LONG LIVE THE UTV - LITERALLY
LONG LIVE THE UTV - LITERALLY
November 23, 2020
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-HOW YOU CAN EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR SIDE-BY-SIDE


For those of us who are UTV enthusiasts we have grown to enjoy and depend on our side by sides for many reasons. For most of us, these units have become extremely valuable on the farm, on the hunt, on the job and more. As with anything of value, we want to get the most from our purchases. Your Intimidator UTV is no different. You would be surprised at how little effort it takes to keep your UTV running smoothly and operating efficiently just by following a few simple guidelines. And as you would expect, the exact opposite can prove to be true by neglecting your machine. 


Here are a few tips to consider that will keep your UTV in the family for a long time. These tips are not comprehensive, but are some of the basic things you need to consider:


BREAK IN PERIOD

There is never a more important period in the life of your engine than the first 20 hours of riding. For this reason, you should take extra care of your UTV by following a few simple guidelines when it is new. Although your Intimidator is built to haul and pull like no other UTV, remember the engine is brand new. For the first 20 hours do not put an excessive load in the bed, nor do you need to pull anything that is extremely heavy. The various parts in the engine wear and polish themselves to the correct operating clearances during the first few hours of operation. Drive it cautiously and conservatively in the early stage.


It is also recommended to avoid full-throttle operation, or drive it in such a way that might result in engine overheating. Here is a breakdown of general driving guidelines for the first 20 hours:


  • 0-10 Hours: Avoid prolonged operation above 1/2 throttle. Vary the speed of the UTV regularly.

  • 10-20 Hours: Avoid prolonged operation above 3/4 throttle. Rev the engine freely, but do not use full throttle at any time.

  •  20+ Hours: The engine can now be operated normally. 


Once you have reached 20 hours of operation, it is imperative to take your unit in for its first service appointment. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, follow the guidelines listed in your owner’s manual. The first service is essential for double-checking anything that could be a potential problem in the future. Since this is an off-road vehicle, the UTV vibrates while riding, and can cause bolts to come loose, issues to come up, etc. We suggest your dealer perform the service work - especially this first time. 


ONGOING ROUTINE MAINTENANCE

As with anything of value, routine maintenance will be your best friend from this point forward. Many owners will ignore this habit once the first service appointment is over. It’s easy to relax and just go on autopilot - but avoiding the scheduled and continued care for your Intimidator could serve to shorten life expectancy and squelch its optimum performance capability. 


OIL AND OIL FILTER

  • Following the initial oil change at 20 hours, engine oil should be changed every 50 hours/6 months as part of regular maintenance. 
  • We recommend using Intimidator SYN5W-40 for most engines. Your specific engine may require another oil, so be sure to follow the guidelines in your owner’s manual.
  • Remember to replace the gasket ring on the drain plug screw when changing the oil and filter.
  • Always change the oil filter when changing the oil (except for the initial change at 20 hours). 


SPARK PLUGS

  • The spark plug firing end condition should be read after the engine is warmed up and the vehicle is driven at higher speeds. 

  • Immediately check the spark plug for color.

  • Remember a hot exhaust system and engine can cause burns.

  • Replace as instructed by your owner’s manual. 


AIR FILTER

  • Clean or replace the air cleaner element more often when the engine is operated on dusty roads or in a heavily polluted environment.

  • Change periodically as indicated by your owner’s manual.

  • The air intake to the machine’s engine and CVT is protected by a hydrophobic screen.

  • Use of a pressure washer to clean the air intake screen may cause damage to the screen. If the screen is damaged it must be replaced. Contact your authorized dealer for a replacement.


COOLING SYSTEM

  • It is recommended that coolant be drained and replaced every two years. 

  • Use a premixed, ready-to-use antifreeze that consists of 50% antifreeze and 50% distilled water. 

  • Do not dilute premixed antifreeze with water. 

  • Keep the overflow bottle filled to the recommended level.

  • Always allow the engine to cool before removing the pressure cap. Remember a hot exhaust system and engine can cause burns. Radiator coolant is under pressure when the vehicle is hot.


BATTERY

  • Check the battery terminals monthly.

  • The use of dielectric grease or petroleum jelly will prolong battery terminal lifespan.

  •  When connecting the battery, connect the red lead (+) first, and then the
    black lead (-). Reversing the leads will harm your machine.

  • NOTE: The battery emits explosive gases. Keep away from any source of flame or spark. The battery also contains sulfuric acid which can cause serious chemical burns. Wear goggles and rubber/latex gloves to avoid any chemical contact with skin. If the acid comes into contact with skin or eyes, flush the area with plenty of clean water and immediately seek medical assistance.


BRAKE FLUID

  • Inspect the brake fluid level before each operation. 

  • Always keep the fluid level between the minimum and maximum fill line on the reservoir. 

  • Change the brake fluid either every two years, or any time the fluid becomes contaminated. 


TIRES

  • Check tire pressure before operation.

  • Replace your tires when the tread depth is worn to ⅛”. 

  • Tire construction characteristics and inflation pressure can greatly influence vehicle handling. Intimidator recommends that you replace tires with standard OEM tires. 

  • It is also important that all tires on the machine are of the same type and height, inflated to the recommended pressure.

  • NOTE: Installation of non-standard tires, use of oversized tires, or use of different tread patterns can change or impair the handling of the vehicle and result in severe injury.

  • Torque lug nuts to 65 ft. lb.

  • It is recommended that tire alignment be performed by an authorized dealer.


RADIATOR AND COOLING FAN

  • Always keep the radiator screen clean and free of mud and debris. 

  • Do not obstruct or deflect air flow through the radiator by installing unauthorized accessories in front of the radiator or behind the cooling fan. Interference with the radiator air flow can lead to overheating and consequent engine damage. 

  • Do not spray the radiator with a high-pressure hose, as it could damage the radiator fins and impair their effectiveness.

  • The electric cooling fan is controlled by a temperature switch and will automatically turn on when needed. 

  • Periodically check the fuse and fan to ensure its proper operation.


TRANSMISSION AND GEARBOX

  • Always check and change the transmission oil at the intervals outlined in the periodic maintenance chart. 

  • Refer to the lubrication and fluid recommendations chart for type and capacities.


DIFFEENTIALS


  • The front and rear differentials are the transfer point from the engine to the axles. 

  • Check and change the differential oil at the intervals outlined in the periodic maintenance chart. 

  • Maintain the oil level even with the bottom thread of the fill plug hole. 

  • Refer to the front or rear differential specifications on the oil lubrication and fluid recommendations chart for type and capacities.


CVT HOUSING

  • Only qualified personnel are to perform installation, maintenance, adjustments, and repair operations on the variable speed transmission system.

  •  Your vehicle is equipped with a CVT which rotates at high speed, creating large amounts of force on clutch components.

  •  As the owner, you have the responsibility to make sure that this system remains safe.

  •  Turn the vehicle off and remove the ignition key when servicing any part of the CVT system, engine, or any component accessible under the seat.

  •  Do not modify any components of the CVT system.

  •  Always follow all recommended maintenance procedures.

  •  Always look for and remove debris inside and around the clutch and vent
    system when replacing the belt.


WASHING AND MAINTAINING APPEARANCE

  • Wash the vehicle by hand or with a garden hose using mild soap. 

  • Always use clean microfiber cloths, towels, and pads for cleaning and polishing.

  • Note that certain products, including insect repellents and chemicals, will damage plastic surfaces. Do not use these types of products.

  • Do not use a pressure washer to clean the vehicle. High water pressure may damage components including wheel bearings, radiator, transmission seals, brakes, plastic panels, safety labels, electrical switches, electronic components, and wiring.

  • Immediately wash mud off of the vehicle with mild soap and water.

  • Avoid the use of harsh or abrasive cleaners that can scratch the finish.  

  • Use automotive adhesive remover to clean sticker residue from plastic. 

  • Grease all zerk fittings immediately after washing and run the engine for several minutes to evaporate any water that may have entered the engine or exhaust system.

  • Replace any safety labels damaged by cleaning immediately.

  • Use extra caution around critical components such as air intakes or electronics.


GENERAL PRECAUTIONS


Following these guidelines, along with the specific instructions outlined in your owner’s manual will be the key to long life for your Intimidator UTV. In addition to the tips listed above, remember to not travel through water deeper than 12 inches, or in water higher than the center cap of the wheels. Water can enter the engine and damage essential components. Take caution when driving through tall grass or leaves, as these can cause debris to build up on the engine fan, impeding engine cooling. It is also recommended that when inspection reveals the need for replacement parts, use genuine Intimidator parts, available from your authorized Intimidator dealer. Installing unauthorized accessories, such as larger tires or a lift kit, may damage the vehicle and cause control problems. 


For more information, you may want to check out the FAQ section on our website. Also remember you are welcome to contact your local dealer with any question or concern you may have. 


LONG LIVE THE UTV! This will be the case if you do your part. Let us know if we can help in any way!


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