Regular maintenance of your ATV is important to getting long lasting performance from your machine. This includes winterizing your ATV. Of course there are some places where even in the winter you can drive your four-wheeler on a regular basis, riding around in the snow or ice on local roads, or even off-road. However, if your plan is to store your quad for the winter, it's time to get busy and get it put safely away until spring or summer.

Here are some things to consider when caring for your ATV during the winter months.


Make sure you can store your ATV in a safe and secure place away from harsh temperatures. This will easily add years to the life of your four-wheeler, regardless of whether you experience hard winters or not. You should also cover your ATV with a snug-fitting cover if possible.

Image via Flickr by Josaco1

Clean It

Before you put your ATV away for the winter, wash it thoroughly. Left over mud, dust, and dirt can fade your paint job and is potentially a rust hazard. You should always clean your ATV thoroughly after every ride anyway, but a good pressure washing before long storage is still a good idea. If using a pressure washer to wash it, make sure the settings you use will not damage the ATV.

Add Fuel Stabilizer

Top off your gas tank and add some fuel stabilizer before putting your quad in storage. A full tank of gas leaves less room for harmful condensation to build up inside your tank. Stabilizer keeps the fuel good while it waits to be used again in the new year.

Change the Oil

You or a professional technician should change the oil and replace your air filter before you put away your ATV for the winter. Old, used oil contains harmful acid created during the combustion process, and leaving it in your ATV will give it time to corrode metal and eat away at the seals. If storing it for an extended period of time, remove the spark plugs first and put a small drop of oil in the spark plug hole. Then put the plug back in its spot.

Use a Battery Tender

Sitting for a long time over the winter is not only hard on humans, but it can be hard on your battery as well. Consider plugging your ATVs battery into a tender so you won't have trouble starting it again when you're ready. You should also start it up periodically if you can. This will add life to your battery. Before you know it winter will be over and you'll be in the mood to get out and ride again. The last thing you want is a maintenance hassle on that special day. Making sure you take the time now to store your ATV correctly over the winter months will save you frustration and money in repairs. It will also add years of life to your ATV, and who doesn't want their ATV to last forever?

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