Keep Your Eye out for Minor UTV Maintenance Issues
Keep Your Eye out for Minor UTV Maintenance Issues
Posted on: July 23nd, 2020

UTVs can handle a rough-and-tumble lifestyle. They’re great for navigating large properties, prepping campsites and just about any other outdoor activity that sends you into nature.

With their rugged construction and never-fail performance, it’s easy to forget that UTVs are vehicles that need a certain level of care and maintenance. If you want your UTV to keep performing above and beyond out in the thick of things, be sure you’re paying close attention to the minor maintenance items that keep it running. Here are the most important items—make them part of your seasonal or quarterly maintenance plan.

#1Tire pressure and treads

Rolling around on rugged terrain will take a toll on your UTV tires. Perform an inspection of your tires every so often to make sure they’re still in good condition. Jack up your UTV and put jack stands under it. Then, walk around and gently rotate each tire fully to check for signs of embedded debris. Look at tread wear and check tire pressure. If everything looks good, you’re good to go. If there are problems like cracked or worn treads, you might need new tires. Other issues like low tire pressure are easily solved.

#2Oil and filter changes

Your UTV benefits from an oil change every 100 hours of drive time, six months or 1,000 miles—whichever comes first. Be diligent in your oil and filter changes! This is the simplest, most effective way to preserve engine performance and longevity of your vital mechanical systems. It’s best to have a logbook or smartphone app that helps you track your oil and filter service, so you’re always on top of them.

#3Coolant leaks and refills

If you find yourself refilling your UTV’s coolant more frequently than you should be, start looking for signs of a leak. Often, it’s as simple as letting your vehicle sit for a few hours and checking the area underneath for signs of dripping. Change out your coolant entirely every four or five years as part of good routine maintenance. If you have a leak you can’t seem to pinpoint, get it up on a lift table and start poking around underneath to see if you can figure it out! If all else fails, call a UTV mechanic.

#4CVT belt drive checks

If you run your UTV hard, there’s a good chance your belt will suffer excessive wear over time—stretching and heat damage, to be specific. It’s worth peeking under the hood at your continuously variable transmission (CVT) belt to make sure it’s still in good condition. Look for signs of slipping or issues with belt tension, as well as cracking or striations on the belt that signal signs of wear. Change it out for a new one at any sign of damage. For optimal maintenance, change it out every season.

#5Battery maintenance

Take your battery out of your UTV when storing it for the offseason—it’s the best way to keep it fresh and in good condition for next year. It’s also smart to invest in a battery conditioner or a battery tender, which will keep your UTV battery on a healthy charge schedule while it’s not in use. When putting it back in your UTV, make sure it’s clean and that your contacts are clean and primed.

#6Brake condition checks

Check to make sure that your UTV has adequate brake fluid and that your pads are in good condition. Brake fluid will generally last you about two or three seasons (provided there’s no leak) and brake pads will generally get you four or five years, unless you’re constantly slamming on them. A simple concept to remember is tightening your brake fluid cap—especially if you’re taking your UTV through water. Water in the brake line will deteriorate your braking power very quickly.

#7Fuel additives

Like the battery, your fuel needs a little extra offseason TLC. Mixing in a fuel stabilizer is a smart idea before you stick your UTV in storage. When it’s time to get back out into nature, make sure the fuel is in good condition. Take the cap off and give it a whiff—bad fuel has a distinct smell! If your fuel is bad, you’ll need to flush your entire fuel system. It’s a chore best avoided by using a good fuel stabilizer.

If you stay on top of these maintenance items, your UTV won’t have any trouble tackling terrain, hauling gear and shuttling you around your property. Most of these items require very little time and money, and they prevent major issues from holding your UTV back. Make a checklist, set a reminder on your phone—whatever it takes to remember these important maintenance tasks!