There is a lot of prep work to be done before hitting the ATV trail, especially if you’re venturing deep into the wilderness. From packing the necessities to prepping your vehicle, most of us have a checklist of things we must do prior to going on a ride, but is your engine’s cooling system on it?
The Florida heat is known to be sweltering. Don’t run the risk of you and your ATV overheating. Incorporate these cooling system inspections into your pre-departure to-do list. A little preparation can go a long way in preventing disaster on the trail.
Checklist for Your ATV’s Cooling System
There are 3 different things you must check in order to ascertain whether your cooling system is in good working order: your radiator, the coolant condition, and evaluating whether coolant replacement is necessary.
Inspect and Clean Your Radiator
The radiator is your engine’s largest cooling component. Hitting the untamed landscape can do a number on your radiator, clogging it with mud, dirt, grass, and other debris as you’re exploring the great outdoors. The problem with this is that when your radiator and aluminum fins become soiled, it impedes their ability to cool the fluid inside of it, making it less efficient. If your radiator is too obstructed, it may not be able to function at all.
So how do you fix this? Simply take the time before each ride to inspect your radiator and make sure that it is clean and free of debris that may prevent it from pulling air through.
Identify Your Coolant Condition
Next, you’ll want to take a look at your coolant condition. To do this you will need to pick up a coolant tester from your local auto parts store. A simple coolant tester is extremely cheap and good to have on hand, whether you’re using it on your ATV or your everyday motor vehicle. Unless you’re looking for something high tech, you should be able to purchase one for under five dollars.
Once you have one on hand, you’ll want to locate the coolant for your ATV engine. You shouldn’t be able to see it at first glance. Typically, it is hidden from sight, which is why so many individuals forget to check it prior to heading out for a ride.
If you discover that your coolant needs to be replaced, don’t attempt this on your own. This process should be handled by a trained and certified mechanic. Having the ability to analyze your own coolant is simply a way to save you both time and money by independently determining whether the coolant is still usable.
When to Get a Coolant Replacement
Even if your coolant passes the tester’s evaluation, you may have a reason to replace your coolant. If you’re about to embark on a trail or job that will put extreme duress on your ATV, it may be worth the extra effort of replacing your coolant before the ride. This includes terrain that is constantly muddy or jobs where you are carrying extreme loads back and forth throughout the day.
Also, keep in mind the type of coolant you use matters. When in doubt, ask your local ATV mechanic what options would work best for your make and model. You can contact the friendly staff at Gator Sports in LaBelle by calling 863-675-1464, and we will be happy to help!
For more information on ATV maintenance, prep, tips, and safety, take a look at our ATV blog.