ATV Parts & Repair Troubleshooting Guide
ATV Parts & Repair Troubleshooting Guide: 5 of the Most Common ATV Repairs & the Parts You’ll Need For the Fix
Think of your ATV as a miniature car. Sometimes, cars break down or have other issues that need to be fixed. Just like a car, your ATV will have similar problems that will require troubleshooting.
If you’ve ever dealt with a mechanic before, then you know that your best bet is to have a game plan. And by a game plan, we mean knowing what the problem is before you go to them.
So, we’re here to help you troubleshoot. We’ve made a list of the five most common ATV parts that need maintenance or repairs so that you can fix the problem yourself—or save money on diagnostics.
The Most Common ATV Parts to Go Bad
It’s important to remember that your ATV is made up of a lot of moving parts as well as electrical components. They were also designed to take a beating. But eventually, most of your ATV parts will need to be fixed or replaced.
On the plus side, your ATV comes with an owner’s manual that will help you troubleshoot all of its potential issues. It’ll also help you keep scheduled maintenance in mind (i.e., oil and transmission fluid changes, cleanings, tire pressure, etc.)
Aside from reading the manual, you’ll also want to become familiar with the most common ATV repairs:
1. Faulty Ignition
It’s a bummer when you’re ready to hit the trails and your ATV won’t startup. The first thing you’ll assume when the motor won’t start is that you have a drained battery. But what if you’ve recently replaced the battery, or tested it?
Typically with fuel-powered motors, you’ll need a spark to get your ATV running. If your ATV motor turns over, but won’t start—and the battery is fine—Chances are, the issue is with your ignition system.
Your first step in troubleshooting this issue is checking out your sparkplugs. Look for any gunk or dirt corrosion on each plug. If you have one or more plugs that look severely worn out, then it’s time to replace them. You should also use a multimeter to test the plugs out for present sparks.
Ideally, you’ll want to replace your sparkplugs for every 100 hours of use.
If your spark plugs are fine, it could be another component in your ignition system. This would include your ignition coil or your capacitor discharge ignition (CDI). Of course, if these parts were to go bad, you would most likely be experiencing other symptoms such as misfiring.
It’s also rare that your engine coils and CDI will go bad, but in the event that they do, they’ll need to be replaced. Remember to always refer to your owner’s manual for the best methods to troubleshoot any electrical issues in your engine.
2. Dirty Filters
Your ATV getting covered in mud and debris is inevitable. But if you’re not careful, your air filter could get clogged.
If you’re noticing a rough startup, poor performance, and poor fuel efficiency in your ATV, it could be a sign of a dirty or clogged air filter. Fortunately, this isn’t an intense ATV repair. In most cases, you can get away with cleaning your air filter rather than replacing it.
But remember, if you let your air filter gets clogged up without cleaning or replacing it, it could seriously damage your engine.
3. Cracked CV Boots
The constant velocity (CV) boots on your ATV protect its axle shaft joints from dirt and debris. Over time, these boots will crack from the wear and tear that comes with offroading.
When your CV boots crack—and they will eventually—all of their lubricating greases will become exposed to outside debris. Anything that gets into your CV boot can severely damage the metal joint inside, leading to more expensive ATV parts and repair.
Aside from a grease leak, when your CV boots crack, you’ll also notice vibrations from the CV axle. The vibrations come from moisture and debris coming in contact with the metal joint. A more serious symptom is when you hear a clicking noise while turning. This indicates that the joint is completely worn out, and play has developed.
To prevent things from getting too far, it’s a good idea to check your CV boots before and after each ride consistently.
4. Battery Power
If your ATV isn’t turning over when the ignition is engaged, or your startup seems to be on the sluggish side, it’s a good indicator that your battery may be low.
On the plus side, batteries are one of the easiest of all ATV repairs. All you have to do to troubleshoot this issue is to use your multimeter to check the battery voltage. If the output reads below 12 volts, then it’s time to recharge the battery.
You can recharge your battery by hooking it up to alligator clips and a battery booster. If your battery fails to charge or loses its charge quickly, then it’s time to replace the battery completely.
5. Engine System
Troubleshooting engine system issues can get pretty complicated. Your ATV’s engine is composed of a lot of moving and electrical parts.
Symptoms like stalling out or sluggishness can indicate something as simple as a clog somewhere. However, that clog could be in your air filter or your exhaust. It could also be an indicator of clogged fuel lines or over-fueling, which can cause the carburetors to flood.
There are also a lot of problems that have similar symptoms. If you’re not familiar with engines, it’s even harder to diagnose the problems. Your best bet would be to get these ATV repairs done by a trusted mechanic.
Learn the Basics
Even if you’re not mechanically inclined, it will save you a lot of time and money if you learn the basics about your ATV parts and maintenance. As a side note: don’t forget to check your tire pressure.