The most common problems with quad bikes or ATVs users face
The ATV or the all-terrain vehicle is also called a quad, quad bike, or four-wheeler. It travels on low-pressure tires, has a seat the operator straddles, and handlebars for steering. It can manoeuver through a variety of terrains other vehicles cannot. They can even travel on ice. Apart from their recreational use, they have become invaluable to farmers, foresters, gamekeepers, and even the police and the military. However, like other off-road vehicles, there are problems with quad bikes or ATVs that need better discussion for safer use. We are taking you through the most common issues that affect Quad bike users.
In the UK, you cannot ride an ATV on footpaths, housing estates, parks, forests, car parks, and beaches. You can ride them on private land with the owner's permission or in areas designed for quad biking. A quad bike needs to be made road-legal for riding on public roads. Legal quads need DVLA registration, an MOT, insurance, reg plates, lights, and a driving license for the rider. An agricultural quad does not need an MOT but must be registered and licensed for road use. It should also have a number plate, third-party insurance, and lights for after-dark use. Agriculture, horticulture, or forestry quads must also pay vehicle tax and not carry passengers.
If your ATV doesn’t turn over, then it is time to check the battery. A rundown battery can prevent the vehicle from turning on the engine. You can use a multi-metre to check battery output. Any reading lower than 12V needs charging. Connect the terminals to a battery booster with alligator clips on the charging cables for charging. If the battery doesn’t charge or continues to lose a charge frequently, it's time to replace the battery.
ATV tyres take on a lot. They travel on rough and uneven terrain, over rocks, stones, and shrubbery. The occasional puncture is justified. One of the hardest things to do is finding the puncture if it is not visible. You can slowly roll the vehicle forward while someone else inspects, listen for escaping air, or spray soapy water on the tyres, so the puncture makes bubbles. You can remove the tyre using a wheel jack or leave it on to mend the puncture. Use a tyre plug kit or tyre sealant, and pump up tyres with a tyre inflator.
Engine and Ignition Issues
A fuel-run motor needs a spark to get it running. If a quad bike motor turns over but doesn’t start, and the battery has enough power, turn your attention to the ignition system. First, inspect the spark plugs for any corrosion or gunk. The spark gap should be unobstructed. If the spark plug looks worn out or out of shape, replace it. Alternatively, you can use your multimetre to test for a spark. The ignition coil and capacitor discharge ignition can malfunction too, but less likely. Refer to your owner’s manual for the best methods to troubleshoot these components.
ATV engine failures are hard to pinpoint as there are numerous mechanical parts. A clogged air filter or exhaust, blocked fuel lines, or carburetor flooding due to over-fueling are likely causes of engine stalling and complete inaction. Sometimes you may need professional help if you are not well-versed with the interior of the ATV.
To keep your ATV in top condition, replace worn-out components like the battery, air filter, plugs, and tyres. Tighten bolts and nuts too.
Issues when starting the bike
If the engine is not getting fuel or enough compression, your ATV won't start. Incorrect value clearance, dirty carburetor, corroded solenoid, and incorrect timing components all contribute to this.
Oil leakage and smoking
Smoke is an indication of faulty cylinders, seals, gaskets. Black exhaust smoke usually indicates an overly rich fuel mixture. Blue smoke happens due to cross-contamination in the air-fuel mixture in the cylinders. Most ATVs generate some amount of white smoke when burning off condensation, but if it continues for more than a minute, it can be a sign of a split head gasket.
Air filter and old fuel
If your ATV engine isn’t getting enough air to mix with the fuel, it won’t run or start. Checking the air filter is a good start. A clogged air filter restricts airflow. Too little air causes an overly rich mixture. Clean the air filter to remove blockages. If the air filter is old, you may have to replace it.
Old fuel as six months old can corrode the fuel system. It gets contaminated with water due to condensation. Try draining the fuel tank and adding fresh fuel.
Riding fast in deep water causes water to splash into the air intake resulting in water sucking into the engine. If the engine hydro-locks drain the air filter box, fuel tank, and carburetor. Tip the bike 90 degrees backward to run water out of the motor and the exhaust. Clean the air inlet and breather tubes. Dry out the stator. Run the cooling system with water. Replace plugs, change engine oil, flush the brakes, and grease the bike.
A faulty ATV can be a risk. Always keep an eye out for any snags in your quad’s performance. Buy durable, high-quality quad bike spare parts from Mini Bikes Off Road.