Preparing Your ATV or UTV for the Fall

The fall is upon us, and winter is just around the corner as well, meaning it’s time to prepare your ATV or UTV for the upcoming weather conditions. There are several steps to take so that your ATV or UTV doesn’t age and break in the harsh winter and fall weather.

You should start by preparing the vehicle for the fall, followed by giving it a great cleaning, then considering tires for the later months. Failure to take many of the steps in this handy guide could cause damage to your bike, so it’s important to take the threat of weather seriously and prepare adequately for the impending cold weather. Here’s the steps you should take for this adequate preparation.

Minimum Steps

There are two actions you can take which represent the bare minimum to do in preparation for winter and fall weather. First, you should use fuel stabilizer when you fill your tank up with gas. This will ensure that your fuel does not destabilize and cause major problems for the inner workings of the vehicle.

It will also keep water from forming near the fuel tank and keep your bike in good working condition. You should also remove your battery from your ATV when it’s not in use because it can easily drain while your bike is not in use. In addition, you can also purchase a “drip” charger to help your battery remained powered during the winter months.

Other Considerations

Besides these two simple and basic steps, there are several other actions you should take as fall progresses and winds its way into winter. For example, you should lube up your ATV. You should do this because lack of lube can cause many components, both within and outside the bike, to corrode and rust during the inactive seasons.

Components you may not often think about like the drive shaft, U-joints, CV joints, suspension, and throttle cable can be damaged during the winter without proper and prior lubing. In addition, you should service your coolant. Taking this step will help ensure there’s no damage to your bike because of aluminum corrosion from previous months of riding. Some recommend taking this step once every two years, but you should consult your owner’s manual to make sure this is recommended for your own bike. While you’re at it, you should also service your oil, to ensure proper functioning.

Look to Your Tires

Now that your bike is properly taken care of, there’s still the issue of your tires. You should install winter tires to your bike, complete with snow chains, if you plan on riding during the winter months, or even the more frigid fall months. While you don’t necessarily need snow tires for your ATV or UTV because regular tires may drive fine on packed or hardened snow, it’s still a nice step to bolster your safety and avoid ugly crashes which could’ve been prevented with more specialized tires.

You can also purchase a set of high-quality all-terrain tires to keep you safe. These can be studded for extra protection and traction when driving on slippery or slick surfaces. And, as always, you can add snow chains for that extra step of protection and slip-resistant riding.

Cleaning Your ATV or UTV

Now that everything is neatly squared and you’re ready for the winter months, there’s only one more step you should take. You should clean your ATV or UTV to ensure it stays rust-free and perfectly preserved, whether or not you plan on riding during the winter. The first step you should take in washing your vehicle is a pre-soak. This looks like taking a hose and spraying down the entirety of your vehicle in preparation for the next steps.

You can let the vehicle sit and dry for about ten minutes or so before starting to clean off the mud and other debris from the bike. After you scrub or scrape the mud and debris off the bike, go ahead and rinse off the entire bike. All you have to do now is grab a towel and dry off the bike. You don’t want any rust forming, especially after the steps you’ve taken to avoid that exact outcome, so be sure to be thorough with your drying procedure. You can also spray some polish all over to help prevent oxidation on the bike.

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