For many ATV and UTV owners, getting their machine ready for winter is essential to keep your ATV or UTV in good shape and prolong its life, but it is also likely something that has just become part of your routine without much thought.
By taking the extra time to properly store your ATV or UTV while not in use, you can better preserve and maintain your machine and ensure it works better when it comes time to remove it from storage.
How do you Store An ATV or UTV For Winter?
- Make sure that your ATV is as cleans as possible;
- Ensure all fluids have been changed and topped off;
- Properly inflate all tires;
- Close off any openings; and
- Either use a high-quality cover or store your ATV in a dry and safe place.
While it may seem like a lot of work just to store your ATV or UTV, you can make sure that you are protecting your investment. Taking the time to keep the maintenance up will ensure that you won’t be having to purchase a new ATV or performing costly repairs once spring rolls around. Each of these steps is discussed in more detail below.
5 Steps To Storing Your ATV or UTV Properly
When it comes to winterizing your ATV, there are some pretty important things you can do to prepare your vehicle for storage. These five tips are the best things you can do to make sure your ATV or UTV in top condition when you bring it out of storage.
1. Clean Every Inch of Your ATV or UTV
The first step to storing your ATV for the winter is to make sure that you clean your ATV as much as possible. Leaving any sort of dirt, water, or other residue on your quad can lead to it eating away at the paint or body of your ATV while in storage.
Taking the extra time to make sure you get every area clean will leave you with no surprises once it is time to pull it back out.
You should be cleaning your ATV after each use to minimize erosion and damage. By taking off the dirt, grease, and debris that can end up on your vehicle, you are protecting the body and the paint of the vehicle.
Cleaning your ATV also includes cleaning and lubricating any parts that may get dirty. Not only is this a great way to extend your ATV life, but you may even come out with more knowledge about how your machine works, and it may lead to you spotting potential issues you can take care of before they become major problems.
2. Change Fluid and Do Some Regular Maintenance
After you have cleaned your ATV, you will want to refresh any liquids that your vehicle uses. This includes your oil and even the gas tank.
Changing your fluids may seem like it is not 100% necessary, but trust me, it is! Cold weather tends to thicken up the liquids in an ATV, which can damage the engine if the liquids are dirty. Dirty oil contains debris and acids that can even cause certain parts of your engine to erode. If your oil filter is dirty, you may also want to change that before storing your ATV as well.
Even though you are about to store your ATV, make sure that you fill-up the gas tank too. This helps to prevent any condensation from forming in your tank or your fuel lines. Any presence of water in your fuel line can freeze and cause your ATV not to start.
The best option is to use a fuel stabilizer before storage. Pour it into your tank and leave your ATV running for around 10 minutes to make sure it is distributed.
When it comes to your battery, the cold weather can be its’ number one enemy. Batteries are not cheap, and cold weather will drain your battery before you know it.
If you have a standard battery, the best option is to remove the battery and store it in a warm area. You can also purchase a smart charger or a trickle charger which can help it last during colder months.
3. Check Your Tires
Since storage can be rough on tires, you will want to check out your tires and make sure they are inflated to the proper pressure. This will make sure that you do not have to deal with a flat tire right once you pull it out of storage.
If you have any questions about how to test check and fix your tire pressure, we have a guide for that.
Extended periods of rest are never great for a set of tires. Before you put your ATV away for the winter, you should make sure that you inflate the tires to the proper pressure.
This prevents potential rotting from freestanding water where you are storing it, and there will be a reduced chance of flat spots over the length of storage.
Although the pressure is not going to remain perfect, you should not have to fill them up once you bring your ATV out of storage too much. You could also place your ATV on a stand, which is the preferred method if you want to protect your tires to the fullest extent.
4. Seal any Open Areas
During storage, your ATV could become home to some little animals. Make sure you take up the time to block any pipes or open areas on your ATV. It is not uncommon for a cold squirrel to crawl in your ATV and chew up spark plugs. You can use tape, fabric, or whatever you have on hand to secure your ATV.
It would be best if you also took the time to cover all open areas such as an exhaust pipe or areas where an animal or insect could crawl into your ATV.
5. Buy a High-Quality Cover
The final step is to make sure that you are using a high-quality cover to protect your ATV or UTV from any sort of weather-related issue. If you are storing your quad in an indoor facility, make sure the conditions are sufficient to protect your ATV.
Especially if you are storing your ATV outside, you should be investing in a high-quality cover that can help prevent the elements from having a negative impact on your ATV.
This should be a waterproof cover that you can secure to the ground or your ATV to keep it safe from snow, rain, or ice. A cover can also help prevent animals from finding a new home for the winter as well.
Even if you are storing your ATV inside, you should still consider using some sort of cover that is waterproof. This will help deal with any humidity in the air and keep dust, debris or animals from getting inside.
The cover should always cover all areas of your ATV to keep it safe from potential condensation, debris, or animals. As mentioned earlier, if you are storing your vehicle inside, using a stand to store your ATV is an excellent option for those who are looking to protect their ATV as efficiently as possible.
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