If you own an ATV, you know that it’s essential to take care of your vehicle if you want it to be ready for your next ride. Proper care is especially important when you’re preparing to store your ATV for an extended period.
Whether you’re putting your ATV away for the winter or just preparing to take a prolonged trip, these steps will ensure that your ATV will be in great condition when you need it.
#1 Clean your ATV thoroughly
The first step is to clean your ATV thoroughly. This procedure can be the same one you use when you’re cleaning up after a long day of riding with a few exceptions. Follow these steps:
- Wash the exterior with soap and water.
- Let it dry thoroughly to ensure that it won’t rust while it’s in storage.
- Spray the inside of the exhaust pipe with WD-40, and then stuff a cloth into it or use an exhaust cap to prevent pests from getting in.
- Grease the drive chain and any other parts that might need grease.
Whatever you do, don’t put your ATV into storage while it’s dirty. It should be spotless and dry before you cover it.
#2 Routine maintenance
The next step is to do some routine maintenance to make sure that your ATV will run smoothly the next time you need it. Here are the steps to follow:
- If you have a plastic fuel tank, drain all of the fuel from your ATV, including the tank, fuel lines, and carburetor.
- If you have a metal tank, it’s better to store it full of fuel. Put new gas in and add a fuel stabilizer to prevent it from deteriorating. Run the engine briefly to distribute the new gas and stabilizer throughout the system.
- Change the oil and replace the oil filter.
- Remove the air filter – it may attract rodents – and replace it with an air box cover instead.
- Connect your battery to a battery tender to make sure that the battery doesn’t drain. Unused batteries do tend to die pretty quickly, so don’t skip this step. You may want to take your battery out before doing this step.
- Inflate the tires to capacity.
- Place covers over the muffler and other outlets to prevent rodents from getting in.
- Cover your ATV with a porous cover to protect it from dust but let air circulate.
Following these steps will help reduce the chances that your ATV will sustain damage while it’s in storage.
#3: Ongoing Maintenance
Once you’ve cleaned your ATV and done everything you can to prep it for storage, it’s time to think about where and how you’re storing it.
- The ideal storage space is one that’s cool but not cold. If you’re storing your ATV for the winter, you should consider heated storage if you can.
- If it’s possible, try to lift your ATV off the ground for storage. Sitting on cold concrete can damage the tires. Even if it’s not cold, it’s better for the tires if the vehicle is suspended.
- If you must store your vehicle with its wheels on the ground, make sure to come in and turn the wheels once a month to prevent damage.
Following these tips will ensure that your ATV is properly stored, protected from damage, and will be in good condition (and ready to use) when you’re ready to take it out of vehicle storage and go out for a ride.