An easy way to remember the items to inspect is the phrase “START-GO.”
Steering and Drive System
- Drive chain: Check your owner’s manual for proper adjustment. Inspect and lubricate the chain regularly.
- Drive shaft: Check for leaks, and consult your manual for proper lubricant levels.
- Handlebars (or steering wheel) and footrests: Shake to make sure they’re secure.
Throttle and Brakes
- Throttle: Make sure it operates smoothly. On an ATV, the throttle should snap back to idle.
- Ignition switch: Check for wear and proper operation.
- Engine stop switch: Test operation.
- Brakes: Test to make sure controls operate smoothly. Check and maintain fluid levels.
- Foot shifter: Make sure it’s attached firmly and positioned for safe operation.
- Headlights and taillights: Turn them on.
- Brake lights: Press the brake, and make sure the brake lights illuminate.
- Confirm that your registration is current.
- Make sure your Arizona OHV decal (or reciprocating state sticker) is attached.
Tires, Wheels, and Suspension
- Always use a low-pressure tire gauge to check tire pressure on ATVs and UTVs.
- Make sure pressure is equal on all tires. Do not exceed design specifications.
- Check for damage that could cause air leaks.
- Axle nuts: Make sure they’re tight and secured by cotter pins.
- Bearings: Try to rock the wheel on its axle to check for wear.
- Spark arrestor/muffler: Make sure it’s attached firmly and working properly.
- Major fasteners: Periodically tighten all major fasteners with hand tools.
Gasoline and Oil
- Gasoline: Make sure the tank is full.
- Oil: Check while the engine is off and the vehicle is on a level surface.
- Leaks: Check for fuel or oil leaks.
- Air filter: Make sure it’s clean, undamaged, and unblocked.
- Spark plugs: Replace if necessary.
Operate Safely, Ethically, and Responsibly
Off-roading puts a strain on your vehicle, so it’s important to perform the scheduled maintenance recommended in your owner’s manual. You can avoid a breakdown and possible injury.