5 Simple Tips to Keep Your ATV Clean
After a long day of fun but filthy ATV thrill rides, it's time to clean up your prized 4-track machine. Before you break out the hose and heavy sighs, we have a handful of tips to help you clean and shine up your off-road baby.
Knowing how to clean your quad is the first and most basic step to proper ATV maintenance. Here are 5 simple tips for keeping your ATV clean.
Use a Muffler Plug
Most ATV riders know their machine can withstand water as long as it doesn't enter the exhaust system. Think of it as drinking water too fast and having it accidentally go down your windpipe rather than your throat. Power-washing your mud-covered four-wheeler without closing off the exhaust has the same unpleasant effect. Placing a simple muffler plug into the exhaust pipe of your ATV allows you to spray it down without fear of causing any damage to your quad.
Get an Air Box Cover
Caked-up dirt on your ATV is a sign of how hard you rode it, and the cleaning process takes some serious elbow grease. Clearing dirt and debris from the air box is an important step, but not before installing an airbox cover to keep water out. By investing in a simple air box cover, you're sparing yourself the grief of accidentally spraying water into the carburetor or engine.
Wash with Quality Cleaner and Degreaser
Keeping your ride looking like new isn't always easy. It's bad enough it gets blasted with rocks, sand and other debris, so don't let poor quality soap further age your ride. Choose a high quality cleaner that's tough on dirt without the harmful chemicals. When black dirt and grimy residue stays on the metal parts after washing your ATV, the second cleaning product to keep in mind is a trustworthy clean-up degreaser spray. Spraying down your ATV's chain and sprocket with this stuff saves you loads of time during the cleaning process.
PRO TIP: Keep degreasers away from plastic parts to prevent peeling and discoloration. Even light chemicals can tarnish anodized aluminum or high polish wheels. Work quickly when using cleaners and de-greasers on all ATV parts, and aim for one minute or less between soaping the parts and rinsing them thoroughly.
Use a Power Washer
We've probably all relied on the traditional garden hose to wash our ATVs at some point. But if using a hose feels a bit tedious, try using a power washer to blast away the hardest dirt or stickiest mud in a fraction of the time. Imagine getting home exhausted from a hot day riding in the dunes and realizing you now have to rid your ATV of all the leftover crud. You use the hose and realize it isn't powerful enough to clear all of the sand scratching both the metal and paint. A power washer is a good investment, as it wastes less water and cleans your ATV more thoroughly than the old garden hose.
Shine, Seal and Lubricate
Keeping that showroom shine on your machine for life can be done with proper cleaning and care. Once the cleaning and degreasing is done, and your ATV is dry, it's time to shine that baby up! After using a premium cleaner and degreaser, use a spray polish to finish things off. A good sealant and polish protects against sun damage and repels water while adding a showroom shine.
There's more room for error than you might think when washing your ATV. Water can damage expensive parts during a seemingly harmless spray-down. By following these ATV cleaning tips, your prized possession will last longer and look better for years to come!