A lot of men are fascinated by ATVs and UTVs. It is synonymous with adventure, recreation, and masculinity. These vehicles are also helpful tools in accomplishing tasks, including transporting heavy materials, farming, and harrowing. As such, they need proper maintenance and care to ensure that they perform optimally when you need them.
But what exactly are ATVs and UTVs? How do they differ from each other?
ATV stands for all-terrain vehicles. They are also called four-wheelers or quads. Here are their other characteristics:
- Smaller than a UTV
- Used for racing and recreation
- Convenient for terrains, cliffs, and snow
- More maneuverable compared with a UTV
- Less expensive
Meanwhile, UTV stands for utility task vehicle. It is also referred to as side-by-side or SxS. The following are its distinctions from an ATV:
- Intended for two to six passengers
- Safer, making it a wise choice for family activities
- Typically used for outdoor tasks, such as farming, transporting of materials, and raking
- More powerful and costlier than ATV because it has more safety features, upgrades, and modifications
- More storage space
- More comfortable due to its wider riding space
- Do not come with electronic power steering
Owning an ATV and UTV is an investment. The cost of maintenance is also high. The following are the actual costs involved in their upkeeping.
- The cost of the first service is from $150 to $350.
- An ATV oil change costs between $30 and $55.
- You need $5 to $50 for new air filters.
- The cost of general tune-up ranges from $100 to $400.
With these amounts, learning how to maintain your ATV and UTV properly can save you a lot of money and headaches. Here are some smart ways to do it.
1. Familiarize yourself with the manual
Reading your manual before you tinker with your vehicle provides you with basic information about the tire pressure, type of oil, repairs you can perform, part replacements, and periodic tune-up. You are not required to read it in one sitting. But keep it handy in case of emergency. Remember that it is always better to read the manual, especially since you are operating a high-value machine.
2. Observe the Break-In Pressure Period
Allow some time to warm up and test your vehicle before riding and operating it for longer hauls. This would allow the oil and other fluids to flow and settle. Using it extensively right away may cause your vehicle to overheat or even get damaged. If this happens, contact your supplier or a professional who provides services for ATV or SxS repairs.
3. Check the oil
Check your ATV to UTV’s oil regularly to prevent putting extra strain on your motor. Overlooking this step would cause your engine to be improperly lubricated, which can lock it up if you fail to check the oil.
Moreover, the added strain increases heat, causing oil to lose its viscosity. When the oil gets thin, it cannot form a layer of film, which gives proper long-term protection to your vehicle. Heat is also conducive for sludge and other deposits to accumulate. Sludge can clog air passages and causes strain to the engine of oil. Meanwhile, piston rings that get stuck allow deposits to settle, causing the vehicle to lose power.
4. Keep a clean air filter
Having your ATV or UTV covered in mud and dirt after an adventurous ride may seem like a badge of honor. While they are good for your pride, they are bad for your vehicles. So check and clean the air filters right away after a dusty ride. Good and clean air is essential for gas to go up the fuel system.
Be sure to check the filter before you cold start your machine after the winter. Little critters love building their nests on ATV filters during the season, so make sure to remove them safely.
5. Store it properly
The cold season may stop you from using your power sports vehicles. However, it should not stop you from maintaining them. The longer you leave deposits, mud, and other corrosive in your vehicle, the harder it is to put your motors back in shape.
A long period of idleness is also bad for gas. Make sure to drain all the fuel if you would not use your vehicle for an extended period.
6. Invest in the best fuel
You would not want your ATV or UTV to stall while you are having an adrenaline rush, would you? Using high-octane fuel would serve your vehicle better and would keep it in tip-top condition.
Maintaining your vehicle is comparable to taking care of your body. You need to spend time, energy, and money if you want your ATV or UTV to deliver excellent quality.