The engine of a snowmobile needs oil regularly. While refilling the engine oil, you might wonder if the snowmobile oil goes bad.
You might also want to know the process of storing the snowmobile oil and its shelf life. So, let’s break down all your queries one by one.
Does snowmobile oil go bad?
The snowmobile oil might go bad after a particular time, depending on the additives used. Either 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine oils are used on snowmobiles, and both of these oils have additives. They will break down over time, oxidizing the oil and ultimately losing the lubing properties.
The snowmobile oils are refined and finished lubricant to run the modern engines. They have a specific expiration date, unlike crude oil that lasts for millions of years.
The snowmobile oil containers that are sealed or unopened will remain good and usable for a longer period of time. However, if the bottle is opened, the lifespan of the oils is immediately reduced to half.
The shelf life is different for snowmobile oils from different manufacturers. If you see sediment, haziness, or something else that seems off, then your snowmobile oil has already gone bad.
Does unopened snowmobile oil go bad?
The unopened snowmobile oil can go bad. It is almost impossible to say after how long it might go bad, but usually, the shelf life of these oils is five years. It mainly depends on how much it is exposed to particles which can accelerate its decay.
The snowmobile oils are basically petroleum products that have additives since they work as lubricants for the engine to run smoothly. Unfortunately, these additives will break down over a certain period of time, resulting in the degradation of the oil.
A few major factors that can influence the chemical reaction and cause the breakdown of oils’ elements are water, air, oxygen, heat, and light.
Since the bottle of your snowmobile oil is still unopened, it won’t react with the particles in the air and oxygen yet. As a result, the breakdown process of the additives and the oxidation of oil will slow down. But, it will eventually happen!
Then again, unopened snowmobile oil won’t come in contact with water and any other contaminants.
That being said, wherever the unopened bottle is stored, it will be exposed to heat and light. They are a few of the major factors for petroleum items to go bad since they catalyze the chemical reaction of the snowmobile oils.
Therefore, the snowmobile oil can go bad even if it is still unopened. To avoid it from going bad before the shelf ends, you should store it in a cool and dark place.
How long does snowmobile oil last?
There is no exact time period of how long the snowmobile oil will last. On the bottle, each manufacturer may specify a particular shelf life.
That being said, sometimes, the snowmobile oil might remain in working condition even after the expiry date. If the oil is clear and smooth, with no additive separation, it is most certainly still usable.
The time period of snowmobile oil remaining in good form mainly depends on the condition of the oils’ container. It also depends on the condition it is stored in.
In general, snowmobile oils remain undecayed for up to 5 years and sometimes up to 10 years, depending on the additives used. However, this case is only valid when the oil is sealed, unopened, and stored in good condition.
If you have already opened the bottle of snowmobile oil, then it won’t last more than two years. In case you have mixed the oil with gas, then it will last for only up to two months.
However, the lifespan of the snowmobile oil might get reduced due to exposure to extreme heat, drastic temperature change, and water damage.
How to store snowmobile oil?
Snowmobile oil can go bad if it is contaminated with water and moisture. It will also oxidize faster if it comes in contact with air particles and oxygen. In addition to that, heat and sudden temperature change can also influence the condition of the oil.
So, one of the best ways to keep the snowmobile oil in excellent condition is by storing it in the right method.
Here are few ways that you can follow to store your snowmobile oil:
Keep away from water:
One of the major causes of the degradation of snowmobile oils’ quality is due to water damage. Water and moisture can damage the elements that make up the engine oil composition.
So, you should not leave the snowmobiles’ oil bottles lying around in your backyard. Instead, seal it with a foil and store it in a confined space with low moisture availability.
Seal the bottle properly:
The chemical composition of motor oil varies when it is exposed to oxygen and air. Air contains particles that can damage the chemical composition of the oil and speed up the oxidation process.
In addition to that, the oil bottle becomes more vulnerable to condensation when the seal is broken. The major cause of the condensation is air.
The best way to slow down the condensation and oxidation process of the snowmobile oil is by sealing the bottle immediately after using it. You can use any type of foil to keep oxygen and air away from the oil.
Store in ideal temperature:
The snowmobile oil should be stored at a temperature of between 32-degree Fahrenheit and 85-degree Fahrenheit.
You must keep the oil away from temperatures below its freezing point. If it is stored below its cold pour point and becomes gel-like, the lifetime of the oil will be reduced.
What kind of oil does a snowmobile take?
The snowmobile basically takes two types of oils to lubricate its engine. The types of oils include 2-stroke and 4-stroke engine oils.
2-stroke engine oils
The 2-stroke engine oils are also known as two-cycle and 2T oils. This oil is intended to form a viscose mix with gasoline. It is mixed with the gas in the tank and, once injected into the crankcase, lubricates the crankshaft.
4-stroke engine oils
The 4-stroke engine oil is a very efficient lubricating oil as it circulates without burning. From the crankcase, the 4-stroke engine oil will flow through the lubricating components of the engine and return to the crankcase again.
What oil do you use in a snowmobile chain case?
There is no specific oil that you will have to use in your snowmobile chain case. As long as you change the chain case lube annually, you can use about any of the lubricants available in the market.
However, the synthetic chain case and gear oil are one of the best possible options for use in a snowmobiles’ chain case. You should use this type of oil because it repels water and moisture and resists oxidation and rust.
It’s formulated with extreme-pressure compounds to lengthen chain and gear life by reducing wear. It also ensures that the chain starts rotating at extremely low temperatures, minimizing the drag to the maximum power.
What is the best snowmobile oil?
While choosing the best snowmobile oil, you will have to consider a couple of special features. Here are the features you should look out for:
Low level of residues
The two-cycle engines run on oil and fuel together. The oil is totally consumed alongside the gas during the combustion process. So, the best snowmobile oil should leave none or a very low amount of residue in the crankshaft as it burns.
Low level of ash
The snowmobile oils have additives that include zinc, calcium, minerals, and molybdenum. These additives act as anti-wear elements and increase the efficiency of the engine.
However, these additives might leave ash in the crankshaft, which will damage the engine and clog various nozzles. Therefore, the best snowmobile oil should contain an ash content of a maximum of 0.01%.
What kind of oil do I put in my Yamaha snowmobile?
Yamaha is one of the most popular snowmobile brands. They have their own oil manufacturer known as Yamalube. It is specially manufactured to provide the best lubrication to Yamaha engines.
Depending on the engines, you can put three different types of oil in your Yamaha snowmobile. They are:
- Yamalube 2S 2-Stroke All Purpose Engine Oil
- Yamalube 0W-40 Performance Full-Synthetic Oil
- Yamalube 0W-30 Performance Semi-Synthetic Oil
Can you use Arctic Cat oil in a Polaris snowmobile?
It is not recommended to use Arctic Cat oil in a Polaris snowmobile because every snowmobile manufacturer has a designated oil brand to use on their engines. By using the manufacturer’s own brand of oil, the engine will work with maximum efficiency.
However, if you don’t have any other oil option, you can use Arctic Cat oil in your Polaris snowmobile. It might not be highly efficient, but it will get the job done.
The snowmobile oil will eventually go bad after a certain period of time due to oxidation and condensation. The oils also have additives that break down due to various additional factors.