Steps to Take to Prepare Your ATV For the Spring Season
Spring is right around the corner, and now is the time to start preparing your ATV for the spring and summer riding season. You’re probably excited to pull it out of storage after a long and cold few months. But before you hit the road or trails, you will want to make sure your quad in in good working order.
Preparing your ATV for spring is important to ensure that it is in tip top shape, allowing you to enjoy the season without running into any troubles. With that being said, let’s explore the steps you should take to prepare your quad for the season.
The Importance of Prepping Your ATV For Spring
The last thing you want when riding season comes along, is to run into problems while on the trails or relying on your quad to get some work done. Regular maintenance, preparation and inspections can help tremendously in identifying looming problems early-on, saving you money, time and the inconvenience of being stuck without your ATV in prime season. Let’s explore some of the basics and must-checks.
How to Prep Your ATV For Spring
Perform a Visual Inspection
Taking a walk around your quad and visually inspecting its components is one of the easiest ways to detect an obvious issue. Lights, cracks, leaks, loose chains, wear, tire inflation, amongst other things, are easily visible to the naked eye.
Check For Leaks
This is a big one. If you have leaking fluids, this can do significant damage to your quad if left undetected. Make this a part of regular inspections to ensure that your ATV is properly lubricated at all times.
Check Your Battery
If you have ever hopped on your ATV and discovered that it wouldn’t start or gone trail riding and couldn’t get it going mid-ride, you know how inconvenient this can be. Especially if you’re stranded without help. Always make sure that your battery is in good condition to avoid this. If you haven’t used a charger over the winter, there is a very good chance your battery is dead and may need to be replaced.
Check All Fluid Levels
This ties into checking for leaks. If you have a leak, your fluid levels will continuously be low. Always ensure that your fluid level are topped up. This allows your quad to run smoothly and helps prevent significant (and costly) problems in the future.
This goes without saying. There’s a reason why so many of these points refer to fluids. If you don’t perform regular oil changes, it will result in significant damage to your quad.
Clean Your Filters
Imagine riding through dust, dirt, debris, mud etc. Now imagine trying to use a vacuum cleaner with a clogged filter. Your ATV’s filters get dirty and they get dirty quickly. Give your engine a chance to breathe properly via clean filters. It will thank you in spades.
Check Spark Plugs and Other Components
Always check the condition of your spark plugs, chains, cables, and belts. You will want to replace them now, if needed. Cables should be checked for fraying and/or weakness, while belts should be checked for wear and tear. Chain slack should also be checked and adjusted according to the owner’s manual.
Check the State of Your Tires
It is almost a given that your tires would have lost air over the winter months and they may have taken a beating in the previous season. You will want to be sure that your tire pressure is up to specs. This is important for safety and makes your ride far more enjoyable. A low-pressure gauge to measure tire pressure will be needed as an auto gauge is not sufficient for an ATV.
Inspect Brake Pads
Like everything else, brake pads can wear over time. The last thing you want is to lose braking power when riding. Knowing the signs of bad brakes is the first step.
Symptoms to look for include:
- Squishy brakes
- Full pullback of lever or pedal
- Nonresponsive brakes
Make Sure Your Tags are Up to Date
ATV’s require rear licence plates and must be registered. They must also be insured under a motor vehicle liability policy. Always ensure that your registration, permits, and insurance documentation are up to date.
Why A Maintenance Checklist is Essential
Whether you have been riding all winter long or your ATV has been safely locked away, get into the habit of performing these maintenance checks regularly. It may just be what your ATV needs to perform more safely and effectively. Print or write out a checklist of all of your maintenance requirements and go through it every time riding season is upon you.