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Thread: Machine hellp: Severe loss in gas mileage?

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    Default Machine hellp: Severe loss in gas mileage?

    This is gonna sound pretty "FNG" to a lot of guys, but I gotta ask for some help. I'm not much of a mechanic, so hang in there with this rookie. I can perform basic maintenance on my 2010 Ski-Doo GTX, but that's about it. If it's not on Youtube, I'm probably screwed. Anyway, this problem's got me wondering where to start and I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction. Maybe I can fix this myself? Maybe give me a better idea of what/how to tell my dealer about the problem?

    Machine: 2010 Ski-Doo GTX 550 fan

    Symptoms:

    1) I left it out in the cold this past week for the first time. The machine is ALWAYS stored in the garage. It started fine, but wouldn't go forward or reverse. I assumed it was just a frozen track, and after some pushing, lifting the track to get it spinning, I was able to get it moving. It seems to "lugging" though. Put it back in the gargage to warm up.

    2) Yesterday, took it out and for a long trip. I noticed again, that it seems to be lugging along. Like the track doesn't really want to turn. I can't get up to the same speed I used to at a particular RPM. Have to give it A LOT of gas to get it moving. I guess it kinda feels like the brake is slightly always on...but it's not?

    3)Gas mileage has drop significantly. It was never great on gas, but consistent at 90-100 miles per tank (~10 miles per gallon). Yesterday, I was flat empty after only 45 miles!? 4.5 miles per gallon. The exhaust smells A LOT like gasoline...different than it's usual 2-stroke smell.

    All I know is something's wrong. I'm not really sure where to begin? I guess I'll change the belt and chaincase oil...I just don't think that's gonna do anything. Could be the track? Brake? Carb? I don't know, for some reason the engines working too hard for the output it's getting?

    What do the experts out there think? Anyone else have these problems before? I realize it's probably something simple, I'm just new to these machines. Thanks for any info you can give me.

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    What heepens when you go down a hill or let off the gas? Does it stop a lot faster (does'nt coast, stops abruptly like the brake is on)?

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    Member SusitnaAk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littleman81 View Post
    What heepens when you go down a hill or let off the gas? Does it stop a lot faster (does'nt coast, stops abruptly like the brake is on)?
    What he said, Could lift up again give some gas let off does it free wheel or halt.. while up off the ground ck all those wheels underneath see if they are free.. Does it smell hot after your drive?What do the plugs look like ? might be bad fouled plugs.. could the choke be stuck ...? said exhaust smell like gas..how do you know brake is not on or dragging? Track tension to tight does dropp in the middle when up off the ground?

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    Quote Originally Posted by littleman81 View Post
    What heepens when you go down a hill or let off the gas? Does it stop a lot faster (does'nt coast, stops abruptly like the brake is on)?

    Lifted the track. Track spins but doesn't "coast". Maybe makes 1/2 rotation after I let off the gas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SusitnaAk View Post
    What he said, Could lift up again give some gas let off does it free wheel or halt.. while up off the ground ck all those wheels underneath see if they are free.. Does it smell hot after your drive?What do the plugs look like ? might be bad fouled plugs.. could the choke be stuck ...? said exhaust smell like gas..how do you know brake is not on or dragging? Track tension to tight does dropp in the middle when up off the ground?

    "Could lift up again give some gas let off does it free wheel or halt"

    I'm not sure how long it's supposed to free wheel, but it makes about 1/2 turn when I let off the gas. Seems to be halting to me. After shortly turning it on in the garage, it smells like gas. I have a friends machine in there as well, exact same year and model. It smells totally different.


    "What do the plugs look like ? might be bad fouled plugs"

    I just changed the plugs. They seem to be pretty dirty for only about 70 miles on them. Lots of build up. Left one is WET. Right one is dry. To be completely honest, I don't even know what a fouled plug would look like. Maybe I should just clean the plugs I took out and put those back in? Seem to run fine before I changed the plugs?

    "said exhaust smell like gas..how do you know brake is not on or dragging?Track tension to tight does dropp in the middle when up off the ground?"

    The brake should be off. I don't know. Seems like the track is "working" to spin. The track does drop a little when lifted off the ground though.


    I should mention, when the machine is started in the garage, it usually dies a few times if I don't give it a little gas. I just figure this is normal 2-stroke behavior, but now that I think about it, it's kinda like the choke is on (but it's in the off position). I don't know, just seems like there's A LOT of unburnt gas. I'm occasionally getting backfires as well.

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    OK, changed the plugs and the gas smell is significantly reduced. So, maybe I just had a fouled plug or something. Seems pretty quick to be fouling plugs. Maybe I need to take it to the dealer to adjust the carb? Running too rich? Maybe check the air intake? Choke stuck? I don't know.

    That said, I tried to turn the track manually. This is the first time I've done this and it seemed pretty hard. Thought it was stuck for a second, but can get it to move a couple inches if I REALLY pull. Should it be that tough to spin the track manually, or should I just be able to spin it?

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    Yes, it's tough to spin a track manually. What kind of temperatures are you experiencing out there right now? During super warm temps like we are having here in my area, improper jetting will result in a bad running sled that drinks a ton of fuel.

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    So you changed the plugs, and than this started to happin?..Did you change anything else?? Check fuel fiter..when go to cold to warm all the time could build water up in your fuel.. condensation..sounds like left side isn,t hitting all the time,try old plugs look for water. ck wires..I see tried different plugs, that helped... must have been typing same time, Like Doug said could be jetting.. Also i still would try some of the gas drier, sea foam stuff or something similair..One more thing i was thinking hows your highfax that track spins on? If run lack of snow could have glued them to the track ,look for plastic build up on the metal slots in the track..

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    Put in some old plugs after a little cleaning. Seems to be running better, although still a bit rough. When I first got the machine, those 2010 550 fans were having some troubles with running too lean and blowing up within a few hundred miles. I took it to the dealer and adjusted the carb for me to help avoid that (made it richer). I'm thinking with the warmer temps and running it rich, I'm fouling plugs quickly? Does this sound right?

    Should I take it back to the dealer and have everything set back to factory specs? I guess I just figured that running rich would be better for the engine in the long run, despite a little loss in gas mileage?

    Speaking of gas mileage. Is about 9-10 miles per gallon a decent expection from a 2-stroke or are people doing better than that?

    Thanks for the help. I know these are probably really dumb, basic questions, but engines just aren't my area of expertise. Thank you.

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    Member akaviator's Avatar
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    I've seen loose tracks jump off the drive sprockets and the machine would barely get out of its own way. Might check that.

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    [QUOTE=Orelk6x6;1046263]Put in some old plugs after a little cleaning. Seems to be running better, although still a bit rough. When I first got the machine, those 2010 550 fans were having some troubles with running too lean and blowing up within a few hundred miles. I took it to the dealer and adjusted the carb for me to help avoid that (made it richer). I'm thinking with the warmer temps and running it rich, I'm fouling plugs quickly? Does this sound right?

    Should I take it back to the dealer and have everything set back to factory specs? I guess I just figured that running rich would be better for the engine in the long run, despite a little loss in gas mileage?

    Speaking of gas mileage. Is about 9-10 miles per gallon a decent expection from a 2-stroke or are people doing better than that?

    Thanks for the help. I know these are probably really dumb, basic questions, but engines just aren't my area of expertise. Thank you. Dealer, As much as i dislike them..I would since, your having a time with it.can,t fig. it out.. hang around when they do these ajustments,and ask questions , good way to learn, since your paying him to do this.. Sleep better knowing it was cked over and could save a long walk home. The 550 wasn,t known to great on gas mileage

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    My vote is for stuck choke.
    It can happen, and your symptoms point to it. It'll run, but you need to give it lots more throttle, and the smell of gas in your exhaust/backfiring.
    I was out with a buddy, and he left the choke on on his Skandic by accident. He had used almost half a tank in no time, lots of backfiring and hard to start.
    I'd pull the cable and ensure its moving freely, and check the adjustment.
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    Good call Yukoner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orelk6x6 View Post
    "Could lift up again give some gas let off does it free wheel or halt"

    I'm not sure how long it's supposed to free wheel, but it makes about 1/2 turn when I let off the gas. Seems to be halting to me. After shortly turning it on in the garage, it smells like gas. I have a friends machine in there as well, exact same year and model. It smells totally different.


    "What do the plugs look like ? might be bad fouled plugs"

    I just changed the plugs. They seem to be pretty dirty for only about 70 miles on them. Lots of build up. Left one is WET. Right one is dry. To be completely honest, I don't even know what a fouled plug would look like. Maybe I should just clean the plugs I took out and put those back in? Seem to run fine before I changed the plugs?

    "said exhaust smell like gas..how do you know brake is not on or dragging?Track tension to tight does dropp in the middle when up off the ground?"

    The brake should be off. I don't know. Seems like the track is "working" to spin. The track does drop a little when lifted off the ground though.


    I should mention, when the machine is started in the garage, it usually dies a few times if I don't give it a little gas. I just figure this is normal 2-stroke behavior, but now that I think about it, it's kinda like the choke is on (but it's in the off position). I don't know, just seems like there's A LOT of unburnt gas. I'm occasionally getting backfires as well.
    I think you may have a couple issues. The plug fouling/running rich is one thing. The track only spinning a half a revolution after letting of the gas is very peculiar, especially if you have it on a stand and have the track spinning. I think you have an issue with your hifax/idler pulleys/driver pulley. Like others have said, the track can "hop" off the driver and make it really hard to turn. Also, a stick or rock up under the tunnel between the track and tunnel will cause the track to "lock up". In the garage with it fully heated, you should be able to turn the track manually without too much effort.

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    First problem is: it's a Ski-Doo.

    Where have you been buying your gas? Nicholson's is the worst for water, followed by NorthStar. The safest is Crowley's by the tankfarm.

    Let me look around in my comp, I think I have a Ski-Doo service manual for your rig. If I find it I could burn a disc and drop it off at work for you.
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    Thanks guys.

    I've done everything I can think of. Still fouling plugs, so I guess it's a jetting issue. It WAS running great, for a day, on my drive over to the dealer. I decided that I must've fixed the problem (embarassed that it was just a fouled plug), and decided NOT to have them work on it. Mistake. It's fouled the brand new plugs within 20 miles.

    Nitro- I've been filling up with Crowley gas and using a Mr. Funnel fuel filter to ensure clean gas. (I do this with my boat too)

    It's gotta be a jetting problem combined with the warm temps. I'll take it in and lean it out and have them check the track at that time.

    Thanks again!

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    two carburetors, one plug you claimed is rich, and the other is not. The choke on one carb is sticking. Get the machine inside and thaw it out. Lubricate your choke cables, put in new plugs, and go give it a try. Make sure the spark plug caps are clean on the inside and fully seated onto the spark plugs.

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