How to Get Your ATV Ready After It Sits for Winter

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Is your beloved ATV hibernating all winter? Well, revving it back to life after a long slumber may not be as simple as turning the ignition. You see, a few things might have gone awry while your ATV was taking a winter break. But fret not! This guide is here to help you start your ATV smoothly and get it ready for some thrilling rides after a season of rest.

How to Get Your ATV Ready for Riding After Winter

If you're struggling to start your ATV after winter, several factors could be causing the problem. Don't worry—I've got some handy tips to solve these issues and prepare your ATV for an exciting post-winter adventure.

1. Fluid Check and Maintenance

Often, the main culprit behind starting troubles is improper fluid maintenance due to inadequate ATV storage. But worry not! You can check our comprehensive guide on how to properly store an ATV. Now, let's focus on the fluids that need your attention. Here are the three crucial ones:

  • Gasoline
  • Engine Oil
  • ATV Transmission & Differential Fluid

ATV Fuel Maintenance

How can you tell if your ATV's gas has gone bad? It's simple! Just check the smell and color. Bad fuel usually has a sour odor and appears darker in color. In some cases, it might even have a thicker consistency. Typically, ATV gasoline deteriorates over six months, but poor-quality fuel can degrade faster. Even if your ATV's fuel seems okay, it's a good idea to replace it after a long period of sitting.

To change your ATV's fuel, follow these steps:

  1. Grab a bucket and a hose.
  2. Turn off the ATV's fuel intake valve and remove the hose from the cutoff valve.
  3. Attach one end of another hose to the cutoff valve, place the other end in the bucket, and turn on the fuel intake valve.
  4. Let the fuel drain completely before repositioning the fuel valve's hose. While you're at it, inspect the ATV fuel hose line for any clogs caused by extended storage. Clear them out if necessary.
  5. Finally, pour fresh fuel into your ATV.

Engine Oil Maintenance

Engine oil is crucial for the proper functioning of your ATV's engine, and neglecting it can lead to starting issues. If your ATV has been sitting for a while, it's likely that the engine oil has gone bad. To change it, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the oil drain plug, loosen the bolt, and let the oil drain into an empty bucket. This process takes approximately fifteen minutes.
  2. Inspect the oil filter for deposits or clogs. Replace it if necessary.
  3. Pour fresh engine oil into the ATV, ensuring you use the correct type for your four-wheeler.

Transmission & Differential Fluid Change

This maintenance step is specific to 4x4 ATVs with front and rear differentials. It's essential to change the oil in both differentials. Remember, different ATVs require different types of differential oil. Make sure you use the recommended oil for your four-wheeler.

2. Battery Maintenance

Another common reason for starting difficulties after winter is a weak or dead battery. To ensure a smooth ride, you need to check your ATV's battery. If you kept the battery connected to a trickle charger throughout winter, you're in luck. However, if you neglected proper battery storage or left it in the ATV, you'll likely find a weak or dead battery. Cold weather and long periods of inactivity can drain ATV batteries. In such cases, follow these steps:

  1. Charge the battery until it has sufficient power to start the ATV.
  2. If the battery fails to hold a charge, it may need replacement.

3. Tire Maintenance

Don't forget to give some TLC to your ATV's tires before hitting the trails. After a long winter, the tire pressure may have reduced or even flattened entirely. Here's what you need to do:

  • Check the tire pressure and inflate them to the recommended level. Be careful not to overinflate, as it can cause tire explosions while riding.


Additional ATV Post-Winter Maintenance Tips

Apart from the above procedures, here are a few more things to consider for optimal ATV performance:

  • Check and replace the air filter.
  • Examine the ATV's fuel tank for any leaks.
  • Inspect the spark plugs and replace them if necessary to ensure a smooth start.
  • Thoroughly clean your ATV's carburetor for improved fuel efficiency.

Now you're all set to bring your ATV back to life after a winter hiatus. Follow these steps, give your four-wheeler some love, and enjoy the thrilling rides that await you

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