Today more than ever, if you’re a UTV owner, you’re anxious to get outside. No matter how you use your 4x4 UTV, it’s a good idea to spend time cleaning and prepping your vehicle. Here are a few tips to consider before hitting the trail this spring.
Wash and Wax. Even if you don’t drive much during winter, it’s a good idea to give your UTV a thorough wash. Spray your entire machine with a quality, water-based degreaser and surface cleaner, letting it soak-in before you wash and scrub. And don’t forget to wax, which protects your investment from UV damage and helps keep mud and dirt from sticking.
Make Some Changes. If you do ride during the winter, cold can cause condensation to form as a UTV sits and cools. This can lead to a small amount of water in the oil, which reduce its ability to work properly in the engine. Every spring, following manufacturer specs, do a complete oil change, oil filter change, and possibly fuel filter change. Don’t forget to change the air filter as well. Dust and dirt can destroy the piston and rings while chewing away at the cylinder wall.
Grease It. Get the squeak out by greasing all fittings, making sure to coat all cables and exposed metal. Lubricate all zerk fittings, using a good quality waterproof grease. It’s a good idea to force the older grease out of a bearing or joint. This ensures a fully lubricated part, but also pushes out any dirt or rust.
Cool, Cool. It’s important to keep a UTV running cool. Make sure coolant is at the specified level. It’s also good to check the coolant in the radiator before you start the machine, while cold, to get an idea of the coolant condition.
Fuel Matters. Leaving last year’s fuel in a UTV is guaranteed to create problems. If you park your rig for the winter and don’t treat the fuel, or drain the tank, you could have trouble in spring. Remove the fuel before storage. Or at least add a fuel stabilizer.
Remember the Tires, Driveline. Keeping proper air pressure in tires is important to UTV drivability and handling. Also check wheel lug nuts and tighten to manufacturer specs.
Rubber boots protecting CV joints keep grease clean and contained to the inside of the joint, while shutting out dirt and destructive materials. But boots tear easily, which can go unnoticed. Grease on a wheel, or on any area of framework near a drive axle, could mean a break in a CV boot. This is also a good time to inspect your wheel bearings. Most are sealed, but they do go bad because of moisture.
The time you spend now gives you more time to spend on the trails and less time in the repair shop. If servicing your UTV is something you prefer not to handle, Benson Ace Hardware can handle all small engine repair and servicing. For UTVs and most other power equipment.