Common Snowmobile Stator Problems
Why do snowmobile stators fail?
Snowmobile stators fail for a variety of reasons, the most common being overheating, the failure of the regulator-rectifier, and corroded, shorted or damaged wiring harness and/or connectors. Read about each of these below for more information.
Snowmobile stators are prone to failure due to overheating. A snowmobile stator is mounted inside of the motor, (on some models surrounded by a bath of engine oil, on others dry), which is a very hot environment to be working hard in! High quality snowmobile stators are built with extremely effective insulation on their wire windings in order to withstand this heat, while cheaper parts will generally sacrifice the quality of this wire. A snowmobile stator produces more power with higher RPM's as well, and more power results in more heat in the stator windings. The most common cause of a failed stator is the heat retained in the windings causing the insulation to break down, resulting in a short circuit in the coils. This is most often caused by sustained high speed riding, which results in the engine running hotter, and the stator heating up from increased power output. However, in some of the most recent snowmobile models (2-stroke and 4-stroke engines) stators are often failing from low speed riding on hard packed snow, or sustained freestyle and mountain riding in deep powder requiring lots of throttle in high altitude conditions.
Voltage Regulator-Rectifier Failure
The voltage regulator-rectifier on your snowmobile is also prone to failure, usually due to heat. This can be caused by using a cheap, low quality regulator with subpar electronics, or fatigue due to the age of the part. Voltage Regulator-Rectifiers often fail causing a short circuit, drawing very high current from the snowmobile stator, which in turn increases it's heat and causes it to fail. Voltage Regulator-Rectifiers contain solid state components and are completely sealed, they are not serviceable and must be replaced when they fail. Make sure to use a high quality voltage regulator rectifier in your snowmobile, like units from RMSTATOR which are individually tested before sale and carry an excellent warranty.
Corroded, Shorted, or Damaged Wiring harness or Electrical Connectors
These types of issues are often overlooked, and can be difficult to troubleshoot, however you would be surprised how often a connector or wiring harness is the real cause of snowmobile stator failure. Snowmobiles are constantly subjected to melting snow that can quickly turn into steam around a hot snowmobile engine. This steam can seep into even weather-sealed electrical connectors on your sled, where it quickly gets to work corroding the metal terminals, and even inside the wire insulation, causing high resistance in your electrical system. This increased resistance in your wiring harness and connectors causes your voltage regulator-rectifier to increase output to try to keep up, eventually overloading your stator (which fails from the increased heat!). These types of problems will get worse over time, hidden in your electrical system, eventually causing a failed snowmobile stator, and a stranded rider. Checking your connectors and wiring harness should be a regular preventative maintenance item on your snowmobile to ensure reliability. RMSTATOR carries a full line of powersports connectors and terminals, making it easy to replace them and keep your machine running reliably for years to come.
Make sure to check out the pages in the menu above for make/model specific issues we've encountered in popular snowmobiles!