ATV storage cover

5 ATV Storage & Maintenance Tips for Extending the Life of Your Quad

ATV mileage and hours can tell you a lot about its condition and performance – but proper ATV storage and maintenance is just as important.

A poor quality ATV that is hard-used and ill-maintained isn’t likely to last beyond 200 hours. On the other hand, a top quality ATV brand that is appropriately maintained on a regular schedule and properly stored can last anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 hours. In some cases with top quality brands that have never been misused and are kept clean and in dry, indoor storage with corrosion protection measures, your ATV life could be stretched up to 5,000 hours before major maintenance is needed.

If you’re a casual ATV owner, taking your quad out for weekend trail riding, hunting, or everyday basic use around your farm or property, it’s likely to last between 1,000 to 2,000 hours before requiring a great deal of repair. But this can be stretched with preventative maintenance – and proper storage.

Here, our rust prevention ATV storage pros offer some tips on keeping your quad in the best possible shape:

1. Follow the Break-in Procedure.

If your ATV purchase was brand new, you should have received an operation manual that spells out a break-in procedure. Essentially, you’ve got to give the oil and other fluids the opportunity to really flow. If you take a brand new ATV on a punishing ride without first warming it up with proper break-in procedure, you may find that you soon need heavy repairs.

2. Check and Change the Oil.

You would never dream of buying a brand new SUV and then never changing the oil – or even bothering to check if it was needed. The same goes for your all-terrain vehicle – and it’s especially important given that ATV engines catch a lot of grime and gunk passing through trails. Gas makes it go, but it’s the oil that allows it to keep running. Plus, ATV engines typically only need a few quarts of oil – tops.

3. Regular Cleaning.

Part of the fun of ATV riding is being covered in mud and crud. But that badge of honor loses a bit of its sheen if that dirt and grime isn’t removed – because it can easily accelerate rust and corrosion problems, as mud and dirt trap moisture directly on the metal of your ATV. That is a recipe for rust and corrosion¬† – even if your ride has a nice, new coat of paint. Failure to wash and carefully dry your ride can also adversely impact the performance of your engine, air filter, and other vents.

4. Ensure Your Air Filter is Clean.

Your air filter is not only essential to a smooth ride, but having a clean, dry air filter protects the internal ATV components from water and dirt. Air filters on ATVs need to be more regularly checked and changed than that of a your average motor vehicle. If you’ve had a particularly muddy, dusty ride, it’s a good idea to prioritize a quick check – and change – of air filters. Also, if your ATV storage has lasted longer than a month or two, it’s a good idea to check for bugs or small animals in your air filters; they are a popular place for nests during the cold months.

5. Prepare an ATV Storage Solution that Involves a VCI Cover.Best ATV cover

Given that the average cost of a new ATV ranges anywhere from $3,000 to $25,000, purchasing an ATV cover to protect it is a worthwhile investment. But only if you choose the right ATV cover. You want one that is adequately-sized (ideally specifically made for ATVs) with durable, all-weather fabric that protects it from direct exposure to the elements. However, you may end up doing more harm than good if you don’t invest in an ATV cover with vapor corrosion inhibiting (VCI) protection. Zerust offers ATV covers with VCI protection woven directly into the fabric, creating a shield around metal components that prevent rust and corrosion. The active element of the VCI remains for a full five years after you buy it, so you can prevent rust before it ever starts.

Contact Zerust for information on an ATV rust cover and ATV rust prevention by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.

Additional Resources:

10 Tips to Extend the Life of Your ATV, Aug. 14, 2014, By Derreck Sigler, Game & Fish Magazine

More Blog Entries:

Shopping for the Best ATV Cover, Dec. 30, 2021, Zerust Rust Prevention ATV Storage Cover Blog