Are you the proud owner of an ATV/UTV? Some models can be powerful beasts, but rough terrain and tough conditions can quickly take a heavy toll on them. Fortunately, there are some surefire maintenance tips you need to try to boost the life span of an off-road vehicle indefinitely.
1. Stick to the Recommended Break-In Procedures
With brand new off-road vehicles, it is always best to follow the manufacturer’s break-in procedures. Many new off-road vehicle owners get easily carried away and start spinning doughnuts on rough terrain from day one damaging the machines. New ATVs/UTVs need time to be broken in even if they are expensive models.
Check out the Owner’s Manual and see how a brand-new off-road vehicle needs to be handled the first 24 hours. An ATV/UTV should be fully broken in after emptying a couple of full fuel tanks if you followed all the procedures.
Many models come with strict procedures to prevent unnecessary damage during the break-in period. Some of those procedures include:
- Keeping the recommended oil levels
- Having a full tank of fuel
- Changing the oil filter after the break-in period
- Driving the machine at slower speeds for the first X miles
- Steering clear of aggressive acceleration
- Limiting the use of the machine when the RPM hits certain levels
- Applying moderate force to the brakes for the first X miles
- Not carrying heavy loads, and so on.
Check the vehicle’s Owner’s Manual for a complete list of the do’s and don’ts during the break-in period.
2. Perform that Routine Maintenance
While routine maintenance might sound like a no-brainer, many ATV/UTV owners steer clear of it because it looks like a lot of work. In reality, though, if you really care about your off-road vehicle, it is not. With proper care and maintenance, an ATV or a UTV can last for decades. Make sure that you have a service schedule and that you religiously stick to it.
You don’t have to get the vehicle to a specialized repair shop for regular maintenance work. You can learn from a service manual just about everything you need about basic maintenance. For more complicated issues like tweaking or repairing the engine, there are dozens of video tutorials on YouTube to get you started. Online forums and manufacturer websites can offer valuable information as well.
3. Give the Engine Some TLC
An ATV’s/UTV’s engine needs your undivided attention every now and then, too. Make sure that you change the oil and oil filter regularly as per the manufacturer’s instructions. If you miss regular oil changes you can greatly reduce the life span of your vehicle since harmful deposits can no longer be properly filtered and kill the engine.
Each manufacturer has recommended periodic oil and filter change times to prevent the oil filter from getting too clogged and losing performance. Also, due to their extreme riding conditions, most off-road vehicles need special oils to run smoothly for many years. Experts recommend synthetic oils because they withstand higher temperatures and last longer than regular oil brands.
4. Stabilize the Fuel
Ethanol-based fuels, especially the blended or mixed ones, have a shelf life of up to two months. After that mark, they become unusable in vehicles with small fuel tanks like ATV or UTVs, unless you want permanent damage to the components.
So, if you don’t want to ditch the expired gas and pay for a fresh tank of fuel after each winter break or prolonged period of inactivity in your garage, use additives in the gas. Look for fuel stabilizers that are specifically designed for small engines and generators. Some formulas can help extend the shelf life of your ATV’s/UTV’s stored gas up to two years.
5. Check on Individual Parts
To help your off-road vehicle last forever, you need to keep an eye on individual components and parts and replace them if necessary. For instance, make sure that there’s no rust in the battery connections and that there’s enough distilled water in a non-sealed battery. Avoid fast chargers and opt for trickle-charging chargers instead.
Air filters also need regular inspections and maintenance work, especially after a muddy or dust-filled ride. Without clean air filters, your engine’s performance can drop dramatically. Just like with the oil filter, if air filters need to be replaced, do it asap.
Keep in mind that even state-of-the-art off-road vehicles like the much-anticipated 2021 Can-Am Maverick X3 need such regular mini inspections of its components despite being built like a tank. However, for big savings on spare parts, visit this website with great deals on Can-Am Maverick X3 accessories.
Every now and then, such third-party sellers should carry deals for most off-road vehicle models currently on the market. So, don’t rely only on the manufacturer’s website when looking to replace a spare part.