How To Get Your ATV Ready After It Sits For Winter

How To Get Your ATV Ready for Riding After Winter

How To Get Your ATV Ready After It Sits For Winter

Has your ATV been sitting all winter? If it has, then you should know that getting it to start after it has been sitting for a while may not be as easy as simply turning the ignition. This is because in the period when your ATV has been sitting, a couple of things may have gone wrong. So when you try to start it after winter, you may experience a situation where your ATV turns but won't start. Not to worry, though; this article contains everything you need to know on how to start an ATV that has been sitting all winter.

How To Get Your ATV Ready for Riding After Winter

If you tried starting your ATV after winter, but it just won't start, you should know that several things could be responsible for your ATV failing to start properly. If you're currently experiencing this problem, here are some tips on how to solve it and get your ATV ready for riding after winter.

1. Fluid Check and Maintenance

Most of the time, the reason why most people have trouble getting their ATVs to start after it has been sitting for a while is that there is something wrong with some or all of the fluid systems in the ATV. Usually, this problem is caused because of improper ATV storage. You can check our guide on how to properly store an ATV for storage. When you don't store your ATV properly, there's a high chance that the fluids in it will go bad or get contaminated. If this happens, you won't be able to get it to start when you want it to after winter.

So the first thing to do if your ATV has been sitting for a while and it turns over but won't start when you try to start it is to do thorough fluid maintenance. As far as your ATV is concerned, there are three fluids you'll want to check and possibly replace. They include:

  • Gasoline
  • Engine Oil
  • ATV Transmission & Differential Fluid

ATV Fuel Maintenance

How Do I Know If My ATV's Gas Is Bad?

If you stored fuel in your ATV all through the winter and you're not quite sure if your gasoline is in good condition, you'll want to check its smell and color. This is the easiest way to know if your fuel is in good condition or not. If the fuel is bad, you'll notice it has a pretty sour smell, and it looks noticeably darker in color. In some cases, you'll also notice a change in the fuel's consistency (it'll appear thicker).

Note that usually, it takes ATV gasoline about six months for it to deteriorate. However, depending on the quality of the fuel you have in your ATV, this process could happen much faster. Even if your ATV's fuel doesn't appear to be in bad condition, it's always a good idea to change it if your ATV has been sitting for a while.

How To Carry Out ATV Fuel Maintenance

To change your ATV's fuel, follow the steps below:

  • First, get a bucket and a hose.
  • Next, turn off your ATV's fuel intake valve, and remove the hose from the "mouth" of the cutoff valve.
  • Then place one end of another hose on the mouth of the cutoff valve, put the other end in the bucket and then turn on the fuel intake valve.

Once you've done this, let the fuel drain out completely before returning the fuel valve's hose to its position. You'll also want to examine your ATV fuel hose line for clogs that may have built up during the extended storage period. If you find any clogs, clear them out.

After doing all of this, you can now pour fresh fuel into your ATV.

Engine Oil Maintenance

The engine oil is one of the most important fluids of any vehicle. This is because it contributes significantly to the proper functioning of the engine, and this also applies to ATVs. If your ATV has been sitting for a while, it's likely the engine oil will have gone bad. So you'll have to change it. To change your ATV's oil, follow the steps below:

  • Locate the oil drain plug, loosen its bolt and let the oil drain into an empty bucket. It should take about fifteen minutes for all the oil to drain completely.
  • Next, you'll want to inspect the oil filter to see if it's still in good condition. If there are deposits or clogs in it (if it's blocked), you'll have to change it.
  • Once you've done this, you can now pour in the fresh engine oil. Note that it's important you make sure you have and use the right engine oil for your four-wheeler.

Transmission & Differential Fluid Change

This particular ATV maintenance step is only for people who have a 4x4 ATV. These ATVs have both front and rear differentials, and you'll want to make sure you change the oil in both. Note, however, that just like with engine oils, ATVs have different differential oil types. So you'll want to make sure you're using the differential oil that's recommended for your four-wheeler.

2. Battery Maintenance

Another reason your four-wheeler won't start after sitting throughout the winter is if the battery isn't in good condition. So the next part of your ATV you'll want to check as you're getting ready to ride is the battery. If you kept your ATV's battery hooked to a trickle charger throughout the winter, you won't have much problem getting it to work. However, if you didn't properly store your ATV's battery during winter or you left it in the ATV, you'll likely find that the battery is very weak or dead. This happens because ATV batteries tend to lose their charge when they are not used for long periods, especially when the weather is cold, as in winter.

If your ATV's battery is dead, you'll have to charge the battery until it is sufficiently recharged to power your ATV. If you notice that your battery won't charge no matter how long you leave it plugged in, chances are the battery is already bad. In this case, you'll have to get a replacement battery.

3. Tire Maintenance

One other important part of your ATV you'll want to inspect is the tires. It's very possible for the pressure in your ATV's tires to have reduced during its storage period. The tires could even already be totally flat. So before riding your ATV after it has been sitting all winter, you'll need to check the tires for their pressure and inflate them. You should take care not to over inflate your ATV's tires, as this could cause them to explode while you're riding. So make sure you keep the tire pressure within the acceptable range.

Additional ATV Post-Winter Maintenance Tips

Aside from the above-listed tips on how to start an ATV that has been sitting all winter, there are also some other things you should do. They include the following:

  • Check and replace the air filter.
  • Examine ATV's fuel tank for leaks.
  • Examine the spark plugs and change them if you notice the engine still won't start.
  • Thoroughly clean your ATV's carburetor.