Gone Outdoors

How to Troubleshoot a Yamaha Snowmobile

by Patrick Nelson

Yamaha snowmobiles include models for rough trail, mountain performance, groomed trail, touring and work. Mountain performance snowmobiles have a large footprint suited to hill-climbing. The touring models can be quite luxurious with duel outlets for charging cell phones and powering heated helmet visors. All the four-stroke Yamaha machines have electric starts so you don’t have to yank a starter cord. Troubleshooting a Yamaha snowmobile is simple.

1. Check for fuel in the tank if the engine turns over but doesn’t start. If there’s fuel, check the fuel line and make sure it isn’t clogged. It runs from the engine to the tank. Visually inspect it for blockages and replace it if necessary. Clean the sparkplugs if the fuel and fuel line appear OK. Remove the sparkplugs and remove any carbon with a wire brush. Wipe the sparkplugs dry if they are wet.

2. Tighten the cylinder head nuts if the engine won’t start. They could be loose and causing a loss in compression. Replace any worn or damaged gaskets.

3. Turn on a light to verify the battery has a charge. If the light barely illuminates or doesn’t illuminate at all, the battery is dead. If so, try jump-starting the battery with a spare fully-charged battery.

4. Pull out the engine stop switch if the electric starter doesn’t operate. The switch may have been pushed in.

5. Add coolant if the engine overheats. It may be cold out there on the trail, but the engine can get hot and still needs coolant.

6. Allow the engine to warm up for a bit if the engine power is low. You may need to have a snowmobile service workshop adjust the V-belt clutch settings for specific altitudes or conditions if power feels low.

7. Check the V-belt clutch if the snowmobile doesn’t move at all. Other possible causes for the snowmobile not moving include a foreign object getting caught in the drive track. Perform a visual inspection. A tight, loose or broken drive train can also cause failure to move. Check with a snowmobile service workshop. Also have the V-belt fully checked if the engine doesn’t up shift or downshift properly, or if there’s noise or excessive vibration from the drive chain. The V-belt can be worn or damaged.

Items you will need
  • Wire brush

About the Author

Patrick Nelson has been a professional writer since 1992. He was editor and publisher of the music industry trade publication "Producer Report" and has written for a number of technology blogs. Nelson studied design at Hornsey Art School.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images