by Joel Jacobson
Can’t afford new? Then look into a used snowmobile
If you live in an area where there’s lots of snow, you know it’s difficult to sit inside all winter knowing so many people are out on there new and used snowmobile have fun. But fear not! You too can be hitting the trails with a good quality, dependable, and affordable used snowmobile.
A good rule of thumb when looking to purchase a used snowmobile is to resist the temptation to buy the first used snowmobile that you find. Ask the owner to not to have the sled warmed up, because you want to make sure the sled starts when it’s cold.
There are lots of possible places to look for a used snowmobile. Online classifieds, local newspaper classifieds, word of mouth, and through dealerships. A lot of dealerships have a used snowmobile or a few for sale due to trade-ins.
Beware that the prices tend to be a bit higher than from a private owner. You may be able to negotiate the price down if he wants your business bad enough. Look at other sleds and compare price to see where the fair market value of the used snowmobile is supposed to be. Check the NADA Blue Book web site for snowmobile blue book values. Used snowmobiles being sold by dealers will most likely be very close to the retail price.
Get educated about the specific used snowmobile you are looking to buy. Some models may have specific problems that you should be aware of, and try to learn as much as you can about the particular sled that you are buying.
Some things you should check before you consider buying a sled are:
- overall appearance of the sled;
- has it been crashed;
- has it been raced;
- check suspension, track, belts, and skis,
- are service records available?
There are lots of things to check for when purchasing a used sled. Every system in the sled should be at least looked at before purchasing.
Make sure you check over the body very carefully before buying a used snowmobile as well. Has the sled been crashed before? Look for scratches in the running boards, a dissimilar paint job, and cracks in the body work. Handlebars get bent up a lot in crashes, look for spider web hairline cracks in the handlebars. Sometimes skis twist when the sled has been crashed. Sit on the sled and sight along the skis and see if they are twisted at all. In addition, you should check out exhaust, suspension, brakes, electrical, chains and sprockets, seat, track, clutch, and fluids. Lots of stuff to look at just like buying a car.
If at all possible, test-drive your used snowmobile before buying. There’s a lot of money you are going to be investing, so you don’t want to put it towards something that’s going to turn out to be a lemon.
For a lower cost way to get into snowmobiling, try buying a used snowmobile. Make sure you check it thoroughly and do your homework. If you do, then you too can join all the others out there having fun on the trails.
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