Winterizing Your ATV For Storage
It's about time to put your summer ATVs in storage, but before you do, you need to winterize them. Here are the steps to keeping your ATV in good condition.
Get Your ATV Ready to Survive the Winter
Summer is over and we’re well into autumn. The first frosts and freezes will come sooner than you think. We’ve talked about seasonal storage as a way to save money, but before you put your summer ATVs in storage, you’ll need to winterize them. Here are the steps Vernon Storage recommends.
If you leave your fuel tank empty, you open it to condensation, which can cause corrosion. However, gasoline does not stay stable over long periods. If left sitting on its own, it will become useless. To avoid these problems, there are two things you have to do. First, add a fuel stabilizer. Second, make sure your fuel tank is filled. Leave as little room for condensation as possible. After this, run your engine idle for about five minutes to make sure the stabilizer is pumped through to all the other fuel components.
2. Change the Air Filter
Replace the air filter first. Afterward, block the air intake and exhaust to prevent pests from nesting in it while in storage.
3. Fog The Engine
Fogging the engine involves spraying fogging oil into the engine intake while the engine is running. Run the engine until the oil combusts and is exhausted as blue fumes. This helps protect the inside of the ATV from corrosion.
4. Check the Fluids
Your ATV is going to sit in storage for an extended time. You’ll want to check and change the fluids before you put it away. This includes changing the oil, coolant, and transmission fluids. This could wait until spring, but doing so ahead of time will save you needing to do it before you bring it out of storage for use.
Your battery will lose charge as it sits, especially in the cold. To prevent this, remove the battery and hook it up to a trickle charger. This not only avoids the need to recharge the battery in the spring, it also keeps the battery in better condition so it will last longer.
Prep the tires before putting your vehicle in storage. A simple way to do this is inflate your tires slightly above riding pressure. While this works, a better way is to put the vehicle up on a jack stand or blocks, so the tires aren’t under constant pressure. If you don’t have a stand, you may want to rotate your tires once a month while your ATV is in storage.
7. Clean, Lubricate, and Protect
Dead bugs, dust, and other grime from the road will cause corrosion. Before you put your ATV in storage, wash it down completely, rinse it, then dry it. Wax the painted and chrome parts, and apply lubricant to any vulnerable metal parts like chains, sprockets, cables, etc. Finally, put a waterproof tarp over the top of it. This will prevent any dust or moisture from getting onto the ATV and creating problems while it’s in storage.
Winterize Before You Put It In Storage
Winterizing your summer recreational vehicles is a must if you want to have them last. Storing them inside is the best option, as it reduces their exposure to temperature changes and moisture. You can’t leave them out in the snow and if you don’t have room in your garage, rented storage may be necessary. This is where seasonal storage practices save you money. Following seasonal storage practices reduces the amount of storage space, letting you have smaller storage units, but still letting you have a garage to keep your car out of the weather.
If you’ve been following seasonal storage practices, now’s the time to start making the switch. If you haven’t, and those storage bills are adding up, it might be time to consider them.
Cover photo by Tima Miroshnichenko