How To Change Oil In Your ATV

ATV mechanics are expensive. Performing your own ATV maintenance is not hard to do and will save you money. By learning to change the oil in your ATV, you can change it when needed instead of having to wait on the mechanic's schedule. If the ATV mechanic is busy, he may not be able to get to it before your next trail ride. By following these step-by-step instructions you will be able to change your ATV's oil and spend money you save on the trails.
Drain The Oil
First, you need to drain the oil tank. Make sure you have a container to drain the oil in. You will find the drain plug on the bottom of the oil tank. When you remove the drain plug, be careful to not lose the sealing washer. If the sealing washer is not installed with the bolt you will very likely leak oil.
When the oil is completely drained from the tank, reinstall the drain plug with the sealing washer. The specified torque for the tank drain plug is 14 ft/lbs for most ATVs. It is a good idea to either check your ATV manual or call the dealership to get the specified torque for your model.
Next, you will need to drain the crankcase. Be careful when removing the crankcase's drain plug because it also has a sealing washer. Once the crankcase has finished draining, reinstall the drain plug and sealing washer. The usual specified torque for the crankcase drain plug is 16 ft/lbs.
Change The Filter
After the oil has been drained and the drain plugs have been reinstalled, it is time to change the oil filter. You will want to start by removing the bolts that secure the filter cover. Make sure to take note of which hole takes the long bolt and which one takes the short bolt. Once you taken off the cover, carefully inspect the o-ring that seals the filter to the block. If the o-ring is cut or damaged in any way make sure to replace it. If you do not, it will leak oil. Be sure to pay special attention to the way the filter is sitting in the motor. The rubber seal on the filter must face outward, or serious engine damage will result. You can now remove the filter from the engine. Behind the filter is a spring. Take care not to lose it because it must be reinstalled before you put the new oil filter in.
To install the new oil filter, you will first insert the spring, then the filter with the rubber seal facing outward, and then the filter cover. When installing the filter cover bolts, make sure to put the long and short bolts in the same holes they came out of. Then you will tighten the bolts securely.
Refill The Engine With Oil
You will first want to consult your owner's manual for the proper viscosity oil to use as well as the complete oil capacity of your ATV. The viscosity will depend on the ambient temperature in your area. Start by filling the oil tank with a little less oil than it says it will hold. Run the ATV's engine at idle for a few minutes. Check everything to make sure there is no leaks. If everything is good, stop the motor and add oil to the full mark.
You have completed your first ATV oil change. See, it wasn't so hard. You should take this time to complete a few more basic maintenance steps. Check and clean your air filter, check your tire pressure and adjust any chain slack you might have.
Tools For An ATV Oil Change
You will only need a few simple tools to change the oil in your ATV.
1. A few hand tools such as sockets with an extension, a rachet and perhaps a torque wrench for the drain plugs. The torque wrench will prevent you from over-tightening the drain plugs.
2. A container to drain the oil into. You can find cheap plastic ones at your local auto parts store.
3. A funnel for refilling the oil tank. I recommend you use a long nose funnel because it makes the job a lot easier.
4. The proper oil for your ATV and the ambient temperature in your area.
5. The correct oil filter for your ATV model.
6. A few shop rags to wipe off the area around the drain plugs once they have been reinstalled. This will help when you check for leaks.
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