Man this year has flown by—temperatures are already below freezing and we’ve had our first decent-size snow. With winter on our heels, it’s time to start thinking about what we should do with our fleet of side-by-sides.
This is what it looks like to us: we prep one or two of our machines with all of our winter accessories so we can easily combat Mother Nature’s wrath. Then we winterize the rest.
If you don’t plan on riding your side-by-side during the colder months, taking preventative steps help avoid weathering and damage to your machine.
Therefore you’re going to want to winterize that sucker. And we have all the tips to do it successfully.
The key to completely winterizing your machine is finding a good place to properly store it. It’s a good rule of thumb that while storing your UTV, you need to keep it covered up or out of the sun so its color won’t fade. Your garage or pole barn are the best places to store your machine.
As we mentioned above, it’s highly encouraged that you not only find a good location to store your machine but you’ll want to cover it up to protect it from the sun and other elements. What should you use to cover up your UTV? Any kind of breathable fabric will work. A breathable fabric will allow moisture to escape so your side-by-side won’t rust.
You might even want to consider one of our SuperATV Full Cab Enclosures. We’ve all lived or heard the horror stories of small animals making their homes in our machines during the winter. It’s the same ol’ story year after year. You go to start your rig to find a couple of mice have eaten through the wiring. A full cab enclosure will help preserve your cab’s interior and deter unwanted pests from claiming it as their winter abode.
Nothing beats the feeling of getting into a clean machine so don’t leave yours dirty. Plus, it doesn’t take long for dirt, mud, and trail debris to build up. And by properly cleaning your rig you prevent and prolong the wear and tare, rust, and corrosion. With a clean interior come springtime, all you have to do is get in and go.
If you have a metal tank, fill that sucker all the way up and add a stabilizer. Why add a stabilizer? Because then you won’t have to drain the fuel from your tank prior to storing it. It keeps the fuel fresh for up to 24 months and it stops the oxidation process from happening. Therefore the fuel will stay at full strength without gumming up the surrounding parts. This means that when winter is over and you look at the gas in the tank, it should look and work about the same as it did when you put it in the tank before winterizing your UTV.
If you have a plastic tank—drain the tank, the fuel lines, and the carburetor.
If your machine needs any regular maintance now would be the time to do it.
When things get cold they shrink—we can’t name a winter when the low tire pressure light didn’t come on. Therefore, inflating your tires will keep them from becoming damaged if they flatten completely. You may even want to consider putting down a rubber mat and parking your UTV on top of it, for an extra cushion on your tires and wheels.
Don’t let the cold zap your battery—invest in a trickle charger. A trickle charger prevents car batteries from losing enough charge to stop them from working. There’s nothing like getting in your side-by-side expecting to plow some snow and your battery is dead. A trickle charger will save you come the colder months.
Make the most out of your downtime—install all upgrades during this winter season so you don’t waist vauluable trail time come this spring.