How to Extend the Life of Your ATV

Owning an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) is great fun. You can explore trails, go mudding, and just cruise around enjoying nature. But like any vehicle, your ATV needs proper care to keep running smoothly for a really long time. 

Keep It Clean

Mud, dirt, and debris can wreak havoc on an ATV over time. After every ride, use a hose or pressure washer to spray off caked-on dirt. Be sure to get the undercarriage too. Once it’s wet, use rags and brushes to scrub away stubborn grease and grime. Finish by drying it completely with towels. Keeping your ATV spick-and-span prevents premature wear.

Change Fluids Regularly 

Just like a car, your ATV has fluids that need changing periodically. Dirty oil, transmission fluid, coolant and brake fluid can degrade components from the inside out. Check your owner’s manual for recommended intervals, but plan on changing these at least annually if not more often for heavy usage. Using fresh fluids keeps everything properly lubricated and protected.

Battery Basics

Your ATV battery enables the starting and electrical systems. The experts at Clore Automotive explain that an ATV battery charger and maintainer helps keep it charged and conditioned between rides. If you will be storing your ATV for a while, remove the battery and hook it up to a trickle charger to prevent drainage. Batteries do not last forever, so keep an eye out for diminished cranking power as a sign it may need to be replaced soon.

Check and Rotate Tires

ATV tires are a crucial safety component that should be inspected frequently. Before each ride, check tread depth and look for cracking, bulges, or other damage. Also check air pressure as under-inflated tires cause extra wear. To maximize tread life, rotate the tires periodically according to your owner’s manual. When it’s time, replace with quality tires designed for your ATV’s size and intended use.

Lubricate Moving Parts

Pivoting components like wheel bearings, A-arm bushings, tie rod ends, and drive shafts have grease fittings that allow lubricant replenishment. Applying fresh grease as specified prevents these hardworking parts from wearing prematurely. The owner’s manual lists lube points and intervals, so follow them closely.

Filter Changes

Your ATV has air and fuel filters that trap contaminants before they can enter the engine. When they get dirty or clogged, air flow is restricted which robs power and efficiency. Most filters are fairly inexpensive, so replace them according to the normal service schedule in the manual. 

Tune-Up Tasks

Like car engines, ATV engines benefit from regular tune-ups. This may involve changing spark plugs, adjusting valves and inspecting ignition components. Some mechanics recommend tune-ups twice a year or every 1,000 miles for hard usage. Do not overlook this simple step; it can add years to your engine’s lifespan.

Use OEM Parts

When components like brakes, bearings or drive belts need to be replaced, stick with parts made or recommended by your ATV’s manufacturer. They are designed and engineered specifically for your machine, so you know the quality and fit will be perfect. Don’t risk inferior aftermarket parts doing damage or causing premature failure.


With proper maintenance and care, you can maximize the usable life of your recreational ATV. A little effort goes a long way towards keeping your off-road fun mobile for many years and miles to come. Consult your owner’s manual and don’t hesitate to have your dealer perform major services if needed. Developing good habits for cleaning, fluid changes, battery care and more will pay off big by avoiding expensive repairs down the road. Taking pride in ownership and staying on top of maintenance helps ensure you’ll be enjoying trail adventures for seasons and seasons.

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