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7 Tips to Add Life to your ATV or UTV

ATV/UTV Maintenance: 7 Tips to Maximize Your Machine’s Life

ATVs and UTVs aren’t cheap. And neither should be your approach to maintenance if you want your machine to deliver peak performance and last for years.

Fortunately, ATV and UTV maintenance boils down to a handful of relatively simple practices any do-it-yourselfer with basic tools can accomplish.

Here are our top 7 ATV/UTV maintenance tips.

Check/change the oil

Let’s dispense with the obvious: Check your motor oil frequently and change it according to the recommendations in the owner’s manual.

Changing the oil and filter is especially important in ATVs and UTVs used for hard work or aggressive riding.

The added stress we heap on our machines increases heat. And heat causes oils formulated for standard service to lose viscosity (become thinner). Thinner oil than what your engine is designed to use can fail to develop an oil film of adequate thickness or strength to protect against wear.

Extreme heat also invites sludge and performance-robbing deposits. Sludge can clog oil passages and starve the engine of oil, while deposits can cause power loss due to sticking piston rings.

Changing oil is the best defense against engine wear and power loss. Be sure to upgrade to a good synthetic oil, too.

10W-40 Synthetic ATV/UTV Engine Oil

Shop AMSOIL Synthetic ATV/UTV Oil

Synthetics don’t contain the impurities inherent to conventional lubricants, meaning they deliver better performance and last longer. Their naturally tough base oils resist extreme heat and maintain a strong protective film better than conventional products.

And don’t balk at the higher price, either.

Think of synthetic oil as just another performance upgrade for your machine. You don’t think twice about spending a few hundred dollars on a snowplow or beefier winch. The few extra dollars spent on better oil is nothing by comparison – and it’ll help your machine perform better and last longer.

Change the differential fluid

It’s the same story inside the front and rear differentials.

The extra weight and stress of hard work and performance riding concentrate intense pressure on gears. The lubricant coats the gear teeth during operation, guarding against metal-to-metal contact and wear. The added stress, combined with high heat, can break the fluid film and literally squeeze the lubricant from between the gears, leading to wear.

Change differential fluid according to the recommendations in the owner’s manual. And, like motor oil, upgrade to a good synthetic. It’ll provide improved film strength despite intense pressures to protect gears and bearings in the toughest conditions, helping your machine last for years.

Anyone who’s changed differential fluid knows it can be a hassle: tough-to-reach fill holes, bloody knuckles and gear lube spilled everywhere.

The AMSOIL easy-pack reduces mess, hassle and frustration when changing gear lube. It makes ATV/UTV maintenance much easier, as the video shows.

This is a popular product here in Sioux Falls – Both at the Tea Exit and Stan Houston’s.

Shop AMSOIL Synthetic ATV/UTV Transmission & Differential Fluid

Traditionally, enthusiasts use a gear-lube pump in these scenarios. But that’s one more tool to buy. Plus, much of the gear lube is wasted inside the pump and it makes a mess during storage.

Its flexible design allows you to access fill holes in tight spaces and around obstacles that prevent use of the rigid conical bottles common to the gear-lube market.

Check/change air filter

An engine needs three things to run: fuel, spark and air. Most of us forget about air since we don’t have to pay for it.

But a dirty or clogged air filter can choke off airflow and reduce performance or cause the engine to quit completely.

Here’s an analogy to illustrate: Go outside and run around your house. If you’re in decent shape, it shouldn’t be that difficult.

Now, run around your house while breathing through a straw. Restricting airflow into your lungs makes it much more difficult.

The same principle applies inside your engine. A dirty air filter restricts airflow and reduces engine performance. It also allows debris to enter the engine, which can lead to wear.

Check your owner’s manual for recommendations on how often to change the air filter. Check the filter periodically and change it if it’s excessively dirty.

Pro Tip: Ensure the air filter is firmly seated and correctly installed. If not, the engine will ingest dirt, which acts like sandpaper and scours the cylinders, rings and bearings.

Finally, consider using a pre-filter to extend filter life. A pre-filter is essentially a mesh bag that fastens over the air filter. It captures large contaminants and keeps them from lodging in the air filter, extending its life.

Stabilize the fuel

Gas can break down in as little as 30 days. When it does, varnish forms inside the carburetor, which clogs the tiny fuel passages. Eventually, varnish will prevent adequate fuel-flow and keep you machine from starting.

For best performance, add stabilizer to every tank of fuel. If you know you’re going to burn through a tank quickly, like during a day-long ride, you can skip the stabilizer. But many enthusiasts run on the same tank of fuel for months.

Personally, I use my ATV primarily for hauling firewood around my property, meaning it runs in fits and starts. It’s common to use the same tank of fuel for several months.

Stabilizer inhibits oxidization that occurs when fuel sits for long periods. It helps prevent varnish to keep the carburetor clean and the fuel flowing properly.

Pro Tip: Most gasoline contains ethanol, which can corrode carburetor components and damage rubber gaskets and fuel lines. For best performance use 91-octane, ethanol-free gas. If you use 87-octane gas that contains ethanol, treat it with a fuel additive designed to prevent ethanol problems, like AMSOIL Quickshot. – Also kept at Stan Houston’s on W. 121th ST in Sioux Falls.

Buy AMSOIL Quickshot

Wash periodically

True, your ATV or UTV is meant to get dirty. But it shouldn’t stay dirty.

Wash off mud and debris, especially after a particularly messy (i.e. fun) ride.

Caked mud and dirt traps moisture, which can hasten rust formation on metal components. It can also pack in around the engine or differentials, which reduces heat-transfer. This causes the temperature to increase, which speeds the rate at which the lubricant oxidizes, or breaks down.

Mud, leaves and other debris packed against the radiator can also cause the engine to run hotter, reducing efficiency.

Take a pressure washer to your machine if you can. Also, consider using an undercoat product that eases cleanup, such as AMSOIL Mudslinger. It provides a protective layer of armor against mud, dirt and snow, making cleanup with a low-pressure garden hose easy.

Pro Tip: After washing, run your machine so engine heat can dry any water that entered the exhaust or the areas around the spark plug boots and coil.

Mudslinger®

Buy AMSOIL Mudslinger

Also kept at Stan Houston’s on W. 12th St.

Check coolant level and condition

Here’s another easily overlooked ATV/UTV maintenance practice. It doesn’t help that the coolant reservoir is often buried where you can’t readily see it.

Check the coolant level in the radiator. Inspect fluid condition. If it contains sludge or slime, it’s time for a change. Putting it off can result in debris clogging the narrow coolant passages in the engine and preventing optimum cooling. This can lead to the engine overheating. Engine parts expand when they grow hot, which can result in scuffing and wear.

While you’re at it, check the coolant hoses for abrasions or wear. Replace them as needed before they break and leave you stranded.

Spray all rubber parts and things you need waterproofed with AMSOIL Silicone Spray. Kept at Stan Houston’s and our Tea Exit locations.

Inspect tires, CV boots, etc.

Finally, walk around your machine once a month or so and check the following:

  • Tire pressure and condition
  • CV boots for cuts or leaks
  • Brake line condition
  • Lights
  • Brake fluid level

This can help you spot any issues before they turn into expensive problems. It’s also a good idea to lubricate any pivot points and linkages with a good spray lubricant, like AMSOIL MP. Doing so is a simple way to ensure your machine operates as designed for the long haul.

All AMSOIL Products mentioned above and more located at Stan Houston’s – 3020 W 12th St, Sioux Falls, SD 57104

More AMSOIL Products Available in the Award-Winning Easy-Pack

The New EZ Pack is making waves! No more oil change Hassle

Sometimes an idea so great comes along it makes some wonder, “Why didn’t anyone think of this sooner?”

Case in point: AMSOIL easy-packs. Their innovative, flexible design has revolutionized the challenging task of changing fluids, reducing mess, waste and hassle.

Less Mess. Less Waste. Less Hassle.

After extensive research and testing to produce a concept worthy of the AMSOIL name, the AMSOIL SEVERE GEAR® Synthetic Gear Lube easy-pack launched in August 2018 to resounding success. It has earned rave reviews, a SEMA Global Media Award, a Flexible Packaging Achievement Award and the expectation that other companies will soon attempt to follow the AMSOIL lead once again.

Here’s what one customer says about the SEVERE GEAR easy-pack.

“175,000 trouble-free, heavy-haul miles. The new gear oil pouch makes it so easy to change diff fluid. Make the switch to AMSOIL today. Proven protection in the worst conditions.”

Nate the Hotshot
Laurel, Miss.

Since the launch of the AMSOIL SEVERE GEAR Synthetic Gear Lube easy pack, AMSOIL has expanded its easy pack offerings to include even more products. Check those out below and prepare for a new way of changing fluids with less stress and mess than what you’re used to enduring.

SEVERE GEAR Synthetic Gear Lube

Available in 75W-90, 80W-90, 75W-110 and 75W-140 viscosities, SEVERE GEAR is engineered for high-demand applications found in today’s autos/pick-up trucks, SUVs, heavy equipment and other hard-working vehicles. It delivers extreme-temperature performance no matter where the roads you travel happen to be.

Synthetic ATV/UTV Transmission and Differential Fluid

AMSOIL Synthetic ATV/UTV Transmission and Differential Fluid delivers severe-service protection against wear while riding aggressively or tackling tough terrain around your property. It protects heavily loaded, high-torque gears to promote long equipment life, even in extreme operating temperatures.

Bonus: AMSOIL synthetic lubricants are Warranty Secure, keeping your factory warranty intact. Click here to learn more about your freedom to choose the lubricants you think best – and to score your free AMSOIL Runs on Freedom decal.

Synthetic Marine Gear Lube

AMSOIL Synthetic Marine Gear Lube is an exclusive AMSOIL formulation of synthetic base oils and high-performance additives that address specific concerns of marine applications. It is fortified with extreme-pressure (EP) additives for superior protection of fast-accelerating, high-torque/horsepower engines. It delivers advanced outboard protection against power loss and gear wear, even with up to 15 percent water contamination.*

*Based upon AMSOIL testing of AMSOIL Synthetic Marine Gear Lube 75W-90 in ASTM 3233 and ASTM D892.

Signature Series Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid

Available in both Fuel-Efficient and Multi-Vehicle formulations, AMSOIL Signature Series ATF provides excellent wear protection and performance in today’s demanding transmission applications. Benefits include protection against thermal breakdown, cold-temperature fluidity, friction durability and maximum fuel economy.

Manual Transmission & Transaxle Gear Lube

AMSOIL Manual Transmission & Transaxle Gear Lube is formulated to meet the demands of towing, heavy hauling and performance driving typically found in manual transmissions. It delivers quick shifts and excellent wear protection in hot rods and muscle cars to promote smooth, fast engagement of synchronizers and gears. Its shear-stable formulation maintains viscosity and protects brass synchronizers while supporting equipment longevity.

Shop AMSOIL Easy Packs

AMSOIL Products Target Everything But Your Prey

AMSOIL Products Target Everything But Your Prey

Hunting season is fast approaching. Your weapons help you harvest your prey, but your truck, UTV/ATV, trailer and other equipment help you find it. As you’re scouting your hunting area or clearing firing lanes, take some time to prep your vehicles and equipment, too. That way you can focus on hunting this fall, not fixing downed equipment.

“I use this gun oil in everything from my rifles to my everyday carry. Works in extreme heat and freezing temps just fine. High-quality just like all other AMSOIL products.”

Know-it-All’s don’t know it all until they try AMSOIL!

James
Banning, Calif.

FIREARMS

AMSOIL Synthetic Firearm Lubricant

  • Helps prevent blockage, jams and wear
  • Outstanding protection in hot and cold climates

AMSOIL Firearm Cleaner

  • Removes fouling and powder residue
  • Protects against corrosion

 

TRUCK

AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil

  • 75% more engine protection against horsepower loss and wear than required by a leading industry standard¹, extending the life of vital components like pistons and cams.

AMSOIL Signature Series Max-Duty Synthetic Diesel Oil

  • The top tier of AMSOIL protection and performance for diesel engines. Provides 6X more engine protection.²

AMSOIL SEVERE GEAR® Synthetic Gear Lube

  • New easy-pack eases installation
  • Guards against gear and bearing wear
  • Great for towing and hauling

 

TRAILER

AMSOIL Synthetic Water-Resistant Grease

  • Great for trailer bearings
  • Protects against water washout

 

ATV/UTV

AMSOIL Synthetic ATV/UTV Motor Oil

  • Protection for demanding chores and tough terrain
  • Superior all-weather performance

AMSOIL Synthetic ATV/UTV Transmission and Differential Fluid

  • Reserve protection for heavily loaded gears

AMSOIL Synthetic Front-Drive Fluid

  • Protects high-stress hubs and differentials

 

MISCELLANEOUS

AMSOIL Silicone Spray

  • Spray on your boots to resist water

AMSOIL MP

  • Silences squeaks and lubricates metal surfaces

 

¹Based on independent testing in the ASTM D6891 test using 0W-20 as worst-case representation. ²than required by the Detroit Diesel DD13 Scuffing Test for Specification DFS 93K222 using 5W-30 as worst-case representation.