed to the elements or up-and-down temperature variations.


Check for excessive modifications. Excessive engine modification by an untrained mechanic can impact the snowmobiles performance and reliability - not in a good way.


Missing studs, holes in the track, frayed edges on the side and lugs missing off the track on a low millage snowmobile may be an indication of abusive riding and poor maintenance.


If the track needs to be replaced, try to negotiate the price down between 400 to 500 dollars for a replacement.


Has the snowmobile crashed? If so how? Check for cracks, scrapes, dents and unusual welds.

Sales Terms

If a snowmobile is for sale "as is", consider having a knowledgeable snowmobile mechanic check it out before you buy. If you choose not to hire a mechanic, bring a buddy with you to ask questions you may not think of and offer feedback.
  • Ask if the seller is the original owner and pay attention to any insight they offer regarding the usage and care of the snowmobile
  • Bring a flashlight to check under the hood
  • With the hood open, inspect the snowmobiles engine compartment for dents on the pipes, rust on the engine area and check the drive belt to see if it is starting to fray apart with missing teeth
  • Verify that the snowmobile is straight down the center and down the skis
  • Test all lights and switches to make sure they work
  • Start the engine to determine the battery's condition. If possible, make sure the snowmobile engine is cold when you try this, since a warmed up engine is much easier to turn over
  • Snowmobiles less than 5 years old will usually have trailing arms. If the arms are bent, the snowmobile has hit something pretty hard. It’s possible a bent arm can impact your steering
  • Most dealerships and consignment shops don’t have a place for you to test drive the snowmobile, but they do provide warrantees and a place to come back to for service and advice. If you are purchasing a snowmobile through a private sale, don’t be afraid to ask to take it for a test ride to see if it’s the right fit for you

Things to Check When Considering a Used Machine

  • Carbides
  • Bushings / Ski rubbers
  • Check loosness of steering which could indicate worn tie-rods
  • Springyness of Shocks
  • Check revs for bent nun, arm bushings / clutch
  • Check panels for equal spacing on both sides of the sled
  • Be sure boots aren't coming out of retainer brackets
  • Beware of funky add-ons of parts
  • Front exhaust should not be bent
  • Check to see if motor is clean
  • Check hour meter / kilometer meter

Buying a Snowmobile
Types of Snowmobiles
New vs Used?
Buying a Used Snowmobile

Snowmobile Gear
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Snowmobile Helmets
Snowmobile Trailers

Snowmobile Safety
Snowmobile Hand Signals
Snowmobiling On Ice
Nighttime Snowmobiling
Snowmobiling Clubs
Snowmobile Trail Maps

Snowmobile Care
Snowmobile Storage

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