How to Change Oil in an ATV

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It’s time to change the oil in your ATV. If the filter also needs to be changed, there is no better time than while you’re changing the oil. The process of changing the oil, removing the old filter and installing a new one is surprisingly simple. Not only that, you can save a lot of money by doing it yourself. Each ATV is different. Consult the owner’s manual for the mileage and time interval recommended between oil and filter changes.

Things You'll Need

  • Oil and filter—amount and type specified by the ATV manufacturer
  • Gloves
  • Drain pan and funnel
  • Filter wrench and other tools to remove panels
  • Towels or rags
  • Gather the necessary items before you begin changing the oil and filter.

  • Move the ATV to a level area, and leave space around the ATV so you have room to work.

  • Start the ATV and let it run for 3 to 5 minutes. The oil should be warm when you change the ATV’s oil and filter.

  • Remove any panels that are in the way so you can access the filter and oil fill cap. The dipstick is part of the oil fill cap.

  • Locate the drain plug on the underside of the ATV and place the drain pan directly under the drain plug to catch the used oil. Open the drain plug and allow the used oil to drain into the drain pan.

  • Remove the oil filter with the filter wrench while the oil is draining. Clean the mounting surface where the new filter will be attached. Lubricate the gasket of the new filter with oil. Screw the new filter onto the mounting surface by hand. Tighten the filter two complete turns with the filter wrench. The new filter is now installed.

  • Reinstall the drain plug after the oil has finished draining. Remove the drain pan containing the used oil. Dispose of the old oil properly—take it to a recycling center.

  • Place the funnel into the oil fill hole. Pour the manufacturer’s recommended amount of oil into the funnel. Start the ATV and allow it to idle for a few minutes. While the ATV is idling, check for leaks. Turn off the ATV and wait for 3 to 5 minutes.

  • Insert the dipstick completely into the oil fill hole, then remove it. Check the level on the dipstick. The level should read full, or reach the “F” mark. If the level does not read full, add oil until it is full. Replace the oil fill cap when finished.

  • Reattach any panels you may have removed before you began changing the oil and filter, and clean any oil spills or splatters with towels or rags.

Tips & Warnings

  • The ATV motor will be warm. Gloves should always be worn when changing the oil and filter in an ATV.

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