How to change the oil in your Snowdog engine
One of the first questions we get from new customers is "How do I change the oil?" Obviously, this is an important maintenance process. If you want to make sure your Snowdog behaves the way it should on the coldest of winter days, it's best not to overlook things like regular oil changes. This article will give you some tips on how to change the oil quickly and easily!
Snowdog recommends an initial oil change after 5 hours of use, and then every 20 hours after that. You can easily track the number of hours on your machine by installing an hour meter on your engine, but if you don't have one (or don't want one) then you could change the oil after your first few outings, and then at the end of each rising season (every April, for example).
This process applies to all 13HP Snowdog machines, including the Standard and Compact B13ME, as well as the Standard, Utility and Sport B13MER machines.
Assemble the Team!
You'll need some basic tools and supplies for this job. You'll need a vacuum pump, some paper towels or shop rags, a short length of 4x4 wood or similar sized material to use as a lifting block, and of course, your new oil. Refer to your owners' manual for the correct oil for your machine, but we typically use 5W30, which provides the best performance for the range of temperatures we'll be experiencing. The process is also much easier with a VERY long funnel for pouring oil back into the engine.
Don't forget to warm up!
Get your Snowdog ready by starting it up, and letting it run for at about 5 minutes. Warming up the engine also warms up the oil, making it flow more freely. Don't skip this step!
Set the Stage
Use the 4x4 block to lift the back half of the Snowdog so that the engine is tilted forward. This allows easier collection with the pump, but also prevents oil from spilling out during the extraction process.
Remove the dipstick cap from the engine, and insert the vacuum tube as far back as it can go. Begin pumping to extract all of the oil. Move the tube around so you can extract as much of the old oil as possible. When all of the oil has been removed, it's time to add the new oil!
If you have a magnetic oil drain plug, this is the time to remove it carefully and check the magnet tip for metal filings. Clean off the plug and replace it.
Time for the New Oil
With the machine still propped up and in the forward-leaning position, use your long funnel to slowly pour about 950 ml of oil into the engine through the same dipstick/filler hole you used in the extraction process.
Note that the oil capacity on the Briggs XR2100 series engine is 37 oz (1.09L) according to the manual, but depending how much you extracted, you may need slightly less when refilling. If your engine isn't a Briggs & Stratton or if you have a different model than shown here, consult your manual for the exact specifications.
It's okay to check the level frequently. Make sure to check the oil level when the machine is sitting flat.
Time for a test run!
When you're satisfied that the oil level is correct, it's time to replace the filler cap/dipstick and start up the engine. This will circulate the new oil and complete your oil change process. This might be a good time to check the trails or take a quick tour of the frozen lake! Enjoy!