Asking the right questions and knowing what to look for can prevent a bad buy on a used sled. Here are some tips that you should follow every time you check out a used sled.
Always look over a used sled in a well-lit area and preferably without snow on the machine. If the sun has set but you don’t think a deal will last until the next day, bring a good flashlight and warm clothes so you can give the used sled a good look-see.
Always tip the sled on its side to inspect the rear suspension and chassis. Look for corrosion on the shock shafts, bent components and cracks. Inspect the track for torn and missing lugs. Keep in mind that a few missing lugs isn’t a big deal, but if track windows are torn or the track’s structure is exposed, it needs to be replaced and that should be factored into an offer to buy the machine.
Always inspect the chaincase oil for proper level and condition. Ask when it was last changed, too. If the oil is blacker than a black board, low and dirty, the drivetrain might have suffered damage because it didn’t have adequate lubrication. If the oil looks like dirty honey and seems to flow well, there is less reason for alarm.
Always inspect the clutches. They can be expensive to repair or service, so if something is wrong, you’ll want to factor the repair cost into your offer to buy the used sled. Look for damage to the front clutch’s post (caused by a worn bushing).
Here are some open-ended questions that will lend a lot of information about the sled:
How much do you ride? You’ll be able to compare the answer with how many miles are shown on the odometer.
Where do you ride? This will indicate whether the machine was ridden on good snow conditions or rugged, dirty trails that increase wear.
Where do you store the sled? Outside storage will cause the vinyl and plastic to fade and make the sled dirty.
How was the sled transported? Road sale can really take a toll on the sled, so enclosed trailers are best.
Why is the sled for sale? Make sure the answer makes sense in case the seller tries to feed you a line of bull.