If you have made the decision to invest in a side-by-side ATV, you might be thinking about buying used to save some money upfront. This is a perfectly reasonable approach, but you need to take the time to be sure of what you are getting. Here are a few of the things that you need to consider as you start shopping for that next great investment.
Check The Oil Condition
The condition of the oil in the side-by-side vehicle is a key indicator of the level of maintenance that's been done on the ATV. It can help you to determine how well the current owner has cared for it. That's why the oil should be one of the first things that you check when you view any possible used side-by-side vehicle. Make sure the oil is clean, clear, and free of any cloudy or dark particles.
While you're evaluating the oil, check the oil filter, too. Make sure that the oil filter isn't visibly old. This helps to set the pattern of maintenance. Even if you don't have the paperwork to show the prior owner's maintenance history, this is a good place to start.
Look At The Coolant
Like any other engine, a side-by-side's engine needs adequate and clean coolant to function properly. If the coolant level is low, that could indicate that the ATV has been run on the trails with insufficient cooling, potentially causing hidden internal thermal damage. If the coolant appears diluted with water, it may have lost much of its lubricating properties, which might also indicate the presence of friction damage and metal particles cycling through the engine.
Inspect The Frame
Since side-by-side ATVs are popular four-wheeling and trail rigs, it's important that you inspect the frame of the ATV closely. Look at the shock tower mounts and the frame rails for any indication of bending or warping. Look at the paint coating on the frame as well, because cracked paint indicates the potential of stress placed on the frame. If the current owners have stressed the ATV on the trail, it's best to bypass it and shop for another one.
Contact a local ATV dealer and find a side-by-side vehicle that fits your needs. The better prepared you are when you start shopping, the better chance you'll have of finding just what you need in the ATVs you look at. If you're considering buying a used side-by-side vehicle for sale, go to websites offering more information.