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8 Important Checks for your Snowmobile

8 Ways to Prep Your Snowmobile

Ok, I’m late posting this one but February is our busiest month for snowmobile oil as our customers venture out west betwixt now and the end of March. Some great snow to play in at the moment!

Avid riders are already getting their snowmobiles ready for winter. Soon it’ll be time to hit the trails or take to the mountains for the first ride of the season. Nothing ruins a ride more than a breakdown, so we put together some tips to help you get your snowmobile ready for winter.

Check the spark plugs

Inspect spark-plug and wire condition. Ski-Doo E-TEC engines require indexing if removed or replaced, so be sure to check your owner’s manual for proper instructions. They must be set facing the right direction and depth. Replace plugs that appear excessively dirty or worn along with any worn or frayed wires.

Inspect clutches and suspension

Check clutches, the drive belt and suspension for wear and tear. Greasing (everyone always forgets!) and inspecting the suspension components and slides (hyfax) are a great idea. Slides typically have a small line across them indicating when they are worn out. If they are below the line at all, replace them.

Items to check in the suspension include loose or worn parts and missing or loose idler wheels. Inspecting and cleaning the clutches and belt are also a necessary maintenance item. Remove any belt dust or rubber from the clutch sheaves.

Adjust track and check skis

Check your track for proper tension and make sure bolts are tight. Look for worn or missing lugs.

Don’t be that guy (or gal) who everyone has to bail out of trouble at every apex.

 


On the skis, look for any gouges, cuts or corrosion and make sure the runners are straight and still have carbide on them. The carbide edge allows the skis to bite into the trail and turn better.

Let there be light

Make sure your electrical system is up to par. Inspect the ignition and look for any warning lights that can signal problems. Check high/low-beam headlights and brake lights to ensure the bulbs haven’t burnt out.

Check the oil and filter

If you’re riding a four-stroke and didn’t do it last spring, change the oil and filter.

On two-strokes, make sure to top-off the oil reservoir and use an oil with excellent cold-flow properties for best protection. Inspect the exhaust power valves and clean them if needed. If your power valves are sticking, switch to a high-quality two-stroke oil proven to prevent power-valve sticking, like AMSOIL INTERCEPTOR Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil.

If you’re not sure which AMSOIL synthetic snowmobile oil is right for you, check out our handy Snowmobile Product Guide.

Inspect the fuel system

Check the fuel tank along with the fuel and oil lines for cracks or leaks. Unless you used a stabilizer such as AMSOIL Gasoline Stabilizer, empty the fuel tank and replace with fresh fuel. Clean your carburetor and make sure it’s adjusted properly to prevent performance issues or breakdowns. AMSOIL Power Foam is excellent for cleaning carbs.

Change the chaincase oil

It’s best to change chaincase oil annually, preferably in spring after riding season is over. Chains and gears create metal particles that need to be removed from the fluid regularly lest they build-up and cause bigger problems down the trail. We have just the oil for this important step: AMSOIL Synthetic Chaincase & Gear Oil.

 


Get there and be prepared

If using a trailer, ensure everything is good to go. Before you load up, inspect the tires, bearings, hitch, safety chains, axle, springs, bed, cover, lights and electrical components.

Prepare for emergencies

Anything can happen, so be prepared. When getting your snowmobile ready for winter, it’s always a good idea to bring fire-starting materials, like a lighter, along with dry clothes, work gloves, water, an extra two strap, granola bars, lip balm and any other essentials you deem necessary to have on hand if you end up stranded.

Why Do I Need To Change My Oil?

What Happens to oil Making Me Needing to Change It?

Regardless of its quality, every motor oil eventually loses its potency and must be changed to ensure peak engine protection. Let’s take a look at what happens to motor oil over time and why you periodically need to change oil.

Losing the base

Base oils are the backbone of the finished lubricant that ends up in your engine. Over time, they lose effectiveness due to the following factors:

Oxidation

The interaction between oxygen molecules and motor oil molecules naturally leads to chemical breakdown.

Just as oxygen causes a cut apple to brown or exposed metal to rust, it breaks down base oils and reduces motor oil’s effectiveness.

Oxidation can lead to increased oil viscosity, which negatively affects energy efficiency. It also causes the formation of harmful deposits and sludge.

High heat

Today’s engines run hotter than ever before, with temperatures up to 235°F (113ºC), and even higher if towing or hauling.

The rate of oxidation for oil doubles for every 18°F (10°C) increase in temperature.

Moisture

Your vehicle is subjected to temperature swings, even when it is parked in the garage.

Those temperature swings cause condensation to form inside your engine, leading to water contamination.

Leaving a vehicle parked for extended periods or taking short trips that don’t allow the engine to fully warm up allow water to remain in the oil rather than evaporating and exiting through the tailpipe. Water can lead to formation of sludge…yet another reason why you must change oil.

Viscosity is a motor oil’s most important property. The lower the viscosity, the faster the oils flows, like water. Thicker oils flow more slowly, like honey.

Viscosity loss

A lubricant’s viscosity is its most important property.

Viscosity has a direct bearing on wear protection, and your engine is designed to operate best using a motor oil of a specific viscosity (e.g. 5W-30).

The intense pressure the oil bears as it’s squeezed between moving parts, like the piston ring/cylinder wall interface, can tear apart, or shear, its molecular structure, leading to viscosity loss.

Suddenly, the 5W-30 motor oil your engine was designed to use is now essentially a 5W-20 oil, and wear protection may be compromised. When this happens, it’s time to change your oil.

Fuel dilution

Fuel can wash past the piston rings and contaminate the motor oil, causing it to lose viscosity.

Frequent short trips that don’t allow the oil to reach normal operating temperature can be especially problematic because the fuel won’t volatilize and exit through the PCV system.

Excessive fuel dilution leads to sludge and varnish, requiring you to change oil more frequently.

Additives: Additives are added to base oils to reduce destructive processes and enhance beneficial properties.

For example, antioxidant additives help slow the rate of oxidation. Detergency additives help prevent deposits and sludge while cleaning pre-existing deposits. Formulators add anti-wear additives to some lubricants to form a sacrificial barrier on metal components and help prevent wear.

Since they’re sacrificial in nature, additive depletion is one of the primary reasons motor oil loses its effectiveness and must be changed. 

While AMSOIL synthetic motor oil gives you the convenience of fitting oil changes into your schedule, it remains vital to install fresh oil at the appropriate time.

From the President

From AMSOIL President Alan Amatuzio

When I flew to Toronto in May I had a three-hour taxi ride from the airport to my destination. I visited with the driver along the way, and we talked about AMSOIL. He knew very little about the company or our products. When it came time to talk about distribution, it became awkward. The driver went silent. I figured he had preconceived notions about multi-level marketing (MLM). MLM has a bad rap thanks to numerous companies that have employed underhanded business practices. I am sure you have heard the term “pyramid scheme.” The way I see it, there are two types of MLM companies – those that emphasize making money by bringing new people into their program, and those that emphasize making money selling products and use MLM as a method of distribution. AMSOIL is all about selling a great product.

The fact is, AMSOIL is not like any MLM company and is not really MLM in the traditional sense. There is no category that neatly fits the AMSOIL business. We are a direct-sales hybrid. There is a network-marketing aspect to our business, but many aspects of our company do not align with traditional MLM businesses. The Retail, Commercial and Catalog Programs are prime examples. Those types of programs don’t exist in typical MLM businesses, but we found a way to make them work. We recently made some improvements to the Commercial Program and invested in additional corporate support staff for commercial business to help drive Dealer success in that area. This month you’re going to read about some upcoming changes to the Retail Program that will increase your opportunity through that sales channel. We are working hard to expand your opportunities everywhere possible.

One major change is the addition of a minimum advertised price (MAP) policy. Today no Dealer or account is allowed to advertise pricing for AMSOIL products through any national medium, but Dealers and accounts can advertise any price in local or regional fliers. The MAP policy will restrict all ads to include pricing no lower than our manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). This will prevent the advertisement of predatory pricing and keep a level playing field for all involved.

The MAP policy is a perfect example of our two main goals in action: helping Dealers be successful and ensuring AMSOIL remains strong for years to come. We need to expand opportunity in all markets, but we need to protect Dealers’ interests when we do so. That’s something we take very seriously, and it’s something we do every day. We’ve been approached by just about every national retailer in existence, and we’ve told them all “no” to protect Dealers. We said “no” to Ace Hardware.* We said “no” to Advance Auto Parts.* We said “no” to Walmart.* They were astounded that we would refuse millions of dollars and thought we were crazy for remaining true to our principles. We are invested in you, and allowing our products to be sold through national chains would harm that investment.

Our advertising efforts are another example of something typical MLM companies don’t do. We invest millions annually to raise brand awareness and increase sales opportunities for Dealers.

By choosing to be an AMSOIL Dealer, you’ve started a business unlike any other. You get to sell the best products in the world, you have no inventory requirements or sales quotas, you have low annual fees and you have the backing of a company that works tirelessly on your behalf every day. If you make the most of it, we will continue growing together.

Join us as a dealer!

Exciting things are being worked up at this moment (October 2021) to improve actual cash commissions to new dealers. Direct sales and signing up small and medium retail accounts can really pay off. Every region of the country has demand. Just product is lacking.  Join and start our in house training right away. All your questions will be answered in our new online training videos and modules (AMSOIL U). This link will get you started with AMSOIL dealer opportunities. 

 

How Engine Wear & Deposits Kill Horsepower

Common Engine Wear & Deposits Will Kill Horsepower

Most people equate engine wear and deposits with a sudden, catastrophic engine failure that leaves you stranded alongside the road. In reality, wear and deposits are more likely to erode engine power and efficiency over time. Here’s how it works and what you can do about it.

Engine compression = power

For your engine to produce maximum power, the combustion chamber must seal completely during the compression and combustion strokes. Wear and deposits can prevent the valves or piston rings from sealing, allowing pressurized gases to escape the combustion chamber and take potential engine power with them.

To illustrate, imagine using a hydraulic floor jack. Pumping the handle will raise the vehicle as long as the release valve is tightly seated and doesn’t leak. A poorly sealed release valve, however, allows pressure to escape, causing the vehicle to sink to the ground no matter how much you pump the jack handle.

The same principle applies inside your engine. If some of the pressure created during the compression and combustion strokes is lost due to valves and piston rings that don’t seal completely, the engine will create less power.

engine wear identified

Wear & deposits reduce compression

Over time, deposits or valve wear can prevent the valves from closing completely, interfering with a good seal. Wear can also interfere with proper valve operation, disrupting optimum fuel/air flow.

If the piston rings do not seal tightly against the cylinder wall, pressurized combustion gases can escape past the rings and enter the crankcase, taking potential power with it.

Worn or stuck piston rings produce the same effect. The rings are designed to move freely in their grooves and press tightly against the cylinder wall. They should form a seal that prevents fuel/air from escaping. Ring wear can interfere with formation of a tight seal. Likewise, deposit buildup can cause the rings to stick in their grooves, also preventing a good seal. As a result, some fuel/air escapes the combustion chamber during compression, reducing power. On the combustion stroke, pressurized gases can blow by the rings and travel down the cylinder wall and into the oil sump, taking potential power with them. This is what’s meant when someone says an engine has lost compression.

(Check out our 5 Ways to Boost Horsepower for Under $500)

AMSOIL Signature Series helps prevent the problem

AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil provides…

  • 75 percent more engine protection against horsepower loss and wear*
  • 90% better protection against sludge **

Its outstanding performance helps prevent deposits and wear that rob engines of horsepower, helping preserve that like-new feeling you crave when driving.

FIND AMSOIL PRODUCTS FOR MY VEHICLE

*Based on independent testing of AMSOIL Signature Series 0W-20, in ASTM D6891 as required by the API SN specification.

**Based on independent testing of AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 in the ASTM D6593 engine test for oil screen plugging as required by the API SN specification.

Signature Series Beyond Their So Called Clean

Signature Series cleans up the competition

In general, the higher an oil’s TBN, the better its ability to neutralize contaminants such as combustion by-products and acidic materials. Higher TBN oils neutralize a greater amount of acidic material, which results in longer oil life and cleaner engines.

TBN levels decrease as the oil remains in service. When the level reaches a point where it can no longer protect against corrosion, the oil must be changed.

The TBN Test

The Total Base Number Test (ASTM D2896) uses a series of chemical reactions to measure the alkaline additives in a motor oil. We recognize the value of formulating motor oils with high TBN, and AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil features the highest TBN of the oils tested.

AMSOIL Signature Series is fortified with a heavy treatment of detergent additive and it delivers 30% more acid neutralizing power1 than Mobil 1, and 36% more than Royal Purple, helping engines to stay cleaner, longer.

The AMSOIL Advantage

AMSOIL synthetic lubricants feature a large dose of quality additives that consistently deliver high TBN for the life of the oil. They neutralize acidic contaminants and keep them in suspension to maximize engine protection. AMSOIL lubricants use detergent and dispersant additives to significantly reduce sludge and carbon deposit formation. In the Total Base Number Test (ASTM D2896), AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil demonstrated the highest TBN of the oils featured in the test, helping it deliver reliable protection for extended drain intervals. One thing the test doesn’t show is our detergent lasts longer. You can see that for yourself when you pull your own oil analysis.

Aftermarket Additives – Did you know?

Just by adding your aftermarket oil additive meant to help with “something”, these additives are used because the user believes it offers an additional attribute which the base motor oil does not offer. With AMSOIL you never need to do this. Anything offered on the market was reviewed often decades ago and if it offers some advantage it will be in the AMSOIL product. If not you risk neutralizing additives such as the detergents which make up the largest part of the price of AMSOIL other than the base oil.

There are several additives which took decades of knowledge to get them to perform together without nullifying the benefits. That’s what aftermarket additives do, they often make a good oil worse than bad. After the additive is added you may have just been better off getting your oil at the dollar store or just using the used oil out of your sisters old Saturn.  (Assuming it still runs because she didn’t use any of these caustic additives)..

Research the brand and even their address

Note – research the company you buy the additive from. One very big one which in the 60’s had their name on Indy cars, etc has been on the FTC’s warning site more than once and has actually been bought and sold no less than 6 times. Each time it becomes a totally different product. Others actually do some good  but at the same time are causing a greater negative in the oil somewhere else.

1Based upon independent testing of Mobil 1 Annual Protection Full Synthetic 5W-30, Royal Purple High Performance 5W-30 and AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 in ASTM D2896. Oils purchased 05/03/18.