Whatever the reason for storing your ATV for an extended period of time, doing it the right way helps ensure it will deliver peak all-around performance when it’s time to ride again. Follow these six simple steps for long-term storage.
Beyond making any major repairs your vehicle may need, cleaning it is the first step in proper storage. Not only does a clean ATV look good, but cleaning may also reveal any additional components or areas that are worn or need repair. Your owner’s manual will have a section on proper cleaning techniques and chemicals to use and avoid.
Start by filling the tank with fuel that has been treated with a reputable fuel treatment. We recommend using a non-ethanol fuel, which won’t break down as quickly as fuels containing ethanol. Quickstor® Fuel Stabilizer from Quicksilver® is a perfect solution as it prevents fuel break down, fuel system corrosion, gumming and varnishing of carburetor and fuel injection components while also keeping them lubricated.
Once the fuel is stabilized, allow the engine to run for 15-20 minutes to ensure the treated fuel is dispersed throughout the entire fuel system.
Taking your ATV out of storage and knowing everything is in proper working condition ensures confidence in your machine. For this reason, it’s recommended to service all of the major maintenance items prior to storage. This includes changing the engine oil and filter; replacing the air filter; inspecting and adding or changing fluids for the differentials, gearcase (if equipped), transmission (if equipped), brake fluid, and engine coolant. This is also a great time to inspect and lubricate all cables and drive chain (if equipped). Quicksilver offers an Off-Road Motorcycle Chain Lubricant to help with this task.
Treating the inside of your engine by “fogging” it will ensure bare metal surfaces won’t corrode. Most procedures involve running the engine and spraying treatment into the air intake until the engine starts to stall and then quickly shutting off the engine. This will ensure the fuel intake is treated. This is followed by removing the spark plug(s) and spraying treatment into the combustion chamber. Next, reinstall the spark plugs but leave the caps off. Turn the engine over several times to ensure the entire piston and cylinder are treated. Finally, reinstall the caps. When in doubt, follow the instructions accompanying the engine treatment product you choose.
Keeping your battery fresh is critical to proper storage. The best method is to remove the battery and store it where it will remain dry, above freezing temperatures, and having it connected to a low amperage maintenance charging system (a charger that charges at a rate of less than 2 amps). If you plan on storing your ATV inside in an appropriate environment, you can keep the battery installed. Simply disconnect the positive and negative cables from the terminals and connect a maintenance charger.
The best storage solution is inside a climate-controlled building. Cover the ATV with a recommended cover as well. Most importantly, make sure the storage area is well ventilated and moisture free as condensation will promote corrosion and oxidation.
Follow these tips and those outlined in your owner’s manual and your ATV will be ready to ride when it emerges from storage.