ATV/UTV Spring Maintenance Time!
Regular maintenance of your ATV/UTV can help prevent costly breakdowns and extend the life of your machine. QuadBoss® is here to help with a comprehensive Spring Maintenance list of everything you need to check, clean, repair or replace before the first ride of the season.
Spring is in the air and it’s time to start thinking about hitting the trails. Before you flip the switch and take off for the mud, make sure your machine is in tip-top condition. After all, you want to have fun on your ride instead of making last minute repairs just to get home.
Change the engine oil and filter.
The oil is the most important fluid in your ATV, other than gas, and when your ride sits all winter, you want to check it before you head out. Look at the levels and add oil if low. If the oil in your ATV is discolored or milky, change it.
Check all other fluid levels and look for contamination.
Any fluid in your ATV that appears dirty, milky or has particles in it should be drained and changed immediately. Discoloration of any type is a good indication that there could be a problem.
Check the air filter.
Your ATV needs air to function. Pull out the air filter and inspect it for blockages, dirt or grime. Make sure that there are no tears in the filter. Clean it thoroughly with the proper cleaner, oil it according to the manufacturer’s directions and reinstall it. If the air filter is in bad shape, replace it. Consider cleaning out the air box as well to make sure some small rodent hasn’t been using it as their home for the winter.
Inspect your spark plugs.
Take the spark plugs out and inspect them. Look for excessive fuel, antifreeze or water, as they are all signs of a problem. Replace any that are in poor condition.
Look over the fuel system.
Leaks, cracked or old rubber hoses, odors and more are cause for concern. Replace any hoses that are worn out. Remove the fuel cap and take a good sniff of the fuel inside. If you smell anything other than pure fuel, you will need to have your ATV looked at by a professional. Consider draining any fuel that has been sitting in your ATV over the winter, especially if you didn’t use a fuel stabilizer, and add new fuel.
Check your carburetor if you have one.
If you didn’t drain your carburetor before you put your ATV up for the winter, do it now. Drain any excess fuel from the bowls and check for damage from any water that might have collected while your ATV was sitting.
Check the cooling system.
Inspect your hoses, hose clamps and check for leaks. Replace any hoses that are cracked or worn out. Make sure all the clamps are properly tightened. Check the cooling fluid to make sure it's the right color and that the engine isn’t throwing oil into the cooling passages. If everything looks good, top it off.
Inspect and operate all brake, clutch and throttle levers.
Make sure all of your levers are moving properly. If there is anything responding sluggishly, clean and lube them. Lube all of the cables and replace or repair anything that is not working properly.
Give your ATV a good greasing.
Find all of the grease fittings or grease zerks on your ATV and fill them. It will help your ride operate smoothly and keep everything moving the way it should.
Inspect and adjust the CVT belt, if applicable.
The CVT belt runs from the engine to the transmission or rear drive. Make sure you don’t see any wear or cracks in the belt. If you do, replace it.
Assess the drive chain for wear, if applicable.
Do the front and rear sprockets look worn out or exhibit unusual tooth patterns? Your sprocket teeth should be straight and pointy. Bent, broken or rounded off teeth are an indication of wear. Replace the chain if needed. If everything looks good, lube the chain with the proper lubricant.
Check the electrical system.
Give your battery time to charge up slowly at 10-Amps or less several hours a day. If you find that the battery won’t hold the charge or discharges while you’re trying to start your ATV, replace the battery. Once you know your battery is working correctly, check all of your lights and other systems, and replace anything that is not working right.
Look at your bearings.
Moisture can set in while your ATV is stored for the winter. Jack up your ATV and spin your wheels while listening for any grinding or other odd noises in the wheel bearings. If you hear something you shouldn’t, replace the bearings.
Inspect the CV boots.
While you have your ATV jacked up, carefully check both the inside and outside of the CV axle boot to make sure they are not torn or have dry rot. Replace any that are showing signs of wear.
Test the swing arm bolt.
This pivot point is sometimes overlooked in the daily maintenance of your ATV but it can make a big difference in the smoothness of your ride. Inspect the bolt for any wear and make sure it is good and tight.
Assess your tires and brakes.
Inspect the tires for wear patterns that indicate a bearing problem. Rotate them while you have the ATV jacked up and look for any wobbling as it turns. Grab the tire at the top and bottom and try to wobble the wheel. The wheel should be tight. If it is not, you need to have it looked at by a professional. Check the brakes for any wear and test them to make sure they stop smooth. If they grab or vibrate, change them before heading out.
Making sure your ATV is ready before you go out will give you peace of mind and plenty of enjoyable rides throughout the year. Don’t wait. Get your ATV ready now so that you can be the first of your friends hitting the mud.