Tips For Making Your ATV Run For Years to Come
You may think your knowledge of ATV’s is more than average, but there are things that you may be doing, unknowingly, which could shorten the life expectancy of your ATV. In this article, we dive deeper into what those items may be and what you can do to change them.
What is the Average Life Expectancy of an ATV?
The average lifespan of an ATV is somewhere around 20 years if they are properly maintained. An ATV with over 1000 hours can still run like new if it’s been regularly serviced. Like vehicles, ATVs can start giving you problems once they reach a certain number of kilometers. So, it’s important to stay on top of maintenance to ensure that you keep things in tip top shape.
Factors That Shorten the Life of an ATV
Besides the obvious, like accidents, it’s actually not difficult to shorten the life span of your ATV. Chances are, you’re doing a lot of those things now without realizing it. From neglecting maintenance issues to water damage, right through to damage from riding over rocks etc.
In this section, we explore some of the most common mistakes ATV owners make which can decrease the life of your ATV.
This is a given. Like a car, infrequent maintenance can cause serious damage. It’s also a good way to detect issues before they become major ones. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. You’ll thank yourself later for doing it.
Not Cleaning Your Air Filter
This needs to be cleaned regularly. Running an engine with a dirty air filter is one of the easiest ways to ruin your ATV. Dirt particles get sucked into the engine, and over time, they wear it out. This can cause serious damage. Always clean your air filter before riding season begins if you’re a more casual rider. If you off-road frequently, clean it after a dirty ride.
Not Changing the Oil
This is as important as changing your air filter. Oil collects gunk. Between the debris and shavings from engine wear, it becomes a breeding ground for break downs. Puddles cause water to infiltrate your quad, and we all know that oil and water don’t mix. Replace the oil at the end of each season.
We certainly don’t ride our ATVs on the highway or on smooth surfaces. The friction and rough rides can cause your bolts to loosen. The last thing you want is to have them fall off, leaving you without a wheel in the middle of nowhere. It’s a simple thing to do. Tighten your bolts frequently to make sure they’re solid. Bolts to check and tighten regularly are lug nuts, pivot bolts, axle nuts, wheel hubs, skid plate bolts, and sprocket bolts.
Sucking moisture is a sure-fire way to get water in the engine. Submerging your quad into water in any capacity will most definitely cause damage. Be sure to clear as much water out of your machine as you can and get it onto dry land as soon as possible if, or when, this happens.
Never Greasing Your Zerk or Pivot Points
Like the saying goes, it runs like a well-oiled machine. Your bolts, bearings, and bushings love grease and your ATV will thank you for greasing them often.
A dirty ATV can cause serious problems that can be costly in the long run. If you’re mudding a lot, be sure to clean it when you’re done. Even the parts you can’t see. You can roll it halfway to get to the bottom where dried mud and dirt is resting. Scrub it. It can erode your ATV if you don’t, leading to problems later on.
Leaving Fuel in the Tank While in Storage
If you’re going to put your quad away for the winter months, or if you won’t be riding it for a while, prep the gas in your tank. Either drain it completely or put a fuel additive in the tank to keep the fuel from going bad.
Powering Through a Clogged Radiator
If you go mudding, splashing, or riding through swampy territory, your ATV’s radiator could be struggling. Clean it out with a power washer. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if water is splashing back towards you, then the radiator is not clean yet. Keep going until it flows through.
Failing to Make Important Upgrades
Many ATV upgrades can save your ATV from damage that might cause a shorter lifespan. Such upgrades can include levers, grips, brake upgrades, exhaust upgrades. Be sure to go over them with your local ATV professional.
An Easy Way to Add Years of Enjoyment
It’s safe to say that an ATV is a great investment that you’ll want to protect to ensure years of worry-free riding. So, when you’re purchasing an ATV, factor maintenance costs into your decision. Because it should absolutely be a part of your plan.
Get into the habit of following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule because whoever made your quad, knows how to care for it best.
Visit your local ATV dealer. Ask questions, get excited, and get riding.