How to service a quad bike or ATV

Vehicles, when used over time, are subject to wear and tear. Every vehicle needs to look after properly to keep it in shape and maintained. However, it depends on how the vehicle is being used. If the usage is off-road and rough, then maintenance is required more often than on regular leisure riding. Just like other vehicles, ATVs also require maintenance to keep them running smoothly. 

The following components of the ATV Quad bike are to be thoroughly cleaned and inspected when it comes to the ATV Quad bike service. 

  • General
  • Engine Oil 
  • Air Filter
  • Chains And Brakes
  • Nuts And Bolts
  • Suspension

How to Service A Quad Bike?

Over time each vehicle needs a service, similarly depending upon the usage, ATVs also require care and attention. If a person uses ATV for more off-road tours, particularly in muddy or marshy areas, he needs to get his quad maintained much more often. If his usage is restricted to casual riding or for agricultural uses that involve simple pulling or toeing, then maintenance is not required that often.  

It should also be noted that some parts of the ATV are damaged a lot sooner than the rest. It should be kept in mind that the moving parts of the machine should be thoroughly cleaned. After every off-road adventure, it is advised that you should wash your ATV thoroughly and remove all the Mud, especially from the chains, suspensions, and tires. If you don’t do so, the Mud will act like a grinding paste and perform the work of a catalyst and damage the components of your Quad bike a lot quickly. After giving your ATV a power wash, ride it a little again and let it dry thoroughly before packing it back into your garage. 

It should also be noted that modern ATVs require maintenance after the first 20 hours of riding or traveling at least 150 kilometers. After this, you will need to service your Quad bike after every 300 miles of riding or 50 hours of riding. 

General Maintenance

Generally, your ATV might develop some problems with usage over time. Typically, this maintenance of your quad bike includes if your bike is making any noise or is not traveling smoothly. Additionally, when the gears of the quad bike are changing, is there any jerk when they are shifting up or down? Are any parts of the quad bike loose or leaking? 

If any of the problems mentioned above are there in your quad bike, it needs to undergo service. These types of mechanical issues might develop in your ATV after 20 hours of Riding it. 

  • Engine Oil
  • Air Filter
  • Chain & Brakes
  • Nuts & Bolts
  • Suspension

Engine Oil

With time, the engine oil of your quad bike collects dirt and debris, which can damage your quad bike’s internal components. The efficiency of your quad bike will be compromised if you do not change this oil. Therefore, it is recommended to change the oil of your quad bike after every 15 hours of travel time. However, some quad bikes will require a different time, such as Some ATVs require an oil change after 5 hours of driving time while some require one after 20 hours of driving. Your ATV user manual might come with this information; therefore, change as mentioned in the manual. 

For changing the engine oil and filter, first, you need to start your ATV and ride it for a few minutes or as much until your Engine is warmed up. This makes the engine oil flow better and allows the dirt and debris to leave the Engine with ease when you unscrew the drain bolt. Once the old oil leaves the Engine, please place it in a new filter and add new engine oil to the Engine. Make sure you screw your drain bolt before pouring in new engine oil. And finally, a funnel is recommended when pouring the new oil to prevent it from spilling. 

Air Filter

Air filters usually don’t require that much cleaning; however, if you have driven your ATV for a very long time or distance, such as 100 hours or 1000 kilometers, you should consider changing your air filter. When clogged with dirt or debris, air filters can put sheer stress on the Engine of the ATV. 

You should also know if your ATV is installed with a Paper Air filter or a foam air filter. If it’s a paper air filter, you should not use a rough brush or compressed air because it tends to damage your filter; instead, simple water and a cleaning agent will do the trick. In the case of foam filters, a simple dishwashing soap will be fine. However, thoroughly dry the filters before installing them into your ATV again.

Chains And Brakes 

Before each use of the quad bike, check its brakes; this prevents accidents or any emergencies. Additionally, if you are just concerned with mud maintenance, then a simple wash would be fine. Although, it is advised not to use a powerful pressure washer as it can get past the bearings and cause permanent damage to the braking system. 

If your Quad bike is installed with drum brakes instead of disc brakes, then for its maintenance, you need to do the following. You need to disassemble the brakes after riding the quad every 20 hours and clean them thoroughly. Once you install them back, make sure they are working correctly. It would be best if you do not make any compromise with the functioning of the braking system. Also, ensure the rust and tension for the chains that are holding the brakes. 

Nuts and Bolts

As you use your quad bike over rough terrains, some parts of it might come loose. Some loose parts might become the difference between safe riding and dangerous riding; therefore, you should look out for them and tighten them accordingly. 

You will need to look out for wheel hubs, sprocket bolts, pivot bolts, and various other nuts and bolts and tighten them as soon as you notice any abrupt vibrations or sounds coming from your vehicle. 


As you ride your bike on off-road terrains, the suspensions function to provide you a safe and comfortable ride by absorbing maximum bumps on the road. For its service, you need to if the springs of your ATV are intact and are not damaged. Furthermore, look for CV boots and make sure they are not split. You would also need to look for springs at the rear and top and bottom of the shock absorber mounts. 

Rider on atv, view through the helmet, quadbike. Offroad travelling on quad bike, active extreme motor sport

Safety Precautions

  • Before the beginning of any service or maintenance, make sure the Engine is fully turned off
  • Cool the Exhaust system of the Engine before touching it
  • If you’re operating the Engine, make sure there’s good ventilation
  • Do not power the Engine unless you have to, according to the manual
  • Make sure you have access to all sorts of tools and have expertise 
  • Do not smoke near the fuel-related parts of the ATV. 

In short, you need the following checklist for the complete maintenance of your ATV. 

Before every use

  • Check tire pressure
  • Check coolant level
  • Check for any leaks
  • Check steering movement and look for any obstruction 
  • Check wheel axle nuts
  • Check if the killer switch is working
  • Check if all lights are working

After 20 Hours of Driving or 100 miles / 150 kilometers 

  • Replace Engine Oil Filter
  • Replace Engine Oil 
  • Lubricate braking system
  • Lubricate the drive train

After 50 hours of Driving 

  • Lubricate the Drive train

After 100 Hours of Driving and so on

  • Clean Air cleaner
  • Clean air cleaner housing drain tube 
  • Replace engine oil, and it’s a filter
  • Adjust shaft boots
  • Inspect gear oil and replace it if necessary
  • Lubricate the drive train 
  • Adjust skid plate 
  • Adjust spark plug
  • Inspect radiator coolant

Finally, ATVs are not only fun to ride and provide a fantastic off-road adventure, but they require maintenance as well. If they are not being looked after properly, they might wear down and will never be able to ride ever again in the future. 

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