Snowmobiles take 4-stroke or 2-stroke engine oils depending on their power sources. The majority of 4-stroke snowmobiles use 0W-40 oils, while others use other types of oil like 0W-30 or 5W-50. 2-stroke snowmobiles use sled-specific 2T engine oils, which vary from brand to brand. That’s why you have to use the recommended brand-specific oil, which is clearly named in your sled’s manual.
If you want to learn which kind of oil your snowmobile takes, this post is for you.
We’ve compiled the most commonly used 2-stroke and 4-stroke sled oils into one chart.
No affiliate links, no fluff, just the info you need!
What is the Best 4-stroke Oil for Snowmobiles?
The best 4-stroke snowmobile oils are full-synthetic 0W-40 oils. However, some 4-stroke sleds require 0W-30, or 5W-50 oils. The advantage of a full-synthetic oil is that it performs better in lower temperatures compared to a semi-synthetic oil, as it starts flowing faster and easier. But as a rule of thumb, best practice is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation when you select a 4-stroke oil for your sled.
It’s recommended that you change the oil in your sled at least once a year, or after a certain number of miles, which is also described in the owner’s manual. (It’s typically 1,500-5,000 miles, depending on the make and model.)
This means that if you ride a lot you can expect to need an oil change in the middle of the season as well. Aside from changing the oil, don’t forget that you have to replace the oil filter as well.
For your convenience, snowmobile oil change kits are available on the market, which usually contain the following items:
- The required type and amount of oil
- Oil filter
- Oil filter O-ring
- Sealing washers (for the drain plug)
These brand-specific OEM oil change kits are available from every manufacturer, so best practice is to use these kits when it’s time to change the oil in your sled.
What is the Best 2-stroke Oil for Snowmobiles?
The best 2-stroke snowmobile oil is always what the owner’s manual recommends for your sled. This is because there is no industry standard for 2-stroke snowmobile oils. Thus, OEM and aftermarket oils don’t offer the same quality. That’s why you can only trust OEM 2-stroke snowmobile oils! As a rule of thumb, full-synthetic oils are considered to be the best 2-stroke snowmobile oils, as they offer the best lubrication even at lower temperatures.
Are you wondering why there is currently no standard for 2T snowmobile oils?
The main reason is that there are many different 2-stroke snowmobile engines in use, such as:
- Carbureted vs. fuel-injected
- Liquid-cooled vs. fan-cooled
- One or more cylinders
- Equipped with or without exhaust valve
Because of these different technologies, to certify 2T sled oils to one standard is impossible.
Each brand of engine contains different parts and produces different performances and characteristics. Therefore, lubrication requirements vary from one model to the next.
That’s why every big snowmobile manufacturer offers their own oils for their sleds. It’s a lesser-known fact that every OEM snowmobile oil uses different additives and formulas. Some of them ensure better protection, which leads to a longer engine life, while others may offer less smoke or provide other benefits.
This is the main reason why you must always use the same oil all the time, which is the oil that the manufacturer recommends. OEM oils are developed for certain types of sleds and with good reason.
Snowmobiles are used in cold weather and extreme conditions and their engines can reach the 8,000 – 10,000 RPMs depending on the model. If the oil won’t start flowing properly to lubricate the metal parts, it can end in serious engine damage.
That’s why full-synthetic snowmobile oils are the best, as they work the best even in extremely cold weather.
It’s also good to know that manufacturers are continuously adjusting and testing their oils, to offer the best lubrication possible for each new engine. Therefore, OEM oils that you find on the shelves are not the same as the oils sold a couple of years ago!
Another main concern is the availability of oil. 2-stroke snowmobiles generally burn 1 gallon of oil with 40 gallons of gas. Because of this, you need to make sure you always have oil on hand.
This is important because every manufacturer recommends using the same oil all the time and to never mix different brands of snowmobile oils together.
It’s also recommended that you keep your eyes on the oil indicator light and always check the oil level when refueling. If your sled runs on premix, double-check the rates when you create the mixture.
Can I use any 2-stroke oil in my snowmobile?
No, it’s not recommended to use any 2-stroke oil in your snowmobile, since no two sled oils are the same. If you are not using the oil recommended by the manufacturer, it may result lower performance or even engine damage. Always use the same OEM oil that is stated in your sled’s manual!
What is the Best Snowmobile Oil?
As you already know, the best snowmobile oils are arguably OEM oils. Although there are many aftermarket “snowmobile oils” on the shelves, using those could be risky. Due to the lack of a standard you never know what you’re actually buying!
Instead of promoting “the best” aftermarket oils on affiliate links, we did the research and gathered all the official OEM snowmobile oils under one roof!
Let’s take a closer look at them by manufacturer.
What kind of oil does a Ski-Doo use?
Ski-Doos use different types of XPS 2-stroke and 4-stroke oils. 2-stroke XPS oils are available in three grades, while the manufacturer offers 2 different types of oils for their 4-stroke sleds.
Simply put, Ski-Doos use the following types of oils:
- XPS 2T E-TEC Synthetic Oil
- XPS 2T Racing Synthetic Oil
- XPS 2T Snowmobile Carbureted Premium Mineral Oil
- XPS 4T 0W-40 Synthetic Oil
- XPS 4T 0W-20 Extreme Cold Synthetic Oil
What kind of oil does a Polaris snowmobile use?
Polaris snowmobiles use five different types of oils, which are respectively:
- Polaris VES 2-Cycle Oil
- Polaris VES Extreme 2-Cycle Oil
- Polaris Premium Blue Synthetic 2-Cycle Oil
- Polaris Blue Synthetic 2-Cycle Oil
- Polaris PS-4 5W-50 Full Synthetic 4-Cycle Oil
According to the manufacturer, full synthetic VES and VES Extreme oils do a good job in all types of engines. Whatever engine is in your Polaris sled, a fan-cooled, or a high-performance VES powerplant, you can’t go wrong with the full-synthetic VES oil family. (VES means “Variable Exhaust System.”)
The semi-synthetic Polaris Blue oils are specially designed for fan-cooled and non-VES liquid-cooled power sources, which can be found for example in Polaris 550 sleds.
If you are still confused about which Polaris snowmobile oil you should use, don’t hesitate to check the manual or ask your dealer for further guidance.
What kind of oil does a Yamaha Snowmobile use?
Yamaha snowmobiles use three different types of oils depending on their engines:
- Yamalube 0W-40 Performance Full-Synthetic Oil
- Yamalube 0W-30 Performance Semi-Synthetic Oil
- Yamalube 2S 2-Stroke All Purpose Engine Oil
Yamalube oils are specially designed for Yamaha snowmobiles to ensure the best lubrication. Full- synthetic Yamalube lubricants are known as among the best snowmobile oils, and with good reason. They have many benefits such as:
- They contain ester, which provide extra protection at high RPMs
- They stick to the metal parts better
- The higher the pressure, the more slippery the oil gets
- The engine parts stay clean, as they are low in sulfated ash
What kind of oil does an Arctic Cat snowmobile use?
You can use these types of oils in Arctic Cat snowmobiles:
- Arctic Cat APV Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil
- Arctic Cat Formula 50 Mineral Oil
- Arctic Cat 2-Cycle C-TEC2 Synthetic Injection Oil
- Arctic Cat 0W-40 4-Cycle Synthetic C-TEC4 Oil
Snowmobile Oil Chart by Brand
For your convenience we’ve compiled the available OEM snowmobile oils into one chart:
|Polaris VES 2-Cycle Engine Oil
|Polaris VES Extreme 2-Cycle Oil
|Polaris Blue Synthetic 2-Cycle Oil
|Polaris Premium Blue Synthetic 2-Cycle Oil
|Polaris PS-4 5W-50 Full Synthetic 4-Cycle Oil
|XPS 2T E-TEC Synthetic Oil
|XPS 2T Racing Synthetic Oil
|XPS 2T Snowmobile Carbureted Premium Mineral Oil
|XPS 4T 0W-40 Synthetic Oil
|XPS 4T 0W-20 Extreme Cold Synthetic Oil
|Yamalube 2S 2-Stroke All Purpose Engine Oil
|Yamalube 0W-30 Performance Semi-Synthetic Oil
|Yamalube 0W-40 Performance Full-Synthetic Oil
|Arctic Cat APV Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil
|Arctic Cat Formula 50 Mineral Oil
|Arctic Cat 2-Cycle C-TEC2 Synthetic Injection Oil
|Arctic Cat 0W-40 4-Cycle Synthetic C-TEC4 Oil
FAQs About Snowmobile Oils
Do snowmobiles take mixed gas?
Some snowmobiles take mixed gas while newer sleds usually feature oil injection systems. This means the sled has a separate oil tank to pour the oil in. When the engine is running it mixes the oil with the gasoline itself.
Can you mix snowmobile oils?
According to the manufacturers’ warning, you shouldn’t mix different brands of snowmobile oils. This is because chemical reactions can result in a clogged fuel injection system, or even engine damage! Best practice is to consistently use the same oil, the oil recommended in your sled’s manual.
Can you use outboard oil in a snowmobile?
No, it’s highly recommended not to use outboard oil in a snowmobile. This is because outboard oils are different from sled oils in many ways, thus they can’t provide the necessary lubrication. Snowmobile oils are designed to tolerate low temperatures and much higher RPMs.
Can you use Polaris oil in a Ski-Doo?
Don’t use Polaris oil in a Ski-Doo. This is because every manufacturer has its own brand of oil specially formulated for their engines. Because of this, it’s recommended that you exclusively use XPS oils in a Ski-Doo.
Who makes Ski-Doo oils?
Ski-Doo oils are made by XPS, which belongs to BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products). This Canadian company owns Ski-Doo, Sea-Doo, Can-Am, and many other powersport brands. Because of this, it’s safe to say that Ski-Doo oils are developed and manufactured in-house!
Conclusion – What Kind of Oil Does a Snowmobile Take?
Snowmobiles are generally used in extreme conditions. Low ambient temperature, continuously varying engine operating temperatures and high altitudes put a lot of stress on their engines. That’s why these power sources need excellent lubrication.
As you already know, snowmobiles need 2-stroke or 4-stroke oils, depending on their engines.
The best 4-stroke snowmobile oil is full-synthetic 0W-40 engine oil (however some sleds use 0W-30 or even 5W50). When it comes to 2-stroke snowmobile oils, it’s good to know that there is no industry standard for these types of oils. This is because 2-stroke sleds are powered with many different engines.
Therefore, best practice is to always use the recommended OEM oils in your sled. These are known as the most expensive oils on the market, but they are worth every penny. You know that you get what you pay for.
If aftermarket oils would provide perfect lubrication for their engines, snowmobile manufacturers wouldn’t spend millions of dollars developing their own oils.
Because of this, don’t trust any aftermarket snowmobile oil brand, and stick to the recommended OEM oils.
Sledding costs thousands of dollars every year, so there is no point in trying to save a few bucks on the oil.
Engine rebuilds on snowmobiles are not among the cheapest repairs, so investing in a good quality oil is like purchasing cheap insurance.
It will be worth it in the long run!