Polaris ATV and UTV Regular Maintenance

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Image Credit: Kevin Wiegand - Unsplash

If you want to keep your Polaris ATV or UTV running smoothly for years to come, regular maintenance is key. Don't worry, it's not as daunting as it may seem! By breaking it down into smaller steps, you'll find it's actually quite manageable. In this article, we'll discuss the essential fluids your quad or SxS needs and how to choose the right products. We'll also go over the proper upkeep schedule to ensure your machine stays in top condition.

Regular Required Maintenance for Polaris ATVs and SXS/UTVs

Just like cars, Polaris vehicles require regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly. Taking care of your regular maintenance tasks directly contributes to prolonging the life of your ORV.

Engine Oil Schedule for ATVs and SxS/UTVs

The oil used in your ATV/UTV is different from the oil used in cars. This is because ORVs are often used in challenging environments. The oil used in ORV engines needs to be able to sit for long periods, endure cold storage, and be ready to perform at full capacity when you hit the trails. ORV engine oil is specially formulated with additives to dissipate heat and withstand extreme conditions for longer periods than regular automobile oil ever could. Just like with cars, you have the option of choosing conventional, synthetic, or semi-synthetic oil for your ORV. Synthetic oil offers the best performance and longevity, but conventional oil will also do the job just fine as long as you remember to change it when needed.
As a general guideline, Polaris ATVs and SxS/UTVs should have their oil changed every 6 months, 1000 miles, or 100 driving hours, whichever comes first. Refer to your owner's manual to determine the specific oil capacity of your vehicle if you plan on changing the oil yourself. Even if you change your oil as recommended, it's important to check your vehicle's oil level before each ride. This helps you detect possible leaks and prevents potential damage. If you notice your oil is low, top it off to bring your engine back to the desired level. If you find yourself frequently needing to top off the oil, it may be a sign of a leak, and you should have your vehicle checked by a mechanic.

Changing Your Polaris SxS/UTVs or ATVs Oil Filter

Using the right oil for your ATV/UTV is important, but it's equally important to change the oil filter every time you change the fluids, even if there are no visible signs of sludge or debris buildup.

Transmission Fluid Schedule for Polaris ATVs and SxS/UTVs

Regularly changing your transmission fluid is crucial to prevent sludge buildup and metal particle contamination. Just like with motor oil, refer to your owner's manual to determine the best type of transmission fluid for your automatic or manual gearbox. You can also gauge the condition of your transmission fluid by its appearance before each ride. Cloudy or dark brown fluid indicates contamination that needs to be addressed promptly to avoid transmission damage. The recommended interval for changing transmission fluid is typically 100 hours, 1,000 miles, or 12 months.

Polaris Vehicle Demand Drive Fluids

The Demand Drive fluid is a specialized type of front gear case oil for heavy-duty vehicles like Polaris ATVs and SxS/UTVs that handle large amounts of torque. The schedule for changing the Demand Drive fluid aligns with that of transmission oil: every 100 hours, 1,000 miles, or 1 year, whichever comes first.

Polaris ATV and SxS/UTVs Antifreeze

Did you ever wonder what antifreeze does for your four-wheeler? It's more than just keeping things cool! This sticky substance's chemical breakdown actually helps keep internal components clean and lubricated. Keep an eye on your engine's coolant levels and add coolant to the overflow bottle if it's low. A dry overflow reservoir indicates a coolant system leak, so it's essential to address it to prevent potential damage. To check coolant levels accurately, inspect the radiator when the engine has cooled down. Avoid checking the radiator cap too soon after riding to prevent burns. Polaris recommends changing your engine's coolant once every 60 months.

Preventative Maintenance Tips for Your Polaris ATV, SxS/UTV

In addition to the required maintenance tasks, there are some precautions and preventative measures you can take to prolong the life of your Polaris ORV.

Covering Your ATV or SxS/UTV When Not in Use

Most Polaris owners use their vehicles periodically, and that's perfectly normal. While the engine oil is designed to handle this, other parts of your vehicle can still experience premature aging due to prolonged periods of inactivity. When a vehicle sits for extended periods, whether inside a garage or outside, it accumulates dust and debris. By simply covering your Polaris ATV or SxS/UTV when not in use, you can significantly reduce the damage. This is especially important if your vehicle is stored outdoors since dust, debris, and UV rays from the sun can gradually deteriorate the exterior.

Thoroughly Clean Your ORV Regularly

Although having a dirty ATV or UTV might seem like a rite of passage, it's important to give your vehicle a deep clean at least a couple of times a year. A thorough cleaning is crucial because dirt and mud tend to collect on metal parts, promoting moisture retention and leading to rust or corrosion. Suspension components are particularly prone to dirt buildup, which can cause premature wear and tear. The drivetrain is also vulnerable to mud and debris accumulation, which can stress the gears and bearings, resulting in preventable damage. By performing a few thorough cleanings each year, you can keep your vehicle in great shape.

Check Your Vehicle's Battery

Just like car batteries, ATV and UTV batteries degrade over time. The good news is that they are easily accessible, allowing you to keep an eye on their condition. When checking your battery, look for signs of corrosion on the terminals and cracks in the casing. Several factors can cause battery damage, such as overcharging or allowing the battery to sit idle for too long. Running your vehicle periodically helps prevent battery damage.

Check and Tighten Your Vehicle's Bolts

ATVs and SxS/UTVs undergo a lot of stress during use, which can cause bolts and screws to loosen. It's not a big deal if you remember to check them periodically. Take the time to go around your vehicle and tighten any loose bolts, especially after heavy use.


ATVs and SxS/UTVs are incredibly useful and fun vehicles, but like any machine, they require regular maintenance and precautions to keep them running smoothly for years. Remember to change your vehicle's oil, clean and check your battery, and follow the recommendations in your owner's manual. Additionally, give your vehicle a thorough clean and check before embarking on any major trips, especially if you'll be venturing alone or going hunting in remote areas. It's always best to ensure your vehicle is ready for whatever adventure lies ahead!

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