Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs), or side-by-side vehicles, are mainly driven on rugged terrains for adventure and sports. They are also called off-roading vehicles as they are used where proper roads are unavailable. Original manufacturers of off-roading cars claim that if maintained well, these vehicles can last for almost twenty years. However, on average, its lifespan is around ten years when regularly used off-road.
UTVs have several moveable parts, and each has to be serviced often to extend the vehicle’s lifetime. If you follow a few DIY ( do it yourself ) tips regarding replacing old or worn-out parts, your machine will run smoothly for years. The new parts are readily available in the market; for instance, if you have a Polaris Ranger, you can get Polaris UTV parts conveniently at affordable prices.
UTV Vehicles: Maintaining+, Troubleshooting And Repair
UTVs are used for recreational activities like off-roading races, hunting, etc. They are also used for agricultural activities like plowing, harrowing, and other practices. No matter what you use your vehicle for, UTVs offer a perfect mix of power and versatility that ensure you never lose your grip on rugged terrain.
To ensure that your car runs smoothly and has a long time, here are a few tips you must keep in mind.
Keep An Eye On The Oil Levels
Even if your vehicle has not run out of lubricant, low oil levels can cause immense damage to the different automobile parts. Moreover, oil degrades naturally whenever it comes in contact with air (oxidative breakdown). Degraded oil forms a sludge-like substance. Ideally, the oil is meant to lubricate the different moving components of a car, but when the oil degrades into a sludge-like mass, it ends up corroding the vehicle’s moving parts.
Degraded oil can also burn off through weak pistons and gaskets, thus damaging the car. Also, very low levels of oil harm your engine, and it can end up seizing your car’s engine.
Hence, it is always prudent to keep an eye on the oil levels in your UTV. Checking the level of oil in the oil tank is simple. You must run the vehicle for three to four minutes so the oil warms up. Then use a clean dipstick and check the oil levels. However, every vehicle is different, and it is best to go by the user manual when checking for oil levels or making other modifications.
Pay Due Attention To The Coolant (Anti-Freeze) And The Radiator Cap
The movement of parts like pistons in an engine generates heat. A coolant is used to lubricate the movable engine parts that come in contact with it. A radiator cap uses a negative pressure to regulate the amount of coolant that flows into the radiator which eventually cools the engine.
Hence, it is vital to check for the levels of coolant before you set out for a drive. It is also essential to monitor the radiation cap; if you notice any crack in the cap, you should replace it as soon as possible.
Take Care Of The Tires
Unlike regular car or bike tires, where the wearing-off of the tire treads acts as an easy indicator to determine if the tires need replacement, UTVs are different. For off-roading vehicles, you should carefully observe the treading pattern to determine if the tires need replacement. Usually, flattening of the treading is an easy indicator of wear and tear.
Off-roading cars are meant to run on rough terrains like forests and sand dunes. The tire or the threading in it builds the necessary grip between the vehicle and the road. Hence, closely monitoring the health of the tire and replacing them when necessary is vital for avoiding accidents when driving a vehicle.
The pressure in the tires keeps them adequately inflated to maintain stability while the vehicle is running. In order to avoid accidents, it is always advisable to check the tire pressure before setting out on a journey.
Do Not Miss The Spark Plug
A spark plug creates the spark that eventually causes the combustion that sets the vehicle in motion. A faulty spark plug reduces the vehicle’s mileage and also lowers the maximum acceleration that can be attained by the vehicle.
So if you hear weird rattling sounds when you start your vehicle or find that the plug has been corroded, it is time to replace it with a new one. However, a corroded spark plug may also indicate more serious issues with the engine. If the spark plug gets corroded very quickly after replacement, you may need to consult a mechanic to take a thorough look at the engine.
Pay Attention To The Brakes
When it comes to vehicular safety, you cannot ignore the brakes. A squeaking sound when using the brakes and a vehicle that takes too long to stop after applying the brakes are indicators of a faulty brake.
When the padding of the brake thins out unevenly, the vehicle may tilt more on one side when coming to a stop. So if you spot any of the above signs while applying brakes, you must inspect the brakes and replace the pads or rotors of the brake.
Recharge The Battery Regularly
There may be long periods where you do not need your UTV. Even if you are not using the vehicle for a long stretch, you must charge the battery regularly. If the battery is left unattended for a long time, you will most likely need a new battery when you attempt to start the UTV after many months.
An off-roading vehicle is expensive and is a precious possession for most drivers. Adequate care, regular check-ups, and timely replacements of old and worn-out automobile parts are essential if you want your prized possession to last long.
Moreover, checking for tire pressure and the quality of brakes will ensure that you avoid any serious mishaps while driving on rugged terrain. Therefore learn a few DIY tricks so that you can check for minor faults and replace faulty parts all by yourself without having to burn a big hole in your pocket or visit an automobile engineer.