Is Your Machine Ready To Go This Spring?

Tips to make sure you’re ready

Published in the April 2013 Issue April 2013 Powersport News Carl's Cycle

In many places across the snowbelt, winter still has its grip on the land. But eventually the snow will melt and the temps will rise. In the meantime, your ATV and/or side-by-side has seen little use, just sitting in the garage or trailer waiting for action.

Most of us realize we shouldn’t just fire up our machine and take off on a ride. Some pre-season work should be done first.

We asked the guys at Carl’s Cycle in Boise, ID (, for some pointers on what riders should do. They came up with the following tips for your side-by-side and ATV to make your riding fun and safe.



Engine checks and service

1. Oil and filter change every 500 miles. Follow OEM specifications and use recommended oil.

2. Look over engine for any oil or coolant leaks. Fix it now, not on the trail.

3. Air filter service is one of the most important maintenance items. Shake out filter, do not blow out with compressed air; it may damage your filter. Replace often.

4. Change spark plugs every 1,000 miles. Follow your owners manual for all other services including valve clearance, spark arrestor, engine mounts, etc.

5. Check coolant level. Change every two years.


Fuel System

Fuel system checks

1. Make sure fuel is fresh; hopefully it was treated for storage. If unsure, drain and refill with fresh fuel.

2. For carbureted units, drain bowl before first startup. Follow service interval for fuel filter change.

4. For injected units, unit should be alright for startup after making sure fuel is fresh. Follow service interval for fuel filter change.

5. If using ethanol fuels, do not leave fuel in unit for more than two weeks without treating. We recommend Startron Fuel Conditioner.

6. Check for fuel leaks in system.



Brake and chassis service

1. Check brake fluid level. Check for leaks. Change every two years.

2. Check brake pad or shoe condition.

3. Check for free play in steering and wheels. Repair or replace as needed.

4. Check shocks for leaks. Service shocks every year (if serviceable).

5. Lube chassis, pivots, cables, etc.

6. Check tires and wheels for wear, cuts or other damage. Don’t forget to check the tire pressure.


Drive Line

Drive line service and checks

1. Check or change front and rear gear case fluid according to the service manual for your unit.

2. Check or change transmission fluid according to the service manual for your unit.

3. Check CV boots for cuts and tears and repair as needed. Lube U-joints as needed.

4. Clean and service clutches every 1,000 miles on CVT type.

5. Inspect drive belt and change according to your service manual interval.



Electrical checks

1. Check headlights, tail lights and brake lights.

2. Check all instruments including speedometer, tachometer, odometer, temperature and fuel gage and 2WD/4WD switch for proper function.

Follow your service manual for all service intervals. Regular maintenance will help prevent any failures and costly service repair bills, ensuring a safe and fun riding season.

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