An ATV is a tough machine, designed to be ridden over rough terrain and exposed to the elements of the great outdoors without breaking down. They’re built to take a licking and keep on kicking—but even these rugged rides need a bit of TLC from time to time to keep them operating in top shape. Better to spend a couple of hours in the garage than to run into a problem in Michigan’s backcountry. These tips will help keep your ATV performing at peak levels for years to come, no matter where the road takes you.
Keep Everything Tight
A trusty socket wrench can be your best friend when it comes to maintaining your ATV. With the pounding your bike takes on bumpy rides, making sure everything is secure and tightened is crucial. Loose components wear much faster, and if, in the worst-case scenario, something comes undone while the ATV is in operation, it could cause major damage to the mechanics, not to mention the rider. Before riding off, take a few minutes to make sure things like the lug nuts and axle carrier bolts are on tight.
Watch Your Fluid and Battery Levels
Just like your car, your ATV needs these regular maintenance checks to keep it rolling—especially since you probably don’t hit the road with it as often as you do with your car. After long periods without using your ATV, you’ll want to check your battery’s charge with a gauge, especially after taking the vehicle from storage in the winter. Likewise, watch the levels of your essential fluids–oil, coolant, and differential fluid—to make sure they don’t need topping up after a few weeks or months without driving your ATV.
Pay Attention to the Gas
This is especially important in Michigan, where our long winters can mean ATVs may sit for months at a time without use. Gasoline starts breaking down in as little as 30 days if left to sit. When it does, gummy residues can separate out, clogging up the fuel lines. If this happens, it will take an expensive trip to a mechanic to get the engine working properly again. For a few dollars, buy a can of stabilizer, especially before the start of winter, and pour it into the tank. This should help prevent any gunk from clogging up your engine for up to a year.
Of course, if your ATV runs into trouble that can’t be fixed at home, you can rely on the professionals at TC Powersports. Our service department is a one-stop shop, with our parts department and factory-trained technicians standing by to get you back in the saddle. Schedule your appointment today.