Explained: The Costs of Rebuilding a Snowmobile Engine

There’s no better way to keep yourself outdoors and active throughout the winter than diving into a hobby like snowmobiling. Unfortunately, snowmobiles occasionally have repair costs that you’ll have to factor in. If things go south, how much would it cost to rebuild a snowmobile engine?

The cost of rebuilding a snowmobile engine goes from $6,500 to $8,500. Usually, you’ll need to repair your snowmobile engine every 5,000 miles (8,000 km) to 20,000 miles (32,000 km), depending on the output of your engine. Take care of your snowmobile engine to extend the time between repairs.

If you were after a more detailed answer, keep reading. You’ll find info on related topics like how often snowmobile engines need repairing, whether you should rebuild or buy a new snowmobile engine, and if you can rebuild a snowmobile engine at home.

How Much Does It Cost to Rebuild a Snowmobile Engine?

Fully rebuilding a snowmobile engine costs approximately $2,500 in parts. Additionally, the labor cost of rebuilding a snowmobile engine ranges from $4,000 to $6,000. The total cost to hire a small engine repairs mechanic to rebuild an engine is between $6,500 and $8,500.

How Often Do Snowmobile Engines Need Repairing?

A snowmobile engine will last between 5,000 miles (8,000 km) and 20,000 miles (32,000 km) before needing to be repaired. The power output of your engine is a major determining factor for how many miles it will last.

Since higher output engines wear out quicker, a two-stroke engine will be considered high mileage at 5,000 miles (8,000 km). On the other hand, a four-stroke engine won’t be considered high-mileage until 10,000 (16,000 km) or even 15,000 miles (24,000 km).

However, a two-stroke engine is a simpler design. Therefore, it is easier and cheaper to repair.

If you want to learn more about the pros and cons of these different types of engines, check out SuperTrax Magazine‘s take on the 2-Stroker Vs. 4-Stroke Debate.

Tips To Make Your Snowmobile Engine Last Longer

After seeing the cost of rebuilding a snowmobile engine, I bet you want to squeeze as much life as possible out of your current engine. Thankfully, I have five fantastic tips to make your snowmobile engine last longer:

Use High-Quality Fuel and Oil

The quality of fuel and oil you’re putting in your snowmobile’s engine will affect the longevity of your engine. If you’re putting the fuel equivalent of fast food in your snowmobile’s engine, you can’t expect it to last 20,000 miles (32,000 km).

Another note on oil is to never mix brands. Mixing different types of oil can reduce the efficiency of your engine. You should always stick to one brand of oil.

When topping up oil, empty the old oil first if you’re using a new brand. You may feel like you’re being wasteful, but avoiding mixing oil will allow your engine to run more efficiently. Mixing oil is more wasteful, even if it doesn’t seem that way at first glance.

Follow a Proper Maintenance Schedule

Following a proper maintenance schedule will keep your engine in good shape. You should perform a thorough check over your snowmobile before your first ride every season. You should also perform at least one more check-up during the season.

Give Your Engine Time To Warm Up

I understand the eagerness to get out on your snowmobile can lead to skipping pre-ride engine warm-ups. However, I urge you to consider allowing your engine time to warm before riding. 

Your snowmobiles engine should be about 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) before any serious riding. I understand you probably won’t check the exact temperature of your engine, so a good rule of thumb is to let your snowmobile warm up for about 5 minutes.

Making a pre-ride engine warm-up part of your riding routine will pay off eventually. These pockets of 5 minutes will bring you more life from your engine than the time you’d save skipping your engine warm-ups.

Break-In Your Snowmobile Engine

You want to allow your new engine some time to break in. The standard break-in period for a snowmobile engine is about 300 miles (480 km) or 6 to 10 hours of riding.

Here are five rules to follow during your snowmobiles break-in period:

  • Never bring the throttle above 50%. As your snowmobile’s engine is getting broken-in, you want to go easy on it. Going easy on your snowmobile’s engine means limiting your use of full-throttle as much as possible. Avoid bringing your throttle above 50% for the best snowmobile care.
  • Vary throttle position consistently while riding. Varying your throttle speed while staying below 50% reduces friction on the close-fitting mechanical parts of your snowmobile’s engine.
  • Avoid jackrabbit starts. While a quick jerky start can be a fun, thrill-seeking activity, it’s terrible for a new engine. Allow your engine the 300 miles (480 km), or 6 – 10 hours of riding, before you partake in any jackrabbit starts.
  • Use the right oil and fuel. Different engines have different fuel and oil specifications for breaking in a new engine. Refer to your user manual for proper procedure, and stick to what your user manual says. Drifting from your user manuals’ oil and fuel guidelines can harm your engine.
  • Be generally more cautious. Anything can happen when it comes to new engines, so be more cautious than usual. Perform frequent checks on fuel and oil levels, and check for general maintenance issues more regularly while breaking in an engine.

Properly Store Your Snowmobile in the Summer

When it comes to properly storing your snowmobile, there are a handful of important considerations:

  • Keep your fuel above half. A big question asked around snowmobile storage is whether you should drain your tank. The short answer is no. You should keep a minimum of half a tank of non-ethanol fuel in your tank. Leaving a tank empty for a storage season can lead to gaskets and O-rings drying out.
  • Start your snowmobile engine throughout the summer. It’s important to start your snowmobile’s engine intermittently throughout the summer to stop sediment from clogging and O-rings from drying. I recommend you start your snowmobile once a month, for about 5 minutes.
  • Elevate your snowmobile. You should keep the tracks of your snowmobile off the ground throughout the summer to avoid damage. Whether you need a stand or simply sled dollies depends on where you store your snowmobile. If you keep your snowmobile outdoors, getting a snowmobile stand is important. If you store your snowmobile indoors, sled dollies are a fine solution.
  • Remove your snowmobile’s battery. To keep good battery health, you’ll want to store your battery in a temperature-controlled location. Keeping your battery temperature controlled will probably involve removing it from your snowmobile.

Stick to the above five tips, and I can guarantee your snowmobile will last longer between engine repairs.

Should I Rebuild or Buy a New Snowmobile Engine?

Usually, it’s cheaper to rebuild an engine than to replace one. After parts and labor costs, replacing an engine can cost two times to rebuild an engine. However, in some cases replacing an engine is cheaper. Ask your mechanic for a quote on both rebuilding and replacing your engine.

Can I Rebuild a Snowmobile Engine at Home?

You can rebuild a snowmobile engine at home, but it won’t be easy. Plenty of people run small engine repair businesses out of their homes, so there’s no reason you can’t take on your repairs. However, repairing a snowmobile engine requires the right tools, knowledge, and patience.

Final Thoughts

Unless you’re handy enough to rebuild your engine, rebuilding a snowmobile engine usually costs around $7,500. With a high price tag like that, you’ll want to make sure you don’t wear out your engine prematurely.

Thankfully, we know a snowmobile engine should last between 5,000 and 20,000 miles (8,000 and 32,000 KM). Also, we’ve learned a handful of helpful tips to make sure our snowmobile engine lasts closer to 20,000 miles instead of 5,000 miles.

With all this new knowledge under your belt, I’m sure you’ll have a longer-lasting snowmobile engine.

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