Get Ready for Winter: 10 Things To Do Before The Cold Hits
No matter what Mother Nature throws at you this winter, making sure your machine is ready to face her head on is important. Now is the time to get your ATV prepared for winter.
From general maintenance to creating an emergency kit, we’ve come up with a short checklist – c’mon, 10 really isn’t that long – of things you can do to make sure you’re ready to plow snow, winch your best friend out of a ditch, or simply go flying over that fluffy white stuff on a modern day sleigh ride.
And while you’re at it, check out the cool QuadBoss gear we recommend, like heated grips and hand mitts, and our ultra cool Reflective Series Soft Luggage.
Is your ATV ready to handle the cold weather? Your ATV is an all-weather ride, from icy trails across the country to plowing snow around your neighborhood. You don't have to store your ATV just because the weather has turned cold. Instead, get your ATV ready for winter with these 10 tips.
Winter can be tough on any vehicle. Whether you plan on riding every day or just a couple times, it's important to make sure that your ATV is properly maintained and ready for the cold. It's good practice to change your oil and oil filters at the beginning of the cold season to prevent possible dirt settlement in the engine or any internal corrosion that might come from old oil sitting in your ride for long amounts of time. Also, don't forget to inspect your frame for cracks or damage. Frame issues are the last things you want to be dealing with in the bitter cold.
Clean your windshield
There's nothing like being stuck in a snowstorm and, along with the low visibility, your windshield is spotted with dirt. Give your windshield a full service cleaning at the beginning of the season and wipe it down with a wet cloth after each ride to prevent dirt or water residue. If you don't have a windshield and plan on riding in the winter, check out QuadBoss' Gen-2 Fairing selection.
Treat your gas
Fuel stabilizer is a must-have for the winter months. With this addition, you won't have to worry about whether you have good fuel in your ATV each time you start it up. Mix in the stabilizer with a partial tank of fuel, top off your tank and run your engine for 10-15 minutes to ensure the stabilizer makes it all the way through your fuel system.
Prep your tires
Flat or damaged tires aren't fun, especially in six inches of fresh snow. Make sure your tire tread is sufficient for the worst weather imaginable for your area, or go out and purchase some new tires. For snowy, wet or muddy riding, mud or utility tires are your best bets. You can also add tire chains for added winter-weather control.
Along with snow, you're probably going to run into some rocks, branches or other potentially hazardous objects on your ride. To make sure these obstacles don't damage your tires, treat your tires with tire sealant. This will make sure you don't get stranded out on the trail thanks to a rock or a stray nail.
Along with your typical winter weather attire, you should make sure your ATV is decked out with additional heated gear for severe cold weather. Heated grips keep your hands warm while hand mitts protect your hands and wrists from wind, rain and snow, as well as trail hazards like branches and thrown rocks.
Check your power
You'll need plenty of juice to make it through the cold months. It's best practice to put either a brand new or freshly charged battery in your ATV to ensure a full, dependable battery throughout the season. Clean your battery terminals in order to make sure you have a direct connection. If you won't be using your ATV much (or at all) during the winter, it's a good idea to disconnect your battery and maintain it using a powersports battery charger. It's best to use the charger whenever your battery won't be in use for long periods of time.
Check fasteners on plow mount
You don't want your plow to fall off mid-job, so be sure to inspect all of your fastener mounts thoroughly. It's best to check these multiple times throughout the season, as bolts could loosen up at any time throughout the season.
Get your winch ready
Winches are a key part of winter ATVing, whether you're using them for your plow or as a safety precaution. If you go winter trail riding, you're inevitably going to get stuck at some point, whether you like it or not. Your winch is often times your only way out, so it's important make sure that everything is working and secure so you aren't stranded.
Inspect your plow
If you use your ATV to clear your driveway, be sure to give your plow blade a once-over before the first snow of the season. Make sure to inspect your wear bar and skid shoes in particular. If they have run too low, you're at risk of damaging your plow blade.
Don't forget to give your blade a solid wipe-down every now and then to prevent any surface damage.