Remember last spring? The snow had melted, and you reluctantly parked your sled for the season. All your best intentions were to get it ready for summer storage, but without the trail calling, the machine was no longer on your mind.

So over the summer your sled has been sitting. What foul troubles have arisen from this neglect? How hard should you be kicking yourself?

Your first problem is the possibility of little critters making a summer home of your sled. There could be anything from spiders to mice hiding away inside. Some will be just a nuisance, some can be messy, and others can cause real damage. Check for any signs of life and clean out whatever you find.

Next you should be concerned with the gasoline you left sitting, particularly in the carburetors. After all this time, it has likely turned into some sort of goo. You'll need to clean your carbs extensively or things could get real ugly inside that engine.

Another major problem is in your snowmobile suspension. If the weight of your machine has been sitting on the snowmobile shocks for the last several months, you could be looking at some serious sag and rot. You'll need to get the suspension serviced to prevent further problems.

Leaving your battery attached can also cause problems. If you're lucky, you got away with nothing worse than a dead battery. You may have leaking fluids or other such problems, and you can add “new battery” to your shopping list.

Your track and other belts could be suffering from the constant tension over the summer. Every other moving part may be sticky if it didn't get some fresh lube before the off season. Was there something that just felt a little off every ride last year? Maybe the steering or suspension? Chances are a little off has become a big problem after all this time.

Before you hit the trails this winter, make sure you've checked and remedied problems like these. Proper maintenance is crucial for extending the life of your sled. In the long run, it's a lot cheaper to summerize (and winterize) your sled every year than to pay for the repairs that come up because you didn't.