How to Winterize an ATV

Outdoor enthusiasts who live in Northern regions often store ATVs during the wintertime. Ice can damage the engine. Road salt is corrosive and can erode the undercarriage. Winter storage is a good way to extend the life of your ATV. You can learn how to winterize an ATV quickly and simply yourself, and never pay expensive shop charges to winterize again.


1) Wash your ATV. Scrub every inch. Use an old toothbrush to reach tight areas. Mud and oil can eat away at surfaces over time. Good ATV maintenance involves thoroughly cleaning your ATV before storing it for the winter. As an added protection, hand wax your ATV once it’s dry.

2) Change the oil and filters. This keeps excess dirt from settling in your engine.

3) Put gas stabilizer into the fuel tank and top the tank off with fresh gas. For best results, use premium gasoline. Run the ATV for a few minutes to allow the stabilizer to work through the carburetor. Shut off the motor and turn off the gas valve. Oil the chain.

4) Disconnect and pull out the battery. Charge it if necessary, and clean the terminals. Store the battery in a location where it cannot freeze. A heated breezeway is preferable to a cold garage. It’s important to keep the battery stored out of the reach of children. Battery acid is dangerously corrosive. Store your ATV’s battery on a high shelf or locked in a cabinet. Do not store it directly on concrete. Concrete causes power drain in batteries.

5) Push the ATV into a shed or garage. Do not store ATV’s outside in winter climates. Place the ATV up on blocks and fill the tires to the correct psi to keep them from weather cracking. Expensive jack stands aren’t necessary; cinder blocks or heavy plastic milk crates work just fine.

6) Cap the exhaust. To a mouse, it looks like a fine winter hidey hole.

7) Tarp the ATV to keep excess dust and vermin away. If desired, leave an open can of auto wax on the floor under the tarp. The smell repels mice, chipmunks and other small pests.

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