Prevent UTV Rust this Winter

How can you prevent UTV rust? Much like your car, you shouldn’t have to do much to keep rust at bay. A quality manufacturer will paint or powder coat the UTV frame, which the vast majority of the time stops rust from ever occurring. But there are always exceptions, of course. If you love riding through mud and puddles, live in an climate that promotes rusting (such as in coastal towns), or simply want to keep your UTV as protected as possible, you can take extra measures. Using a product like WD-40 will work in a pinch, but remember that a petroleum-based product is going to attract dirt and debris. Riders who prefer beach trails know that warding off rust is possible, but guaranteeing that you can stop it all together isn’t realistic. Rust is a natural process — the decaying of steel when it meets oxygen. However, it’s that “meeting oxygen” part that’s key. Use a WD-40 type of product once the UTV has been cleaned and you plan to store it for at least a week. It’s the best way to safeguard against rust while machines aren’t in use.

Taking Precautions

Many boat cleaning and protection products also work well on UTVs. Look for a salt-away spray to clean the frame, and get a motor flush designed for machines that have been exposed to salt water. You can research and order these products online, or head to your local marine store for a big selection. You might also want to repaint your UTV on an annual basis if you’re a heavy rider. Powder coating is a great choice for protection, but remember if it gets chipped, the steel below will rust almost invisibly. You’ll have to peel off the entire coating in order to tackle hidden rusting. You can hire a professional to repaint your UTV, or you can DIY. If you’re going with the latter option, start by taking off all the racks and plastic parts. Use a wire brush on the metal, sand it down, and coat every metal part with Ospho (a rust neutralizer that contains phosphoric acid). Rinse the Ospho off completely and then prime the frame with a quality primer. A marine enamel paint is your best bet if you don’t go with powder coating, and keep in mind there’s a good reason it can cost around $80 per quart—you don’t want to skimp on paint quality.

Safe and Sound

If you ride in sandy or wet regions, power washing the underbelly of your UTV when you get home is a great way to prevent rust there. You might also want to coat shocks, a-arms, and springs with WD-40, too. However, be careful to keep it away from mufflers and the exhaust, or you’ll be stuck with an unpleasant aroma on your next ride. If and when you do use WD-40, make sure it’s when the engine is cold. This is a flammable product. For all your UTV maintenance and care needs, contact UTV Windshield and Accessories, and let the professionals take care of your ride.

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