When Is an ATV Engine Going to Blow Up?

How can you tell if a used powersports machine's engine is going to blow up? One of our live Q&A viewers asked this question as he pondered buying a used 4-wheeler.

Partzilla goes live every Friday at 3pm Eastern on our YouTube channel, and our resident powersports pro Garrett Sifford answered many ATV repair questions, including one from a viewer about the possibility of a used 4-wheeler blowing up on him.

Why ATV engines blow up

ATV Engine Failure

How do you know when a 4-wheeler is going to blow up? I want to buy a used one.

Garrett Sifford: The only real way to tell the life cycle of an engine is by doing a compression test on it. So if you have [a compression tester] laying around or you know somebody who has one, I think we have a video on YouTube showing how to do a compression test. That’s your best bet when buying a used engine, because that’s going to tell you how it’s been ridden and how much life is left on it.

Buy compression tester

Buy powersports vehicle engine oil

As Garrett mentioned, doing a compression test on an ATV is one of the best ways to diagnose engine problems. Performing a compression test for both the front and rear of an ATV is just as easy as changing spark plugs. Watch the video below to see how to do a compression test on a Polaris Sportsman ATV.

How do you know if a motorcycle, ATV or side-by-side engine is going to blow up? Many engine failures can be attributed to maintenance issues such as old oil, bad coolant, and clogged air filters. Keeping on top of routine maintenance issues can prevent many blown engines. Watch the video below to find out more about why engines blow up

Our viewer from the question above wanted to know how to tell when a 4-wheeler would blow up because he was considering buying a used machine. There are many factors to consider when buying a used ATV. Watch the video below to learn more about going through a used ATV checklist: things you need to look out for when get your hands on a used ATV or side-by-side, including what to look for in the oil, the fuel system, the electrical system, the frame and suspension, and the wheels and tires.

Want to see more live repair questions answered? See all of Partzilla’s Live Q&A sessions here.  



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