ATV/UTV Maintenance Tips To Maximize Machine Life

April 18th, 2022 by Adam Luehrs

Using an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or a utility terrain vehicle (UTV) affords enormous benefits to drivers and passengers. Benefits include going places where traditional cars and trucks can not, visibility on every side of the vehicle, traversing rugged topography in relative safety and comfort, and possessing a mighty capacity for towing, whether the aim is recreational, practical, or both. While ATVs and UTVs are sold at a wide range of prices, every owner wants to get the maximum terrain life for what is paid. Below are a few tips to lengthen enjoyment and usability.


#1: Monitor and Change Oil Regularly

This is a no-brainer to anyone who owns a car or lawnmower, much less an ATV/UTV enthusiast. Yet it is even more applicable to off-road vehicles because of the beating they take. Vehicles that will, in one ride, travel over rocky mounds, muddy flats, and slippery fields will generate high heat in their engines and mechanisms, decreasing oil viscosity. Leaving this unattended bodes poorly for moving parts.




#2: Attend to the Air Filter

Checking the condition of and, if necessary, replacing the air filter goes far to preserve the four-wheeler in good condition. None of us appreciate oxygen until we are choking. The same applies to the vehicle. Unless air can move unfettered through the engine, performance will suffer. Moreover, the filter can only catch so much debris before it can’t. Soon, the engine will give out.


#3: Even ATVs Need a Bath

There is romance to the image of a UTV or ATV covered, even encrusted, with mud. So, go ahead and snap a photo, then wash the vehicle. The trouble with all that wet soil and bio-matter adhering to the ride is that it holds moisture. Moisture, in turn, causes oxidation (think rust) to form on the metal. Furthermore, mud carries other debris which can wedge in the works. That is why washing, preferably power washing, the machine is a wise action to preserve the life of the off-road vehicle.



#4: Frequently Replace the Differential Fluid

The differential axles allow the outside wheels to rotate faster than those inside. As the gear teeth grind, they need a protective coating against direct contact with each other. A hard ride can easily penetrate the fluid coating and invite unwanted friction between teeth. Follow the changing schedule in the owner’s manual as a rule but, for those who ride tough courses often, pay close attention to the differentials. A higher frequency might be necessary.


#5: Examine the Wiring

While electrical wiring is fairly well-insulated, it is not immune from corrosion or impact. For this reason, it is worth paying strict attention to any irregularity with an electrical part. A headlight not working might be easily corrected, but other electrical malfunctions may require professional servicing. You want your ATV or UTV to run when you need it and, if a component stops working, the whole machine may become unusable.


#6: Don’t Neglect the Brakes

Brakes that give out can lead to a serious accident, threatening the vehicle and the driver. Check the brake fluid often and measure the thickness of the pads. Also, make sure the brake cables are secure.



Posted in How To's, Informative, Tips