I have been working and servicing side X sides for almost eight years now, and with this experience, I get to see what kind of problems are some of the most expensive to fix and some of the least amount of maintenance performed.
From the beginning of the Polaris RZR 800, there has been one expensive problem that shows up time and time again. Oh, did I tell you it is a $2500.00 repair that you just purchased without even knowing it had this problem, and the expense just skyrockets on your newer and larger UTVs.
It is the air filter system in every side x side out there! This is probably the #1 lack of maintenance on the UTVs that come in the shop. They come in completely filled with dirt to a point where I wonder how does the engine even runs, especially the RZR 800s. In fact, the early 800s would plug up so bad, it would just suck the filter into the intake until the dirt just shot through to the intake.
The newer Polaris and Can-Ams are a better system, but they are still way underserviced so badly that there is probably 50% blockage of the air filter, and… Come on… the air filter can only do so much before it will either start letting dirt past or cause a lack of power due to low airflow.
When dirt gets past your air filter, it goes straight through the throttle bodies and directly into the engine pistons and rings, causing scars on the cylinder walls and wear on the rings. When this happens, your side x side starts burning oil constantly, and you eventually have to rebuild the top end of your engine. That is when the big money is pulled out…. $2500-$6500.00 is not unheard of.
After seeing this on a weekly basis, I had taught myself to pull out my air filter after every ride and service the filter and the housing. This seems like a lot of work and time, but I have never had to shell out $7,000 to rebuild my engine and that, my friend, buys a lot of fun!
I had taught my riding friend, Pat, to do the same maintenance on his Polaris to help him make sure he does not damage his engine and we hopefully would have trouble- free riding. This included removing the filter and carefully blowing it out with an Air Comb tool and cleaning the inside of the intake housing after every ride. The manufacture tells you not to blow out the air filters because you could damage the fibers, and I agree if you blow too hard and ruin the filter you could cause engine damage. I know how much air I need to blow through the filter and not cause damage. In this business, how much damage are you doing running with your air filter just packed with fine dust?
Then one day Pat came in with a new Particle separator for his Polaris XPT that he had just bought, and we installed it onto the UTV…it looked like something from the space age.
At the time I thought I would just keep servicing my Polaris after every ride and not spend the extra money on this accessory.
It just happened that we had a ride planned to go into the mountains by Strawberry Reservoir in Utah that next weekend. We had both our Polaris air intakes and filters serviced and looking like new.
It had been another extremely dry summer in the mountains that year so we knew to make sure we all had masks and goggles for the ride.
We went on a ride for five hours that day, and Pat followed me with his side x side the whole day. When we got back to the trucks to clean up before heading home, we all were covered in a layer of dust!
The next day we both took off our air filter covers, and the picture below shows the story.
Pat’s Polaris XPT filter and housing looked just like he had serviced and cleaned it up, whereas my Polaris filter and housing had turned completely brown, and the air filter was in need of cleaning out now.
After seeing this in person, knowing where and how long we had been riding, I knew that this accessory was going to keep the XPT engine in top shape and at the same time making less work after every ride!
The next week I had installed the S & B Particle separator on my own Polaris.
I still clean my filter out several times a year to make sure everything is working properly, and it only cleans out 95% of the dirt. So, sooner or later you will have to clean out the 5% still getting through.
This accessory is one of the most proven and best preventive maintenance installed on my side x side that I am sure will help keep my engine running strong and hard possibly up to 10,000 miles!
There is some noise from the motor that is blowing out the dust to the rear, but this is a small price to pay for keeping your $7,000 engine in top shape.
Look at it several different ways
- Time savings on day to day trips
- Money saved because of fewer repairs
- Less time spent in the repair shop and more time riding.
Let me know if I can install one of these S&B Particle separators on your Side x side.
Until we ride again.
Owner of UTV Service specializing in shocks and suspension.
I have always loved making cars and now UTV’s run and handle there best. I do not believe in taking short cuts and when something comes along that does not fit my values I will not sell or back that product.
Business owner for over 35 years. 3-Time Nascar short track champion at our local race track Rocky Mountain Raceway in Salt Lake City, Utah
2017 Polaris XPT 2-Seat Turbo-Current
2015 Polaris XP1000 -Sold
2011 Polaris RZR 800- Sold