Spring is right around the corner and ATV owners everywhere are getting ready to fire up their quads for a little off-roading adventure. Before they can pull their ATV’s out and rev them up, there is some maintenance that must be done to ensure it’s running properly. Fortunately, spring maintenance to ATV’s isn’t too arduous of a task and it can be done in a matter of no time at all as long as you know what you’re doing.
- Check your fuel and fluids.
- If any of your ATV’s fluids have been sitting all winter long, smell pungent, look dirty, or are low, flush them out and refill them. Running an ATV on low or dirty fluids will cause it to struggle or run improperly. Perhaps one of the most important fluids to check is the oil. If oil is a milky brown color, it could indicate that water got into the oil tank. This could completely ruin your ATV’s engine and it’s important to change the oil out (information sourced from https://www.a1autotransport.com/atvs/).
- Check your brakes.
- You need the confidence of knowing your ATV’s brakes are functioning properly. Look for brake pad wear. For light all-day riding, the pads should at least be a ⅛” thick. Riding on poor brake pads can cause more serious and expensive problems with your ATV.
- Check your tires and wheels.
- Make sure your tires are full of air and that there are no visible leaks. Look for nails, tears and other signs that you may need new tires. Since ATV’s take a lot of abuse while driven, ensure that all lug nuts, axle nuts and cotter pins are tightly secured.
- Check your air filter.
- If the air filter is brown or dirty in appearance, switch it out and check your air chamber box too. It should remain clean and the filter should have a white or cream color.
- Check the chain and sprocket.
- Oil your quad’s chain and adjust the tension. Check your ATV’s manual to see the proper amount of tension for the vehicle’s chain. Rough riding and prolonged use can cause the chain to stretch.
- Check the tire rods and ball joints.
- If a tire rod is loose or snapped, you’ll lose control of that wheel which could lead to an accident. Check over all connections to the steering by looking behind the wheels and playing with the steering. You shouldn’t notice any wobbling or difficulties trying to steer.
- Check the radiator.
- Rinse the radiator off with a hose gently to make sure there is no debris caught up in it. As the weather is still cool, check the coolant to make sure there is plenty in there to avoid overheating the ATV as you ride.
- Check out the grips and other safety features.
- When your grips are worn, it makes it more difficult to control the ATV safely. If you notice worn grips, simply have them replaced or use grip glue to correct the issue. Your mirrors, seat and other features should also be intact.
It doesn’t necessarily take a mechanic to assure the safety and proper running of your ATV. All it takes as the owner is a little TLC throughout the year and your quad should always remain in good condition and ready to ride.
By Jason Mueller