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Background and Overview
Reasons for Change
P2 in Action
All Clean Snowmobiles links
Only Background and Overview links

Essential Links:

How Two-Stroke Engines Work
Explains how two-stroke engines operate and their advantages and disadvantages.

Clean Snowmobile Facts
Presents objective and balanced information about all aspects of the debate over snowmobile emission...

Clean Snowmobiles: Background and Overview
Cleaner Snowmobile Technology Overview and Background
Snowmobile Photo

Snowmobiling is a popular winter sport and mode of transportation.

  • Twenty-seven states in America have active state snowmobile associations.
  • There are 1,570 licensed snowmobile dealers in the United States.**
  • There are approximately 2.7 million registered snowmobiles in North America.**
  • There are over 225,000 miles of groomed and marked snowmobile trails in North America.**

**Source: International Snowmobile
Manufacturer's Association

State Snowmobile Associations (http://www.snowmobileacsa.org/page.cfm/26/):

Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Do snowmobiles emit significant amounts of pollution? Yes!

  • Current (2001) production snowmobiles mostly use two-stroke engines that produce significant amounts of unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter emissions.
  • Snowmobile emissions are not yet regulated by any federal agency.
  • The best estimates available that compare snowmobile emissions to average automobile emissions conclude that a traditional snowmobile produces 10 to 70 times more carbon monoxide and between 45 and 250 times more unburned hydrocarbons than an average automobile.
Two-stroke engines used in snowmobiles are sometimes the same engines used in personal water craft (PWC) like jet skis, and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) with different air intake and exhaust systems to adapt for water use. However, the way these engines are used in PWC is considerably different, and these operational differences change the emissions and emission content. Temperature difference is one large variable. PWC seldom operate at temperatures below freezing (0 C) where snowmobiles typically operate at colder temperatures when all engines want to run rich. Colder temperatures favor the production of carbon monoxide and warmer temperatures favor the production of unburned hydrocarbons.


Hub Last Updated: 08/08/2003

The P2Rx Topic Hub Project was developed by:
The Clean Snowmobiles Topic Hub was developed by:
Peaks to Prairies
Peaks to Prairies
Contact Laura Estes (Peaks)
406-994-3451 or laurae@montana.edu