9 Sure-Fire Ways to Damage Your ATV
Your ATV should be treated like your child – care for it, nurture it, and pay attention to its needs. While Child Protective Services won’t come knocking at your front door if you happen to neglect it, we can guarantee your wallet will be significantly lighter when repair time comes around. By avoiding these nine ways to ultimately ruin your ATV, you can ensure you and your ATV can live a long, happy life together.
1) Never clean the air filter
Your ATVs air filter needs to be cleaned on a regular basis to avoid ruining it. Over time, your engine will wear down from sucking in the dirty particles and will likely result in some serious damage. What most people don’t know is that the engine needs fuel AND air to run properly. With a dirty air filter, dirt gets sucked into the engine, therefore preventing air and resulting in loss of horsepower and interior damage to the engine. If you’re a casual rider, you should clean the air filter before the start of riding season. However, if you’re a frequent off-roader, you should clean it after a really dirty ride – maybe even twice in a day if it’s needed. A rule to follow is that if your face is dirty, check the air filter and clean it out if it’s dirty. It only takes 10 minutes! Plus, it’s FREE… compared to the price of a brand new engine! Keep your air filter clean and replace when needed and your engine will last years longer than one with an unkempt air filter.
2) Ride with a clogged radiator
Sand, mud, and dirt are all culprits to a clogged radiator, which can lead to an overheated engine. Use a pressure washer until the water flows through the radiator smoothly without splashing back.
3) Let the fuel go bad
Just like a gallon of milk, fuel goes bad too. Fuel can break down over time and end up clogging carburetors and fuel lines. If you put away your ATV during the cold temperature months, drain the gas tank completely or add a fuel additive to keep it from going bad.
4) Never change the oil
As one of the easiest maintenance services to perform, it’s also the most neglected. Just like the air filter, the oil collects junk ranging from dirt and debris, to metal shavings from engine wear, not to mention water if you’re playing in puddles and snow… the fact oil and water don’t mix doesn’t only apply to salad dressing. Neglecting your oil is a sure-fast way to end up being the guy or gal stuck in the middle of nowhere with a dead ATV when your engine finally breaks down.
So how do you avoid this ill fate? Change your oil. It’s that simple. If you’re a seasonal rider, replace the oil at the end of your season. If you ride in the colder months, change the oil to an appropriate weight to withstand the cold temps. The point? Change your oil once per year, or if you’re a frequent rider, you’ll have to change your oil more frequently.
5) Never tighten the bolts
Please don’t run your ATV until the wheels fall off (literally speaking). Bolts should be tightened on a regular basis so you don’t have your four-wheeler turning into a spontaneous three-wheeler. These bolts include lug nuts, pivot bolts, axle nuts, wheel hubs, skid plate bolts, and sprocket bolts. Seriously, just check them every few rides to make sure everything’s tight and ready to go.
6) Never grease it
Your ATV loves grease as much as you do (just a different kind). Grease the pivot bolt, carrier bearings, steering stem bushing, a-arm bushings/bearings, and front hub bearings to keep your machine in good working order.
7) Submerge it in water
We’re not saying to avoid water completely but your ATV should not double as a submarine. All that water greatly reduces the lifespan of your ATV. So if you accidentally got a little bit too wet, here’s what you should do, as water has likely gotten into the engine, gas, and oil: get your machine to dry land and don’t try to restart it. It’s a lot like that one time you dropped your iPhone into your friend’s pool (minus the bag of rice). Do not, we repeat, do not try to restart your ATV. Tip it onto its back end to drain water out of the exhaust pipe and pull the spark plug to blow water out of the cylinder.
Once you’ve completed the above steps, get it back to the garage and clean the airboot, change the oil, clean the air filter, and clean the carburetor out.
8) Crash it
This may seem like an obvious one, but we had to include it since it’s the single biggest way to ruin your ATV. Flipping your machine over, climbing a steep hill, running your quad a solid object, etc. are all sure ways to reduce the lifespan of your beloved ATV. If you’ve crashed, do a basic check (after you’ve checked yourself, of course). This includes ensuring the throttle, clutch, brake, and shifter all work. Next, check for dirt in the bead and punctures in the tires.
9)Never wash it
Aside from the fact it’s gross, a dirty ATV is a breeding ground for problems that will end up being costly later on. The solution? Clean. Everything. Even the parts you can’t see – roll your ATV halfway to get to the bottom where dried mud and dirt is likely lurking and scrub the heck out of it. Old dirt and mud can erode your ATV, leading to problems down the road (pun intended).
Don’t be that person who ruins their ATV over something simple. At No Limit Wheels, we don’t only pride ourselves on providing high quality ATV wheels, but we also pride ourselves on the care we take to ensure our own ATVs are always working their best.