Quick ATV Repairs And How To Perform Them
There are many different ATV repairs that are quick and easy to do that will save you from spending loads of money at a repair shop. From replacing CV boots and air filters to repairing damaged tires, all of these can be done without the expensive price tag at a shop. The most important thing you should have for DIY work on your ATV is the owner’s manual. This will be your best guide on troubleshooting problem areas and what to look for to diagnose your issue. We’ll cover four different repairs you can make on your own.
Damaged Tire: If you’ve ridden around an area that has had construction going on, you may have had the misfortune of driving over nails or screws, with one getting lodged into your tire. Your tire will gradually lose air, which could be dangerous if you don’t address it right away. Get your ATV back home or in an area that’s safe to stop. Locate the impacted area to assess the damage. You probably don’t have a lift, and that’s okay because you won’t need one. For this repair, you’ll need to plug the tire. Tubeless tire repair kits are extremely affordable with basic options for around $10 or so and larger, higher quality ones around $20 to $30.
You’ll first remove the nail, screw, or other obstruction that’s gotten lodged in the tire. Take the probing tool (or Reamer), which has a rough-edged end piece, and push it into the empty hole. The rough make of the tool helps clean the hole of dirt, mud, rock, and other debris. Once it’s clear, you’ll hear air flowing through it. Then, you’ll take the Insertion tool and a rubber insert to push into the hole. Leave about an inch out of the hole so when it’s inserted, you can cut off the outer end. Some kits also come with a tube of rubber cement, which will make the repair even more secure. These inexpensive plug kits are great to keep in your bag, so you’re prepared for the next time.
Clogged Air Filter: Air filters are an area that can be overlooked, which could lead to a decline in gas mileage and engine performance. They can get very clogged up with debris over time, even if you aren’t running the ATV in the offseason (small animals can find their way into the air filter area too). You’ll need an area to wash it up in, like a plastic bucket or shop sink. Dealers often sell air filter cleaning kits that have what you need to properly clean it.
Take the foam filter out and brush off all the loose debris. Use the cleaning solution on it, then rinse it off and let it dry. Once it’s completely dried off, apply filter oil onto it, ensuring its spread into all the pores. The air filter will then be ready to go back in the carburetor. In all, this can be done quickly with very minimal effort to save yourself from larger problems in the future.
Cracked CV Boots: Cracked CV boots are a major issue that can’t be ignored. Because these keep lubricating grease inside the joint, the grease will be exposed to dirt. This could result in an entire joint replacement versus a $20 boot. These can be found online or at your dealer. If there is fresh grease around the pleats, get the boots changed right away. The best way to go about this is with a service manual for your ATV so you know exactly how to install and remove these parts. In order to change the CV boots, you’ll have to first remove the axle shaft from the ATV. Then the axle from the differential will need to be removed. You’ll also need a band installation tool to get the new CV boots in. This may seem like a lot of moving parts, but it will save you much more money and irritation in the future.
Other Quick and Simple Repairs: Periodically, your ATV’s cables will become worn and even cracked from age and lack of lubrication. Most cables are relatively easy to replace to make that repair a painless one. One thing to remember is that the new cables—like the brake and clutch cables, for instance— you’ve installed should be lubricated twice a season. You should also check your bushings. These should keep your suspension nice and tight, not loose. Replacing these is a simple repair that will save the wear and tear of your ATV.
By making a habit of checking over your ATV, you’ll find problems areas that need repairs to either continue working or prevent larger, more costly ones in the future. They’re quick and will keep your ATV running smoothly.