- by Joe Weber - updated on 11/16/2022
When the fishing season is over, boat owners prepare their boats for the winter so that they can be sure the boat is ready to go when the next season starts. So, is it different for ATVs and UTVs? No. After the end of the hunting season or before the first freeze, there are several steps that you should take to ensure your ATV can survive the harsh winter temperatures and is still ready to go in the spring.
Some of us may see the winter as another season to ride. With the fresh snow-covered trails to ride or to put your machine to work with a plow. Some of the steps to winterize may not apply to these individuals but are great to know.
ATVs & UTVs are a large investment and are also in many cases used as part of a source of income. Protect your investment by taking care of your machines in the winter months. Most of the steps listed below can be done by you, but some of them may need to be completed by a service center.
Before tucking your ATV or UTV in for the winter make sure you give it a good clean. Use a pressure washer or high-pressure hose attachment to ensure that you get all of the dirt and grime off the frame and metal parts that could rust.
Moisture can form in the fuel tanks when the fuel and machine are exposed to the extreme cold. Draining all of the fuel from the tank and making sure the lines are clear is ideal. You can also use a fuel stabilizer like sta-bil that will help eliminate water from the fuel if you intend to leave the fuel in the tank for sudden rides.
Before the temperature gets too cold, change the engine oil while it's still nice out. Replace the oil grade and type recommended by the manufacturer. Remember to tighten the drain plug to the recommended torque and tighten the filter so it's snug but don't over-tighten it. Over-tightening it could lead to damage later on.
While this is something that should be done all year long and not just before winter, you should continuously make sure that joints are greased and the throttle is oiled. If you are unsure of all the spots that should be greased, please check your machine's owner's manual.
Fill the coolant to the line at the bottom of the filler neck. Use properly mixed coolant as recommended by the manufacturer.
Check the air filter and if it's dirty, replace it.
The final step before putting your machine away for the winter is to disconnect and remove the battery. Place the battery on a sturdy bench in a well-ventilated area and connect it to a battery maintainer for the winter.
If it's the end of the season and you're noticing that your battery is not performing well, bring it into your local Batteries Plus to have it tested. If it's time for a new one, we will help you find the best replacement battery for your machine. Visit our Powersports page to learn all about the different battery types available to you for your ATV or UTV. To learn more about ATV batteries read our blog article "When Should I Replace My ATV Battery?" to learn everything you need to know about ATV batteries.