13 Tips For Buying a Used ATV
Whether you’re buying your first atv or just adding another one for the Wife or kids, buying a used atv can make a lot of sense, especially when compared to the price of a new one. Here are 13 tips to use when evaluating a used atv. Used atvs can be a great bargain, but beware. Some owners are just looking to get rid of a lemon or a atv that will be needed major repairs.
Follow these tips to make sure you’re not the one who gets saddled with it!
Check out the tires. Are they worn out? Have the been patched or plugged numerous times?These could be indications of rough use or abuse.
Always take a friend with you when going to look at an used atv. Raise the ATV up if possible to check the underside. Make sure to look at all the shock points and check for any rust or damaged areas. This includes cracks in the frame. Look for signs of fresh paint.This may mean a recent repair.
If you’re buying a used 4×4 atv, check out the cv joint boots. If they are cracked, this can allow water to get inside. This will cause rust and lead to major damage, which leads to major repair cost!
While you down there, check the oil in both differentials. Does it look milky or chocolate colored? This is a sign of water. You can also use this rule of thumb for the engine oil.
Be sure to look at the sprocket or sprockets. If the sprockets are worn on one side or bent, it’s likely time for a new chain and sprocket.
Support the front end with jack stands. Then try to move each front wheel in and out from top to bottom and side to side to check for worn wheel bearings and ball joints. Do the same for the rear.
To check for worn tie rod ends, try and move the handle bars back and forth. There should be little to no play.
Don’t forget to remove the seat and check the air box for dirt and water. This is often overlooked and can be a sign of abuse or lack of maintenance should you find a dirty one.
Use a flashlight to inspect the inside of the gas tank. If there is rust, it could indicate costly engine repairs. And yes, gas tanks rust. By the way, don’t be stupid and use an open flame to try and see into the gas tank. I heard of one story where this happened with bad results!
Turn the lights on/off and make sure all work.
Take the atv for a spin. Does the atv start right up or is it sluggish? Try a few hard stops. Do the brakes function properly? Does it handle well? Look and listen for anything out of place.
Does the exhaust have the spark arrestor in place? Many owners remove these. However, National Forest and other public trails require spark arrestor’s to be in place. Owners without them can be fined and prevented from riding in these places.
What about the body? Is there any damage? Cracked or otherwise damaged body parts will need replacing.
These simple tips will go a long ways in making sure your used atv will give you many good rides and prevent those unexpected repair bills.