7 Best Ways to Make Your Snowmobile Quieter [Video]


Let’s face it; snowmobiles can be extremely loud, especially modified and vintage machines! The excessive noise emitted by these sleds can disturb other people around the trails and offend private landowners. What’s more, it can even annoy the rider after a couple of hours of riding. But how can you dampen the noise of a snowmobile?

In a nutshell, the seven best ways to make your snowmobile quieter are as follows:

  1. Pay attention to maintenance
  2. Modify the exhaust system
  3. Consider a new muffler
  4. Avoid performance modifications
  5. Install hood insulation foam
  6. Wear earplugs
  7. Invest in a quieter sled

If you want to find out more about these practices, you’ve come to the right place. We at PowerSportsGuide have gathered all the best tricks on how to make your snowmobile quieter!

The 7 Best Ways to Make Your Snowmobile Quieter

1. Pay attention to maintenance

There’s no question that the easiest way to keep your snowmobile quiet is if you pay attention to its maintenance.

Holes or cracks on the exhaust system or even an exhaust manifold leak can make your sled much louder. Exhaust malfunctions not only generate annoying noises, but they can result in engine issues due to the lower backpressure. Besides a broken exhaust system, engine malfunctions can also make your sled significantly louder.

But even if everything looks good on the outside, there may still be problems with the packaging inside the muffler.

Let’s move on and discuss how to make your snowmobile exhaust quieter!

2. Modify the Exhaust System

How to make your snowmobile exhaust quieter?

Over time, the muffler packing is prone to becoming loose or damaged, resulting in higher noise levels. The simplest and cheapest way to make a snowmobile’s exhaust quieter is to replace the muffler’s insulation material.

Also, if you’ve purchased your sled as a used vehicle and find that its muffler is too loud, you should cut into it and check what’s inside. Many owners remove the insulation material from their mufflers to get some extra horsepower, and maybe that’s what happened to your sled as well.

To repack your snowmobile muffler, you have to disassemble or cut the muffler open, add the new insulation material, then weld/reassemble the muffler. Best practice is to use the same type and amount of material as the OEM setup was originally.

Keep in mind that packing more material inside the muffler can restrict airflow. Although it may result in a much quieter exhaust, this mod can also rob some horsepower.

What’s more, too much back pressure may end in engine malfunctions, especially on a 2-stroke sled. So, be careful when you repack your snowmobile muffler, and make sure not to stuff too much material inside.

Surprisingly, some owners repack their snowmobile mufflers every year to keep their exhaust system as silent as possible.

Once you’ve removed the muffler, you should also check whether the baffle is in place. Snowmobile baffles can also loosen over time, causing loud noises.

It also makes sense to wrap the pipe with high-temp exhaust tape to make your snowmobile quieter.

3. Consider a New Muffler

Some sleds, especially vintage race-intended models, came with racing pipes without mufflers. As you might assume, these machines are extremely loud, so installing a muffler on them is always a great idea.

Even if your sled is equipped with a muffler, it may not be as quiet as it should be, as snowmobile mufflers tend to become louder over time.

That’s why you should first try replacing the insulation material inside it. If that doesn’t get the results you hoped for, you may want to consider investing in a new muffler.

One of your options is to purchase a new OEM muffler with the same part number. Besides factory units, you can also choose from a plethora of aftermarket snowmobile mufflers.

Although most of them are louder than their OEM counterparts, you can still find few “silent snowmobile mufflers” on the market that are specifically designed to reduce the noise levels of sleds.

Before you modify your exhaust system, don’t forget to check local laws, as these mods are not legal in certain states and provinces!

4. Avoid Performance Modifications

If you want to keep your snowmobile as quiet as possible, it’s recommended that you avoid any performance modifications.

Superchargers, turbochargers, performance air intakes, or virtually any engine performance mod will make your sled louder. Although these aftermarket parts are intended to boost the power of the sled, the extra horsepowers always result in louder noise emissions, not to mention lower reliability and durability!

5. Install Hood Insulation Foam

Another great way to make your sled quieter is to install insulation foam on the inside of the hood and side panels.

As a rule of thumb, newer sleds typically come with this foam installed, but a lot of owners remove it on the first day to shave a little weight off their sled. Factory foams are typically made of “open-cell” material, which is prone to accumulating water, oil, and dirt, which means some undesired extra weight.

Another common problem with these factory-installed foams is that they can easily fall off the panels.

That’s why many used sleds run without any foam inside their panels and hood. What’s more, a lot of vintage sleds were manufactured without these sound-dampening features.

Whatever the reason for your machine not featuring these foams, if you want to make it quieter, best practice is that you reinstall them.

You can choose from both OEM and aftermarket foam kits based on your needs and budget. If you go with an aftermarket kit, make sure it’s made of closed-cell foam to avoid absorption issues. Also, it has to be fuel and heat resistant, just like OEM foams.

You can glue the foams onto the panels with 3M or Ram-Tack spray adhesive.

6. Consider Earplugs

Okay, this trick won’t make your sled quieter, but it can help long rides be more comfortable.

Even if your sled is not extremely loud, your ears may start to resonate or even hurt after a few hours of riding, especially if you have sensitive ears. Besides the unpleasant headache and ear ringing, in the worst-case scenario, this can lead to hearing loss in the long run.

To avoid these issues, it’s recommended to wear earplugs on longer rides. You may be surprised how many riders use them!

Earplugs are very small, easy to use, and cost nothing, so it makes sense to keep a pair on you.

7. Invest in a Quieter Sled

If none of the above helps, your last chance is to invest in a quieter snowmobile. The noise emission is dependent on many factors like its engine type, performance, and features. Therefore, some sleds are generally much quieter than others.

The general rule is that the more performance the engine produces, the more noise it emits. Primarily turbocharged snowmobiles are known for their noisy engines. Due to their design, 4-stroke snowmobiles are quieter than 2-strokes.

Therefore, the quieter snowmobiles with regular internal-combustion engines are the non-turbocharged, 4-stroke models. But if you are looking for the quietest sleds on the planet, you should take a look at electric snowmobiles!

Takeaway

As a takeaway, we’ve compiled the most frequent questions on the topic.

How Can I Make My Snowmobile Quieter?

The seven best ways to make your sled quieter are as follows:

  1. Pay attention to maintenance
  2. Modify the exhaust system
  3. Consider a new muffler
  4. Avoid performance modifications
  5. Install hood insulation foam
  6. Wear earplugs
  7. Invest in a quieter sled

Are 4-Stroke Snowmobiles Quieter?

Yes, thanks to their engine design, 4-stroke snowmobiles are quieter than their 2-stroke counterparts. What’s more, specific 4-stroke sleds feature their mufflers on the rear side of the sled, which also contributes to lower noise levels.

So, if you are in the market for a quiet trail snowmobile, you can’t go wrong with a 4-stroke sled. But when it comes to mountain riding, you can only select from the noisy 2-stroke machines!

Is There a Quiet Snowmobile? 

If you are looking for a very quiet snowmobile, then a innovative electric sled is for you. They not only run completely clean, but they are by far the quietest snowmobiles in the marketplace!

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