Off-Season ATV Maintenance

When dealing with vehicles, proper maintenance goes a long way toward preventing unnecessary expenses and ensuring the vehicle’s longevity; an ATV is no different in this regard. However, knowing how to take care of your ATV is arguably more important for many reasons, including safety. ATV maintenance during “riding” season is relatively easy. Still, things usually take a different turn once the riding season is over.

Unfortunately, most people often forget to undertake proper ATV maintenance during winter, and as you would expect, they mostly end up paying dearly for it once it’s ATV season again, as their quads are usually significantly damaged.

Do you have an ATV? If you do and you’re looking for tips on how to carry out proper off-season ATV maintenance, read on to discover some of the best ways to ensure your ATV remains in perfect condition all season long.

Garages and ATV Covers

The first thing you’ll want to put on your ATV maintenance checklist is shelter and storage location. As you well know, your ATV is as much a vehicle as your car is. Basically, this means that just as your car requires shelter to protect it from weathering, especially during winter, your ATV also requires the same. You could even argue that providing shelter or cover for your ATV is even more important than doing the same for your car. You should also note that shielding your ATV from direct exposure to sunlight during summer is also important because the sun can also damage your ATV when you leave it exposed for too long.

If you have a garage, you should ensure to park your ATV inside it to effectively shield it from weathering damage. However, the fact remains that not everyone has access to a garage, and even if you did, your garage would only protect your ATV from “some” of the effects of weathering, not all. So, if you have an ATV, you should consider getting an ATV cover. ATV covers are designed to effectively shield your ATV from harsh environmental effects, ensuring they’ll remain in excellent condition regardless of the weather.

You may be thinking, “Why can’t I just use a random blanket or cloth from my home to cover my ATV?” The answer is simple; those clothes and blankets are not designed for ATV protection. If you use them, you’ll have water building up under them, eventually leading to mold and mildew growth, causing even more damage. With ATV covers, on the other hand, water under the cover will always evaporate quickly, so you can be sure your quad-wheeler will remain perfectly dry and mold-free. In addition, their unique design means you’ll be able to use ATV covers all year round, indoors and outdoors, to protect your ATV from the effects of weathering effectively.

Check Air Filter

Access to clean air is crucial for your ATV to function properly, and if your ATV’s air system is contaminated, it could lead to ATV engine issues. Therefore, you must ensure to check your ATV air filter system from time to time during your quad maintenance to ensure that no small animals or insects have made nests in your filter system. You’ll also want to ensure no dirt or debris clogs your air filter. To do this, simply locate the air filter cover (you should find it in the back of your ATV, under the bed). Once you’ve seen it, take off the cover and then look inside to be sure it’s clean.

Battery Maintenance

Another ATV maintenance task you’ll want to add to your ATV service checklist is battery evaluation and maintenance. Just like a regular car, ATV batteries become less effective or damaged over time when the ATV isn’t used, especially after exposure to cold or freezing weather. So you should ensure to start your ATV from time to time and just let the battery charge to ensure it doesn’t become dead before spring. In addition, you should know that there are different types of ATV batteries on the market, and some are more suited to cold temperatures than others. So you’ll also want to ensure you get the best cold weather ATV battery you can find if you plan on leaving the battery in the ATV all winter long. On the other hand, you could opt to remove the ATV’s battery and connect it to a trickle charger that will help ensure you don’t end up having a dead battery by spring; which is what will likely happen if you just remove the ATV’s battery and drop it somewhere in your home or garage.

Change Engine Oil

An engine oil change is a regular part of every automobile maintenance and should be part of your ATV maintenance checklist. You should always check your ATV’s engine oil state, especially if you haven’t used the ATV in a long while. This is because debris and dirt might have somehow gotten into your oil filter, and this will make the engine oil sticky and thick. Running your ATV with this oil content will likely result in engine damage, and fixing a damaged ATV engine will undoubtedly cost you a significant amount of money. So instead of dealing with lousy engine problems, simply make sure to swap out the bad oil for quality, fresh engine oil.

Tire Check

If you have a car, you’ll most likely notice that when you leave it parked for an extended period, the tires will tend to lose pressure and go flat. The same applies to an ATV, so proper tire care is essential to proper four-wheeler maintenance. You’ll want to check your tire pressure levels periodically during the off-season. If they’re lower than what they should be, you could opt to use a tire pump to get them back in the proper condition. Also, keep an eye out for damaged or worn-out ATV tires so you can replace them before riding the ATV again.

Other ATV maintenance tips you should add to your ATV maintenance checklist include the following:

  •   Check coolant and gas states to ensure they’re free from dirt and debris.
  •   Tighten ATV tire bolts before riding.
  •   Check engine belt condition.

 

Jonas Muthoni

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