By Steve Hickoff
You love to use your four-wheeler. You ride. You hunt. You fish. You camp. You beat it up and run it hard, then do the worst thing possible: you forget about it.
Some tips for taking better care of your investment include:
Used oil will kill your engine if you let it. Offer the best treatment possible: Change the oil. Get a new filter. Run the engine a little right after to cycle it. Your four-wheeler will purr at you for it.
STORAGE COVER OR SHED
Protect your ATV and Side-by-Side from dust and dirt on downtime. A storage cover will keep it dry but also shield it from moisture. Keep it in a storage shed if you can, or a garage—anywhere but out in the elements. You have it out there enough during the season.
Hose down your ATV and Side-by-Side after each outing, and dry it off as well.
Check all larger hardware parts on your four-wheeled machine slowly and surely. Does anything need replaced? Be methodical, like a doctor giving a patient an exam.
Clean moving parts, removing trail dirt, marsh mud, fish blood, and duck feathers from them, and lubricate each one. Inspect smaller essentials such as the lights, switches, brake levers, and especially the spark plug.
SHUT IT DOWN
Turn off the fuel valve and/or drain the fuel tank in the off-season. Don’t forget to run the engine to get fuel out of the carburetor.
Consider spraying the brakes and suspension with water dispersant, especially in northern areas where highway salt can do some damage over the hunting season as you travel to and from locations and blinds.
Definitely inspect all nuts and bolts, the brake system, drive chain, carburetor idle, and throttle every month during use. Lubricate the drive chain on that schedule too.
It’ll love you for it.