Ideally, you have an indoor space to store your ATV when you aren’t able to load it up and get out there for some ATV recreational riding. We know not everyone has such luxuries. If you absolutely have to store your ATV outside, it’s important to know a few things in order to protect your ATV both in the winter and throughout the rest of the year.
Tips For How To Store Your ATV Outside In The Winter
Here are 7 tips for how to store your ATV outside in the winter and keep your ATV in tip top condition throughout the year for the next riding season.
1. Build A Shed
Ideally, if you don’t have a garage or basement in which to store your ATV, the next best thing to do is to build a shed. I know this sounds like I’m not offering advice for how to build your ATV outside, but I want to make the case that this really is the first and best thing you could do to protect your ATV investment.
2. Clean Your ATV Before Storing It Outside
Motosport recommends you completely clean your ATV before putting it into storage for the winter.
Rinse and lubricate it (drive chain and anything that takes some grease) then use protectant on your plastic – everything you normally do to get it ready for the next ride day. One difference this time is spraying WD-40 into the exhaust pipe to prevent rust and covering the opening to keep dust and bugs out. Stuff a rag into the opening or, what’s better, use a muffler plug. Additionally, it doesn’t hurt to wipe down all raw and polished metal surfaces with WD-40 as a precaution.Motosport
Related Reading: How To Choose The Best ATV Helmet
3. Fuel Maintenance
What you do with the gasoline in your ATV during the winter is dependant upon what type of tank your ATV has.
If you have a plastic tank, drain all the fluids including the tank, fuel lines and carburetor.
If you have a metal tank, fill up your gasoline tank completely, add a fuel stabilizer, and then run your ATV for a few minutes to allow the systems to completely absorb the treated fuel. This will help your ATV system not to freeze and also avoid rust.
4. Change The Oil and Oil Filter
It is recommended you have your ATV oil and oil filter changed before the winter sets in.
Be sure to let your engine turn over once or twice every month (without starting it) during the winter to ensure that all the components stay well lubricated.
You also want to remove the air filter. Rodents love to set up house in the foam filters and sleep or store food there, plus the long winter can cause the filter to dry out. You can purchase an airbox cover to put in its place during the winter.
5. Tend To The Battery
You will want to get a battery tender to keep your battery in good shape over the winter months. Prolonged periods of nonuse will cause your battery to die pretty quickly. A battery tender uses very little juice and will keep the battery charge all winter. You need to remove the battery from your ATV first.
6. ATV Tire Maintenance In The Winter
In order to protect your ATV tires during storage outside, you need to inflate them to their maximum capacity. Tires tend to slowly deflate over time and this is best way to to keep them inflated without weekly inflating them all winter.
You also need to store your ATV on blocks and not on frozen cold ground or concrete. This will also protect your tires and take strain off the suspension.
7. Invest In A Good ATV Cover
Finally, you need to invest in a good ATV cover to protect your ATV when stored outside. It is recommended you not use a plastic tarp, but rather purchase a breathable fabric. This allows moisture to escape and prevents rust from occurring.
How To Store Your ATV Outside In Warmer Months
Use the following regular maintenance checklist all year and especially when storing your ATV outside for long periods between riding. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual for complete maintenance and routine ATV care and instructions on how often to perform the following maintenance steps.
- Keep it covered when not in use to protect from the elements.
- Routinely wash your ATV and wash after every trail riding adventure.
- Again, treat the gasoline if the ATV is going to be stored for any length of time, even in the warmer months.
- If possible, periodically start the engine of your ATV and allow the motor to warm the oil to warm up long enough prevent build up of condensation. (We often just ride around our neighborhood or in the backyard for a bit. The kids love it!)
- Keep an eye on your belts.
- Check your spark plugs periodically.
- Check nuts and bolts are tight and in good condition.
- Regularly check your oil and change according to your owner’s manual instructions.
- Check transmission oil.
- Check radiator fluid.
- Clean or replace the oil filter.
- Change our air filter for rodents or debris if it has been stored for a while.
- Check the brake fluid.
- Inspect brake shoes & pads.
- Inspect the drive shaft.
- Check your chain and sprocket
- Clean and lube bearings(wheels, steering, swing arm, linkage, axles)
- Check nuts and bolts (top to bottom, front to back)
- Check for exhaust leaks
- Inspect muffler packing
- Inspect tire wear
- Check tire pressure
- Look for damage on your ATV after rides(bent or broken)
- Check for fluid leaks (carburetor, radiator, engine cases, fill caps, drain bolts)
- Set hour meter for maintenance reminder.
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