How Warm is Too Warm to Ride a Snowmobile? [Video]


As a rule of thumb, 30-35F degree weather is already considered too warm for a snowmobile if it’s powered by a fan-cooled engine. On the other hand, liquid-cooled sleds can run in any weather, regardless of the temperature (as long as they run on snow). This is because fan-cooled sleds are cooled by air while liquid-cooled models use snow to keep their engines cool.

If you want to find out more about how to snowmobile in warm weather, you’ve come to the right place.

We at PowerSportsGuide have compiled all you need to know into this post!

How Warm is Too Warm to Ride a Snowmobile?

Let’s face it, winters are getting shorter and warmer each year, so it is not uncommon for owners to ride their sleds on warmer days to get the most out of the season.

Snowmobiling in warm weather has many advantages as you can wear less gear, and it’s also much more pleasant to stop and chat with your buddies. Surprisingly, on the hottest sunny spring days, some riders don’t even wear jackets or gloves!

You also don’t have to worry about an icy visor, frozen fingers, or even the risks of frostbite that you may have to face on a freezing day.

On the other hand, warm weather can substantially deteriorate the condition of the trails. And not everyone likes to ride on melting snow and slush!

What’s more, if the snow becomes sticky, large snowballs are prone to building up inside the track. These can cause a lot of headaches as you have to stop to remove them manually!

Besides a worse riding experience, the tracks can also cause more significant damage to the melted surface of the trails.

One of the biggest drawbacks of snowmobiling in warm weather is that there is a greater chance that rain will fall instead of snow. And riding a snowmobile in the rain is never fun!

Finally, the heat and the lower air density can rob some engine power, which results in lower performance. This could especially be an issue on fan-cooled machines.

Let’s drill into the details and see how warm is too warm to ride a snowmobile!

How Warm is Too Warm for a Liquid-Cooled Snowmobile?

Since they are cooled with snow instead of air, liquid-cooled sleds can be used at any temp. The heat exchanger of these machines is mounted inside the tunnel, onto which the track keeps throwing snow. As long as the sled runs on snow, the heat exchanger can distract heat from the coolant.

Therefore, if you have a liquid-cooled sled, you can ride it safely, even in warm weather until the temp light comes on.

However, keeping safety in mind riding your sled at WOT for longer periods is never a good idea, especially not on warm days!

How Warm is Too Warm for a Fan-Cooled Snowmobile?

Unlike their liquid-cooled counterparts, fan-cooled sleds are cooled by external air. This means the engine is much more sensitive to warm weather. As a rule of thumb, 30-35F (ca. 0 C) degree temperature often proves to be too warm for a fan-cooled snowmobile.

Fan-cooled snowmobiles are often compared to ATVs and older dirt bikes, as all of these powersport vehicles utilize fan-cooled engines.

But while in bikes and ATVs, the engine is much more exposed to open air, the engine of fan-cooled snowmobiles typically sits under the hood, which significantly restricts airflow.

Besides the cooling system, the engine type is no less important, as warmer weather leads to lower air density, which affects the engine’s operation.

While fuel-injected snowmobiles can compensate for these changes, their carbureted brothers need to be rejetted above a specific temperature.

If you don’t jet down your carbs, you can expect some engine malfunctions due to the rich condition caused by higher temperatures.

If you want to ride a fan-cooled snowmobile at higher temperatures for some reason (even if it is not recommended), here are some vital tips to avoid overheating issues:

  • Ride the machine slowly.
  • Make a lot of stops.
  • Don’t overload the sled with a passenger, cargo, or by pulling a sleigh.
  • When you stop, shut down the engine regardless of the length of the brake.
  • Adjust the carbs if necessary.
  • Consider removing the hood for better airflow.
  • If the sled starts to lose power, shut the engine off immediately.

Takeaway – FAQs About Riding a Snowmobile in Warm Weather

As a takeaway, we’ve compiled the most frequent questions on the topic for you!

What temp is too hot for a snowmobile?

The general rule is that 30-35F degree temp is too hot for a snowmobile if it features a fan-cooled engine. But liquid-cooled sleds can run safely regardless of the weather, as their cooling system relies solely on snow.

Because of this, for a liquid-cooled snowmobile, the weather is too warm only when all the snow is gone!

Can you snowmobile in 40F degree weather?

While you can ride a liquid-cooled snowmobile in 40F degree weather, the same is not recommended if you have a fan-cooled machine.

Can you run a snowmobile in the summer?

General wisdom says that liquid-cooled snowmobiles can be ridden in the summer as long as they run on snow.  But think twice before you ride your sled on grass, as the engine can overheat very quickly. Also, the hyfax of snowmobiles is lubricated by melted snow/ice, so riding in no-snow condition can quickly end in damage to this key feature.

Sure, there are unique drag snowmobiles (or even sleds with front wheels) that can even run in the summer without any problems. But these machines usually feature a modified cooling system and only run very short distances.

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