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Riding an ATV or UTV offers an exciting opportunity to stay active, engage with a supportive community, and immerse yourself in nature. However, for newcomers, navigating ATV riding can feel daunting. From safety protocols to appropriate attire, joining riding clubs, exploring trails, and maintenance, there’s much to learn.

Fortunately, our team at Trailz has put together a beginner-friendly overview of how to maintain your ATV when you are first starting out.

How to Maintain Your ATV

To ensure longevity and maximize your ATV investment, prioritize proper care and maintenance. Consistent upkeep and cleaning routines can significantly prolong your ATV’s lifespan, enabling you to enjoy the same machine for a decade or longer. Follow these tips to optimize your ATV’s durability:

Use the Right Fuel

Generally, filling up with regular gas is straightforward. However, nuances exist, so consult your owner’s manual for specifics. Factors to consider include ethanol content; some ATVs require ethanol-free gas or higher octane levels. Two-stroke engines necessitate gas-oil blends, while diesel ATVs require diesel fuel, with off-road diesel offering potential cost savings. Ensure you’re using the right fuel for your machine to optimize performance and longevity. Always refer to your manual for guidance.

Follow an ATV Maintenance Schedule

Just like cars or trucks, regular maintenance is crucial for ATVs and side-by-sides. Set aside time monthly to ensure your vehicle stays in top condition for trail adventures. Refer to your owner’s manual for manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedules. Key components to monitor include:

  • Tires
  • Oil
  • Battery
  • Air filters and drains
  • Spark plugs
  • Coolant
  • Brakes
  • Nuts, bolts, and lubricant

Prepare Your ATV for Winter

During winter downtime, many riders choose to take a break. However, if your ATV will be inactive for several weeks or more, it’s essential to winterize it. This entails standard maintenance tasks such as an oil and air filter change, along with precautions to safeguard your ATV from critters and corrosion throughout the winter. Additionally, adding a fuel stabilizer prevents fuel deterioration during colder months, ensuring your ATV starts smoothly when spring arrives.

Wash Your ATV Regularly

ATVs thrive in dirt, but neglecting cleanliness can lead to gear gunk and rust. After a ride, take a few minutes to wash off your ATV and do the following:

  1. Cool Down: Before washing, let your ATV cool for 15-20 minutes to prevent damage to the engine and to avoid burning yourself on hot components​​.
  • Preparation: Cover sensitive parts like the ignition switch and engine to protect them from water damage​​.
  • Pre-Soak: Use water to loosen and soften caked-on mud and debris. It’s best to start from the top and work your way down​​​​.
  • Apply Cleaner: Mix a mild soap or ATV-specific cleaner with water and apply it to the vehicle, scrubbing gently with a soft-bristled brush or sponge. Pay attention to dirty areas like the undercarriage and wheel wells​​​​.
  • Degrease if Necessary: For heavy grease or muck buildup, apply a degreaser, let it sit to break down the grime, then scrub gently and rinse thoroughly​​.
  • Rinse Off: Ensure all soap and degreaser is washed away completely to prevent damage to the ATV’s paint​​.
  • Dry the ATV: Use a clean microfiber towel or chamois to dry the ATV, being thorough to avoid water spots and to inspect for any damage or areas that need re-cleaning​​​​.
  • Polishing and Protecting: After the ATV is dry, apply a protectant or lubricant to metal surfaces to prevent corrosion. A protective coating like silicone spray or ATV wax can also be applied to protect the ATV’s surfaces​​.

Get the Best ATV Trail Map App Today!

Navigating the great outdoors requires a reliable guide, and the Trailz App is designed to be just that. As you download this user-friendly app, you’ll find a wealth of features tailored for the novice rider. Detailed trail maps will help you plan your route, avoid getting lost, and locate services that can be crucial during long rides.

The app doesn’t just stop at navigation. It also opens up a network of clubs and groups that are beginner-friendly and ready to welcome you with open arms. By joining these groups, you can learn from experienced riders, participate in group rides, and share your own experiences as you grow into a seasoned rider.

Trailz is an ATV trail map app that helps you navigate the vast and expansive trails of ATV, UTV, and snowmobile trails. Download the best app for ATV trails today!