‘Tis the Season to Buy a Used Snowmobile: 5 Tips for Success

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By now, you may be an experienced Copart Member and can navigate your way around buying used cars and motorcycles. But how do you approach buying a used snowmobile?

With winter right around the corner, this question becomes all the more urgent since you’ll soon find yourself in winter wonderland. Not to worry, though! We want to help you with your buying experience and, therefore, have compiled a few tips you might want to think about when buying used snowmobiles for the holiday season.

Here are five tips for buying a used snowmobile at Copart and CrashedToys:

1. Determine what you need

First of all, it’s important to acknowledge that not all snowmobile makes and models are the same. Like cars and motorcycles, they are all unique in some way.

Things to consider when buying a snowmobile are brand, model, size and octane rating. Looking at these and determining where you’ll be riding helps to determine what type of snowmobile you’ll need.

2. Check appearances

With any used vehicle, there’s always the danger of you having to pick up the slack on what the previous owner did. According to eBay, if the vehicle is maintained in solid condition, there’s a solid chance that it is a good buy. If the snowmobile has been washed, has a cover that’s been used, and hasn’t suffered from much damage on its frame, it’s in reliable condition and has most likely been well taken care of. But if its dented up, isn’t covered, and doesn’t look like it has been cleaned, then chances are it hasn’t been well maintained and isn’t a good buy.

Looks sell, and only you can know what’s good enough for you.

3. Observe the engine

You can do with a few dents and scratches on the frame. What you can’t do is a snowmobile engine that doesn’t run, because without it, you don’t have a snowmobile.

First things first: start it. That might sound kind of obvious, but it’s a step some buyers skip over, and its arguably one of the most important inspections you can make. According to eBay, if it needs a choke to stay running, it’s a sign of a bad engine and you should probably move on in your shopping lost.

Also note the compression readings on all of your cylinders. 120-125 PSI is a good number to be at, but anything lower than 115 or higher than 150 indicates some engine issues that will need to be repaired if you want to take it for a spin.

4. Ask questions

As you’re inspecting the vehicle, be sure to ask the seller about details on the vehicle that you can’t see on the outside or the inside. A few recommended questions by Ilsnow.com are listed below:

  • How often has the vehicle been serviced?
  • How many miles are on the odometer?
  • Are there any current problems with the vehicle?

If these details are not already provided, be sure to inquire of them from the seller. Any other questions you might have should also be asked too.

5. Know your worth

New snowmobiles are expensive: estimated at $10,000 by Ilsnow.com. Prices for used snowmobiles are substantially lower, but you have to be mindful of repair costs. According to eBay, a seat recovering can cost upward of $200, new tracks can be $500, and new carbide runners, belts, and covers add up to over $300. That’s $1,000 on its own, and that’s not including the sale price of the snowmobile itself.

Bottom line: know what you’re getting, know what needs to be fixed, and ask questions if you don’t know. This will help you to know if you’re getting the best deal you can for the holiday season.

Want to get started on your snowmobile search? Look through our inventory at Copart or CrashedToys.

One comment

  1. I like that you mentioned that it is important to ask questions when buying a snowmobile. In addition to asking how often it has been serviced, I would ask if there are any aftermarket parts in it. That way you can know exactly what is going on inside the vehicle. I have been considering buying a snowmobile for a while. I will have to keep this in mind.

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