01 Jan Maintaining Your ATV or UTV
You don’t have to be far from base for a breakdown in your ATV or UTV to cause a host of problems. While lighter than an automotive vehicle, an ATV can’t be pushed very far, especially in rugged terrain, and a UTV will need a second SxS to tow it home. This is why maintenance isn’t optional. Here’s some advice for taking care of your vehicles and ensuring they are ready for use whenever you need them.
Think About Airflow
A quality air filter extends engine life by protecting the cylinders from dirt and debris. If it gets clogged though the engine works harder to draw in the air it needs, and that means reduced fuel consumption. Change your filter at least once a year, and more often if you’re riding in dirty or dusty conditions.
Airflow applies to the radiator too. Radiators can get clogged with mud and debris which reduces cooling efficiency and leads to overheating. A “cooked” engine is very expensive, so wash that radiator out periodically!
Stay on Top of Lubrication
It’s no exaggeration to call oil the blood of the engine and transmission. Oil ensures components move smoothly, which reduces wear and prolongs life. It also provides cooling, taking the heat of combustion away from the pistons and valves to where it’s readily dissipated.
Oil levels should be checked regularly, ideally every time you head out, and topped up whenever it gets low. Oil should also be changed at least once a year, regardless of how much you’ve used your four-wheeler or UTV. This is because temperature changes cause condensation, which means water gets into the oil.
When changing the oil, it’s vital to use one formulated for ATVs and UTVs. This is because the engine and transmission share the same oil, which gets a different type of usage from that in your car or truck. And while looking at formulation, don’t overlook viscosity. Very low temperatures will benefit from a thinner oil than what you’d use in the summer heat.
Keep this at the correct level or you risk overheating. Also, remember to check the radiator cap occasionally. If it’s not able to hold pressure in the system you risk boiling the fluid, with all the problems that would bring.
These absolutely have to work, so take a look at the pads periodically. Check for both wear and condition, and do the same for the rotors. Then check on the fluid level and condition. It’s less of a problem with modern fluids but older brake fluids would absorb water and needed changing every few years.
Tire pressures and tread should be on your list, along with a check of tension in the drive chain or belt. Then look for excess play in the steering and suspension as that could be a sign of impending failure. And finally, always clean your vehicle thoroughly before putting it away. Mud means moisture and that leads to corrosion. A good clean helps avoid a host of problems!
Get the Right Products for Your Vehicle
Amsoil’s line of synthetic lubrication products represents the finest level of protection you can buy for your ATV or UTV. If you need help finding the right product for you, contact authorized Amsoil dealer Dave Consalvo today.