Automotive

How to Extend the Life of Your Outdoor Vehicles

Taking good care of your outdoor rides, like ATVs, UTVs, and dirt bikes, is crucial if you want them to last for years of adventuring. With some straightforward upkeep, you can keep these fun toys running smoothly and avoid pricey repairs down the road.

Keep It Clean

Dirt, mud, and debris can really do a number on outdoor vehicles over time. After every muddy expedition, take a few minutes to spray off caked-on mess with a garden hose. Pay extra attention to the undercarriage, wheels, and suspension components where stuff loves to build up. Once it’s surface clean, let it fully air dry before parking it.

Change Filters and Fluids

Just like cars and trucks, your off-road vehicles need periodic filter and fluid changes to stay happy. Check the owner’s manual for recommended intervals but assume air filters need to be swapped yearly and engine/transmission fluids around every 25 operating hours or so. Using the correct types of filters and lubricants is important, too.

Check and Adjust

Over time, things can loosen up, wear down, or go out of whack on outdoor vehicles. Do a visual once-over regularly, looking for loose nuts/bolts, worn brake pads, low fluids, damaged control cables, etc. Fixing minor issues promptly prevents bigger (and costlier) problems later. Having the right tools on hand will make this easier.

Get It Serviced

Despite your best efforts at routine maintenance, outdoor vehicles need professional servicing periodically too. Once a year, take it to an authorized dealer or reputable repair shop for a comprehensive inspection and tune-up. Certified mechanics have the expertise to spot developing issues you may miss and can perform more involved services like valve adjustments, carburetor overhauls, or engine compression checks. Getting an annual once-over helps nip any problems in the bud before major repairs are required down the line.

Battery Tender Love

According to the experts at Clore Automotive, one invaluable gadget is an ATV battery charger and maintainer. These smart chargers automatically keep your battery at a safe storage voltage during periods of non-use. This prevents permanent battery damage and surprises when it’s time to ride again. Battery tenders are inexpensive insurance against premature replacement.

Check the Rubbers

Tires and coolant hoses are two crucial rubber components on outdoor vehicles. Inspect tires for proper inflation, adequate tread depth, and any cracks/damage in the sidewalls. Hoses should be supple with no brittleness or leaks. Replace rubbers that look suspicious before they strand you on the trail.

Proper Parking

Where and how you store your ATV or dirt bike makes a difference, too. The ideal spot is a cool, dry location like a garage or shed, not outdoors exposed to blazing sun and moisture, which speeds up aging. If storing long term, use a breathable vehicle cover. For ultimate protection, consider a climate-controlled storage unit.

Be Sensible When Riding

Finally, using a bit of caution while operating outdoor vehicles can minimize wear and tear. Avoid aggressive riding styles like jackrabbit starts/stops, power-sliding turns, and catching big air. Take it easy on uphills/downhills. Splashing through deep water can cause moisture infiltration issues, too. Treat your machines gently and they will reward you with longevity.

Conclusion

With some basic routine upkeep, your prized outdoor rides will stay healthy and ready for years of adventuring fun. A little preventative maintenance goes a long way towards extending their lifespan. You will save money versus buying replacements prematurely, too. Sticking to a regular cleaning, inspection, and service schedule is the key to vehicle longevity and reliability. Develop these habits now, and you’ll be able to count on your outdoor toys to start up effortlessly for every new season of excitement.

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