Driving an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) can help you carry out practical tasks, but it can also be a lot of fun. If you want to make that fun last, it’s important to maintain your ATV.
So how do you do it?
The Importance of ATV Maintenance
Maintaining an ATV is important for several reasons:
- Improving performance and reliability. Keeping your ATV in good condition can improve its performance and reliability. If you regularly inspect your vehicle, replace parts when necessary, and give your vehicle everything it needs to run properly, it’s going to be in perfect operating condition when you really need it.
- Reducing costs and issue complexity. Small issues in machines with lots of interdependent moving parts can quickly escalate to become big issues. If you catch these issues while they’re small, they’re much cheaper and less effort-intensive to fix; accordingly, practicing routine ATV maintenance can reduce your total costs and the complexity of the issues you might face.
- Maximizing lifespan and value. Practicing routine maintenance can also maximize the lifespan and value of your ATV. If you’re interested in keeping this vehicle running for as long as possible or reselling it for the greatest price when it’s time to retire the vehicle, maintenance is essential.
How to Maintain an ATV
These are some of the most important strategies for maintaining your ATV:
- Find a reliable parts supplier. First, find a reliable parts supplier for your ATV. Over the course of your ATV ownership, you’ll probably have several parts that break down or need replacing. If you know of a reliable parts store in advance, you can find exactly what you need quickly and get your ATV back on the road faster.
- Follow the break-in period. New ATVs have a break-in period that you should respect. While it’s tempting to take a new ATV out for an intense ride to test its true limits, it’s usually better to drive your ATV slowly and carefully until it properly “warms up.” Oil and various fluids flow throughout the vehicle consistently before you push it.
- Inspect the vehicle regularly. Schedule regular vehicle inspections for your ATV. If you feel confident doing this on your own, you can do it at home; otherwise, take it to a professional. Depending on the age and model of your vehicle and depending on how much you use it, you may need an inspection only once annually or every few months.
- Check and change the oil. Once or twice per year, you should change the oil in an ATV just as you should change the oil in a traditional vehicle. Changing the oil is arguably the most important proactive maintenance step for maximizing the lifespan of your vehicle. You should also periodically check the oil to make sure levels are adequate.
- Tighten the bolts. Take the time to tighten all the bolts around your ATV; with regular use, these can become loose and less reliable.
- Clean the ATV. Cleaning your ATV is about more than just keeping it superficially tidy; it’s also about preventing damage and improving the longevity of your machine. Without proper care, dirt, mud, and debris can cause the steel in your vehicle to rust and cause other issues in the ATV.
- Treat your gas with a stabilizer. If you’re going to store your ATV for a while, or if you don’t use your ATV very often, make sure you treat your gas with a stabilizer agent. Gas stabilizer to make sure your gas remains good even as it ages or collects moisture.
- Store the ATV properly. During the off-season, store your ATV properly. Ideally, it will be stored in a closed environment like a garage and tightly covered up to protect it from external sources of damage.
- Replace/clean your air filter. Your air filter keeps dust and debris out of the engine – keep it clean and replace it when necessary.
- Maintain tire pressure. Before taking your ATV out on any ride, measure the tire pressure and make any necessary adjustments. If your tire pressure is too high or too low, you’ll increase the risk of a blowout. You should also consider rotating the tires so they wear more evenly.
- Restore coolant levels. Pay attention to the coolant levels of your ATV and restore them if depleted. If you neglect this, your ATV runs the risk of overheating.
- Exercise caution while operating. Finally, always exercise caution when riding your ATV. Be wary not to drive recklessly – and be on the lookout for any obstacles or conditions that could damage your vehicle.
If you can keep your ATV in better shape, you’ll save money, improve performance, and make sure your vehicle lasts as long as possible. Since ATV maintenance is neither expensive nor time-consuming, there’s no excuse not to practice it.