5 Simple Tips to Keep Your ATV Clean
You just finished a long day of riding, made it home in one piece, and now it's time to clean your ATV. Before you break out the hose and heavy sighs, we have a few cleaning tips that are important to remember when shining up your off-road vehicle. After all, knowing how to clean your ATV is the first step in proper maintenance.
Use an ATV Muffler Plug
The last thing you want to do when cleaning your favorite toy is create a moment of regret. Most ATV riders know that 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 will have the same painful effect. By placing a simple muffler plug into the exhaust pipe of your ATV, you can get started on the spray down process without fear of causing damage.
Get an Air Box Cover
If the caked-up dirt on your ATV is a sign of how hard you rode it, chances are good that the cleaning process is going to take some serious elbow grease. Clearing dirt and debris from the air box is an important step, but not before installing an air box cover to keep water out completely. By investing in a simple air box cover, you're sparing yourself the grief of accidentally spraying water into your carburetor or engine.
Wash with Quality Cleaner and Degreaser
Keeping your ATV looking clean and well-maintained isn't easy. It's bad enough that it gets hit with rocks, sand and debris, so don't let poor quality soap further age your ride. When you're ready to clean up your machine,choose a high quality cleaner that's tough on dirt without the harmful chemicals.
So your four-wheeler is all soaped up and rinsed down, but the black dirt and grimy residue is still on the metal parts. The second cleaning product you should keep in the garage at all times is a trustworthy clean-up degreaser spray. Go ahead and spray down your chain and sprocket with this stuff to save you loads of time during the cleaning process.
NOTE: Keep degreasers away from your plastic parts to prevent peeling and discoloration. Even light chemicals can tarnish anodized aluminum or high polish wheels. If possible, work quickly when using both 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 the old hose feels a little tedious, there's an easier way to thoroughly wash your ATV: investing in a power washer. Not only can you blast away the hardest dirt or stickiest mud, but you can do it in a fraction of the time! Plus, a power washer wastes less water and does a better job than the hose.
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 sand and debris. You grab the hose to pre-soak your machine and soap it up shortly after. In doing so, you realize the hose wasn't powerful enough to clear all of the sand scratching both the metal and paint. This is exactly why investing in a power washer is a good idea.
Shine, Seal and Lubricate
It sure would be nice to keep that showroom shine on your machine for life. And you can, with the proper cleaning and care. Once the hard work of de-mudding and degreasing is done, and your ATV has been dried, it's time to shine that baby up! After using a premium cleaner and degreaser, we recommend using a spray polish to top things off. A good sealant and polish will protect against sun damage and repel water while adding a shine worthy of the showroom floor.
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 plugging the exhaust pipe, covering the air box and steering clear of harsh chemicals, your prized possession will last longer and look better. Following these five ATV cleaning tips is a great way to wrap up your latest riding adventure and keep your machine looking great!