Summer is drawing to a close and winter is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start preparing your vehicle for storage. If you choose to winterize your ATV or UTV, you’ll need to follow some important tips and best practices to ensure it’s done properly. At Hidden Trails Motorsports, we understand the importance of winterization for your ATV or UTV. We’ve gathered some pertinent information to get you started. If you have questions or need to stock up on some gear or equipment, stop by our dealership in Charleston, WV!
One of the most important things you’ll need to address prior to storing your vehicle for winter is the fuel tank and the carburetor, if applicable. Remember that fuel is often loaded with fillers that can really damage your carb, especially when sitting untouched for a few months. Start by turning off the fuel. You can allow the engine run until there’s no more gas in the tank, or siphon out the remaining fuel. This ensures that the fuel in your tank will not be stale and unusable when you return to riding. More importantly, it prevents varnish issues that could force you into scheduling a service appointment before you can ride again. Some fuel-injected vehicle owners treat their tank with a stabilizer to prevent varnishing and separation that cause problems the next time the engine is started.
Always remember to remove your battery from the vehicle and place it on a trickle charge before storing your ATV or UTV. As you probably know, batteries require constant attention. If you leave it sitting in the machine over the winter months, you’re practically guaranteeing that you’ll return to a dead battery and that’s no fun at all. When you place your battery on a trickle charger, you’re not only ensuring your machine will be ready to go when you return but it also prolongs the battery life. Who doesn’t love that?
It’s good practice to service your air filter or replace it with a new one before storing. When you retrieve your machine from storage, you’ll know it’s ready to go. Another thing you might want to do is block the inlet ports to the air box so you can effectively prevent any critters from getting inside and setting up shop. Be sure to leave an indicator to remind you to unblock them when you remove your ATV or UTV from storage. This doesn’t only make your life easier but is essential to the health of your machine. If you leave a dirty, oily filter from the previous season in place, it can cause your vehicle to breathe heavy next time it starts and eventually will cause the element itself to deteriorate.
If you’re able to do so, it’s always a great idea to elevate your machine in order to remove the vehicle’s weight from the tires. This helps prevent any flats and will actually prolong the tire life, too. This is especially recommended for those ATV and UTVs who will be sitting for an extended period of time over the winter. This may not be a huge cause for concern if you only store your vehicle for a short time but those who have long winters may want to consider it.
The last thing you should do before storing your vehicle for winter is give it a thorough cleaning. That’s right, you need to give your vehicle a good scrub down and then spray it with polish. This helps protect your plastics, seat, and the other surfaces from oxidizing. When it’s time for storage, you should consider a vehicle cover. This is especially important if you don’t have your own trailer or garage to store it in. For those who experience extreme winter conditions, you might want to consider a cover with ventilation so that you don’t trap moisture inside. A cover will protect your ATV or UTV from rain, snow, sun, and other harmful elements.
Now that you’re ready to store your ATV or UTV, don’t hesitate to stop by Hidden Trails Motorsports for any materials you might need. We’re here to help answer any questions you might have about winterizing your vehicle. Visit us today in Charleston, WV to learn more!