When winter recedes and the trails and fields begin to thaw, the time comes to dust off your utility ATV and prepare it for a long, fun summer. Before you strap on your helmet, gather your friends and head to the trails, make sure that you properly inspect your ATV four wheeler to ensure that it is trail-ready. This way, you can remain safe and have nothing to worry about except pounding the trails.
According to the experts at All Wheels Auto Storage, an Atlanta, Ga., based company that provides utility ATV storage and maintenance services, there are several important steps you should follow to care for your ATV four wheeler. Follow these guidelines to keep your ATV in good condition, and you will be on the trails in no time:
Lubricate the joints - While you should lubricate all of the mechanical parts on your ATV, All Wheels recommends you pay extra attention to the pivot points, center and side stands and cables. If applicable, lubricate the drive chain, too.
Change the oil - Oil tends to degrade over time and can cause engine corrosion in your ATV. Drain the old oil, which could contain particles and debris, into a receptacle. Change the filter and add the appropriate amount of new oil. This way, you will have a clean supply of oil that can keep your engine running smoothly for the new riding season.
Replenish the vital fluids - Replenish any brake, clutch and hydraulic fluid that has evaporated over time or collected contaminants. Add a fresh tank of fuel, as well.
Recharge the battery - If you connected your ATV battery to a trickle charger to keep it alive during the winter, reconnect it to your ATV and check the charge. Be certain that the battery is fully charged before you take it to the trails. Add distilled water or battery acid as needed, or purchase a new battery.
Inspect the tires - Lydia McDonald, an ATV sales expert at Dynamic Motorcars, an ATV retailer located in Northeast Ohio, stresses the importance of properly inflated tires. "Tire inflation can be critical to a successful outing on your ATV four wheeler, since they are often ridden in rural areas and subject to un-groomed trails," she says. Properly inflate tires, and inspect them for any cracks, weak spots or leaks before venturing out on a riding trip.
Check for rodents - McDonald recommends checking the filter box, exhaust and expansion chamber for mice and other small rodents. "It's actually quite common," she says. "Many people store their ATV in a barn or shed, and mice make themselves a nice little home in there during winter. You don't want to be surprised when you start your ATV for the first time, so use a stick or coat hanger to probe the exhaust and other areas for vermin. Usually, they will just come out on their own."
Prepare a safety kit - McDonald suggests putting together an emergency repair tool kit that includes a spark plug wrench, a spare spark plug and a can of fix-a-flat to mend any punctures your tires may suffer while on the trail.
Finally, before you get your helmet and go, make sure that you have adequate ATV insurance to protect your investment. An ATV insurance policy can protect your ATV four wheeler, as well as yourself, in the event of damages or an accident. Enjoy the great outdoors without the stress of worrying about whether your ATV is covered. Contact a Nationwide agent today for your free ATV insurance quote.
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