Your ATV is not just a machine for fun, it’s also an investment. Like any investment, you want to keep it in the best shape possible for as long as you can. As the flowers begin to bloom and the bluebirds sing, you’ll know it’s time to break out your ATV or UTV from its winter hibernation. At the start of the riding season, go through ATV Trader’s six tips for maintaining your ATV or UTV in the spring.
1. Do a Visual Inspection
Your spring checklist should start with an overall visual inspection of your machine. Keep a close eye out for fluid leaks, under-inflated tires, loose chains, and other wear and tear that you might’ve missed before putting your ATV in storage.
2. Check for Pests
Your ATV or UTV might not be the only thing in your garage over the winter season. Mice and other rodents can make their way inside and nest in the tight spaces of your off-road vehicle. Inspect the body panels, storage areas, fenders, mufflers, and air intake for critters. If you find signs of these pests, look for any damage they may have caused to your unit.
3. Check the Oil Level and Filter
Before starting up your ATV or UTV, check that the engine is properly lubricated. Look for condensation in the oil from last riding season. This causes the oil to look milky and can be harmful to the motor. A new oil filter and fresh oil change will give your ride a much-needed refresh after spending a few months away from the action.
4. Check the Battery
If your ATV is having a hard time starting, fire it up and test the battery to make sure it’s holding a charge. This will let you know if you need a new one. If it isn’t maintaining above 12 volts on the multimeter, you may need to replace the battery.
5. Check the Fuel
How did you fuel your unit before storing it away for winter? If you added stabilizer, then your fuel is likely in good shape. If not, and you left your ATV or UTV sitting idly through the season, then a fuel replacement is a good idea. Watch out for that pesky condensation in the fuel that can cause corrosion. If you notice any build up, drain the carburetor until there is no water left.
6. Check All Fluids
In addition to the transmission oil and fuel, start your off-roading season by taking a look at all of your vehicle’s fluids. Checking the levels of your ATV’s differential oil, antifreeze, coolant, and brake fluid will help keep your unit riding in optimal condition.
Conclusion: Get your season off to a good start by running through this checklist. Spring maintenance is manageable for an ATV or UTV owner and shouldn’t require a trip to the mechanic. A little TLC before you fire up your off-road vehicle will help keep it running in good condition, so you’re ready to ride for the rest of the year. Be sure to check out our suggestions for summer and fall maintenance, along with tips for preparing your ATV or UTV for winter.
If you’re in the market for a new, or new-to-you, ATV or UTV, browse the nationwide online marketplace at ATVTrader.com.