There are times when we find ourselves in an unexpected situation. One such situation as a snowmobile enthusiast is a dead battery, which is bound to happen at some point. And when this happens, you’ll probably ask yourself the same question I did – can a snowmobile run without a battery?
You can operate a snowmobile without a battery. Some snowmobiles have a pull start, and others can be jump started even with a dead battery. Running a snowmobile without a battery is not recommended as it can lead to electrical issues. Try replacing the dead battery as soon as possible.
It’s important you are familiar with getting your snowmobile to work because who knows, you might end up with a dead battery on the top of a mountain. Not a situation anyone should be keen to be in.
Will A Snowmobile Run Without A Battery?
From the above paragraphs, you already know you can run your snowmobile without a battery. It may seem like repetition to you but the truth is that we can’t stress enough the importance of replacing the battery as soon as possible.
Your snowmobile battery provides power for starting and running the machine. However, there are ways you can accomplish this without a battery.
The purpose of the battery is to power up and start your sled. After starting your sled, your engine and stator run simultaneously with the later charging your battery. So essentially, the battery is being charged as you run your snowmobile. And this is how your machine is kept running.
The power generated from the engine running is enough to run the machine and power the headlights etc. You don’t really need the battery after the sled has been started.
But with more and more parts of the sled relying on electricity, it’s best to have a properly charged battery while riding.
How To Start A Snowmobile With A Dead Battery
When you end up with a dead battery, there is no need to panic. Well, unless you don’t know how to start up and run your snowmobile without a battery. Thankfully, you won’t belong to that set of people as you’ve found this article.
Using A Jump Box:
The first method we’ll be talking about involves a jump box. If you are not familiar with jump boxes, they are devices used to jump-start engines. They are portable and also affordable, although they do have to be charged from time to time.
You can even carry one in your jacket pocket. Getting one will no doubt turn out to be a good investment that will prevent you from getting stuck in the wilderness because of a dead battery.
I recommend looking into this NOCO Boost Plus 1000 Amp Jump Pack (link to Amazon) it’s small and portable, yet powerful enough to jump start a car if you need to, plus it can charge my phone. I bring this out with us on the trails snowmobiling, riding ATVs, and camping.
So how do you go about starting your snowmobile with a jump box?
- All you have to do is to pop the hood of your sled and connect the positive cable of the jump box to the positive battery terminal connector.
- You also connect the negative battery terminator and the negative cable of the jump box. Basic physics stuff.
- Now, you’ll have to make sure the jump box is placed in the engine bay.
- Then, close the hood and start your sled.
- So what happens is that the jump box takes the place of your battery and starts up your snowmobile.
You can also decide to remove your jump box after starting your sled. And this is possible because once you start your sled, it then relies on the power provided by the stator.
The stator should provide enough power to keep the engine running. But there is the risk of your sled shutting down anytime and without warning.
Pull Starting Your Sled:
You can also pull start your snowmobile with the supplied rope. There are snowmobile models where the battery is there mainly for the electric start, and the sleds will function well without a battery.
Here’s a quick video showing some tips for using a pull start, even with the tougher pulling cords.
Effect Of Running Your Snowmobile Without A Battery
You shouldn’t make it a habit of running your snowmobile without a battery unless you use XP models that are well-suited to working without a battery. Else, you are putting the engine at risk of undue electrical discharge.
The effect of this may be blown fuses and destruction of the fundamental electrical components of your sled.
How Long Can You Run Your Sled Without A Battery?
We are sure this question popped into your mind at some point during this article. Well, if you use a jump box to start your engine and decide to use said jump box as a battery, you’ll be able to run your snowmobiles for some time.
However, if you only used the juice box to start your snowmobile and disconnected it from the engine, you won’t be able to run the machine for long – maybe a mile or two.
Tips To Make Your Snowmobile Battery Last Longer
It’s frustrating for one to just end up with a dead battery in the middle of nowhere. However, there are ways by which you can make your snowmobiles battery last longer. And we’ll be discussing them below.
Keep Your Battery Clean –
Well, this one seems pretty obvious. You have to inspect the terminals once in a while and make sure they are clean and in good condition. People often fail to keep their batteries clean and you see the terminals get corroded.
It doesn’t matter the kind of battery your snowmobile uses. If you don’t take care of it, it may disappoint you.
Keep Your Battery Fully Charged –
Batteries may run making snowmobiles difficult to start up especially if you’ve not used it for some time. So by using a battery charger, you can easily charge your battery and then power up the snowmobile. Most of them are also designed to prevent overcharging.
I like this CTEK Battery Charger (link to Amazon) I always take the battery out of the machine if it’s going to be sitting for more than a couple days and put it on the charger. That way the battery stays topped off and in good condition.
Keep It Warm –
Did you know that cold temperature is one of the reasons why batteries fail to hold charge? Now, not everyone has a heated garage where they can just stash away the sled when not in use.
Rather than leaving the battery out in the cold, take it inside and hook it up to a battery charger to get the most life out of it.
Most manufacturers include lead acid batteries in their product and these batteries should last you about 2-3 years. But a lot of people end up changing their battery every year.
Use It –
If a battery is kept inactive for a long time, it breaks down and loses its charge becoming dead. If you plan on letting the snowmobile sit for more than a couple weeks, I recommend putting the battery on a charger, even if it will be in a warm environment.
Here’s a quick video with some snowmobile battery maintenance tips:
Should I remove the battery from my snowmobile during the summer?
Many snowmobilers are unsure whether to remove their battery or leave it in the sled during the offseason. And the right thing to do is to remove your battery and put it in a dry place, perhaps the storage closet in your garage.
Properly storing your batteries is important as very cold or very hot temperatures can affect them and reduce their lifespan. You can use the battery charger we discussed above to keep your battery in shape for the next snowmobile season.
And when the snowmobile season finally arrives, don’t go on the trails without an external battery pack. This is even more important if you are riding a 4-stroke snowmobile as some can’t pull start. So having some kind of external power is always desirable.