Dear Ralph: I own a 2009 Ski-Doo MXZ Renegade. I’ve had what seems to be a continuous problem with the antifreeze level and leaking...

Dear Ralph:

I own a 2009 Ski-Doo MXZ Renegade. I’ve had what seems to be a continuous problem with the antifreeze level and leaking since my first ride. The leaking was due to the hose clamps on the heat exchanger and bottle. This was taken care of by the dealer, but I found that they only replaced some of this style of clamps that was leaking. When confronted, they said that they changed clamps as per Ski-Doo. The dealer also informed me to only fill the antifreeze bottle level to the seam (when machine is cold) because  if you fill to the cold line it will dump out of the over flow when the sled gets warm. The only problem is if you fill to the seam and run the machine and let cool down the bottle shows no coolant. When you burp the cap the coolant level rises to the seam. The dealer asked  the factory and they said this was normal. Any suggestions before my sled goes out of warranty?

Ken Kradle
Eagan, MN

You should be fine, here’s why. Ski-Doo did produce a service bulletin for their dealers last spring explaining how to pressure test the cooling system and about the clamps that might need to be replaced.

Why not replace all of this style of clamp? On the 2009 models Ski-Doo changed suppliers of some of the coolant hoses and they varied on the outside diameter. Because of this variation, the “Oetiker” clamps used on the assembly line (because they are fool/idiot proof) did not always seal correctly. To remedy this, more familiar gear-style hose clamps were used by the dealer to compensate for and seal the slightly smaller hoses.

So, some of these newer hoses that are smaller on the O.D. may leak. The other hoses that were not changed to the new supplier have had no leakage issues. Your dealer was correct in that not all of the Oetiker clamps need to be replaced. On those that were changed, gear-style clamps were used for the dealer fix.

For 2010, the sleds have hoses with very specific specifications for both the inside diameter and outside diameter. Problem solved.
As for how far to fill the coolant bottle; if you fill it too much it will purge itself to it’s own level.  It is an expansion/ overflow bottle.  If you choose to fill it to the seam or the cold line is really your prerogative. The seam will be fine, and when there is
pressure in the system you might not see the coolant.

Remember, as the system cools down the pressure drops and the coolant comes back up.  This is an indication there is a small amount of air in the cooling system.  It won’t hurt anything. As long as the coolant isn’t leaking anymore, drive the sled, have fun and stop worrying. I am confident your problems are resolved.

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