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Snowmobile Won’t Idle or Stay Running – How to Fix?

A snowmobile that won’t idle or stay running is a common issue that most snowmobile owners face. This issue could be happening for various reasons. However, most of these issues are easily fixable.

Let’s have a look at these reasons and how to fix them.

Snowmobile will not Idle?

Snowmobile engines have three primary elements electrical ignition, fuel, and air. Your snowmobile will not idle if any of these three elements has any issues. To fix this problem, you have to check and adjust your electrical components, fuel, and air supply.

6 reasons why snowmobile will not idle

There can be multiple reasons for a snowmobile to not idle. Let’s take a look at them.

Incorrect idle screw adjustment:

It is the most common reason that prevents snowmobiles from idling.

If adjusted wrongly, it may stop your engine from idle or idle at low rpm. If your snowmobile is not idling, consider readjusting your idle adjustment screw.

Clogged pilot jet:

The pilot jet controls the idle by maintaining airflow in the carburetor. It is very thin and can quickly get clogged. If it is clogged, it will stop your snowmobile to idle.

Dirty choke plunger:

The choke plunger is another part that could be preventing your snowmobile from idling.

It controls the airflow in the carburetor and maintains combustion. If it is damaged or dirty, air will not pass. It’ll prevent your snowmobile from idling.

Dirty Carburetor:

If your carburetor is dirty, it will jam the idle circuit. The idle circuit in the carburetor controls the idle of your snowmobile. So, a dirty carburetor could be preventing your snowmobile from idling.

Too tight throttle cable:

The throttle controls the amount of fuel and air that enters the carburetor. If the throttle cable is too rigid, it’ll malfunction. As a result, your snowmobile will not idle.

Faulty Stator:

The stator ignites the fuels in the carburetor. It generates electricity which lights up the fuel and starts the combustion. If the stator is defective, it’ll not produce enough electricity to burn. Your snowmobile won’t idle if the stator is faulty.

What should a snowmobile idle at?

Idling is an essential feature for a snowmobile. Like most motor vehicles, a snowmobile needs to idle at some point. A common question among the snowmobile users is, what should their snowmobile idle at.

There is no specific answer to this question. The idle range varies from brand to brand, even from model to model. But on average most snowmobiles work best when idle is at 1000-1700 rpm.

So, if you are wondering what your snowmobile should idle at, you should keep it between 1000-1700 rpm. And engage the clutch at 3500-3600 rpm.

How do you adjust the idle on a snowmobile?

If your snowmobile is not idling, consider adjusting the idle screw. It is an easy process. Here are a few steps to set the idle screw on your snowmobile:

  • Step 1: Turn on the engine and wait for a few minutes. It will get the engine hot, and you can adjust the idle screw easily.
  • Step 2: Now, look at the tachometer. If the idle is below the required range, you have to increase it. If the idle is above the needed capacity, you need to move it down.
  • Step 3: If the idle rpm is low, you need to rotate the screw clockwise. It will increase the idle rpm. If the idle is too high, turn it counter-clockwise to decrease the idle rpm.
  • Step 4: After that, recheck the tachometer. Check if it’s all right or not. If not, make an additional adjustment.
  • Step 5: Lastly, get on your snowmobile. Release the brake and idle for a bit of distance. You can have a sense of your idle speed. If it feels too low or too high, readjust again. 

The snowmobile will not stay running?

A snowmobile that won’t stay running has either a faulty electrical issue or fuel and air supply. If your snowmobile does not stay running, check for an electrical problem, improper fuel supply, or inadequate air supply. You can quickly resolve these issues.

Why does my snowmobile not stay running?

Usually, if your snowmobile won’t stay running, it’s due to either fuel, air supply, or an ignition problem. These are the most common problems of a snowmobile. However, they are easy to fix.

There are several reasons for which your snowmobile may not stay running.

Faulty adjustment of the Air-Fuel mixture screw:

The air-fuel mixture screw controls the flow of air and fuel into the carburetor.

The engine will stop running if this screw is not adjusted correctly. Correct adjustment of this screw will ensure adequate air and fuel supply.

Dirty Air Filter:

The air filter in your snowmobile catches much dirt with time. If you don’t clean it every once in a while, it will get clogged.

A clogged air filter will reduce the airflow. It will prevent your snowmobile from staying running.

Dirty Carburetor:

If your carburetor is damaged or unclean, it will prevent your snowmobile from staying running. The use of low-quality fuel for a long time will get the carburetor jammed up. It’ll clog jet lines and force your snowmobile to shut down.

If the carburetor is not clean, it’ll run short on both fuel and air. As a result, the engine will halt.

Faulty Stator:

The stator keeps the engine running by igniting the fuel-air mixture. However, if the stator is defective, the ignition process will be disturbed. This defect will keep your snowmobile from staying running.

How to fix a snowmobile that will not stay running?

As we’ve already covered, various reasons can keep your snowmobile from staying running. But fortunately, these problems are easy to solve. You can fix these issues following the steps below:

Step 1: Adjust the idle screw. First, you have to take out the air filter and open the carburetor. You’ll find the idle screw on the carburetor.

To tighten the screw, rotate it clockwise. To loosen it, turn it anti-clockwise. You need to adjust the screw a couple of times until you hit the perfect adjustment.

Step 2: Adjust your air-fuel mixture screw. The air-fuel mixture is right beside the idle screw. You have to adjust it.

Use a screwdriver to tighten the screw. After adjusting, run the engine and check whether it stays running. You may need to change it a couple of times.

Step 3: Now clean the air filter that you’ve removed in step 1. You can use either vacuum clean it or soak it in detergent water based on its condition. Make sure you clean all the dirt from both sides. Dry it properly before putting it back.

Step 4: Clean the carburetor. Use a carb cleaner spray. Open the carb hood and spray it generously into the inlet. Make sure to clean all the sides and jets as well.

Step 5: Change the stator coil. Remove the hood of the engine. Check the stater for damage. If it has any damage, then change it.

So, following these easy steps, you can fix your snowmobile that won’t stay running.

Why does my snowmobile only run with choke on?

The choke valve controls airflow and maintains the air-fuel mixture ratio. If your snowmobile is not running without a choke-on or half choke, you need to check your air-fuel mixture.

There may be several reasons that your snowmobile is running only on a choke-on. Let’s have a look:

Damaged Fuel line:

If your fuel line is damaged or clogged, enough fuel will not pass to the engine. It will hamper the fuel to air mixture ratio. As a result, your snowmobile will run only with a choke on or half choke.

Clogged Fuel Filter:

A clogged fuel filter will restrict fuel flow. As a result, the overall fuel-air ratio will go down. It will force your mobile to run on choke.

Faulty air-fuel mixture screw adjustment:

The fuel-air mixture screw adjustment is significant. If not properly adjusted, the ratio of fuel to air will get imbalanced. It will lower the combustion, and your snowmobile won’t run without a choke-on.

Damaged fuel pump:

If your fuel pump is damaged, it will not pump sufficient fuel. It will hamper the fuel to air mixture ratio. As a result, your snowmobile will run only on a choke-on.

Why is my snowmobile bogging?

A bogged engine is a common problem across multiple platforms of motorsport vehicles. Although it is not a big issue, this problem can wear out your snowmobile’s engine.

There are several reasons for your snowmobile to bog. They are pretty easy to fix. Here’s a few common reasons why your snowmobile may be bogging:

Clogged air filter:

A clogged air filter will hinder the airflow, and your engine will bog. If your snowmobile is bogging, make sure the air filters are clean.

Dirty Carb:

Another common reason is a dirty carb. If your carb is dirty, probably your main jet or pilot jet is clogged. A clogged jet will bog your snowmobile.

Clogged exhaust:

If the exhaust system of your snowmobile is dirty, it will prevent proper airflow. Due to lack of airflow, your engine may bog.

Faulty ignition:

Your snowmobile may bog if your ignition is faulty. If you face bogging, check your ignition system for problems.

So, these are the reasons that may be stopping your snowmobile from idling and staying running. You can solve these issues following the steps mentioned here. However, it is always best to take your snowmobile to a mechanic. It will save both your time and effort.

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