ATV Spring Maintenance: Polaris
By Midwest Traction on August 20, 2017
I finally started my spring maintenance ritual on our four-wheelers. First, I worked on our Polaris Sportsman 500 ATV; it needed a new battery and an oil change, followed by routine maintenance and inspection to ensure it's ready for riding season.
Last time, we had to use the pull cord to start the motor. The battery warning light would flash until the engine had been running long enough to charge. We decided to purchase a new battery, but the owner’s manual didn't provide tips for changing it. I decided to remove the seat to access the battery in its compartment. Then I removed the battery cables. Remember to remove the negative (ground) cable first and the positive second.
Re-installing the battery requires reversing the removal process. I put the battery in the tray under the rear fender, and connected the positive cable followed by the negative. I replaced the protective cover and attached the rubber cord. Once secured, I put the seat back.
Time for a Change
Performing an oil and filter change on the Polaris ATV was relatively easy. I located the oil plug on the bottom side of the motor, loosened the filter cap and removed the plug. While the oil drained, I prepared the special oil filter socket I purchased for this task. Applying a light amount of oil to the rubber gasket allows it to detach easily from the filter for the next oil change. Upon completion, I removed the filter letting it drain into my catch basin. I added the new filter and two quarts of oil to complete the task.
Other Items to Check
I checked the coolant level; this is important to boost endurance in the face of high-altitude summer days. The disc breaks, suspension, cables, and levers all received examination to make sure they met my standards. Last, but certainly not least, I checked my Carlisle ATV tire pressure.
All done, it took about an hour of my Sunday; that is all it takes in order prevent problems in the middle of an epic trail ride. The battery is not an issue that needs to be addressed every spring; it just happened to be in need of replacement this year. Make sure the oil and filter get changed at least once a year. Checking the fluid levels, tires, cables, and brakes should be something the ATV operator should do every time the quad goes out onto the trails. Simple checks save money on costly repairs. As always, be safe, and enjoy your ride.