If you are thinking about joining the thousands of people around the world who have taken up quad riding, this article looks at common issues that you might encounter from time to time. Like any complex machine, an ATV can develop problems, which might be mechanical or electrical.
With that in mind, here are some of the most common problems with an ATV you might have to deal with at some time in the future.
- Insufficient Battery Power – This is more common than most people would think, and leaving the lights on while the engine is not running is a major cause of a flat battery. Of course, you can bump-start the bike and the battery would charge, or you can remove the battery and recharge it, which would take a couple of hours. There are also great articles that highlight common ATV issues, which is well worth the read.
- Quad Fails to Start – If there is fuel in the tank and enough power in the battery, yet the bike won’t start, the chances are it is an electrical fault, either that or the spark plug needs cleaning and re-gapping, which is a 5-minute job. You can hold the spark plug while it is grounded to a part of the bike, then turn the engine to see if there is a spark, but do not hold the plug itself, otherwise you will get a nasty shock. If there is no spark, then the HT lead might be defective.
- Loss of Power – This would be likely due to a slipping clutch, and when you get a road legal off-road buggy and you ride it hard, the clutch will eventually become worn and slip. The only solution is to have the clutch replaced, which isn’t a major job and any quad repair center could handle such a job. If the engine pitch is higher than usual and you feel a distinct lack of traction, it is likely that the clutch is slipping and you should take the bike to a mechanic for confirmation.
- Tyre Puncture – Obviously, off-road riding comes with its risks and getting a puncture is always a possibility, and most quad accessory stores would be able to replace or repair the tire. You should never try to ride the vehicle with a flat tire, as this could damage the wheel rims and that will mean even more expense. Off-road tires should be very rugged, and it would take something very strong to cause a puncture, and very often, the tire is damaged beyond repair and a new tire is the only option.
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Regular servicing will reduce the risk of any breakdowns, plus the engine oil should be changed every 5,000 miles, or less, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Whether you purchase a new or used quad, it should always be serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, which should ensure that the ATV is always ready for action whenever you feel like taking it for a spin.
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