Early Engine Breakdown

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Dear Motorhead:

I have a 2009 600 Polaris switchbach and I just blew up the engine at 2800 mile, which I think is not very much. The PTO side piston had a chunk missing and the other side looked OK, however only had 50 PSI compression.

I have always run Shell synthetic oil in this machine . What causes this premature breakdown?

Thanks for your email!

It would be impossible for me to speculate on what went wrong with your mill but I can understand how upsetting this might be to you.

I will take one stab at the issue – if the engine appears to have been “lean” and the piston is melted (where the piece is missing) it is possible you have had some bad fuel. The new ethanol mix fuels are problematic and I’m hearing concern from all over the industry about this.

You need to ensure you have your fuel settings selected properly as well if your sled has an “ethanol” switch or wire plug – check with your dealer. To be safe, run premium all the time.

Motorhead Mark

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