Even toys need protection from the heat, rain, and debris, even if they’re designed to stand up to harsh conditions.
All Terrain Vehicles are built for rugged fun, splashing through water, and the harsh off-road conditions that come with the adventures of traveling through uninhabited areas. But if you want to keep riding, you’ll want to make sure you take the necessary steps to protect your ATV from the damage that the sun, heat, debris, and water can do under extreme exposure. These tips can help extend the life of your ATV and protect its value.
Invest in a cover for storage
An ATV can cost as much as $15,000, so it is not a cheap toy. No matter whether you choose to store it inside a garage or outside, you’ll want to invest in a protective cover that will help keep out debris and water while you’re not riding it. There are plenty of options to consider, including ATV covers from Car Cover USA and other specialty shops. The covers help protect the ATV’s finish and upholstery, and they also can help protect against heat, UV rays, rain, and droppings from trees and birds.
Clean after you play in the dirt
It may sound counterintuitive, but just because your ATV is designed to handle mud, dirt, and water doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep it clean.
Regular washing after riding is important because it removes all the mud and debris. Otherwise, the dried mud and dirt can trap moisture on the metal and that can eat away at the finish of your ATV and eventually lead to rust problems on the metal down the road. The dirt and debris also can hurt your ATV’s performance over time if you do not wash it regularly. They will eventually work their way into the air filter, causing problems with performance. Dust can also block the vents and other components of your vehicle.
Leave the dirt and mud for the ride and wash it off when you’re done, ensuring that you enjoy plenty more rides in the future.
Check your ATV’s belt
Most ATVs rely on a transmission belt to run smoothly. Belts wear out, especially if you are riding your ATV hard through water and mud. That can accelerate the deterioration of the belt, so you want to inspect it regularly to make sure it performs properly.
It’s not always easy to check a CV belt, but your vehicle will give you clues if it is time to replace it. Watch for changes in how your ATV shifts and if you experience a change in performance. Those are signs that you may need to change the belt. Also, be aware of the smell of burning rubber. That odor is another sign that your belt is wearing. If you pay attention and regularly maintain your ATV, you can count on your belt lasting for a few years.
Think before you store your ATV away for the season
If you are using your ATV during certain hunting seasons and plan to store it for the rest of the year, make sure to properly treat your gas before you put it away. Gas breaks down if it sits too long in an unused vehicle, and that can affect your fuel system, including the fuel lines and injectors. Adding a stabilizer product to the gas tank will help protect your ATV in the off-season and help you avoid an expensive trip to the mechanic when you’re ready to ride.