When buying a used snowmobile from a salvage yard, a buyer should take note of the overall appearance of the vehicle, the condition of the engine and clutch, any fluid leaks, evidence that the snowmobile has been in a crash and signs of excessive corrosion. As an aid in price negotiations, a buyer may want to establish the Kelly Blue Book retail value of similar machines by looking up the make, model and year of the machine at Kbb.com/snowmobile.
A buyer should consider the general look of a used snowmobile. He should check the body and the tunnel for signs of abuse by looking for bent, warped, cracked or broken parts. If the skis are not straight, the tunnel has a wrinkled look or the engine belly pan is dented, that may indicate the vehicle has been involved in a crash at some point.
The buyer should examine the engine and clutch to see if they appear well maintained or if they are coated with dirt and fluids. He should look for any obvious fluid leaks and any wear on belts, gears and chains. He should see if the spark plugs have a tan color rather than milky or black, indicating electrical problems. He may want to have a mechanic perform a compression test on the engine to evaluate how it runs and to ensure that the clutch engages properly.