Like owning a daily driver, side-by-side owners must practice preventative maintenance if the vehicle is going to remain in good working order. And side-by-sides (also called UTVs) that have been in storage for a long while will require closer inspection, because after some time in non-operational status, a UTV can settle—tires will go flat, parts will corrode and cables will fray. With this in mind, here are a few preventative maintenance tips for side by sides in Treasure Coast, FL.
Change the oil and filters
First, only use the type of engine oil recommended for your side-by-side, such as oil made for engines that are subject to heavy use at high temperatures. You can find this information in your owner’s manual or by contacting a local side-by-side dealer. Because having good, clean oil is important to the performance of your UTV, take a minute to check the oil before every use and change it regularly. And because your vehicle is an off-roader picking up dirt and dust, replace the oil and air filters at every oil change.
Look the battery over
Whether you drive it all the time or don’t touch it for a few months, your side-by-side’s battery may be quick to lose its charge, which is not unusual. The battery power begins to drain as soon as the engine is turned on, but a charge can also drop simply by sitting cold and unused over winter. For thorough maintenance, check the battery often for corrosion around connectors, dripping down the sides or crusting around wires. If the battery still works, clean it off with a strong brush, and then consider coating terminals with an approved gel to stave off further corrosion.
Inspect the brakes
Brake system maintenance is key for safe and reliable side by sides in Treasure Coast, FL. If your brakes are not working properly, have sustained damaged or you’ve ignore signs of impending problems, you might end up paying expensive replacement costs—or worse, you and your passengers could get injured while out on a ride. Even if you are not too familiar with the mechanics, there are some checks you can perform—like inspecting the brake fluid level, seeing if the pedals feel soft, noticing whether the vehicle is jumpy when stopping and keeping an ear out for squeaking or scraping pads.
Take your UTV to the pros
Doing your own maintenance is a must, but you should also plan to take your side-by-side to a professional shop for an annual top-to-bottom inspection, as a shop has the right tools to take apart your UTV for a close-up look. This is especially important after your UTV has been covered away in storage during the offseason, since fluids can dry up and components can get a bit stiff from lack of use.
If service is needed for your side by sides in Treasure Coast, FL, contact the team at Treasure Coast Honda Kawasaki today and we will get you in touch with our service department—you’ll be back out riding in the great outdoors in no time!