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Thread: Winter ATV care for snow plowing

  1. #1
    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Default Winter ATV care for snow plowing

    I have an older Honda Foreman that I put a plow on this year to help with the new, very long driveway. Got it out last night to take care of this weekend's snowfall and had several issues. Granted, most of this was my own fault because I had put the atv under my deck and over the course of the freeze/thaw this weekend, water dripped down onto the controls and then froze up. But, my key would not turn, my start button would not push, the brake levers would not pull, and the reverse button (on left brake lever) would not push down. I was able to take a hair dryer out and thaw everything to working temperatures, but halfway in between, things were sticking up pretty good. Even my plow/winch switch was sticking on me. I imagine I still have some water in there that I need to get out.

    But, my question is - is there something I can spray everything down with to keep this from happening again? A shot of WD40 in all the switches perhaps? A shot of lock de-icer in the ignition switch perhaps (does this stuff last over time?)? I left the atv in the garage over night with the heater on hoping that it will dry everything out, but my hope would be to leave the atv outside with a cover on it all the time and just be able to go out and fire it up and go. Is this wishful thinking? Or are there various lubes I can use to make this reality?

    Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide.
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  2. #2
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    LPS makes some good products. Get one of the cable lubing tools and hit everything you can reach. The cable sheath gets full of water and will freeze your cables tight. Its always good to dry your machine off after plowing too. If you can, let it sit overnight in the garage before parking it outside again. Water from melted snow around the engine will mess with gear shifts and brakes as well. I'm also a fan of a small blue tarp over most official ATV covers I've seen.
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  3. #3
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    Using a fan and get it hot to make sure every thing is warm, use an air hose to remove any water. Be sure you blow from the bottom up. You do not want to push the water further down the cables. Also if you have vacuum cleaner with a hose you can draw the WD40 up the cables.

  4. #4
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    Really cold temps are pretty effective at drying things out, too. Do your best to get it dry and everything working, then park it with a cover. It should be fine. I don't use WD-40 to dry stuff out in winter. TriFlow works better (won't re-freeze). Expect it to be hard to start unless you preheat and it's always a good idea to keep the battery charged, especially if all you're doing is plowing. The winch eats up lots of battery and charge power. Add lights, hand warmers, etc.... It isn't unusual to park it with less battery power than you had when you started it.

  5. #5
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    The honda won't have a problem if you hook up a battery tender and occasionally give it an overnight in the garage. I recommend pulling a fuse when you store it outside as an extra step against thieves.

    I will say it again though it isn't relevant in this case. Cat owners should pull the 30 amp fuse before hooking up any charger or get ready to shell out over $300 for a new LCD gauge pod.

  6. #6
    Member Arcticmayhem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKmud View Post
    LPS makes some good products. Get one of the cable lubing tools and hit everything you can reach.
    Be careful using LPS on cables. I use LPS 2 and 3 on lots of the moving parts on all of my outdoor toys but after the cable on my lawnmower got worse after applying LPS 2, I use silicone spray or WD40 or some light oil. Some cables have a plastic sheath inside that swells with solvents.

    Lock deicer works for ignition parts, but is only mineral oil and alcohol so it tends to run out or dry up eventually. I keep a small shooter of it handy just in case.

  7. #7
    Member Derby06's Avatar
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    I've left my old Kodiak out all winter the past few years; just covered it with one of those ATV covers they carry at Sportsman's. Every now and then I would park it in the garage for about 24 hours just to get all the build up melted off. When you get a warm up with re-freeze angling the plow became very difficult.
    Now I got a new place with plenty of garage space. Will be much easier this year...lol

    I would leave you wheeler in for a couple of days to dry everything out and then park it out with a cover.

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