All-terrain vehicles or ATVs have become essential pieces of equipment for outdoor lovers looking for their next adventure where they can explore everything from caves to remote country scenery. ATVs can travel off the beaten road, up and down hills and valleys, between trees and large rocks, through mud and even shallow water.
However, they could also be very dangerous if not used the right way. Additionally, according to experts, not knowing how to use these devices correctly can cause premature damage, and this would prevent you from getting the most out of your ATV. That’s why, besides including some tips about the coolest accessories, I will also add some tips on how to ride your vehicle safely.
The first thing I want you to know is that you have to inspect the ATV every time you want to take it for a spin. A general check-up should be enough, especially if you have it revised by an expert from time to time. Look at the tires for any signs of distress, and make sure you have enough oil and that your brakes work fine.
If you have time, I would also suggest checking the lights and the electrics, as those can be quite sensitive to damage. And, of course, always fill up your fuel tank before going on a new adventure, as you wouldn’t want to run out of it halfway to your destination. That would be a bummer, especially in a remote area.
My next trick is for the wildlife and outdoor lover. If you want to make the most out of your four-wheeler, go on as many trips as possible with it. And to save a ton of cash, just buy yourself a high-quality tent.
There are plenty of guides on the Internet to help you choose a quality one, so do yourself a favor and check them out. I remember my life changed when I bought my huge tent and a big storage bag for my ATV. With just those two items I traveled for three months without spending a dime on accommodation and small things like water and snacks, since I could store those in my bag.
Other accessories you could invest in are a water-resistant cover, which will protect the vehicle even in snow and rain, and a snow plow which will save you every time winter comes unexpectedly. Add an extensible cup holder to the mix, if you are like me and enjoy a hot beverage while on the road.
For the last advice, I will have to digress and go back to your brakes. Excuse me if I am a bit obsessed with them, but I think being safe at all times means you will enjoy your ATV whenever you are on top of it. Make sure they aren’t worn out, as that will prevent you from efficiently stopping when you absolutely have to. Have an expert check them out because if the brakes on your ATV are compromised, so are you.
What about covers?
An ATV is the perfect vehicle to drive around and outside the city, during your holidays, on weekends or for the good-old daily commuting to work. They’re versatile, and you shouldn’t expect to pay a lot for a new model. You could also use them in various terrains without a problem.
So, no matter if you wish to enjoy some plain countryside fun or explore a new beach over the weekend, an ATV is the perfect solution for you.
But how do you properly look after your vehicle? Read below to find everything you need to know about four-wheeler covers and how to find the perfect one for your ATV.
Check out the size
The most important feature you need to look for in a good vehicle cover is the proper size. We suggest you carefully measure your ATV to know exactly the size you need to order. As a general rule, the cover should be a few inches larger than your vehicle to allow enough space to stretch and cover all the parts of your ATV.
A smaller cover might leave some parts in the open and, thus, not offer the perfect protection, while a cover that is too big might become saggy and hard to put over your vehicle.
Indoor or outdoor covers?
Depending on where you decide to store your ATV whenever you are not using it, you probably want to buy a cover made of a specific material. We recommend nylon or cotton for indoor use as these materials will protect your vehicle from dust, debris, scratches, insects or mold.
If you plan on keeping your ATV outside, you should probably opt for thicker, stronger fabrics that are resistant to water and wind. Microfiber, PVC, and Tyvek are all great options, but you can also choose reinforced canvas, a piece of fabric that is mainly used to manufacture tents.
Different seasons and temperatures require different types of materials used for your ATV cover, so keep that in mind next time you’re shopping. Certain fabrics are perfect for protecting your vehicle against dust, debris, and mold but might tear in time because of heavy winds or low temperatures.
For instance, PVC is excellent if you live in a humid environment with heavy rains or snow falls during the cold seasons. However, PVC is not UV resistant, so you might have to reconsider your choice if you’re looking for a summer four-wheeler cover.
Tyvek and reinforced canvas are the perfect year-round options as they are breathable and highly resistant to harmful UV rays or water. They also come in a variety of colors, patterns, and designs, so you can choose the right product according to your personality.
A few words about 4 wheelers engine oils
For the uninformed automobile owner, all engine oils look just the same. One can just go into a store that sells multiple brands of engine oils and pick the first one that he or she sees. However, there are many things you have to take into account if you want to keep the heart of your car healthy and running.
You’d want to pick a great engine oil for your four-wheeler mainly because it helps prevent friction inside the vehicle’s core – without the proper oil inside it, its parts will rub to one another and generate heat, and too much heat will make your car underperform.
The Society of Automotive Engineers has a rating, called SAE rating, which refers to the viscosity of any given oil that you might feed your four-wheeler with. Therefore, when buying oil, you might be greeted by labels that read 5W-30 or just plain 30. What do they mean, though?
The first number refers to the grade of viscosity of the oil, in our case, 5 – viscosity shows how thick or how thin the oil is. The latter, in our case, shows the season in which that specific oil was tested in – winter, for example.
Oil rated 5W-30 is capable of helping your four-wheeler’s engine start a lot faster, when in cold weather, when compared to 10W oil, for example. Why? Because thinner oil must be used only in colder temperatures – while thicker oil in normal to warmer temperatures.
The viscosity of the oil matters because it has to run smoothly inside the engine of your four-wheeler. Thinner oil won’t be affected by colder temperatures and will be able to better lubricate the components of the engine.
On the other hand, thicker oil won’t be able to make your engine keep up with the surrounding environment – this is why it is preferred if you plan to use your four-wheeler in warmer temperatures.
As we mentioned before, there are many types of oil out there – it’s up to you to choose the one that fits your vehicle, and up to us to teach you which one you should take into account.
In terms of oil, you will find premium conventional oil, full synthetic oil, synthetic blend oil, and higher mileage oil.
Premium conventional oil is the standard oil that new cars come with, and will usually be labeled as 5w-20, 5w-30, or 10w-30 in case the vehicle is meant to be driven in warmer temperatures. With this type of oil in your engine, you’ll have to change the oil filter and the oil as well, around two times a year.
Full synthetic oil is superior to the premium conventional one. It is meant for more advanced engines and will usually last longer, perform better, and avoid any deposits in your engine. This type of oil is meant to flow better at low temperatures while maintaining its lubricant priorities at all times – the downside is that it is quite expensive.