Keeping your ATV or UTV Cool in Hot Weather
Summer is officially here, which only means one thing – hot weather and outdoor adventures. However, preparing your ATV or UTV for the heat is as important as preparing it for the cold. It’s a beast you don’t want to ignore.
Simply put – it’s equally as important to keep yourself cool and hydrated during the summer months as it is for your quad. Water-cooled ATVs circulate coolant through your engine to extract heat, which is a process similar to what your body does. And by not taking precautions in the heat, it can lead to problems.
In this article, we explore the important pieces of maintaining your ATV or UTV during the hot summer months.
How to Tell If Your ATV is Overheating
There are several ways to detect overheating. The main symptoms to watch for are:
- Power loss
- Dripping fluid
- A super hot case
- Ticking noises in your engine
- A sweet smell
- Your piston expanding and seizing (in which case, you would have waited too long)
If any of the above symptoms occur, it can wreak havoc on your machine. Soiled radiators can prevent your machine from keeping fluid cool if it’s obstructed. This may cause it not to run at all. It is important to take the time to inspect your radiator often and ensure that it is clean and free of debris.
Tips for Keeping Your ATV Cool in Hot Weather
There are multiple ways in which you can ensure that your ATV or UTV runs smoothly in the summer and does not get overheated. Below, we explore the different tips to keep your summer riding as worry-free as possible.
Make Sure You Have Enough Coolant in The Radiator
The cooling system is often overlooked in an ATV. If you fail to clean or service your cooling system, you may find it failing on you when you need it the most. It is a very important part to take care of, especially during the summer months.
Inspect Your Radiator Frequently for Damage
Radiators often become covered in dirt and debris from riding through mud, dirt roads or swampy areas. Dirt can become lodged in the fins of the radiator, causing issues that may contribute to the failure of vital engine components. Your radiator is the biggest cooling component for your engine. Make time to check it after each ride to ensure that it is free of debris.
Many ATV’s come equipped with air-cooled engines, which rely on the fins in the cylinder to channel airflow across the engine’s surface, dissipating heat in the process. Moving air is a critical part of the system because they lack thermostats. Therefore, long periods of idling in intense heat can cause serious damage. If you have an air-cooled design, shut down when you plan to stop for anything over a couple of minutes, especially in hot conditions.
Install a High-Pressure Radiator Cap
High pressure radiator caps can add quite a bit of cooling efficiency to your ATV on hot summer days. It’s an inexpensive tweak that can provide you with extra insurance against engine failure or detonation in extreme conditions.
Digital Radiator Fan
Digital radiator fans provide constant airflow when your ATV is idling, which is when your engine needs it the most. A digital radiator fan will not compromise horsepower or fuel economy like a mechanical fan would.
A recovery tank allows excess coolant to be drained into a recovery bottle or tank, allowing a venting mechanism to draw coolant back into the radiator from the recovery tank.
After Market Water Pump and Impeller
Water pumps on engines go unnoticed often times, until they either leak or they need to be replaced due to a bearing failure. Water pumps consist of a rubber impeller that is keyed to the engine’s drive shaft. Compressed impeller blades and expansion action are what give the pump its ability to send pressurized water through the engine’s cooling chambers.
Don’t Ignore the Heat
It is second nature for most ATV owners to think of preparing their ATV for the cold winter months, but maintaining your ATV properly during the hot summer months is equally as important and can save you a significant amount of money and problems in the long run. For more tips, reach out to your local ATV and UTV dealer and keep things cool this summer.