While it’s still February, spring and warmer months are just around the corner. As a UTV owner you will be anxious to get outside more often - plowing those food plots, catching up on chores around the house/farm, or to simply hit more trails on the weekends! Whatever your passion, Intimidator UTV recommends spending a little bit of time cleaning and prepping your UTV before riding it, saving you a ton of problems. Here are a few maintenance tips that are critical:
JUST CLEAN IT
Regardless of whether your UTV has been driven much over the winter months, it’s always a good idea to give it a thorough washing. Take a good water-based degreaser and surface cleaner and spray your entire machine, letting it soak in before you start washing and scrubbing. It helps to get the old dried mud and crud out of all those tight spots, as this can lead to rust, which nobody likes. Don’t forget the WAX! There are a lot of reasons to wax your UTV’s metal and plastic exterior. Not only does this help protect from UV damage, but it also helps keep mud and dirt from sticking to it.
YOU WANNA BE CHANGING SOMETHING
Cleaning the outside is one thing, but it’s more important to give attention to the engine and other internal components. Following your OEM’s specifications, do a complete oil change, oil filter change, and possibly fuel filter change before spring. If you used your machine over the winter, as it sits and cools after being used, the cold can cause condensation to form. This can lead to a minute amount of water in your oil and reduce its ability to work properly in the engine. It only takes a few minutes and it is so very important! The OEM service manual for most UTVs will recommend every 20 hours or 200 miles as a guide.
Don’t forget to change your air filter! The air filter keeps dust and dirt from getting down into the engine. These two alone can destroy the piston and rings while chewing away at the cylinder wall.
DON’T STOP ‘TIL YOU GREASE ENOUGH
Keep the squeaks away by greasing all of your fittings. Lubricate all of the grease zerks using a good quality waterproof grease. It’s a good idea to force the older grease out of the bearing, joint, etc. This not only ensures that there is a fully lubricated part, but any dirt, rust, etc that was in there has been pushed out and can be wiped off. Plan to spend some quality time going through everything. Remember, the time you spend now gives you more time to spend on the trails and less time in the repair shop.
THE WAY YOU MAKE ME COOL
Keeping your UTV running cool in the heat of each ride is very important. Making sure the coolant is at its specified level is crucial. Most UTVs have a coolant reservoir that carries extra coolant should the system require it. It is also good to check the coolant in the radiator before you start the machine, while cold, just to get an idea of the coolant condition. Coolant is sold in many colors and types so be sure to look up the OEM specified coolant for your specific model.
Fuel can’t be trusted these days, and leaving last year’s fuel in your side by side is a guaranteed way to create problems. If you park your rig for the winter and don’t treat the fuel, or drain the fuel out of the carb or tank, chances are you will have trouble come spring. Simply removing the fuel before storage is one way to handle the problem or at the very least add a fuel stabilizer to the remaining fuel during storage. Just do not forget that fuel can be your best friend or your worst enemy.
REMEMBER THE TIRES (and everything else)
In addition to these suggestions, here are a few more items to keep in check:
Check tires for cuts
Make sure lug nuts are torqued to specification
Check CV joints/rubber boots
Check spark plugs, replace if fouled or due for a change
If you’re able to jack up the wheels, spin each one to make sure they spin freely
On a final note: It’s also the time to make sure you’re legal! In almost every state, province, or other jurisdiction, UTVs are required to be tagged, registered, licensed, and adorned with stickers.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
If servicing your UTV is simply something you just don’t want to mess with, or if you have questions, contact an Intimidator Dealer near you for answers or a fast, reliable fix! Our technicians are the best in the industry. No job is too big or small!