Your ATV, whether purchased as a means to travel your property with ease or to be used as a recreational vehicle, was a significant purchase. Consequently, you want to have it for a while. However, like many things, if the goal is for it to last then it is on you to see that it is properly maintained. You can’t just keep riding it and never stop to do the upkeep!
Don’t Do That – Do This: ATV Maintenance
While positive reinforcement is great, sometimes it’s the lessons learned the hard way that sticks with us the longest. When you have an ATV, you want to avoid learning things the hard way(s) as much as possible.
Don’t Do That
These are things NOT TO DO with your ATV.
- Skip the break-in procedure. Most new ATVs need to be slowly acclimated for longer, harder rides. On the first time out, take your time and get used to how it handles; this also gives the oil, additives, and lubricants a chance to move throughout the machine.
- Put it away dirty. After every excursion take a few minutes to hose it off before putting it away. This will maintain the paint and details longer as dust and grime make your ATV’s finish more susceptible to corrosion and the finish being damaged.
- Leave it sitting out in the elements. When you purchase your ATV be sure you have a shed, storage building, or garage where you can park so it is protected from the elements.
- Keep the battery in while in off-season storage. This is a good way to discover the battery to be dead when you pull it out the next season.
- Let it idle for extended periods when out on the trail or checking out the property. If you will be stopping for more than a minute or two, turn it off and put it in park. Excessive idling periods wear down the engine and shorten how long the ATV will last.
- Ignore strange sounds, warning lights, or loose parts. Taking care of smaller issues keeps them from becoming bigger more expensive repairs.
Instead, be sure to DO THESE THINGS with your ATV:
- Check and change the oil. Changing the oil in an ATV is easier than doing so in a vehicle. Just follow the manual for instructions. AMSOIL synthetic oil (as well as many other ATV-enhancing products) are available from Life Time Oil and can be ordered in bulk so you always have a supply handy.
- Have a clean air filter. Sure, changing the oil often will keep your ATV running smoothly, but an air filter keeps debris from reaching the engine.
- Manage the fuel system. When putting your ATV in long-term storage add a fuel stabilizer to the tank and let it run for a few minutes to disperse it through the lines. Be sure to leave some space at the top of the tank to prevent condensation!
- Inflate the tires. If you put up your ATV for a long time, inflate the tires first! This will keep them from becoming worn on one side. If storing your ATV for cold weather, it is best to put it up on blocks.
- Check the coolant levels, radiator, and hoses. If low, add AMSOIL Powersports Antifreeze and Coolant to prevent overheating.
ATV maintenance doesn’t have to be a chore, nor does it mean avoiding the fun stuff. By making maintenance tasks a part of your routine you can get miles of enjoyment and hours of work from your investment. Don’t put off the simple jobs. Plan time to do some ATV maintenance today.