ATV stands for an all-terrain vehicle and includes vehicles like quad bikes, four-tracks, three-wheelers, and quadricycles. These vehicles utilize low-pressure tires and as the name hints, are created to endure a myriad of terrains. Although ATV’s are legal as street vehicles in some countries, they are often not legal for street driving in most states. However, they can offer users hours of unparalleled fun and are a great asset for anyone who enjoys fast-paced adventures. Like any vehicle, part of owning and caring for an ATV means that you have to change the engine oil.
Fresh oil is essential if you want to keep your engine in top-nick! It ensures that the engine and all the components that make your vehicle run efficiently are well lubricated. As a rule of thumb, many suggest that engine oil should be changed for every ten hours of riding. However, each model will differ slightly, and it’s always important to consult the user manual before deciding when an oil change is needed. When it comes to changing oil, it’s usually a simple process. However, there are some common mistakes that can take your ATV from hero to zero in a matter of moments. Watch out for these four common mistakes.
Not Changing Your Oil on the Regular
While making time for an oil change might seem like a big project in your mind and is usually one that people put off till the very last moment, it’s an important jo, and it should not be left for too long. When you don’t change your oil regularly, you will soon encounter a number of problems. Old oil gets pretty unpleasant when left too long and will soon fill up with various particles and pieces of grit. While your oil filter’s job is to filter the oil and ensure this build up doesn’t get in your engine, it can only do so much. If the filter has more work than it’s designed to do, it will soon lose its ability to effectively filter the oil, and the particles will fall through it and cause a lot of harm to your engine. This can lead to expensive problems down the line and will slowly erode the quality of your ATV. If you’re feeling lazy, then get your oil changed professionally. This will save you a lot of damage control down the line and will ensure that your engine remains healthy and lubricated with clean oil.
Pro-tip: Keep a record of all your ATV oil changes so that you know when the next one is due!
Using the Wrong Engine Oil
It’s all very good and well to change your oil regularly. However, another important component of an effective oil change is to use the correct oil. Using the wrong oil can cause more damage than good to your ATV and could, in fact, clog your engine, or cause unnecessary damage and erosion. Always consult your user manual before purchasing oil for your ATV and if you’re in doubt, speak to a mechanic who is in the know. Putting diesel oil in an engine that requires gas is going to cause serious issues. As is using oil of the wrong viscosity. Always opt for a premium oil!
Pro-tip: Most brands will also have online forums, websites, or Youtube channels. Consult these if you are unsure and they will point you in the right direction and tell you what oil is best suited to your ATV.
Forgetting to Fasten the Oil-Fill Cap
So, you’ve changed your engine oil with premium grade synthetic oil. You’ve changed it after 10 hours of riding and are feeling fantastic about your commitment to maintaining your ATV so diligently. You are so excited to ride now, that you forget the most important thing, to securely fasten the oil-fill cap back into place. If you forget to do this, then hot oil can spill throughout the engine and cause a lot of damage to your vehicle. This is going to cost you in terms of vehicle repair, and if you are in a secluded area, it might mean that you become totally stranded. Always replace the oil-filter before whizzing away in your ATV!
Filling the Crankcase Too Low, or Too High
Just like it’s important to change your oil on the regular and to use premium-grade, suitable oil for the job, it’s also as important to fill your engine up to the required amount. Before doing an oil change, check how much oil your ATV needs and always ensure that you have enough on hand. If you fill your oil too low, it can cause engine damage and dry out the parts. Your ATV will most likely make a strange noise and warn you that the engine is slowly being damaged. On the other hand, if you fill your engine with too much oil, you are going to have some spills.
Pro-tip: Once you have filled your engine with clean oil, run it for a few moments, and switch it off. Then check the oil levels one last time.
These errors are easy to make when it comes to changing your ATV oil; however, by reminding yourself of the key errors, you can easily ensure that you change your oil like a pro. If you are going on a day adventure, always bring some spare oil with you. This will ensure that you don’t run out and don’t get stuck. By ensuring that you change your oil regularly, use clean and appropriate oil, always close the oil-fill cap, and fill the oil to the designated level, you won’t have any issues when it comes to changing your oil.
A healthy engine is one that is well lubricated with oil. By following these tips, your ATV will run smoothly and offer you hours of endless fun!
- ATVs – Minimal Maintenance Required – Do It Yourself