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Ride Ready Service

Snowmobile Pre-Ride Checklist


Always perform a pre-ride inspection before operating your snowmobile. Complete inspection and maintenance procedures for your specific vehicle can be found in your Owner’s Manual. If you find any issues during your pre-ride check, see a RideReady dealer before operating your snowmobile.


Be sure to check the following before starting the engine:

  • Drive Belt Condition. Inspect the belt for signs of excessive wear like frayed edges, missing cogs, cracks and excessive looseness. Replace the belt if any of these conditions exist.
  • Steering System. If the skis cannot turn completely to the right and left, check for ice and snow buildup.
  • Recoil Rope. The recoil rope should be free of excessive wear, and the knot securing the rope inside the handle should be secure.
  • Parking Brake Lock, Brake Lever and Brake System. The brake lever should move no closer than 0.5 inches to the handgrip.
  • Auxiliary Shut-Off Switch. The auxiliary shut-off switch or the engine stop switch should operate properly.
  • Ignition Switch. The engine should stop when the switch is turned to OFF.
  • Lights. The taillight, brake lights and headlights all should function properly. Replace any burned out lamps.
  • Suspension Mounting Bolts. The suspension mounting bolts should be checked for tightness.
  • Ski Skags. The skags should be checked to ensure positive steering characteristics.
  • Ski Saddle. The ski saddle and spindle bolts should be inspected.
  • Hood Straps and Latches. The hood straps and latches should be securely in place.
  • Throttle Lever and Safety Switch. The lever should compress evenly and smoothly. When released, it immediately should return to the idle position.
  • Suspension. The suspension should receive a visual inspection. Loose nuts and bolts can reduce your snowmobile’s reliability and cause needless repairs and downtime.
  • Tether Switch and Strap. If the vehicle is equipped with a tether switch and strap, make sure they're working properly. Remove the tether from the switch to make sure the engine immediately stops.
  • Track Alignment and Condition. Inspect the track for damage before operating. For more information on track inspection, read How to Check for Snowmobile Track Damage.
  • Rail Slides. The rail slides should be replaced if they are worn to the top of the wear limit indicator groove.
  • Fluid Levels. Check coolant and oil levels. Be sure the vehicle has adequate fuel.
  • Accessories and cargo should be securely fastened and stored.


Note: The provided information is a general guideline. For information specific to your vehicle, refer to your Owner’s Manual. Polaris snowmobile owners can access Owner’s Manuals by logging in to their RideReady account.