Your snowmobile will jerk when riding if there is an issue with the drive belt or the chain. Issues with either will cause the snowmobile to jerk when in motion. Problems with the track can also cause your snowmobile to jerk or stutter when trying to move or accelerate. 

While snowmobiles are designed to glide smoothly over thick snow, they can develop issues over time and start to jerk. 

This article will talk more about why your snowmobile jerks and ways you can fix it. Let’s get started! 

Why Would a Snowmobile Jerk?

Your snowmobile will jerk if there is an issue with the belt, chain, or track. Each of these parts is instrumental in allowing your snowmobile to glide and accelerate without any problems. 

Let’s talk more about these specific parts and how they lead to jerking in snowmobiles.

Drive Belt

Belt issues can be common in snowmobiles, as these devices rely heavily on the belt’s proper function. The drive belt connects the primary and secondary clutches. Without its proper function, the secondary belt will not move. 

Drive belts usually break due to repeated exposure to harsh conditions. Extreme heat or cold can cause the belt to wear out faster than other snowmobile parts. Wear and tear can also result from regular use, belts can not last forever despite being durable.

You do certain things when riding a snowmobile that can cause issues with the belt. If you have ever been stuck while riding a snowmobile, the revving and power needed to move the device can cause damage to the belt. So, be careful how much you strain the belt when you’re stuck and need to move. 

The best way to tell if something is wrong with the belt is to examine it. Take a look at the drive belt and see if there are any divots, scratches, or other markings that would indicate it is wearing out. If you notice something, make sure you replace the belt. 


Sometimes issues with your snowmobile jerking can come from the chain. A snowmobile’s chain is an integral part that facilitates the movement between the clutches and the gear. This means that a broken or damaged chain can cause many issues with how well the snowmobile runs or whether it even runs at all. 

If the chain breaks, you’ll know right away as a snowmobile can’t work without one. However, there are other issues you can have with the chain that will cause your snowmobile to jerk or stutter as you drive. Sometimes something as small as a chip or dent in the chain can cause jerking. 

So, if you notice any jerking or stuttering, then make sure you check the chain for any dents or imperfections that could cause it. Inspect the chain carefully. If you notice any issues, make sure you replace or repair the chain as needed. Allowing it to continue despite the chip can cause it to break entirely and potentially put you in danger. 


If you notice any jerking or stuttering as you drive your snowmobile, you should make sure to check the track. A snowmobile moves as the track moves. So, if there are any issues with the track, the snowmobile will have issues with moving, like jerking or stuttering. 

It is important to regularly inspect the track and ensure that there are no missing parts or dents. Even the slightest imperfection on a track can cause the snowmobile to jerk. So, check your track regularly to ensure there are no imperfections. 

If your snowmobile is jerking or stuttering, it could be that your track’s rubber is wearing out. And while the rubber can wear out naturally over time with use, it can also dry, rot and begin to break down if not well maintained. The lugs on your track can also break off over time. This will cause jerking as you drive because the snowmobile relies on the track to move consistently. 

How To Fix a Snowmobile That Jerks

To fix a jerking snowmobile, you’ll need to diagnose the problem then replace the part that is causing the issue. Sometimes the parts can be repaired rather than replaced, but it is important to address the issue in a timely manner before it worsens.

To fix a snowmobile that jerks, you first need to diagnose the issue. So, let’s go over how to best diagnose the problem, then how to fix it. 

Diagnose the Problem

First, you’ll need to diagnose the problem that is causing your snowmobile to jerk. The best way to do this is to look at the parts listed above and see what could be causing the issue. Take the time to examine your snowmobile’s parts carefully. Look for imperfections in the track, drive belt, and chain. 

Remember that even small imperfections can cause jerking. So, make sure to inspect these parts carefully. Look for damage to the lugs on your track, as these play a significant role in ensuring that your snowmobile drives smoothly. Check that the rubber is still intact as well. 

When it comes to the belt, make sure that there are no rips or divots. Sometimes the belt can overheat and begin to burn, which can cause it to thin out and even rip in some areas. You’ll know your belt is overheating when a burning smell emerges as you drive. However, it is possible for your belt to overheat and wear without you noticing. 

Your snowmobile will continue to move if the chain isn’t broken. However, if jerking persists, you will also need to inspect the chain to rule out any flaws. 

Replace the Part

Once you have figured out the source of the jerking, it is time to replace that part. First, let’s talk about replacing the drive belt, which is common if you put your snowmobile to frequent use. 

If you need to replace your drive belt, you can expect to spend about $100 depending on the model of your snowmobile. 

Additionally, you’ll need to be careful to purchase the right belt for your snowmobile, as there are different ones for each model. There are different brands to consider as well, so make sure you do some research before purchasing. 

The track is another common part that snowmobile owners commonly need to replace. And since you’ll need to part with a few hundred dollars to replace your track completely, you might want to consider repair if the problem isn’t beyond fixing. 

However, it’s crucial to note that the track repair process can get very technical, meaning you can end up damaging the part further if you’re inexperienced in DIY snowmobile fixes. 

Simple repairs can be done by anyone, but more intricate fixes may require a mechanic. So, consider getting help from an expert before making any serious repairs to the track. Otherwise, you may get stuck paying the hefty replacement price. 

Finally, you may need to replace the chain of your snowmobile. If this is the case, you will most likely need to pay less than $100 for a new one. So, replacing the chain is not very expensive and can save you some coins if your device is jerking during motion.

Jerking indicates a deeper issue that, if left unresolved, can cause further issues. As such, it’s best to get to the bottom of what makes your snowmobile jerk to avoid dealing with more advanced issues.  

Final Thoughts

If your snowmobile jerks, then it’s highly likely that there is an underlying problem with the chain, drive belt or track. 

Issues with your chain or belt can worsen quickly and cause your snowmobile to unexpectedly break down and stop working. So, make sure you fix it right away. 

But if you’re not good at DIY fixes, it’s best to outsource to an experienced professional to avoid worsening the situation.