Critical ATV and UTV Care for Longer Vehicle Life

Three ways to keep your machine riding right.


Once you’ve spent your hard-earned money on an ATV or SXS, you want to be sure you take care of it. Here are a few random tips to help you preserve your investment. Getting to know every part of your hunting rig is important, and even if you’re not the one doing the maintenance on your machine, you need to know how the terrain and riding conditions impact the health of your ride.

1) Air Filters
The air filter on your machine is the breathing inlet for the motor. If the air filter gets clogged, the amount of air is reduced and the machine will run rich. This means more fuel than air is entering the engine and you stand a chance of fouling the spark plug. The sealing surface of your air filter is subject to leaking, and making sure the filter is properly seated in the housing is critical to clean air entering the engine. Even fine dust can wear on the engine’s internals and will eventually kill your investment.

2) Belts
Belt driven machines are more common today than in years past. The belt that puts the power from the motor to the transmission needs to stay dry and cool. If you ride in deep water and the transmission slips, be sure to first remove the machine from the water and then drain the CVT box. Most newer belt drives have drains on the bottom rear of the CVT box. A wet belt slips and will burn wear spots on the sides of the belt. This will eventually lead to belt failure.

3) Axle Boots
CV axle boots are subject to many obstacles along the trail. These boots protect the constant velocity joints for the front and rear axles on independent suspension machines. If these boots get torn, you will eventually ruin the joint. Mud, water, and trail trash will find their way into the joint and grind it to pieces. Always keep an eye on the axles and boots to prevent unexpected damage.

Credit: by Jason Houle via American Snowmobiler

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