ATV Maintenance Made Easy: Schedule & Checklist

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Keeping up with the scheduled maintenance is essential to keep your ATV safe and in working order. It can prolong the life of your ride and save you money by avoiding costly repairs down the road. 

And when it’s time to sell your ATV, having complete service records can boost the resell value. 

You don’t have to be a trained mechanic to keep your ATV well-maintained. All you need are basic mechanical skills, a proper checklist, and a few hours of your time. 

Note: If your ATV is still under warranty, you want to ensure you’re not voiding the warranty by servicing the bike yourself. 

Warning: Service and adjustments are essential for proper vehicle operation. You should seek qualified assistance if you lack knowledge about safe service and adjustment procedures.

How Often Should You Maintain Your ATV?

The frequency of ATV maintenance varies: certain tasks should be done daily before riding, others monthly, and some annually or semi-annually.

Your ATV might have a slightly different service schedule than the one outlined in this guide. You’ll find the specific recommendations for your bike in the owner’s manual.

Generally, people do not maintain their ATVs often enough, and adding an extra oil change to the manufacturer’s minimum requirements only benefits the engine.

Feel free to check out our complete guide on ATV oil change intervals.

Check Daily – Before Each Ride

Attend to the following items daily before you ride:


Ensure the handlebars operate freely in both directions. Ensure the power steering unit (if equipped) is clean and works properly.

Front & Rear Suspension

Inspect shocks and springs for damage and ensure fasteners are tight. Lubricate if necessary.


Inspect for wear, leaks, or other damage. Inspect tire pressure and adjust if necessary. 

Wheels & Fasteners

Inspect the wheels and ensure the rims are not damaged. Ensure all fasteners are tight and not missing. 

Also, ensure the wheel beadlock bolts are tightened (if equipped).

Brake Fluid

Ensure the brake fluid level in the brake fluid reservoir is between min and max. Add brake fluid if necessary. 

Brake Lever & Foot Brake

Check controls for smooth operation, engagement point, and position.

Brake Lines and Hydraulic Hoses

Check for leaks or wear. Repair before riding if damaged. 

Engine Oil Level

Remove the dipstick to ensure the oil level is between min and max.

Nuts, Bolts & Fasteners

Ensure all critical fasteners on the engine, frame suspension, and undercarriage are tight and not missing. 

Air Filter

Inspect the pre-filter, clean it often, and replace it when necessary. Inspect the main air filter element and replace it when necessary. I like the filters from KN Filters.

Note: Daily air filter maintenance is usually only necessary when riding in severe dusty conditions, like on dry sand, dirt, or gravel roads. When riding in non-dusty conditions, monthly air filter checks are usually sufficient. 

Airbox Sediment Tube

Inspect for deposits and drain when necessary. 


Ensure the coolant level in the coolant reservoir tank is between the minimum and maximum mark.

After 25 Hours or 1 Month or 250 Mi / 400 Km

Attend to the following items after the break-in period, whichever comes first 25 hours of run time, 1 Month of use, or 250miles / 400 km riding distance:

Engine Oil & Filter

Replace the engine oil and filter for the break-in oil change.

Font & Rear Differentials

This applies to all gear cases other than the transmission gear case. Other names include gear case, demand drive, or final drive. 

Inspect the oil level and look for signs of contamination. 


Check the transmission oil level and look for signs of contaminants. 

Some ATVs have a magnet on the tip of the inspection plug to collect metal particles. A small amount of fine metal particles from the gears and close-fitted parts setting in is normal. Larger pieces of metal in the oil should be consulted with the dealer.

Every 25 Hours or Monthly or 250 Mi – 400 Km

Attend to the following items every 25 hours of run time, 1 Month of use, or 250 miles / 400 km riding distance – whichever comes first. 


Ensure battery connections are clean and tight. Check the battery’s state of charge (SOC) and recharge with an external battery charger if below 75% (12.4V).

Brake Pads

Inspect for wear. Replace if necessary.

Fuel System

Cycle the key on and off a couple of times to pressurize the electric fuel pump (if available). Inspect fuel lines and fittings for leaks or signs of abrasion from rubbing. 

It is recommended to replace the fuel lines every two years.

Engine Breather Filter

Inspect the engine breather filter (if equipped). Clean if necessary. 

Every 50 Hours or 6 Months or 500 Mi / 800 Km

Attend to the following items every 50 hours of run time, 6 Months of use, or 500 miles / 800 km riding distance – whichever comes first. 

Air Filter

Inspect and clean the pre-filter and replace it if necessary. Inspect the main air filter element and replace it if necessary. 

Front & Rear Differentials

This applies to all gear cases other than the transmission gear case. Other names include gear case, demand drive, or final drive. 

Inspect the oil level and look for signs of contamination. 

Note: Some manufacturers recommend replacing the gear case oil every 25 hours if the ATV is subject to severe use.

Air Intake

Inspect the throttle body air intake duct/rubber boot for proper sealing: Thoroughly inspect the rubber boot for signs of cracking. 

Use a flashlight; beginning cracks can be hard to notice. Replace damaged parts. 


Check the transmission oil level and look for signs of contaminants. 

Front & Rear Drive Shaft

Inspect the rubber boots for tears or abrasions. Replace damaged boots to prevent premature joint wear. 

Check the joints for play. Replace if necessary. 

Wheel Bearings

Check for abnormal play. Jack up the ATV, grab the wheels at 12 and 6 o’clock and rock back and forth to feel for abnormal wheel bearing play. Some play is normal, even in newer ATVs. 

Turn the wheels to ensure they turn smoothly with no drag. 

Tie Rod Ends & Ball Joints

Inspect the rubber boots for damage and check the joints for play. Replace if necessary. 

Shift Linkage

Check for wear and damage. Adjust if necessary and lubricate when required. 

CVT Air Filter

Inspect and clean the CVT air filter/screen (if equipped). Replace if necessary. 

Drive Belt

Remove the belt cover to check the condition of your ATV’s belt.

Look for signs of wear, glazing (which indicates slipping), or issues caused by poor adjustment. It should be replaced if the belt displays excessive wear or deterioration due to age.

Check this guide to learn how to test belt deflection and other causes that can lead to belt squealing.  


Inspect coolant strength before the winter season. Replace the coolant if it is out of spec.

General Lubrication

Greasing points vary, but common lubrication points include:

  • Front and rear drive shaft joints.
  • Front & rear suspension arms and shock absorber bearings. 
  • Stabilator bar bushings. 
  • Steering system.
  • Bushings and fittings in general.
  • The chain and sprockets on chain-drive ATVs. 

Also, use a suitable cable lubricant to lubricate mechanical steel cables, such as the throttle cable or brake wires. 

Every 100 Hours or 12 Months or 1000 Mi / 1600 Km

Attend to the following items every 100 hours of run time, 12 Months of use, or 1000 miles / 1600 km riding distance – whichever comes first. 

Engine Oil Change

Change the oil and filter. Check out our step-by-step guide on how to change your ATV oils.  

Oil Lines & Fasteners

Inspect for leaks, kinked hoses, or loose fittings. 

Transmission / Gearbox

Change transmission fluid.

Front & Rear Differentials

Change the gear oil.


Inspect for damage. Remove the radiator screen for cleaning. Clean the external surfaces of the radiator using a garden hose. 

Note: Do not clean the radiator using a pressure washer, as it will damage the aluminum cooling fins. 

Pressure test the radiator to check for leaks. To do this procedure, you need a radiator pressure test tool.

Cooling Hoses

Inspect for leaks and kinks restricting coolant flow. If the lines show signs of the rubber beginning to harden, it is best to replace them before they break. 

Brake System

Inspect the brake lines and hoses system for leaks, wear, or damage. Replace damaged parts. 

Clean the brake calipers using brake cleaner. Re-apply grease to the slider pins, but be careful not to get grease on the brake pads or brake disks. 

Engine Mounts

Inspect the rubber engine mounts to ensure the fasteners are tight and the rubber is not beginning to crack. Replace if necessary. 

Exhaust Pipe & Muffler

Inspect for leaks, damages, excessive corrosion, or loose fasteners. Replace if necessary.

Remove and clean the spark arrestor using a torch before reinstalling. This is why the exhaust needs a need spark arrestor.

Also, inspect the exhaust system heat shields to ensure they are not damaged or missing.

Spark Plug

Remove the plug and inspect the firing end for signs of spark plug fouling. If the plug is black, it’s a sign of an internal oil leak; if it’s white, it’s a sign of a coolant leak. 

A healthy plug should be light brown. 

Replace the plug if necessary and troubleshoot the underlying issue if the plug shows signs of significant fouling. 

General Wiring

Inspect the wiring harness for wear, damaged cable insulation, or improper and unsafe routing. 

Ensure all connectors are appropriately fastened and apply dielectric grease to the connectors to prevent corrosion and connection issues. 

CVT Clutches

Remove the clutch cover and inspect the drive and driven clutches. This only applies to ATVs with a CVT transmission. 

Clean the clutches if necessary and replace worn or damaged parts. Lubricate the pulley bearings, but ensure not to get lubricant on the clutch plate surfaces. 

Less Frequent Service Items

Some Items need to be serviced at less frequent intervals or when deemed necessary by the operator.

Brake Fluid

Change the brake fluid every two years or any time the fluid looks dark or contaminated/foggy.


Change the coolant every 8000Mi / 12.000Km or five years, whichever comes first. This is how you perform a coolant flush.

Valve Clearance

Inspect the valve clearance every 500 hours and adjust if it is out of spec. Unless you’re an experienced mechanic, this job is best left to a professional. 

Spark Plugs

Replace the spark plugs every 200 hours. 

Toe Alignment

The toe alignment determines the angle of the front wheels relative to the rear wheels. If you’re having problems with the ATV pulling to the left or right or excessive front tire wear, you should check the toe alignment and adjust it according to the spec.

Headlight Aim

Inspect the headlight aim from time to time to ensure it’s not directed too high or low. Adjust as needed. 


Maintain as needed. Proper winch maintenance is essential to avoid severe injury or death. That is why we’ve dedicated an entire post on ATV winch maintenance.

Generic ATV Periodic Maintenance Checklist

ATV maintenance schedule checklist

This maintenance checklist is based on various user manuals from well-known ATV manufacturers and is not specific to any ATV brand or model. 

It does not replace the maintenance schedule in the ATV’s owner’s manual, but if you don’t have it, this checklist makes a good substitute and is undoubtedly much better than not performing any maintenance. 

Related: All You Need to Know About Rotating ATV Tires

Haavard Krislok
Haavard Krislok
Haavard Krislok is an ATV and off-road enthusiast with a rich background spanning two decades in owning, maintaining, repairing, and utilizing ATVs for farming, logging, and hunting. Outside his professional life as an engineer and project manager, he cherishes recreational trail riding and is the creative force behind, serving as its owner, editor, and content creator.

Welcome to Boost ATV

Hi, I’m Haavard, the guy behind Boost ATV.  I made this site to share what I have learned as an avid ATV owner and enthusiast. I hope it can help boost your ATV experience! About Me