Tips for Keeping Your ATV Running in Hot Weather

ATV and UTV cooling systems are often neglected, but can create major engine failures

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Here's how to keep your machine cool when the weather is hot.Stephen Maturen

Many things can happen to your machine during the summer working schedule while preparing food plots or exploring potential hunt locations. One thing that gets very little attention is the cooling system of your machine. If you fail to clean or service this system, you will find that your biggest tool for the season will quit on you in a boiling heap.

If you ride in the rain or mud and happen to dip off in a big mud bog, you will find that that same mud and debris will collect in the fins of your radiator. This is only one example of issues that contribute to the failure of vital engine components. So, here are three more items to keep in mind as you prepare for the season.

1. Radiator: Hidden under the plastics in the front of your machine is the biggest cooling component for the engine. The type of terrain you ride in determines just how dirty or clogged the radiator can get. Riding in fields of long wheat straw or saw grass and even cattails can add small buds and weeds to the surface of aluminum fins. With plenty of forward motion and a fan pulling air through the radiator from front to rear, this system can get coated to the point that it starts to cool the fluid inside less and less. Mud is also a part of many trail systems and getting through it means you have more of a chance of getting the muck coated on the radiator. The key to this tip is to take the time each time you ride to be sure the radiator is free of obstructions so it can work properly.

2. Coolant condition: A little less likely to be serviced properly is the actual condition of the coolant itself. Because this fluid is hidden from sight, most will forget to not only check the fluid level but to test the antifreeze for proper function when the temperature gets higher in the engine. It is always good to look into the radiator cap when the engine is cold and a coolant tester can be bought at any auto parts store. Replacement is something that only a trained service mechanic should perform but being informed of its condition is easy for any machine owner.

3. Coolant replacement: In the worst case scenarios where you might ride in constant mud or carry extreme loads of cargo day in and day out, you may consider a coolant replacement. Keeping the temperatures down just insures the life of your engine and this is something you may not know you need until it is too late. Today's automotive coolant is geared to perform to a certain standard and after market performance companies like Evans Coolant have developed a replacement fluid for the extreme conditions. This is always something to consider and it is my personal experience that this coolant works.