Snowmobile Will Not Move: How To Fix It Guide


Several factors can hinder your snowmobile from moving. We understand how frustrating it is when a snowmobile suddenly stops moving, which is why we are here to help. In this article, you will find the right steps to take that will solve the problem of a snowmobile that fails to move.

Check for Ice Build up

Ice can quickly build up around the tracks of snowmobile if you leave it standing on an open snowfield. If this happens, the ice can hold the tracks down so that it doesn’t move even when you start the engine. To solve the problem, you will have to break up the ice in order to set the tracks free.

Simply get a solid object such as a hammer and break up the ice. Be careful not to hit the tracks while breaking the ice, to avoid complications. Once you are done breaking the ice, attempt to move the snowmobile and observe whether It can move now.

Check Tracks

The tracks may become misaligned or damaged due to lack of lubrication, hard impacts, prolonged overspeeding, and a few other reasons. Tracks misalignment and damage can hinder your snowmobile from moving, which is why you must check it. Let’s mention some things you must watch out for on the tracks, and how you can rectify faults that you find on them.

Check the alignment of tracks

Take a close look at the track clip and the slide. If you notice that the track clip has shifted away from the slide, then you have to align it. To make the alignment, you need to tighten the side of the slide where the clip shifted from. As you tighten the slide, the axle’s angle will adjust, and the tracks will align with the slide.

After you have aligned the tracks, you should start the snowmobile and observe whether the snowmobile will move. In case it doesn’t move, you should proceed to the step below.

Here’s a video showing a quick way to align snowmobile tracks:

Check the drive belt

If the drive belt breaks or becomes too saggy, the snowmobile will find it hard to move. To check whether your snowmobile’s belt is saggy or broken, you should lift the snowmobile off the ground and observe the belt. The belt can sag a little without creating a problem, but if it looks extremely saggy, you will have to correct it.

Let’s first talk about how to correct a saggy belt before we talk about how to replace a broken one. You can correct a saggy belt by adjusting the track tension.

  • Start by raising the snowmobile and allow it to rest on strong support.
  • The purpose of this first step is to make the tracks free to spin.
  • After you have raised the snowmobile, you should tighten the bolts on the rear axle.
  • The rear axle always has a bolt on its two sides.
  • The bolts control the tension in the drive belt.

Keep observing the drive belt as you tighten the bolts. Once the belt is no longer saggy, you should stop the tightening. Carefully place the snowmobile back on the ground and start it.

Upon inspection, if you discover that your snowmobile’s belt is broken, follow this guide to replace it within a few minutes.  Start by rotating the driven clutch counterclockwise. Please note that a quarter turn is enough for this purpose. The purpose of the rotation is to verify whether you will get a forward engagement. After the verification, use an L wrench to separate the sheaves, so that you can remove the damaged belt.

Sheaves always have an outer hole where you can insert an L wrench. Keep the L wrench inside this hole while you both remove the old belt and insert the new one. After you have inserted the new belt, you should move the L wrench clockwise so that the sheaves can close. Start the snowmobile and observe whether it moves now. If it doesn’t move, then you should proceed to the step below.

Check the track for damages

Excessive wear and tear of tracks can hinder a snowmobile from moving. To confirm if your snowmobile’s track is still usable, you should raise it off the ground and examine the physical condition of the track. You should replace the track if you notice the following:

  • Extremely frayed track cords.
  • Several missing track lugs or if the webbing and rods are already exposed.
  • Broken inner drive lugs.
  • Tears in the track.

So if you confirm that your snowmobile’s track is damaged, you should follow the guide below to replace it. Please note that you will have to remove several parts before you can install a new track. Ensure you remove the parts in the exact order that we have arranged them below.

Start by removing battery inside your snowmobile because you are about to place it in a position that can make the battery spill. After you have removed the battery, lift the snowmobile off the ground and allow it to rest on its side. Reduce the tension on the track by removing the tension bolts on the rear axle. You should be able to remove the suspension skid after reducing the tension on the track.

Be careful while removing the suspension skid. You should release the tensioner spring if the skid is too tight to pull. Now that you have removed the suspension skid, the next thing to remove is the chaincase cover.

Remove any part that stops you from accessing the chaincase cover to avoid damaging any part while you are removing the case. Remove all the bolts on the chaincase cover and detach the cover.

  • Now that you can access the interior of the chaincase, you should loosen the adjuster bolt to make the chain slack. 
  • Once the chain becomes slack, you should loosen the bolt on the tensioner and detach the tensioner.
  • At this point, you should remove the two gears within the chaincase.

Be careful while you are removing the gears. The easiest way to remove them is by sliding them along the jackshaft and driveshaft. Slide them gently until they remove entirely. Remove the chain in a similar manner. Also, you should remove the secondary components of the clutch and brake.

The driveshaft and the damaged track are the final parts you will remove before you install the new track. If you have removed all the parts we have mentioned so far, then the driveshaft will come out easily when you slide it outward. The damaged track will equally be free to remove after you have removed the driveshaft.

If you have completed all the steps above, then you can start installing the new track. Align the new track with the tunnel. After that, you should slide the drive shaft directly into the track.  Now that you have installed the new track, it’s time to restore all the parts that you removed earlier. Ensure that you restore  all the parts in the exact opposite order of their removal.

Test the new track after you assemble all the parts. Adjust the tracks if it is necessary. Make sure that no part rubs against another. The snowmobile should move now that you have installed a new track. If it doesn’t move, kindly carry out the step below.

Check The Gears

Gears provide the power that enables snowmobiles to move. Sometimes the gears can become stiff when the chaincase oil loses its lubricative ability. Once the gears become stiff, the snowmobile will stop moving freely. Fortunately, you can easily fix this problem by changing the oil in the oil reservoir. Follow the guide below to change the chaincase oil.

Remove the chaincase cover of your snowmobile and place a get a small container ready to collect the old in the oil reservoir. Remove the drain plug from the oil reservoir and allow the entire oil inside it to drain into the small container you have prepared. After you have drained the old oil, you will have to clean the gears and chain before you add the new oil.

The gears and chains will be exposed since you have already removed the chaincase cover. Get a high-quality degreaser and spray it directly into the chaincase. The degreaser will loosen the old oil, so it doesn’t interfere with the new one you are about to introduce. After that, you should spray parts cleaner into the chaincase to wash off the loosened oil.

Wait for the parts cleaner to dry up before you cover the chaincase.  Install the drain plug and cover the chaincase once the parts cleaner dries up. After that, you can now pour the new oil into the oil reservoir. Start the snowmobile so that the new oil will circulate to the gears and chain. Attempt to move the snowmobile and observe if it is free to move now.

Rob

That's me sinking another ATV. I love to ride no matter what it is, snowmobiles, four wheelers, dirt bikes, and anything else off-roading. I've experienced my fair share of machines, and like to share that experience here.

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