ATVs and UTVs are tough machines, but freezing temperatures can have an effect on them. Proper maintenance before storage will keep your unit in good condition and set you up for success come next spring. Prepare your off-road vehicle to weather the cold with ATV Trader’s five tips for winterizing your ATV.
1. Clean Your Vehicle
If you keep your four-wheeler or side-by-side clean throughout the year, then giving it another scrub down before a long winter should be a piece of cake. One last deep clean of the exterior and interior can help prevent buildup.
2. Add Stabilizer to the Fuel
Before it’s time to store, make sure your gas is at least half full to prevent condensation build up. Alleviate moisture in the fuel tank by adding stabilizer. This will prevent the gas from breaking down into a residue that can clog fuel lines and damage the carburetors and fuel injection systems.
3. Inflate the Tires
Fill the tires up with air before you put away your vehicle. While the tires won’t maintain precise pressure over the winter months, it’s important to make sure they aren’t totally deflated come spring. Inflating them one last time will reduce the risk of damaging the tires if they become completely flat.
4. Charge the Battery
Consider using a trickle charger to keep the battery from dying during the months that you won’t be riding your ATV. This is a low-voltage charger that keeps the battery at its maximum capacity by charging slowly. Another option is a maintenance charger that automatically starts and stops charging to maintain a specific range and avoid overcharging. Both are good options if you don’t want to brave the cold to go outside and start your ATV throughout the winter.
5. Cover and Store Properly
Keep your ATV or UTV protected from the harsh effects of winter by storing it in a dry, covered location. Protect tires and the suspension by using blocks or a lift to keep your unit off the ground. Cover your vehicle in a breathable fabric that reduces moisture. This will help prevent condensation build up and rust.
Conclusion: As you reflect on the adventures you had this off-roading season, know your ATV or UTV will be safely stored over the winter months. If you do decide to take your off-road vehicle out, these tips will make sure your rig is ready at any time. And, when the weather starts to warm up, you can check out our spring maintenance tips, as well as our summer and fall maintenance tips.
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