Unlike two-stroke engines that consume oil, four-strokes circulate oil, and it essentially wears out with use. Ski-Doo specifies that the oil and filter for its Rotax four-stroke engines should be replaced after the first 300 miles and then every 4,000 miles after that, or at the start of each snowmobile season.
We changed the oil on a 2015 Ski-Doo GSX LE ACE 900 and took photos and notes to show how to do this routine service procedure. Steps for the Ski-Doo ACE 600 engine are the same. The Ski-Doo 1200 4-TEC engine also is similar, with the most significant difference being that its muffler needs to be removed to allow access to the oil filter.
Oil change kits for each of Ski-Doo’s four-stroke snowmobile engines are available and they include synthetic oil, filter, oil filter O-ring and sealing washers for the drain plug or plugs. Some of the work needs to be performed under the front of the sled, so it will be easiest if you can elevate the machine on a sturdy lift that raises the machine straight up so the oil will properly drain. If you don’t have a method to raise the sled, you’ll be working in tighter quarters. Let’s get started.
Step 1: Warm Up Engine
Start the engine and allow it to run for a few minutes so the oil will easily flow out of the engine when you crack open the drain plugs. Obviously, make sure the area is well ventilated while the engine is running.
Step 2: Set-Up
Remove both side panels and set them aside. Remove the clutch guard and loosen the engine oil dipstick, but don’t remove it yet. The dipstick is yellow and directly behind the secondary clutch. Now you’re ready to work under the machine.
Step 3: Drain The Oil
Working under the front of the machine, remove one screw from the drain plug access panel and loosen the other screw so you can pivot the panel and gain access to the drain plugs. Position a drain pan under the machine and use a 6mm Allen tool to remove the first drain plug, then remove the second plug with a Torx 40 bit and allow the oil to drain from each area.
Step 4: Remove Oil Filter
The oil filter is located inside a small, metal cylinder near the junction of the exhaust pipe and silencer. Use an 8mm socket or Torx 30 bit to remove the three screws that fasten the oil filter cover. The filter has a tight, friction fit into the cover so the cover and filter might come out together after you remove the screws. Make sure to remove and discard the cover’s O-ring, too.
Step 5: Install New Oil Filter
While the used oil continues to drip from the bottom of the engine, there might be a couple ounces of oil in the oil filter housing. If so, wiggle the primary clutch forward and backward to turn the veins inside the oil pump and help drain the housing. Install the new O-ring on the oil filter cover and put clean oil on the O-ring and new filter’s rubber sealing surface. Install the filter and cover, and tighten the oil filter cover screws to 9 pound feet.
Step 6: Button Up
With the new filter installed, work on the right side of the machine is almost complete. Clean any oil that might have dripped off of the old filter, and then reinstall the right side panel.
Step 7: Reinstall Plugs
By now the old oil has had time to drain out of the engine. Put the new sealing washer on each drain plug and reinstall them in the engine. Each plug should be torqued to 15 pound feet. Return the access panel to its original position and install the screws.
Step 8: Fill Engine With Oil
Working near the secondary clutch again, remove the dipstick and pour in the oil. Reinstall the dipstick into the filler tube, start the engine and let it run for a minute or two. Turn off the engine and check the oil level, and check the machine for signs of leaks. If it all looks good, insert the dipstick and install the clutch cover and side panel.
Ski-Doo Engine Oil Capacity
600 ACE – 2.2 quarts
900 ACE – 3.5 quarts
1200 4-TEC – 3.7 quarts