Whether you’ve stored your ATV or been riding it all season, there are things you can do to maintain the condition of your machine. Taking care of your ATV will ensure a safer, more enjoyable ride. Follow the ATV maintenance checklist below to keep your ATV running smoothly.
ATV maintenance and inspection checklist
1. Visual inspection
The first step of your ATV inspection should be giving it a good walk around. Make sure to look under the surface for any signs of disrepair. If you’ve covered and stored your ATV during the winter, make sure small critters haven’t chewed through your vehicle components or nested in the exhaust or intake.
When inspecting your ATV, make sure to look for signs of fluid leaks, loose chains, water damage, and loose bolts and nuts.
2. Inspect the tires and other rubber parts
Proper air pressure is important for safety and maintaining the integrity of your wheels and makes for a better ride. When conducting an ATV inspection, check to see if any of the tires look under-inflated. You can also use an air compressor to check and set tire pressure to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Inspect hoses and handlebar grips for cracking, flat spots, or cracks. Give your brake pads a good check, too. You may need to replace them if you can’t see the indicator marks. And if you notice more wear on one brake pad than the other, you may want to check your alignment.
3. Change the oil
It’s important to check your oil levels regularly and change dirty oil when needed. If you’re bringing an ATV out of storage, remember that new oil sitting for extended periods can congeal, making it less effective. A good rule of thumb is to change the oil when coming out of storage, regardless of when you last replaced it.
While you’re at it, check your fuel system. Just like oil, gas can go bad if it sits unused for a long time and hasn’t had a fuel stabilizer added to it.
4. Check the battery
Cold weather can wreak havoc on your battery. Try powering on the engine to see if your battery still has life. If not, you may need a battery replacement. Inspect the battery and nearby parts for any signs of leaking or corrosion, indicating that you need a new battery.
Tips for following an ATV maintenance schedule
Regular tune-ups are key to a good ride and prolonging the life of your ATV. Even if you usually perform your own ATV maintenance, mechanics recommend that you schedule a professional tune-up or ATV inspection. Having a trained mechanic inspect your ATV can help identify and repair any issues you may have missed.
Be proactive in prepping your ATV and following an ATV maintenance checklist. Each year, check the condition of your machine before winter is over so you can get ahead of the spring maintenance rush. You will be able to start enjoying your ATV as soon as the season starts. And before hitting your favorite ATV trails, learn more about ATV insurance and how ATV insurance works.