ATV Maintenance: All About Oil Change

couple riding atvChanging your ATV’s oil must be on top of your regular maintenance schedule. Fresh oil would ensure that the ATV engine components well lubricated and protected. In general, you should ideally change the oil every five to 10 riding hours, but it’s best to follow the owner’s manual. Fortunately, you could easily change your ATV’s oil by yourself, keeping the following guidelines in mind:

  • Only use the specific oil your ATV uses, or as recommended by the manufacturer. Models and brands differ so make sure that you follow the recommended intervals for an oil change.
  • Clean your ATV before changing the oil. Otherwise, leaving the refill location, external oil filter, and dipstick dirty could enable dirt and debris to seep into your engine, warns an experienced mechanic from Southpaw Motorsports, a well-known dealer of dirt bikes and ATVs in Salt Lake City.
  • The crankcase’s drain plug, located at the bottom portion, is usually an o-ring threaded sealed plug that might have a 6-point nut head or allen or hex slot you could use for loosening. Avoid overtightening this drain plug or you might to bring it to a mechanic for repairs.
  • It’s also vital to note that you should avoid over tightening the exterior oil filter as well. To prevent this from happening, apply some oil on the o-ring of the filter and tighten it by hand until you feel it’s snug. Likewise, if you need to remove the cover to change the internal oil filter, make sure to put back the cover properly. Majority of internal filters have a spring that’s either secured by the filter or mounted in the cover, and if this is installed improperly, oil won’t be able to flow properly and damage your engine.
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As you can see from above, changing your ATV’s oil is not exactly rocket science, provided that you do it right and remember the tips mentioned above. When in doubt, it’s best that you have an experienced mechanic look at your ATV to address your concerns and prevent costly repairs or replacements.