UTV Maintenance Tips: Adding LED Lights / Inspecting the Steering
In this edition of UTV maintenance tips, we address adding LED lights to your UTV as well as why checking your steering often is important.
Part 1: Adding LED lights to your off-road vehicle
Because of the size and power difference, the amount of battery juice that a UTV consumes gets depleted quite a bit faster than a standard road vehicle. One strange related trend that exists among off-road vehicle owners is installing massive lights onto the machine. From a power standpoint, this will drain the core of a sufficient system in no time at all. It’s difficult to understand why consumers would consider this “upgrade” when LED lights are readily available and extremely affordable. They last longer than standard lighting systems and use much less power overall. This opens up the door to all sorts of the other options, including adding additional accessories that use power.
Traditional halogen lighting was once the most efficient way to go when it came to every kind of vehicle lighting, but technology has advanced and halogen is no longer the best option. The juice-depleting nature and recognizable amber glow characteristics of halogen lights have been (or should be) replaced with LED. LEDs use far less power, for one. This will free up the room (aka juice) so that you can get that other accessory that you just haven’t had the power capabilities to get. LEDs also give you a wide range of color options. Some come with brightness settings, multicolor settings, timer settings, and more. And second, they’re affordable! They are almost always cheaper than any other option.
Part 2: Habitually check your steering
It’s absolutely essential for any UTV owner to check their steering on a regular basis. Things like wheel bearings, ball joints, and tie rod ends quickly wear down if you’re using your machine a lot. If you’re not already, we recommend getting into the habit. Here is a list of instructions on how to go about inspecting the front of your vehicle.
-Find a place in your driveway or garage that is level, get some wheel chocks and put them behind the rear wheels so that the vehicle doesn’t roll away.
-Jack the vehicle up from the front near the center of the chassis. The flattest part of the chassis needs to be the place where you put the jack. The wheels need to be able to spin freely so the wheels only need to be a little bit off the ground.
-Place your hands in the 3 and 9 o’clock positions on the wheel. Simulate actual turning by pushing the wheel to the back and front and pay close attention to any looseness. It’s possible that some tie rod ends have worn if you feel that one of the wheels is moving a bit before the other.
-Now put your hand on the wheel at the 12 o’clock position while at the same time pushing the top in. This should make the wheel bearings that are loose reveal themselves. If you feel any movement at all while putting pressure at the 12 o’clock position, there’s a very good chance that you’ve got yourself a wheel bearing issue. Finally, the ball joints must be tested. These are important because wheel hub arms are held up by them. Look closely at the ball joints while pushing in, both on the bottom and top of the wheel. The loose ones will reveal themselves if there are any.
Adding LED Lights / Inspecting the Steering
UTV Maintenance Tips