Friendly reminder: any ATV that spent the winter hibernating needs a thorough check in the spring. A lot can happen to a vehicle in storage, from brake fluid leaks to tire pressure loss to (yes) rodent infestation. This list will guide riders through the inspection process so they can hit the trails feeling confident, safe, and ready to tear it up.
Checking for Rodents
Mice love to nest in tight spaces like air inlets, mufflers, and fenders. Before moving on to the mechanical inspection, riders should check to make sure there aren’t any unwelcomed guests lurking inside their machine.
Changing the Oil
A healthy engine is key to the longevity of an ATV. Riders should change their machine’s oil at least once per year, twice if they ride hard or often in wet or dusty conditions. The beginning of the season is the perfect time to do so.
Inspecting the Brakes
Brake pads should be replaced if they’re less than a quarter-inch thick. Riders should also make sure there aren’t leaks in the brake fluid reservoir, calipers, drums, lever, or pedals. Any debris that has collected around the brake caliper must be removed, as well.
Checking Tire Pressure
Maintaining enough air pressure is essential to the driveability and handling of the machine. As many tires lose air over the winter, every rider should make sure to restore pressure to meet the manufacturer’s specifications in the spring. Low-pressure gauges are best for measuring ATV tire pressure.
Checking the Battery
Riders who didn’t charge their machine’s battery over the winter will likely need to replace it. All riders should check their batteries for signs of leaks and corrosion.
Cleaning the Air Filter
Air filters, which prevent dirt from agitating the engine, usually need cleaning come springtime. Compressed air works on paper filters; warm water and soap is best for foam filters. Once clean, the air filter needs a light coating of waterproof grease on the sealing lip to make sure it fits securely against the airbox.
Securing the Suspension
A series of nuts and bolts keeps the suspension securely fastened to an ATV. Riders will want to check to make sure all components are screwed in tightly.
Sometimes all a machine needs is a little tune-up, but if you find it’s time to replace your ATV, you’ll want to check out TC Powersports’ tremendous selection of new and pre-owned ATVs. Stop by our Michigan Center showroom.