An ATV/UTV maintenance guide

Man properly hosing down dirty ATV.
Man properly hosing down dirty ATV.
Author Jason Lam
Associate Director of Data Analytics – Dairyland
14 de febrero de 2024

Like any vehicle, ATVs and UTVs require regular maintenance to stay in tip-top shape. Knowing which tasks you can handle at home and when to bring your off-road vehicle (ORV) to a mechanic is crucial for the long-term health of your ATV or UTV—and your safety as a rider.

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In this article, we'll take a spin through some expert tips to maintain your off-road vehicles.

At-home ATV/UTV maintenance

Although ATVs and UTVs serve different purposes, their at-home maintenance requirements are similar. Whether you own an ATV or UTV, you can manage much of the following upkeep in your garage.

Oil and filter change

Engine oil with funnel.

Oil changes are essential to keep your engine running smoothly. For most ATVs and UTVs, it's recommended to change the oil and filter every 100 hours of operation. You'll need:

  • The correct oil for your ATV/UTV

  • The correct oil filter for your ATV/UTV

  • An oil filter wrench

  • An oil drain pan

  • A funnel

Always make sure to dispose of the used oil properly. Drain the oil into a sealable, leak-proof container and take it to a local recycling facility, auto shop, or special community recycling event that accepts used oil.


Bucket with soapy water and sponge.

Regular cleaning helps prevent dirt and debris from accumulating in parts of your ATV/UTV where it can cause damage. It's also a great way to inspect your vehicle for any wear and tear or possible issues. Water, a soft cloth, and mild detergent should do the trick.

Battery maintenance

Battery symbol

Regularly inspect your ATV/UTV's battery for any signs of corrosion, loose cables, or cracks. Also, keep it fully charged to extend its lifespan.

Tire inspection

Car tire.

Regularly checking your tires isn’t just about looking for visible damage like worn tread or objects embedded in the tire. An equally important part is maintaining the appropriate tire pressure. To verify the correct pounds per square inch (PSI) for your ORV, refer to your owner’s manual.

Air filter maintenance

ATV air filter.

Your ATV or UTV's air filter ensures your engine receives clean, dirt-free air. Over time, dust, dirt, and debris can clog up your air filter. This build-up impacts your vehicle's performance and potentially leads to engine damage. Regularly inspecting and cleaning your air filter or replacing it per your vehicle's maintenance schedule can help prevent these issues.

When to bring your ATV/UTV to a mechanic

Even the most enthusiastic DIYer should know when to turn the wrench over to a professional mechanic. Certain ATV and UTV maintenance tasks are more complex, but are still crucial for vehicle longevity and your safety. Here are a few that are typically best left to the professionals:

  • Suspension work

  • Engine overhauls

  • Brake replacement

  • Transmission work

Front view of ATV.
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Get a free off-road insurance quote today.

The importance of ATV/UTV insurance

In addition to routine maintenance and safety precautions, securing the right insurance policy for your ATV or UTV should be among your top priorities. ATV/UTV insurance is a legal necessity in many situations, and also can act as a safety net to help protect your investment, your financial situation, and even your health in the event of a covered accident.

What does ATV/UTV insurance cover?

By having the following ATV/UTV coverages on your insurance policy, you can help ensure protection for yourself and your ORV following a covered incident:

  • Liability insurance: If you cause an accident while operating your ATV or UTV, liability coverage can help cover the cost of damages and injuries to others involved.

  • Collision coverage: Collision insurance can help pay for repairs to your ATV or UTV if it's damaged in a collision with a stationary object or another vehicle, regardless of who is at fault.

  • Comprehensive coverage: This coverage can help pay for repairs to your ATV/UTV if it’s damaged by something other than a collision, such as theft, vandalism, fire, and weather events.

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: If you're involved in an accident with an at-fault driver or rider who’s uninsured or who doesn't have sufficient insurance, this coverage can help you avoid paying for your own repairs out-of-pocket.

Remember, while your ATV/UTV may be covered under other insurance policies, such as homeowner's insurance, the coverage might be limited. That’s why we recommend securing an insurance policy specific to your off-road vehicle. And with ATV/UTV insurance from Dairyland®, a brand of the Sentry Insurance Group, you may also qualify for a range of money-saving discounts on your policy.

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