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Snowmobile Fuel Basics

Get your fuel from a known high-usage fuel station to ensure it is fresh.

The minimum fuel requirements for Polaris snowmobiles are fresh quality unleaded fuel with an octane rating of at least 87. Do not use fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol (E10). 

For maximum performance from a 600, 650, 800 or 850 engine, Polaris recommends the use of 91 octane fuel with no ethanol. Ethanol absorbs water over time, and fuel with ethanol has a shorter storage life than E0 fuel.

If you use non-ethanol fuel (sometimes labeled "non-oxygenated"), Polaris recommends the regular use of isopropyl-based fuel system deicer. Add 1 to 2 ounces per gallon (8 to 16 ml per liter) of gasoline to prevent damage resulting from fuel system icing. Never use deicers or additives containing methanol. Polaris recommends the use of Carbon Clean. Never use fuel system deicers when using E10 fuel (sometimes labeled "oxygenated").

Never use unleaded fuels with an ethanol rating of E15 or E85. Severe engine damage could result from the use of those fuels.

When using 91 E0 fuel, make sure the fuel selector setting on your instrument cluster is set to the 91 premium mode. If you are using any E10 fuel or are unsure as to what type of fuel you are using, set it to 87 ethanol mode. Read the Fuel Type Selection article for more on how to change the settings.

Low Fuel Level Warnings
Note that a snowmobile parked on flat, level ground will provide the most accurate fuel level reading. Driving a snowmobile with an extremely low fuel level may cause fuel ventilation and a loss of engine performance.

Snowmobiles that are equipped with instrument clusters that display the fuel level will warn you when the fuel level is low. Models with fuel cap gauges will denote a fuel level that is considered "reserve (RES) fuel."

When the instrument cluster's low fuel indicator illuminates or the fuel cap gauge indicates "RES," Polaris recommends that you change your riding style to conserve fuel and find the nearest fuel station to refuel.

For more on your snowmobile's instruments, read the Snowmobile Standard Gauge Overview article.

Matryx models utlize a fuel tank design that allows the snowmobile to consume almost all of the available fuel in the tank. Polaris recommends you heed the low fuel indicator, take steps to reduce fuel consumption and find the closest fuel station. When the low fuel indicator is illuminated on a Matryx snowmobile, the sled's range is approximately 15 to 25 miles (24 to 40 km) if the snowmobile is operated in a conservative manner.

If you want to calculate your snowmobile's maximum full-tank range, Polaris recommends to do so after the fuel injector break-in and oil enrichment modes expire. Make sure to consult your Owner's Manual for the specific instructions for your specific snowmobile. For more on snowmobile break-in procedures, read How to Break In a New Polaris Snowmobile.

It is important to note that miles per gallon and maximum range calculations are highly variable and can be inconsistent between comparable models. Riding style, weather, trail conditions, accessories, track type and other factors will provide different results.

Running Out of Fuel
If your snowmobile runs out of fuel, follow these procedures to properly prime the fuel system and restart the engine.

For snowmobiles with electric start:

1. Position the snowmobile on flat, level ground.
2. Fill the tank with a minimum of 2 gallons (7.6 liters) of fuel.
3. Reinstall the fuel cap, verify the safety slap switch is up and turn the ignition key to START. Crank the engine over for a maximum of 10 seconds.
4. If the engine does not restart, allow the starter motor to cool for at least 30 seconds.
5. Crank the engine over for another 10 seconds. Repeat this procedure until the engine starts.
6. Turn off the engine and continue to refuel the snowmobile.

For models with a pull rope, manual start:

1. Position the snowmobile on flat, level ground.
2. Fill the tank with a minimum of 2 gallons (7.6 liters) of fuel.
3. Reinstall the fuel cap, turn the ignition key to RUN and verify the safety switch is pulled up.
4. With the help of an assistant if required, position the rider or assistant on the left side of the snowmobile, with their body braced against the console and seat.
5. Carefully lift or rotate the right ski up off the ground until the snowmobile is sitting on the left ski at a 45-degree upward angle.
6. At this point, either the rider or the assistant can pull on the recoil rope to purge the fuel pump sock of trapped air.
7. Continue pulling on the recoil rope until the trapped air is purged from the system, the pump is primed and the engine starts.
8. After the engine starts and runs for a few seconds, carefully lower the right ski back onto the ground.
9. Turn off the engine and continue to refuel the snowmobile.

Always turn off the engine before refueling. Do not overfill the tank. Do not fill the tank neck.

For more information, see your authorized Polaris Dealer. To find a dealer near you, use the Dealer Locator.
Maintenance tips, procedures and specifications can be found in your Owner's Manual.
To find diagrams and replacement part numbers, use the online parts catalog.

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