You should service your UTV at the beginning of each riding season. Be sure to check your fluids, air filter, lubrication, and brakes regularly
Maintenance is often overlooked on a UTV, which can lead to some bigger problems in the future and put a pretty big dent in the old wallet. So preventative maintenance is key, especially when it comes to keeping your vehicle in good shape and helping you to avoid costly repairs down the road.
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I’ll be covering with you my top five UTV maintenance tips to help you protect your investment and keep your vehicle ready to rock for the trails to come. Now, a lot of these same serviceable items that are found on this machine can be found on a lot of the other UTVs that are out there. So here are my top five UTV maintenance tips.
Should I Grease my UTV Joints?
My first tip is greasing your zerks. Yes, you heard me right. I said zerks. And you’re probably wondering what the heck that is. Well, it’s a grease fitting that’s attached to a pivot point on your vehicle that usually experiences a lot of movement and friction. So you want to locate the grease zerks on joints and fittings and lubricate them with your manufacturer’s recommended lubricating grease.
Should I grease my UTV joints? Yes you should grease your UTV joints. Keeping these joints and fittings lubricated will help you to eliminate friction and excessive wear on these items. The grease works are usually located at the front of the vehicle, around the A-arms, and at the sway bar, if you have one. At the rear of the vehicle they are located around the rear sway bar and the drive line connections.
They can be found in various other locations. And if you need help locating those, be sure to reference your service manual for that specific information. So while you’re going through hitting all of your grease fitting locations, there are some other high-wear items that you want to inspect, which would include your ball joints, bushings and bearings. Once these parts wear out, they’re definitely going to affect your machine. So while you’re giving it a good once over, be sure to give these parts an inspection and add proper lubrication to each area as needed.
How often do I change my UTV Air Filter?
Change your UTV air filter after about 50 hours of use, but if you ride in especially sandy or muddy conditions, then you should check it more often.
This tip seems like a no-brainer, but it’s something that I see get overlooked way too often, and that’s the air filter. So if you’ve got a serviceable one, that’s a fabric like a K&N you’ll want to clean it. Or if you have a paper type that’s an OEM or aftermarket, you’ll want to change it out regularly.
The air filter is what cleans the air that is fed to your engine. So you want to keep that air clean. So keeping up on your vehicle’s air filter maintenance is key, especially if you want to keep it in good shape
There are many aftermarket products that will help to extend the life of your air filter, and one of those products that I like to use are the outerwears pre-filter. The outerwear pre-filter makes a great addition to an aftermarket or stock filter that really helps to filter out the fine particles and dirt, especially if you like to ride at the sand dunes. There are plenty of options for pre-filters or for replacement filters and intake accessories, so be sure to check those out.
How often should I change my UTV Oil?
You should change the oil in your UTV every 100 hours or 1000-1500 miles. This will kep your side by side in top condition. The engine oil is like the lifeblood of your engine. So before each major ride, you definitely want to give the final engine oil level a check. Making sure there is not too much engine oil or too little engine?
All can definitely cause some problems for you. Changing how the engine oil and the engine oil filter is a good thing to do that will help you to keep your engine in good shape and so that you can get the most out of it. If you’re out there racing your machine or subjecting it to some really extreme riding conditions, you may want to change out that engine oil a little more often than the manufacturers recommend. UTV oil change kits are an easy option for the DIY guy they’ll come with all the oil that you’ll need. The oil filter, crush washers and O-rings.
It’s good to keep an eye on the level and condition of Other fluids like engine coolant, because it keeps your machine running cool. Now, when it comes to servicing it, most manufacturers recommend that you change out the coolant once every five years. Now, depending on how hard you run your vehicle, you may want to change out the coolant more often. Some people change it up once every year, once every 2 to 3 years, or they just follow the vehicle manufacturers recommendation and change it out once every five.
When it comes to transmission and gear case oils, they’re not changed out nearly as often as the engine oil, but they are just as important to service. Now, it’s always good to follow the vehicle manufacturer recommendations as to how often you should be changing them. But again, if you’re subjecting your vehicle to some really harsh conditions, it’s always good to keep up on the maintenance of these fluids. And remember, it’s a lot cheaper to replace the engine, oil transmission, oil, coolant and other fluids than it is to replace the engine transmission or gear case.
How often do I change my UTV drive belt?
So the next item on my list is the drive belt. Now, the drive belt is what transfers the power that’s made from your engine through your clutches to your transmission. Now, keeping up on the inspection and condition of your drive belt, along with knowing how to properly operate your vehicle, will help you to get many enjoyable miles out of your machine.
When it comes to inspecting your drive belt, you want to be looking for excessive signs of wear, which would include glazing cracks or brakes, missing car, flat spots or any signs of abrasion. Along with the inspection of the belt, you’ll want to check and inspect your inlet and outlet ducts to make sure that they’re clean and clear of any obstructions.
While you’re in there, take some compressed air, clean off the pre-filter that provides that cool air, as well as blow off the clutch sheaves to remove any fine dust, dirt and particles. The drive belt and the CVT clutches experience a lot of wear, so it’s good to keep an eye on them and give them a good inspection. The wear items that are inside of the clutch as well as the belt you’ll definitely want to keep an eye on because if they go bad, they can really cause you some problems down the road. Now, if you need help with inspecting your clutch, be sure to see our video on how to do just that.
How Often Do I Change UTV Brakes?
You should replace your brakes when you’re down to about an eighth of an inch of pad left, you’re going to want to replace your UTV brakes. When inspecting your brake pads, once you’re down to about an eight inch of pad left, you’re going to want to look into replacing those sooner rather than later. It’s really fun to be able to go fast, but it’s even more terrifying if you can’t stop now when it comes to inspecting them. There’s a few things that you want to check. You want to check your brake pad thickness, the routing of your lines, as well as the quality and level of your brake fluid. You’ll also want to double check the rotor. If your rotors start to get grooved, you might want to be replacing that along with the brake pads.
When it comes to the routing of the brake hose, you want to inspect its routing and make sure that the hose itself isn’t experiencing any excessive wear or getting any holes in it. That would be really bad. Now, if you have any loose brake lines, you’ll want to make sure to get those nice tight and secured to the frame or inappropriate location and keep them away from any sharp edges or objects.
Now for your brake fluid, most manufacturers recommend that you replace it every two years, but when it comes to your vehicle, you want to make sure and double check with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Every manufacturer recommends services specific to their vehicles. You should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, but a good general rule of thumb is to service your vehicle once a year or every 500 hours. If you’re the type who likes to do everything on your own, or you don’t have access to a technician and want to save some money, then you can service your UTV yourself.
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