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As you prepare to store for the winter season, there are some important steps you’ll want to take. You definitely don’t want to let your four wheeler sit outside and risk exposure to freezing temperatures. Fortunately, a bit of planning can go a long way to ensure your ATV is properly stored during the cold months. When the warmer weather returns, you’ll be relieved to remove your machine from storage and find that it’s in great shape.
Here at Family Powersports in Odessa, we know how crucial it is to take proper care of your four wheeler. We’ve gathered some tips on how to winterize your ATV below. For more information or if you need parts or service, be sure to visit our dealership. We’re conveniently located near Midland, Texas and proudly serve Andrews, Pecos, and Fort Stockton.
Before you begin to perform maintenance on your machine, you’ll want to give it a thorough cleaning. Make sure it’s been washed, rinsed, and completely dried. You don’t want to leave any debris behind, such as bugs or brake dust, because this can increase the risk of corrosion. Once your quad is squeaky clean, you should wax any of the painted or chrome parts. Remember that lubrication is key to preventing corrosion, so you want to be sure to lubricate vulnerable parts, like lug nuts, cables, sprockets, and chains.
Most fuel that is obtained from a gas pump has ethanol in it, which attracts water. You don’t want that sitting in your tank for months at a time because it can lead to separation. All you need is a bit of fuel stabilizer to help avoid this problem. Once you’ve filled your tank with fresh fuel, add the appropriate amount of fuel stabilizer. Make sure you evenly distribute it by starting and running the engine for a few minutes. This step ensures the treated gasoline will make its way to all fuel-related components.
Now that your engine is warm, you can proceed to change the oil and oil filter. This is important because used oil contains acids and other combustion by-products that can damage your ATV if it’s left sitting over the winter months. If you know that your oil is used and dirty, replace it before you store your machine. If you’ve been good about keeping up with routine maintenance throughout the year, this might be not be as much of an issue.
Next, you’ll want to fog your engine, especially if your machine is going to be sitting for an extended period of time. While the engine is running, spray fogging oil into the intake track. It’ll combust pretty quickly, which you can watch for as it exits the exhaust. When you fog the engine, a protective residue is applied to the internal components to prevent rust and corrosion.
You should always refer to the manufacturer of your tires for detailed information on how to prepare for winter. For radial tires, it’s often suggested to inflate them slightly above riding pressure. For bias-ply tires, recommendations can include deflating the tires to expel moisture and then re-inflating to the suggested level. This process prevent flat-spotting, which is the damage that occurs when the vehicle sits in the same spot for a long period of time. If you’re able, it’s helpful to elevate your machine when it’s being stored. This reduces the weight placed on the tires, which is critical for preventing flat-spotting.
Don’t forget to remove your battery before you store your four wheeler for the winter. You should keep your battery in a place where it won’t freeze and you should keep it hooked up to a trickle charger. If you really want to protect it, you can install quick-disconnect leads. This step is especially useful for ATVs with batteries that are difficult to remove and install. Your goal is to preserve the life of the battery while also preventing loss of charge.
Last but not least, you need to find a secure place to store your quad. We strongly encourage you to apply a breathable cover, especially if you plan to store it outdoors and anticipate below freezing temperatures. A cover is also great for keeping unwanted critters out. You should still make it a point to cover entry points, like intakes and exhaust pipes. A waterproof cover will work best when storing your ATV outside.
If you have questions or you’re still in the market for a new four wheeler, stop by Family Powersports in Odessa. We’re located outside of Midland, Texas and proudly serve Andrews, Pecos, and Fort Stockton.
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