New vs. Used: What To Look For When Buying a UTV

Owning a UTV makes it easier to go on off-road adventures. After all, you don’t have to worry about finding a UTV to rent or paying for repairs if you damage another person’s property. You also won’t have to worry about the long, round-trip drive to rent the UTV if the owner lives far away.

But if you’re going to invest in a UTV, you’ll need to consider whether to purchase it new or used. It will cost more to buy a new UTV, but it might be worth the cost to avoid issues with used UTVs. After all, how can you know what problems a used UTV might have? 

On the other hand, you might be able to find a great deal on a used UTV that runs just as well as a brand-new one.

In today’s blog, we’re looking at new vs. used UTVs. These tips apply to new and used cars. Ultimately, you can go either way— it’s about knowing what to look for when you’re shopping. 

Test Drive the UTV

If you went to a car dealership, you wouldn’t purchase a car–new or used–without test driving it. Of course, a UTV is a different vehicle, but the same principles apply. You’ll want to take the UTV out for a decent test drive. Driving it a little down the road won’t cut it. You’ll want to take it on a UTV trail and see how it does— that is if the seller allows. 

You’ll want to check for the following things:

  • Your brake pedal should feel firm when you press it. 
  • Your UTV should immediately turn on when you start it.
  • You should feel stable while you’re riding your UTV.
  • You shouldn’t see a lot of smoke coming out of the exhaust.
  • Your UTV should go as fast as you want it to.
  • Your CVT belt should not slip.

If the UTV doesn’t meet these criteria, chances are you’ll run into problems that require repair, which ultimately means more money coming out of your pocket. Some of these repairs might be worth it, but others won’t be. For example, if the UTV isn’t picking up speed, you’ll want to look for another off-road vehicle. It likely has problems that will be expensive to fix.


Check the Driveline

CV boots and axles make up a UTV’s driveline. Your UTV is made for whatever off-road terrain you want to drive it on. Your experience should be seamless–and noiseless. If you can hear noise from the driveline, something is wrong. 

We recommend checking for the following:

  • There shouldn’t be any tears or cracks in the CV boots.
  • Has the UTV undergone remodeling? You might need new stock axles so you can lift better. 

Don’t Automatically Trust The Seller

The seller’s primary goal is to sell their UTV. There’s a reason they’re selling it–they want it gone. That could be for honest and legitimate reasons, or it could be due to problems the UTV has that they don’t want to fix themselves. 

Unfortunately, some sellers will attempt to hide those problems instead of being honest about them. For this reason, you can’t automatically trust the seller. So, what should you do? We recommend talking to the seller. 

Ask them lots of questions about the UTV’s history and how it runs. Why are they selling it? How many previous owners were there? What about the maintenance history? Was the UTV in any accidents? Ultimately, just walk away if you feel like the seller keeps information from you. It’s not worth trouble down the road. 

Check the Oil

Oil is essential in any vehicle, and UTVs are no exception. It’s simple enough to check the UTV’s oil by taking out the dipstick. You’ll also want to sniff the oil to ensure it doesn’t smell off, even if it looks fresh. An awful smell usually indicates that there is something wrong with the engine. This can end up becoming another costly repair, so you’ll want to look at other UTVs.

Watch for Low or Dirty Coolant

Does the UTV have low coolant levels? Does it look dirty? You should see orange or green-colored coolant. If the coolant looks dirty, there’s been a breach. This signals a serious problem since coolant lubricates the motor to prevent corrosion. You do not want to purchase a UTV that has a corroding engine.

Be sure to check the coolant levels when the engine is cool; don’t take off the radiator cap when the UTV is still hot. If the UTV doesn’t have enough time to cool down properly, it could damage the vehicle.

Look at the Gas Tank

Believe it or not, conducting multiple sniff tests can save you from buying a bad UTV. The gas tank is no different. If it smells rancid, there’s likely a problem with the fuel injection system, and there might also be a problem with the carburetor. 

Smelling a rancid gas tank isn’t the worst problem you can find, though, since this is an inexpensive repair. To compensate for future repair costs, ask the seller to lower the price. If they say no, walk away. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.

Inspect the UTV’s Frame

Look for cracks, bends, plastics, or body panels that could be concealing severe issues with the UTV’s frame. You’ll want a nice, sturdy frame since it’s your primary form of protection against falling on rough terrain.

TerraRider UTV Windshields & Accessories

Are you thinking of purchasing a UTV? We wish you the best of luck in finding the right one. Once you have your UTV, come to us for your windshields and accessories, along with any questions you may have.

TerraRider UTV Windshields & Accessories is located in Salt Lake City, Utah, but we ship anywhere in the United States for free. Stop by our store today or give us a call! We’ll be happy to help you get your UTV outfitted for all your future adventures.

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