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7 Tips for Storing Your ATV Outside in the Winter

Posted On: 02/04/2021

We all know how quickly garage space seems to disappear. If you’re the owner of an ATV, you may find it difficult to create enough space in an already-packed garage to keep it safe and secure for the winter months.

The good news is you’ve got some options available if you’d rather store it outside. This will save you some precious space in your garage, and plus, when you feel the need to take it out for a spin during the winter months, you’ll have easier access to it without having to play Tetris in your garage to get it in and out.

So if you’re thinking outdoor storage is the best option for you and your ATV, here are a few tips to help you get properly set up for it.

Build a shed, if possible

This is one of the best long-term investments you can make for storing your ATV and protecting it from the elements. It’s understandable that this may or may not be feasible depending on how much space you have available or the layout of your property, but a small shed doesn’t take up quite as much space as you might expect and will be an extremely valuable storage area for the ATV.

Cover
Camoflauge cover keeps the ATV dry and clean throughout winter

Invest in a cover

A good ATV cover is another extremely important investment to make as an ATV owner, especially if you’re going to be storing it outdoors. You’re probably going to be tempted to just use a plastic tarp, but it’s better for the vehicle if you use a more breathable fabric specifically designed for covering your ATV. This will prevent moisture from getting trapped underneath, which could otherwise lead to rust or mildew.

Give it a good cleaning

If you don’t plan on using your ATV much during the winter, you should perform some simple season-ending maintenance before storing it. First, completely clean the vehicle, including a good rinse and lubrication of the drive chain and anything else that needs greasing. Use some plastic protectant, and spray WD-40 on to the exhaust pipe and cover up the opening. Wipe off any raw or polished metal with WD-40 as well to prevent any issues over the winter.

Perform fuel maintenance

If you have a plastic gas tank, you should drain all of the fluids in the tank, fuel lines and carburetor. If you have a metal fuel tank, completely fill up the tank, add a stabilizer and allow the ATV to run for a few minutes so the stabilizer gets absorbed into the fuel and flows through the systems, which will provide some rust and freezing protection throughout the winter.

Oil and filter changes

The changing of the season is a great time to change your oil and filter, even if you don’t intend to get a whole lot of use out of the ATV during the winter. You might just wish to remove the filter entirely, as otherwise it could make for an attractive spot for rodents to make their homes, or it could simply dry out during winter weather. Let the engine turn over once or twice a month during the winter without starting it to make sure you keep all the components properly lubricated.

Battery Tender
Battery Tender will keep your battery strong during the Winter

Battery maintenance

While your ATV is in storage, you should use a battery tender to keep your battery in good condition. If you go a long time without using your battery, there’s a good chance it will die. Battery tenders don’t require a lot of power, and will help the battery maintain its charge through the winter so you don’t have an unfortunate surprise when you bring it out for use in the spring.

Tire maintenance

When you store your ATV outdoors, your tires become even more susceptible to problems due to the changing air temperatures. Make sure you inflate them to their maximum capacity before you store the vehicle for the winter. Your tires will likely slowly deflate over time, and this will help them stay at a reasonable level without having to regularly inflate them throughout the winter. We also strongly recommend lifts or blocks, rather than keeping the tires directly on the frozen ground or concrete so you can take some of the strain off those tires.

Follow these steps, and you’ll find it a whole lot easier to keep your ATV in great shape all through the winter!