They keep any moisture that may be in your gas and also any snow that may make it by the foam filters from icing up and causing a lean condition. It's insurance against a meltdown due to icing of the carbs.
Hard starting with the heated carbs on, that may explain somethings. My sled started like crap last winter. I usually turned them on when it got down around 20 degrees or so, once I had them on I usually failed to shut them off when it was warmer out though.
Idooski, thanks for the tip. If I am remember correctly you have a 800. If so, does yours over heat easily? Even in the best snow conditions my idiot light comes on if I sit and idle for more than a few minutes.
Our idiot lights never came on once last year on any of the 02 800 gades,02 800 adrenilin or the 02 mxz700. We doo dip alot though. We were told not to use the heated carbs unless it is extremly cold with powdery light snow. We just give it 1/4 throttle when starting and no problem, it always starts.
If you are having abnormal overheating I would run your sled by the dealer for a leak down test. You could have a base gasket leak. If you have an '01 that was updated with the piston and cooling kit this may be a problem with yours. Doo is recommending gel seal on the base gaskets now when for years they were installed dry from the factory.
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