Specially formulated lubrication oils may provide part of the answer to reducing snowmobile emissions. Manufacturers of low-emission two-cycle oil combine various characteristics into their formulations.
Testing funded by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and others compared emission levels from a conventional petroleum-base lube oil to those from three oils formulated to improve performance and reduce emissions.
These were: Conoco bio-synthetic two-cycle engine oil, which is highly biodegradable: Bombardier Rotax (Castrol) Formula XPS synthetic two-stroke oil (a synthetic biodegradable lube with solvent) which is biodegradable and produces lower particulate emissions; and TORCO Synthetic Smoke-Less 2-Cycle Oil, a fully synthetic lube oil that is low particulate but not biodegradable. Biodegradable oils can be used interchangeably with standard oils.
Test results show that the use of synthetic low-particulate oils significantly reduces pollution. Synthetic biodegradable lube oils reduced carbon monoxide, and probably would reduce any potential impacts to water quality.
Not included in this test but used by SnowTech Magazine is Maxima BIO 2T, an ester based synthetic oil that burns cleanly and is recommended for use in environmentally sensitive areas.