Hearing Noises? How to Address Abnormal Sounds Coming From Your ATV/UTV
If you own an ATV or UTV, it’s inevitable that as your machine gets older it’ll start to show signs of wear and tear, both internally and externally. Even if you are keeping up on the standard methods of upkeep, your vehicle is bound to begin showing its age at some point. One particular aspect of off-road vehicles showing their age involves hearing unwanted noises. You’ve probably heard weird sounds coming from a car or truck that you’ve driven at some point. Off-road vehicles are certainly not immune to this. As you can understand, it can become extremely annoying as these strange clicking, grinding, or humming noises increase in volume and frequency. If you’re experiencing a noise like this, it is more than likely that a damaged or worn out component of your UTV/ATV is the cause. We’d like to provide you with some helpful ATV maintenance tips to arm you with knowledge that is likely to come in handy one day as an owner of an off-road vehicle.
First: wheel bearings
All four wheels of your UTV or ARV have their own wheel bearings which are each protected by simple seals. When these seals come into constant contact with mud, dirt, or sand from the trails you ride (especially in conjunction with moisture), this can lead to certain bearings opening up which is not good. This renders them vulnerable and exposed to debris, water, and other materials which can further damage internal aspects of the vehicle. In some cases, this can cause serious damage. If you’re carrying even a mildly heavy load, in addition to the body weight of a driver and passengers, and you here unusual sounds coming from your machine, there’s a good chance that it could be the wheel bearings acting up. It’s actually quite easy to diagnose this potential problem. Find the means to raise the UTV/ATV off the ground so that you can spin each wheel individually, listening for which wheel has the bearings that are making the noise. It’ll be obvious.
Second: suspension attachment points
A piece called a bushing (or steel space) keep the frame attached to the rear and front arms of the suspension. Now, your particular make or model of UTV/ATV may or may not have bushings as they are not standard across all companies who build and manufacture off-road vehicles, but there’s a good chance that yours does. If so, remember that these little guys are prone to getting pretty worn and dry in which cases pieces of mud and dirt get lodged inside them and subsequently cause grinding noises, in most cases. If you’re unwanted noise is of the grinding variety, perhaps check the suspension attachment points first and foremost. A lot of the time, a standard cleaning and a bit of grease can quickly solve this. This is an easily-executable ATV maintenance tip.
Third: steering components
Tie rod ends are another internal component of off-road vehicles that often see significant wear as time progresses forward. When these start wearing down, it’s almost a guarantee that a noise will result. Partially sealed in grease cups, tie rods are a very important piece to the UTV/ATV steering puzzle. When the grease inside these grease cups begin to deplete, an annoying screeching sound is usually the result. The tie rods are largely responsible for the directional changes you make as your hands and arms move the handlebars left to right. Definitely check the tie rods if you feel like the steering doesn’t feel right; if it feels loose or sloppy.
There are definitely more ATV maintenance tips that we could include here that pertain to strange noises emanating from you off-road vehicle. We’ll post more in the future for sure, but remember these ones when your out and about on your ATV or UTV.
How to Address Abnormal Sounds Coming From Your ATV/UTV