Safe Starting Steps
Accidents often occur when a driver starts a snowmobile but is not prepared to take control of it immediately. To start safely:
- Point the machine in a safe direction.
- Position yourself to control the machine when it starts.
- Set the parking brake.
- Make sure the throttle is not frozen. It should snap back to the idle position when released.
- Set the key and the engine stop switch (also sometimes known as a safety switch) to the “on” position and attach the emergency safety tether switch to you. Most newer sleds have an emergency safety tether stop switch you attach to your suit that will stop the engine if you fall off the machine. This is important when you are riding in the backcountry and are separated from the sled due to a stuck throttle or when you want the snowmobile to stop immediately.
- If your engine is cold, choke or prime it.
- If you have an electric starter, turn the key and release the choke as soon as the engine starts.
- If your machine has a reverse gear, be sure the snowmobile is in a forward gear before you start off.
- Allow the engine to warm up, and gradually move the choke to the “off” position. If you have a primer, you may have to pump it a few times to keep the engine running until it is warm.