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Prolong the life of your ATV with the right quad bike maintenance tips

How to maintain your quad bike

This off and on-road recreational and commercial vehicle is an all-rounder. Quad bikes can cover every form of terrain speedily and carry loads. From kids’ quads to agricultural quads, these are all-purpose power machines designed for thrills and work both. Whether you use your ATV for racing or to ride around the countryside on weekends, the correct quad bike maintenance goes a long way. Proper regular maintenance also ensures that you can use the vehicle safely.

Chain/Cable adjustment

The quad bike goes where other vehicles cannot, and in most instances, it tackles rough and bumpy terrain. Mud, dirt, and grime collect on the chain and cables routinely. Don’t forget to clean the mud off before it has time to dry and start the corroding process. Do not be tempted to use a power washer for this purpose as the water can break seals and bearings and leak into the electrics. Use low-pressure washing and clothes or rags to clean the chain and cables.

You need to check the chains for tension and rust. By using an ATV stand, you can carefully inspect your bike components. Loose chain sections, the sound of your chain hopping around the chain-guard, tensioned chain that comes off easily out of the sprocket, and rust are all signs it needs adjustments or replacement. Use bike-specific lubricant to spray the whole length of the chain. Lubricating and adjusting the cables help prevent failures in the braking systems.

Oil and filter changes

Oil and filter changes are necessary to avoid internal corrosion. Debris and dirt collected in the oil can cause long-term damage. Always refer to the owner manual to use recommended oils and change intervals for your model.  Your ATV usually needs engine oil and filter changes every 20hrs or 100mile use. A warmed-up bike makes it easier to replace the oil. Before unscrewing the drain bolt, run your engine for few minutes. It allows the oil to flow out better for complete drainage and debris to leave the engine. Make sure to empty all oil before topping up with new.

Air filter cleaning and lubing

A combustion engine needs clean air consistently to function to its full potential. The air filter should always remain unobstructed. Cleaning it to remove clogged-up dirt prevents stress on the engine. A dirty filter lowers mileage and causes poor engine performance. Every 100hr or 600mile use requires cleaning. Avoid compressed air or coarse brushes for cleaning. Use water and cleaning solvent for paper filters. Hand wash foam filters with soap and water and dry properly before reattaching.

Use an air filter-specific oil to lube the filter interior to trap foreign particles before reaching the engine. Spray or apply oil liberally after cleaning and drying the filter.

Check the spark plugs

Properly functioning spark plugs are a nice brown colour. If they are too dark, your fuel mixture is too rich, and if too pale, the mixture is too lean. If you get wet or raw fuel smells, it is a sign of a broken engine seal. Inspect spark plug wires to see if they are damaged, snagged, or have come loose. Check the electrodes and centre porcelain for deposits, corrosion, or carbon fouling. Clean the carbon deposits and dirt. Replace corroded plugs.

Tighten nuts and bolts

Your quad bike takes many a bouncing and jolting on the rough terrain. To have loosened nuts and bolts is a dangerous thing. Wheel hubs, sprocket bolts, pivot bolts, axle nut, and other fastening components need tightening when they start to vibrate or feel loose. Always check these when you clean your bike on your usual maintenance regimes.

Wear protective clothing before starting on your quad bike maintenance. The chemicals you work with for cleaning and lubricating are harmful to your skin. Use latex gloves and waterproof suits.

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