ATVs and UTVs are not only fun but can also be useful in their small size and powerful applications. ATV maintenance is important to keep your machine running for a long time and safely. Whether it’s an ATV you use year-round on the farm or ranch or a hobby that you’ll continue through the winter, there are steps you should take to maintain your equipment.
How to Winterize an ATV or UTV for Cold Weather
Colder temps and severe weather are hard on an ATV. The battery, tires, fuel, air filter, engine oil and more are all affected when proper winterization doesn’t take place. The process can be fairly quick and is worth doing in the interest of longevity.
Wash and Lubricate
Making sure the parts of your ATV are clean and well lubricated will prevent corrosion, which leads to deterioration over time. There are different products available to prevent friction, like grease or chain wax.
Drain the Fuel
Fuel is obviously a big player when it comes to your ATV running smoothly. When fuel sits around in the fuel system too long, it can separate, making it unusable. A remedy for this is to add a fuel stabilizer to the gas and running the ATV for a few minutes to circulate.
Inflate Your Tires
Maintaining proper tire pressure means your tires will wear evenly, which can prolong their life and fuel efficiency. If you plan on storing your ATV away for an extended period of time, it’s ideal to lift the vehicle to mitigate the amount of weight sitting on the tires.
Change the Oil
Regular oil changes can help your engine stay clean. When oil remains in the system too long, build up like sludge can develop, which is dangerous to the efficiency of an engine.
Cover and Store
If you don’t plan to use your ATV for a period of time, it’s best to store it away. You might consider a storage shed or something like a 4-wheeler storage box in a covered space.
UTV and ATV Maintenance for Warm Weather
Even when the temps aren’t frigid, there are things you should do to keep your ATV in good working order for as long as possible.
Top Off or Refill Your Fluids
Just like in cold weather, oil is important. Make sure you keep up with regular oil changes and also check the coolants. You’ll want to avoid coolant levels dropping in warm weather because it can cause the engine to overheat.
Double-Check the Tire Pressure
Heat can cause the air in your tires to expand. You want to make sure your tires are not at risk of over inflating and causing a safety hazard.
Replace Your Air Filter
An air filter can catch a lot of dirt and debris along the way – especially for an ATV. If the air filter is left dirty for too long, it can lead to the engine running poorly or even engine damage.
Tighten Nuts and Bolts
Over time, nuts and bolts will loosen creating possibly unsafe situations. Tightening these fasteners should be part of your seasonal maintenance but also a routine step that you take before you take the ATV out.
Put Protection in Place
Regular maintenance is the best thing you can do for the longevity of your ATV’s lifespan. Having the proper protection in place will also give you peace of mind that you’re better protected. Find a Farm Bureau agent who can walk you through insurance coverage for your ATV, UTV or RMV today.