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Advanced Sleds Need Advanced Snowmobile Oil

 February 24, 2021

By  Greg Vaughn

Len Groom

Advanced sleds need advanced snowmobile oil.

A two-stroke snowmobile oil must excel in three key areas to protect today’s powerful snowmobiles.


It’s a great time to be a snowmobiler. Modern sleds deliver power, performance and efficiency not thought of back when I started riding. With each new model, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) seem to push the limits of performance even further, allowing you to ride faster and push your sled harder, while using less gas and oil and producing fewer emissions.

This translates into an epic ride for you, but brutal operating conditions for your sled. In addition to having to protect a hotter, more powerful engine, today’s direct-injection engines use less oil than older sleds to help curb emissions.

The Polaris* RMK* 850 is a prime example of the state of the industry. Its two-stroke engine can make nearly 170 horsepower. Think about that for a second. That’s more power than some cars on the road today, like the entry-level 2021 Toyota* Corolla.*

This underscores the need to use a durable, high-quality oil that’s proven to stand up to the punishment doled out by modern engines. For maximum engine performance and life, two-stroke oils should focus on three performance areas: wear protection, exhaust power valve cleanliness and coldflow properties.

snowmobile oil

The intense heat and friction inside a snowmobile engine can overwhelm inferior oils, leading to piston scuffing and wear. Excellent lubricity – a term that refers to the oil’s ability to reduce friction – is essential for maximum wear protection.

High heat and increased power can also cause deposit formation on exhaust power valves, which can lead to sticking. The power valves automatically open or close based on operating conditions to increase throttle response at low rpm while maximizing top-end power. They expand the sled’s powerband, delivering a better experience for the rider. But their location in the exhaust port exposes them to hot gases, which can lead to deposits that cause them to stick, reducing performance.

To top it off, today’s snowmobile engines direct less oil to critical components, through narrower passages, for longer distances. Oils that don’t remain fluid in sub-zero cold can fail to reach components at startup, promoting wear.

We formulated AMSOIL INTERCEPTOR® Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil (AIT) with today’s sleds in mind. It remains fluid down to -69°F (-56°C) to ensure oil reaches critical components in the coldest weather, keeping your engine protected.

The oil also delivers exceptional wear protection and exhaust-power-valve performance. To demonstrate, we tested INTERCEPTOR in a 2019 Polaris RMK 850 used in a rental fleet in the Canadian Rockies. The sled was flat-out abused, with riders pinning the throttle through deep powder day after day for an entire riding season. Afterward, we disassembled the engine and, as the images show, the piston contained virtually no scuffing and the power valves were in great shape and did not stick.

In all three critical areas, INTERCEPTOR delivers the level of performance you need to get maximum performance and life from your sled. We’re so confident in its performance, we back the product with our Runs on Freedom™ Limited Snowmobile Warranty, which covers repairs to qualifying parts in new, currentmodel-year and newer sleds that use INTERCEPTOR exclusively for up to two years or 5,000 miles (8,000 km). Check out AMSOIL.com/rofwarranty (AMSOIL. ca/rofwarraty in Canada) for details.

We have a great oil with a great warranty to match for today’s sleds. Make sure your customers know about them this winter.

Synthetics @ 2x

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Author: Greg Vaughn, President & CEO

Family Dealership established 1974
Vietnam War Veteran
Helicopter Mechanic, Military & Civilian
Civil Service, 1982- 2003


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