Polaris ATV and UTV Regular Maintenance
If you want to keep your Polaris ATV or UTV running in top condition for years to come, then you need to perform regular maintenance. This may seem like a daunting task, but it's really not that bad when you break it down into smaller steps. In this article, we will discuss the essential fluids that your quad or SxS needs and how to choose the right products for it. We will also go over the proper upkeep schedule so that you can keep your machine running smoothly.
Regular Required Maintenance for Polaris ATVs and SxS/UTVs
Just like cars, there is regular required maintenance to keep your vehicle running smoothly. Keeping up with your regular maintenance will directly help prolong the life of your ORV.
Engine Oil Schedule for ATVs and SxS/UTVs
The oil used in your ATV / UTV is different from your car's. At first, this may seem odd, but after looking at the types of environments the vehicles are used in, it makes sense. The oil used for ORV engines needs to be able to sit for long periods of time, often in cold storage, and then be ready for the engine to be used at full capacity at the flip of a switch. Because of this heavier use, ORV engine oil is given additives that dissipate heat, this allows the oil to perform in extreme conditions much longer than regular automobile oil ever could.
Just like your car you can choose between conventional, synthetic, and semi-synthetic oil for your ORV. Again just like a car, the best thing you can do is give it synthetic oil, as that will have the best performance and last the longest. However, convention oil will do just fine, it's just important you remember to change it as needed.
Each vehicle may slightly differ but in general, Polaris ATVs and SxS/UTVs should have their oil changed every 6 months, 1000 miles, or 100 driving hours, whichever comes first. You should check your owner's manual to see the size of your individual vehicle's oil capacity if you'll be changing the oil yourself.
Even if you change your oil as you should, it's important to keep an eye on your vehicle's oil level before you start each session. This will help you see if there are any possible leaks, and will prevent you from possibly damaging your vehicle. If you notice your oil is low, top it off to get your engine back at its desired level. If you notice it is needing to be topped off often, that is a sign your vehicle may have a leak. At that time you should take your vehicle to be checked by a mechanic.
Changing Your Polaris SxS/UTVs or ATVs Oil Filter
The right ATV/UTV oil will only get you so far. To be the best, it's important that your filter is always changed every time you change your fluids. It's important to replace them even if there's no evidence of sludge or debris build up on them.
Transmission Fluid Schedule for Polaris ATVs and SxS/UTVs
Transmission fluids should be changed regularly to avoid sludge and metal particles in the transmission.
As with motor oil, refer back to your owner's manual for guidance on which type is best suited depending upon if it's an automatic or manual gearbox. The fluid level can also give an indication as well before each ride; cloudy/dark brown indicates contamination that will need to be dealt with. This can cause damage to your transmission so make sure this doesn't occur by checking periodically.
When you change your transmission fluid, it's a good idea to track how much time has passed since the last service. The typical interval for this is 100 hours, 1,000 miles, or 12 months.
Polaris Vehicle Demand Drive Fluids
The Demand Drive fluid is a specialized type of front gear case oil for heavy-duty vehicles like Polaris ATVs and SxS/UTVs that deal with large amounts of torque. The schedule for changing Demand Drive fluid is the same as transmission oil, so 100 hours, 1,000 miles, or 1 year, whichever comes first of course.
Polaris ATV and SxS/UTVs Antifreeze
If you have ever wondered what the antifreeze for your four-wheeler does, it's more than just keeping things cool. The chemical breakdown of this sticky substance actually helps keep some internal components clean and lubricated.
Check your engine's coolant levels often. If you notice levels are low you should add coolant to the overflow bottle. A dry overflow reservoir is a sign of leakage somewhere in your coolant system. To prevent possible damage, we recommend checking the radiator itself to see your coolant levels. You can also check the radiator cap for possible issues with its seal. This isn't necessary as often. It's important to note, to only check the radiator cap when the engine is cool. So make sure you wait ample time after riding to check. Polaris recommends you change your engine's coolant once every 60 months.
Preventative Maintenance Tips for Your Polaris ATV, SxS/UTV
Along with required maintenance to keep your engine running smooth, there are precautions and preventative measures you can take to prolong the life of your Polaris ORV.
Covering your ATV or SxS/UTV When Not in Use
You aren't alone, most Polaris owners only use their vehicle periodically. Like we mentioned, your vehicle's engine oil is designed for this, but the rest of your vehicle is still susceptible to premature aging due to long periods of sitting. When a vehicle sits for long periods, inside a garage or outside in the elements, it will start to accrue lots of dust and debris. You can decrease the damage dramatically by covering your Polaris ATV or SxS/UTV when not using it.
Of course, if your vehicle is stored outdoors it is even more important to make sure you are covering it when not in use. Not only will dust and debris accrue, but UV rays from the sun will start damaging the exterior of your vehicle.
Thoroughly Clean Your ORV Regularly
Although having a dirty ATV or UTV seems to be a right of passage. It's important to give your vehicle a deep clean at least a couple of times a year.
A thorough clean is important because dirt and mud tend to collect on the metal parts of a vehicle. This causes them to hold moisture against each other which in turn leads to rusting or corrosion.
ATVs and SxS/UTVs are known for dirt build-up on their suspension components. This of course can cause premature wear and tear. The drivetrain of these vehicles is also vulnerable to mud and debris build-up. This in turn can stress your vehicle's gears and bearings causing damage that is ultimately preventable from a few thorough cleanings a year.
Check Your Vehicle's Battery
Just like a car, ATV and UTVs batteries degrade over time. The good news is they are easy to get to and to keep an eye on.
When checking your battery, check for:
- Corrosion on your battery's terminals.
- Cracks in your battery's casing.
There are a lot of things that can cause battery damage. But a few preventable causes is overcharging and allowing your battery to sit too long without use. It's good to run your vehicle every so often to prevent damage to your battery.
Check and Tighten your Vehicles Bolts
ATVs and SxS/UTVs go through a lot of stress while they are in use. So bolts and screws are more susceptible to movements. This isn't a big deal if you remember to check them periodically. It's good to go around and tighten your vehicle's bolts between uses, especially after any heavy uses.
ATVs and SxS/UTVs are incredibly useful and fun vehicles, but like any machine, they require regular maintenance as well as precautions taken to keep them running smoothly for years. Just like changing your vehicle's oil is important, cleaning and checking your battery is equally as important to keep your vehicle in top shape.
Following your vehicle's manual is always a great way to make sure you are giving your vehicle the maintenance it needs. Along with keeping up with the manual's recommendations, you should always give your vehicle a thorough clean and check before any big trips. Especially if you are going somewhere alone, or going hunting somewhere far from civilization. It's always best to know your vehicle is ready for whatever you might throw at it.