How To Prepare Your UTV For Winter Storage
After taking your UTV out on the trails this past summer and fall, it’s time to winterize and store your utility vehicle, that is, if you don’t install a snowplow or tracks for winter riding. Learn about the steps to prepping your UTV for storage, so it’s ready when spring rolls around again.
Since fuel makes up 10 percent ethanol, it attracts water, which you don’t want in your fuel tank. After fuel sits around for a while, it either vanishes or goes through “phase separation,” a process where ethanol separates from the gasoline, moving to the bottom of the tank. In the spring, when you’re ready to start up your UTV, issues can arise. A fuel stabilizer prevents this problem.
Once treated, you need to run the stabilizer through your machine. Start up your UTV and run it for at least five minutes; this ensures the treated gas makes it through the fuel-related components. If you have a carburetor, turn it off and drain the float bowl.
Have your air filter serviced or replace it with a new one. Your UTV will be ready to go once out of storage. Consider blocking off the inlet ports to the airbox so critters can’t get in and build nests. If you block off the ports, ensure you have a reminder to unblock them in the spring.
If you’ve regularly maintained your UTV, it’s probably fine to store it without replacing the coolant. The recommendation for replacing the coolant is two years for most power sport vehicles. Still, check your owner’s manual for clarification. It’s still not a bad idea to flush the coolant system and replace the coolant if your UTV is stored for a season.
Engine Oil and Other Oils
It’s wise to check your engine and transmission oil, and differential fluids; if they’re dirty, replace it before starting your vehicle. If they’re clean, go ahead and store the UTV. If your vehicle stays in storage for a long time, consider fogging your engine. Spray fogging oil directly into the intake track while your engine is running. Once you see it come out of the exhaust, it’s combusted. Using this process allows for a protective coating to the internal components, including the cylinder, valves, and the piston, thus helping prevent rust and corrosion.
You can also pull out a spark plug, pour a teaspoon of oil and dump it inside the spark plug hole, then reinstall the spark plug. Don’t replace the cap (you don’t want to start the engine). Crank the engine a few times; this coats the internal components with oil to prevent corrosion and rust.
The CVT clutch has an inlet and outlet duct that needs plugging off before you put away your UTV for storage. Again, doing this helps prevent mice and other small critters from building nests in them for the winter. Leave a reminder to unplug them in the spring.
Pull the battery from the machine before storing it and place it on a trickle charger or similar device to ensure a good state of charge. Consider installing quick-disconnect leads—especially for batteries challenging to remove and install.
Elevate the machine, if you can, to take the weight off the tires. It prevents them from getting any flat spots and prolongs their life.
Give your UTV a good cleaning and polish to help protect the plastics, seats, and other surfaces; this helps to prevent them from oxidizing. If you have no garage or trailer in which to store your vehicle, a cover will help.
For more information or to purchase accessories for your upcoming ride, contact UTV. We can recommend the best options for your vehicle and your budget.