ATV Storage Check List
The following steps can be taken to protect your ATV while in storage. Additionally, specific procedures recommended by the vehicle or ATV manufacturer should be closely considered.
- Preserve or Drain Fuel: Gas will go bad if you leave it sitting for too long. You can either drain the gas tank, fuel lines and carbs to prevent gas from going bad, or you can use a fuel stabilizer to preserve the gas.Before you decide which method to use, be sure to consider that an empty gas tank can rust if it’s exposed to moisture so a fuel stabilizer may be a better option in humid climates.When using stabilizer, you’ll need to make sure you fill the tank completely with stabilized gas (to prevent rust), and then run the engine for a little while until the stabilized gas works its way into the fuel system.
- Your battery will lose its charge if left alone for too long. Remove the battery from the ATV and check the water level (if it is that type). Fill with distilled water if needed. Clean the terminals and outside of the battery with a mixture of water and baking soda. Charge the battery fully and recharge it every month or so. A battery tender or slow-charger will keep the battery fully charged and ready to go after storage. Depending on your location, you might want to hook up a solar battery maintainer during storage to keep it fully charged for free.
- Change the engine’s oil and filter. If you’re storing for extended periods, remove the spark plugs and add about a tablespoon of engine oil to each cylinder, then rotate the motor a few times without starting it. Replace the spark plugs.
- Plastic fades, aluminum oxidizes and steel rusts. You can help prevent these effects by washing and waxing the ATV before storage. Use a preserving agent such as Armor All on plastic and rubber. Make sure the chain is fully lubed. Spray WD-40 into the exhaust pipe to prevent rust, and then cover the opening so no spiders climb in and call it home.
- Inflate your tires all the way to the max. Carefully prop your quad up on jack-stands or blocks to take the stress off the suspension. Use the area just inside the swing arm and the a-arms to place the blocks. Make sure it’s sturdy and not in danger of tipping over. The tires don’t have to be completely off the ground unless the ground they sit on will freeze. If you’re not comfortable with the tires off the ground but you think the ground might freeze, you can place an insulator between the tire and the ground. The insulator can be a piece of rubber or plastic, like a Frisbee, or you can use blocks of wood.
- When you select a cover, do not use plastic. Plastic will lock in moisture and cause rust on some metal parts, or possibly mold and mildew.
- Once a month or so, preferably when you charge the battery, turn the engine over a couple of times without starting it to keep everything lubricated and loosened up.