Replacing the Throttle Cable on a Snowmobile

The throttle cable is an essential component to a safe and reliable snowmobile. It is not common for throttle cables to wear out or break, but occasionally, corrosion can occur on the cable if water is trapped inside the sheath protecting the cable, causing the cable to stick. Lubricating the cable may resolve this issue, but if it does not you will need to replace the cable. An after-market handlebar extension may also require a longer throttle cable on the snowmobile to reach the throttle. Fortunately, replacing the throttle cable is a straightforward job.


1) Using the flathead screwdriver, unscrew the screw that attaches to the plastic cover between the throttle and the protective sheath surrounding the throttle cable on the handlebars. On some models there is a clip that you can remove without any tools. When the cover is removed, you should be able to see the end of the throttle cable attached to the throttle.

2) Ensure the machine is off. Squeeze the throttle full bore and pull the knob on the end of the cable past the socket with needle-nose pliers as you release the throttle. This may take some wiggling as it is held in place by tension. When you are successful the top end of the cable should be free.

3) Open the cowling of the snowmobile. The throttle cable will run alongside the handlebars into the cowling and straight into the carburetor.

4) Unscrew the cap on the top of the carburetor. The throttle cable runs through the cap and a tension spring works against a plunger inside the carburetor.

5) Pull the cap upward and use your hand to squeeze the bottom of the spring into the bottom of the carburetor cap. This will create slack at the end of the cable, allowing you to remove the plunger. Set the plunger aside in a safe place to be reused when you reassemble the apparatus with the new throttle cable. Remove the spring after you unscrew the bottom end of the throttle cable.

6) Unscrew the end of the throttle cable from the inside of the carburetor, paying close attention to how many turns you unscrew the end. When you replace the new cable, you will thread it the same number of turns. Unscrew the locknut before unscrewing the cable, if your machine has a locknut. On other machines, use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the clip holding this end of the cable in place inside the carburetor. Set aside the spring with the plunger. You will reuse the spring and plunger when you replace the cable.

7) Pull the old cable through the carburetor cap and thread the new cable through the cap and spring. Turn the threaded end of the new cable into the threaded hole inside the carburetor, carefully adjusting it to the same tension as the old cable. If your new throttle cable is longer, you will need to readjust the tension settings, so readjust the carburetor after everything is reassembled.

8) Place the plunger back into the carburetor as you squeeze the tension spring into the bottom of the carburetor cap. Replace the locknut or clip.

9) Screw the carburetor cap back into place and thread the new cable through the opening at the top of the cowling or hood at the handlebars.

10) Pull the knob at the top end of the throttle cable into the socket at the throttle on the handlebars. This may take some wiggling and effort as there will be tension on the cable.

Extra Tips:

* When you check the throttle settings on your snowmobile, squeeze the throttle. There should be an immediate response. You will need to tighten the cable if the response is slow or if it lags.

* Many people use zip ties to secure the cable to the handlebars where it emerges from the cowling.

* Ensure that you wear a helmet when riding a snowmobile and that you test your new throttle cable in a safe place

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