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Thread: Winterizing

  1. #1
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    Default Winterizing

    Hey everybody,
    Again…I am new to the ATV game and have a Honda Pioneer 700-4 that I picked up this summer. The family is sort of winding down on rides for the season. I am going to have it stored in a heated garage all winter, but was curious what you all do to "winterize" your machines or sort of put them up for extended periods. My machine only has 292 miles and 52.5 hours of use and apparently the first owner changed the oil once (200 miles and 35 hrs of use when I bought it).

    What are your winterization secrets? I want to be sure that I am taking the necessary steps to be sure I can keep the machine running well, but like I said am new to this and it is sort of a steep learning curve.

    Also…curious if you all would recommend taking it in for service before winter or before first ride in the spring.

    Thanks,
    MT2AK

  2. #2
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    You will likely get different responses, but I like to do a thorough washing of machine with inspection of any problems like torn boots, etc. Put fresh gas with sta-bil in it and run the machine for 20 minutes. I store mine with fresh oil, clean air filter, etc so they are ready to roll if needed during the snow season (like pulling trailer around), and I use my quick connect trickle charger. I like to start them every couple of weeks regardless....If you wait to get serviced before riding season- understand lots of others are thinking the same thing!

  3. #3
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    You are lucky to be able to keep your ATV in warm storage for the winter. Check the oil, with the few hour/miles, it might not need to be changed. Check all fluids, clean and lube where needed. Sta-bil in the fuel and run it for a while. A good wash job and maybe a little wax. Here is where you might get some different ideas. On the machine that I will not be using during the winter, I pull the battery and put it on a trickle charge every few weeks in the garage. On the machine that I might be using during the winter, I plug a battery tender into it and leave it. It stays in a building, just not heated. Never had any issues with it that way. It might not be a bad idea to put plywood under the tires. While it might be needed, it is still a good idea.

  4. #4
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    To winterize mine I will clean it thoroughly and drop the skid plate to get the chunks of dried mud out of it. I inspect everything and will put it on a trickle charger.

    This year while the skid plate is off I will install a Motoalliance cab heater which is probably the best option for "winterization" because I will just keep using it!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    As noted above, cleaning and some means of maintaining a charge on the battery are the three primary things to do. Back in the day, batteries seemed to work fine if drained way down. Now, it kills them so I always use a trickle charger and/or a regular running program.

    Being old and lazy, I usually drop mine off for dealer service circa November...thus ensuring availability of the SxS once snow falls for use while on tracks.

    Before taking in for service, I spend a very unpleasant day (sometimes two) putting the machines on jack stands and crawling under them on a creeper with my pressure washer wand....unpleasant, but it also means that I'm probably carrying 50# less after all the mud is off.
    Back in AK

  6. #6
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    Awesome! Thanks guys! I appreciate the advice. Didn't have a trickle charger nor would I have probably thought much about the battery so this payed dividends already!

  7. #7
    Member Roger's Avatar
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    All the atvs I own I wash them change oils look for damages. Fill them up with fuel. Put them in the trailers turn off the gas and run them until they die. (all mine have carbs) unhook the battery cables . Kiss them good night and see them in the spring. Never had a battery freeze or be dead the next spring.
    PEOPLE SAY I HAVE A.D.D I DON'T UNDERSTA.....OH LOOK A MOOSE !!!

  8. #8
    Member akiceman25's Avatar
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    I just put the plow on mine...
    I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM2K7sV-K74

  9. #9

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    The small batteries seem to die easy, definitely top them off and disconnect them so you are sure there's nothing drain them down. Checking the voltage sometime during the winter is a good idea if not leaving a charger on them. I have had a boat battery freeze over the winter, they won't freeze as long as they have a good charge.

  10. #10

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    For winter storage I wash the machine, grease it and put in new crank case oil and air filter if needed , other fluids every 2 years, full fuel tank and run Sta-bil through it for 20 minutes and a half a bottle of heat. I clean all battery connections, apply dialectic grease and put a battery charger on each machine for 8 hours at 2 amps. Each machine has it's own 1.8 volt battery tender that I leave hooked to their battery year around when stored. I put 2' long treated 2x6's under the tires when stored out side.

    Our 3 ATV's are made by Polaris and they get new belts after every 3rd season or any time they were "badly smoked". Which should rarely happen if you know what your doing.

    I try to remember to start them every month and run them for 15 minutes. I think good clean motor oil is important for any engine. I never wait till I have dirty looking oil on a dip stick to change oil.

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