Skip to Content

This site is an affiliate for companies including Amazon Associates and earns a commission on qualifying purchases.

How Hot Can a Snowmobile Engine Get?

How Hot Can a Snowmobile Engine Get?

Winter time means snow, and with snow comes the need to haul yourself and your friends across the frozen landscape, searching for adventure and fun. It’s a beautiful time to get out, but it would be a shame to be stuck with an overheating engine. So, to avoid this, it’s best to know how hot a snowmobile engine can get.

A snowmobile engine can get up to 200°F (93°C) or hotter, depending on the type of snowmobile. The ideal temperature for a snowmobile engine is between 104-170°F (40-76°C). The most common cause of overheating is overusing the machine, which causes the engine to get hot, wear down, or even seize up.

The rest of this article will discuss what causes overheating in snowmobile engines, how to prevent it, and how to take care of your snowmobile. Let’s get started!

Why Snowmobile Engines Get Hot

Snowmobiles have become a big part of the American landscape. They offer a unique experience that you can’t get anywhere else, and they’re fun for the whole family (source). 

When a snowmobile engine gets too hot, it may cause damage to other parts of the machine. The best way to prevent this is by maintaining your machine correctly.

Snowmobiles are powered by either a two-stroke or four-stroke gasoline engine and cooled by air or coolant. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure the coolant is replaced, and you may also need oil to lubricate and cool the pistons regularly. 

The engine on your snowmobile is the heart of the machine. It’s what powers you up hills and through deep powder. But what happens when that engine gets too hot?

The first thing that typically happens is that your snowmobile will alert you about the temperature and then stop running. That’s because all engines have a temperature range to run efficiently. So, if your snowmobile starts acting weird while you’re out riding, it probably needs to cool down.

Keeping Your Snowmobile at Optimum Running Temperature 

Monitor the temperature of your engine, and never operate your snowmobile when it’s too hot.

The ideal temperature range for your snowmobile will depend on what type of snowmobile you own. If you have a 2-stroke engine, it’s necessary to keep the temperature under 104°F (40°C)

Meanwhile, with a 4-stroke engine, there’s a broader range of acceptable temperatures that are still good for your engine, up to 170°F (76°C).

Similar to the automobile industry, there is the emergence of electric snowmobiles. The future of snowmobiling could be electric. And while there are some drawbacks to this new technology, they pale in comparison to the advantages. 

In addition to being quieter, cleaner, and more efficient than gas-powered snowmobiles, electric snowmobiles don’t overheat.

Electric snowmobiles are an excellent option for people who want to get out and enjoy the snow but don’t want to do it by driving a gas-powered vehicle. As they’re quiet and environmentally friendly, they’re perfect for anyone who wants to reduce their carbon footprint (source).

Causes of Overheating in Snowmobile Engines

There are several ways that the engine can overheat. If your snowmobile is overheating, it’s probably because of one of the following reasons:

  • Excessive use. If you use your snowmobile frequently or longer than usual, it could overheat. Furthermore, if you ride on rough terrain all the time, the engine will work much harder. That prolonged extra effort can cause the engine to overheat.
  • Insufficient cooling. Snowmobiles have a cooling system that keeps the engine from overheating. However, if the coolant level is low or there’s a leak in the gasket or hoses, your motor may overheat. Snowmobiles with radiators may not be able to pull enough air to keep them cool enough when riding in deep snow or rough terrain.
  • Faulty wiring. The electrical system on your snowmobile is responsible for powering all of its accessories, lighting systems, and starting the engine. Poor maintenance or age-related issues such as corrosion or poor connections among wires and terminals can cause many electrical parts to malfunction.
  • Wrong fuel type. Using fuel that the manufacturer doesn’t recommend will cause significant damage to your engine over time.

How To Keep Your Snowmobile Engine From Getting Too Hot

The summer is over, and now it’s time to get your snowmobile ready for winter. When you’re out on the trail and you get stuck in a snowdrift, you want to be able to rely on your snowmobile to get you back home safely.

If your engine gets too hot, your ride will be less enjoyable. You might also damage your engine. 

Here are some tips to prevent your engine from getting too hot (source):

  • Check the oil levels regularly to ensure that there is enough oil. Allowing your snowmobile to run dry can cause permanent damage to the engine. The engine will get hotter and break down faster than usual if there isn’t enough oil. 
  • Secure all of your hoses properly. If any of your hoses are loose, they could be leaking coolant. Meaning, wasting valuable fluids before they can cool down the engine
  • Use proper fuel. Your snowmobile’s engine needs special care, so if you use the wrong fuel, the engine can overheat. The majority of modern snowmobile engines run on 87-octane fuel. High-performance models typically use 91-octane fuel. 
  • Give your engine a break. Keeping your engine from overheating is essential because it prevents damage and makes the sled more efficient. Make sure to give it a break occasionally. 
  • Always make sure that all of your electrical wirings are in good shape. If any wires have frayed or broken off, replace them immediately. By doing this, you will avoid electrical fires or shorts that could cause your engine to overheat.

If all of these steps haven’t solved your problem, don’t hesitate to consult a qualified mechanic. 

Taking Care of Your Snowmobile in Summer

Unfortunately, when summer arrives, it means it’s time to put your snowmobile away until next winter. But before you do that, make sure you’re taking care of your snowmobile correctly. Here are some great tips for taking care of your snowmobile:

  • Add fuel stabilizer. This will protect the engine by preventing corrosion, which can cause hard starting and poor performance.
  • Clean your snowmobile. You’ll want to give it a good wash to remove dirt and grime from all of those hours spent riding on the trails. It’s also good to hose down any exposed parts, like the engine block and exhaust pipes.
  • Change the oil. Changing the oil will remove contaminants.
  • Sharpen or replace your runners and studs. Gravel or other debris can wear down the metal on these parts.
  • Store your snowmobile in a dry place. It’s best to store it in a shed where moisture can’t accumulate inside and cause damage or rust.


If you’re concerned about your snowmobile’s engine getting too hot, you can do a few things to mitigate the problem.

First, check your coolant and oil levels regularly. If your engine is too hot, there could be an issue with one or both of these fluids. Refer to your owner’s manual for the correct oil and fuel.

Ensure that you take care of any cooling system issues as soon as possible to prevent more significant problems later on.

With a bit of maintenance and care, you can keep your snowmobile running safely and efficiently for years to come.

eManualOnline provides descriptive, affordable, and convenient service and repair manuals for cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more. Download one today.