April 8, 2020

Can A Snowmobile Run Without A Battery?

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We all run into those rare moments where you just happen to find yourself in a bind. There was not anything you did particularly wrong that left you in such a position but for whatever reason you find yourself in a situation that cannot be ignored and must be dealt with immediately, just to get by for now.

In this instance, we are talking about a dead snowmobile battery and it is bound to happen to all of us one day. Hopefully we can shed some light on what to do when this happens to you.

If you find yourself on top of the mountain with a dead snowmobile battery, there is no need to worry just yet. You might ask, “Can a snowmobile run without a battery?”. The answer is Yes, in a pinch, you can run a snowmobile without the battery. But it is not a good idea for the long term use of the vehicle. And the battery should be replaced as soon as possible.

Below we will go over a few things that may warn you and what signs to look for so you can be mentally prepared ahead of time. We will also cover how to measure battery drain, what you can do to physically prepare ahead of time, and we will also get into how to deal with this if it happens all of a sudden when you’re unprepared to face it. 

What Is The Effect Of Running Your Snowmobile Without A Battery?

As a word of warning, if you do decide to go through with trying to run your snowmobile without the battery hooked up, you might want to consider the fact that you are putting your system at risk of causing undue electrical discharge into the engine. This can potentially lead to blown fuses that will make certain features completely inoperable in your vehicle. 

This could possibly end up destroying fundamental electrical components of the snowmobile which could then lead to an unwanted $500 trip to the mechanic when it could have been a much simpler $50 trip to Pep Boys. It will be better for you to simply take care of things first and to get a battery replacement as soon as possible rather than waiting. 

How Can A Snowmobile Run Without A Battery?

The importance of getting the battery replaced as soon as you can has already been stressed enough. With that out of the way, let us get into how you go about starting your snowmobile without a battery. The way the engine system is designed in your snowmobile is very similar to a modern car. The alternator provides constant power throughout the drive.

Initially powered by the battery, the snowmobile system powers up and starts the engine. As the engine is running, so is the alternator,which is continually charging the battery. That same regenerative power is what you will have to rely on to keep the snowmobile running. There are a couple of ways to start up and run the snowmobile without the battery. The first way is by using a jump box

Pop the hood of the snowmobile and hook up the positive cable of the jump box to the positive battery terminal connector, followed by hooking up the negative cable of the jump box to the negative battery terminal connector. Position the jump box so it comes to rest in the engine bay, then close the hood as far as possible. 

snowmobile 2

Now it is time to start the snowmobile. Now you have the jump box acting in place of your missing engine battery for a short while. Now the next method is a little bit more of an emergency short term solution. You will follow the same method of starting the system with the jump box but instead of leaving it in place, you will unhook the jump box before closing the hood. 

Once the snowmobile has been started up, the system is now relying on the electricity being provided by the alternator. This will circulate enough electricity to keep the engine running, but you will be at risk of the engine shutting off at any moment. The power supply is limited. So if you use this method, do so only as a means to get the snowmobile from point A to point B. 

Preferably get your snowmobile to a tow truck to take it into the store for a new battery or, if you are close enough, to a store to buy the battery now for yourself. 

How Long Can You Run Your Snowmobile Without A Battery?

I stated that this is only a temporary solution to a dead battery in the last section, but how long can a snowmobile run without a battery? Well, if you decide to go with the option of using a small jump box as a battery itself, then you can run the snowmobile for quite some time. It will just require you to regularly monitor how much electricity the jump box has at all times and for the alternator to provide the energy.

If however, you decide to go with the quick jump start option and unhooking the jump box relatively immediately after. Then you have a short window of time to drive the snowmobile from point A to point B. One to two miles at most if you are lucky. It is not very far, but will certainly hold you over in the event of an emergency.

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that for the long term health of your snowmobile you don’t want to run it without the battery, but you can if you have to. Prevention is always going to be the best medicine, so pay attention to your snowmobile and take care of it. Doing so will prolong the life of your snowmobile and you will be better off by taking that extra step to ensure your investment is safe and lasts as long as possible. 

Take the time to properly take care of your snowmobile and it will take care of you right back. Your wallet will also thank you in the long run by taking care of your battery. You can also take a look at what is causing your dead snowmobile battery in the article I wrote if you happen to run into a situation where your battery keeps dying.

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Check Out These Other Great Articles 

What Is Causing Your Dead Snowmobile Battery?

Article written by Matt Powell
Hi, I am Matt and I have been playing outdoor games as long as I can remember. Today I have several games that I play on the regular and got together with Josh here on Outdoor Diversions so we could share our passion for the outdoors, gaming, and sports with you.