What’s the Best Snowmobile Antifreeze and how to put it inside your snowmobile? This is what we’re going to discuss today.
Buying a snowmobile is no small investment. When you put your money into a good sled, you need to make sure it will live long. In order to extend your machine’s life, you have to dedicate yourself to doing maintenance.
Aside from the usual service check-ups, repairs, cleaning, paint refreshment and using good engine oil, you need to use good antifreeze. Let’s talk a bit about this!
What is antifreeze?
Antifreeze or coolant is a solution containing a mixture of water, additives and a component that serves as a base. The main agents that go into an antifreeze gel are as follows:
Methanol (methyl alcohol) – is the most basic alcohol compound in chemistry. Its properties include volatile, flammable, no color and with a strong, particular smell. It can be used as antifreeze, solvent or fuel.
Ethylene glycol – is a solution with high boiling point. This makes it good as an antifreeze compound. Because it is highly toxic for humans, it is important to be dealt with properly. When ingested, it triggers symptoms similar to many diseases and it is hard to detect in the body. Careful handling is mandatory.
Propylene glycol – it is a chemical solution with lower toxic properties. This makes it popular as antifreeze. However, it can also become very corrosive. This affects the metal components of your engine and cooling system.
Glycerol – this solution is non-toxic, non-corrosive and behaves amazingly in high temperatures. Compared to the other compounds, glycerol does not have a very low freezing point.
When using antifreeze for your snowmobile, you will always mix it with water. The most common ratio is 50-50 or, in some cases producers advice on 60-40.
What is antifreeze used for?
Antifreeze is a solution that goes into the machine’s cooling system to help it balance engine temperature. During low temperature conditions, it helps lower the freezing point of a water-containing liquid. This extends to the whole engine system that operates a lot of heat transfer.
In hot weather or high temperature conditions, the same antifreeze gel will help increase the boiling point of the liquid. This in turn will prevent the machine’s system from overheating and crashing.
How to fill your sled with antifreeze?
Putting in antifreeze into your snowmobile can be a bit of a mess, especially if you do it alone. But do not panic, it is quite easy. You need to start by getting your sled ready.
#1 Buy a coolant/antifreeze as per specifications and prepare the mixture. Normally the manual tells you what conditions a good antifreeze should meet. The water-agent ratio depends on producer guideline and specifications.
#2 Drain the coolers of the existing solution. Pull off your lowest hose of the cooling system. To help with the draining, you can raise the rear end of your sled on a jack stand. The tracks should stay on the ground.
#3 Pour the antifreeze mixture slowly using a hose. This is very important to follow. The slow pouring will allow the air to escape and not go inside the reservoir.
#4 Make sure all air is out of the reservoir. While you pour the antifreeze, you may feel that it is full. A good way to check if air is out and tank full is to watch the head vent. When you see a steady stream of liquid coming back through it, you are good.
How to check antifreeze level?
In order to check the level on your snowmobile’s antifreeze, you need to take off the hood. This is an easy procedure. The hood is held in place by a few screws that you can take off in your own garage or yard.
After opening the hood, you can see your entire coolant reservoir. Now, it depends on the type, brand or year of fabrication of your snowmobile. The reservoir may have level lines or not. Some sleds come without markings for the liquid level.
If you are not convinced of what you see, go to your manual. It should specify what the recommended amount of antifreeze is or give you some markings to follow.
How often should you change snowmobile coolant?
You should ideally follow the user manual and comply to that specs. However, most people recommend changing it every 3-5 years or 5000-6000 miles. This depends on your riding style, but changing coolant doesn’t usually impact performance unless your engine is overheating.
Where to buy antifreeze for your particular snowmobile?
Any snowmobile dealership or service store keeps antifreeze. The brands differ however. The producers might have that covered. They produce antifreeze that goes specifically with your type of sled.
Auto stores and gas stations all have antifreeze on sale. If you prefer the convenience of home delivery, you can buy antifreeze online. You can read their specifications, composition and decide whether it is right for your snowmobile. On Amazon (link to Amazon), you can check if a particular antifreeze fits your sled and read users reviews.
Generally, any antifreeze will do for most machines. Another thing to consider is whether you want to buy a premised solution or just the main agent. In the latter case, you will have to prepare your own mixture at a 50-50 ratio (antifreeze – distilled water). The premixed gel adds a few dollars to your purchase, but makes it easier for you.
Handle the antifreeze carefully, use gloves at all times. You can even go for a facemask to avoid inhalation of toxic components.
If you don’t know your way around it, it may be safer to ask for professional help.
Do not play with the ratio when mixing antifreeze. Using less than 50% antifreeze and more water can cause serious damage to your snowmobile. You will not be saving any money on this, on the contrary.
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