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Here is a great article:

Winterizing Your ATV

By Doug Morris

If you take some steps before putting your ATV away for the winter it will be a lot easier to start it up and get riding later.

First, do some major cleaning, top to bottom. That means every little nook and cranny. You're going to need a good cleaner, scrub brushes and a lot of elbow grease, but it will be worth it.

Make sure you wash underneath also. Turn off the gas, set the parking brake and have a friend help you stand the ATV up. It should support itself on the rear grab bar or rack.

Once you're done cleaning your machine, dry it off and spray everything down with WD40 or equivalent. This will displace those little drops of water that are hiding and will prevent rust from forming.

Second, grab a pen and paper and carefully inspect your entire machine, writing down things that you need to fix or replace. Make a list of what you need to do and keep it with the ATV.

Make sure the lights are working, and all the wiring, levers, cables, etc. on the machine are in good shape.

If you have a 4x4, carefully inspect the rubber CV boots for any cracks or tears. If you find anything suspicious, replace the boots. Water trapped inside will cause you big heartache later.

Also, make sure you check the front and rear differentials. Are they full? What color is the oil? If the oil looks like chocolate milk that means it's contaminated with water and you should change it immediately. Change your engine oil and filter as well.

If your ATV has a drive chain, check to see whether the sprocket teeth are showing wear. If so, order a new chain and sprocket set now—don't just change the chain. But if everything looks good you can just give the chain a good lube job.

Pay special attention to where two sections are welded together when you inspect the frame, A-arms and swingarm. If you see any little rusty lines, then you should take it to a welder before the cracks get worse or break while you are riding.

Finally, with your ATV off the ground on jack stands or a hydraulic ATV jack, grab each front wheel at the top and bottom and check to see that wheel and A-arm bearings aren't wobbling around. Do the same with the rear wheels, checking the swingarm and axle bearings.

Third, take care of your fuel or you'll be sorry later with gummed up carbs. One way to handle this is to add a fuel stabilizer, following the instructions. Another option is to turn the gas off and run your ATV until it starts to sputter, and then engage the choke to burn the last bits of remaining fuel. Don't do that in an enclosed garage!

Fourth, you'll also need to pay attention to your electrical stuff before you put your ATV away for the winter.

Find your battery, which is normally under the seat. Clean the battery terminals and connect a trickle charger. If you let the battery go dead from not being used, it could die for good and you'll have to buy another battery. In inexpensive charger will keep your battery working longer, and your ATV will start in the spring.

Doug Morris is director of the All-Terrain Vehicle Association and has a lot of experience prepping his ATVs for long, cold winters in Colorado and Ohio.

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Step One

Wash your ATV. Scrub every inch. Use an old toothbrush to reach tight areas. Mud and oil can eat away at surfaces over time. Good ATV maintenance involves thoroughly cleaning your ATV before storing it for the winter. As an added protection, hand wax your ATV once it's dry.

Step Two

Change the oil and filters. This keeps excess dirt from settling in your engine.

Step Three

Put gas stabilizer into the fuel tank and top the tank off with fresh gas. For best results, use premium gasoline. Run the ATV for a few minutes to allow the stabilizer to work through the carburetor. Shut off the motor and turn off the gas valve. Oil the chain.

Step Four

Disconnect and pull out the battery. Charge it if necessary, and clean the terminals. Store the battery in a location where it cannot freeze. A heated breezeway is preferable to a cold garage. It's important to keep the battery stored out of the reach of children. Battery acid is dangerously corrosive. Store your ATV's battery on a high shelf or locked in a cabinet. Do not store it directly on concrete. Concrete causes power drain in batteries.

Step Five

Push the ATV into a shed or garage. Do not store ATV's outside in winter climates. Place the ATV up on blocks and fill the tires to the correct psi to keep them from weather cracking. Expensive jack stands aren't necessary; cinder blocks or heavy plastic milk crates work just fine.

Step Six

Cap the exhaust. To a mouse, it looks like a fine winter hidey hole.

Step Seven

Tarp the ATV to keep excess dust and vermin away. If desired, leave an open can of auto wax on the floor under the tarp. The smell repels mice, chipmunks and other small pests.

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