Side X Side Maintenance

Will your Side X Side UTV make it through the winter?

Is it the end of the season for taking your UTV riding?  This is the best time to have its services performed.

There are usually discounts available to service it in the winter months.

Amsoil has a fuel stabilizer for long term storage, and Amsoil quick shot in case you had to use Ethanol base fuel. When adding the fuel additives, make sure to run the UTV long enough so that it will get all the way through the fuel system in 10 minutes.

The wait times are less to get the UTV serviced, and it will be ready to go as soon as the weather improves.

When springtime comes you won’t miss out on the first rides while waiting up to 6 weeks for service.

I know it is tough to get in the habit of servicing your UTV at the end of the season, but this is, by far, the best time to do it. This way you will know what has been done and what may need to be serviced/repaired after a full season of riding. It includes Polaris, Can-Am, Textron, Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha.

I like getting my Polaris ready in the winter months with any updates and services for the next season of riding. This gives me plenty of time, if parts need ordering, to get the correct ones and then get them installed.

After each season of riding, I am basically ready for a 100- hour service. Even if it is a little shy of the 100 hours, I know that my Polaris will have all new fluids to start the next season. This is like money in the bank.

Too many owners think about their UTV service like their car. They think it was serviced not too long ago, but remember your car is driven on paved roads 99% of the time, and our UTVs are driven on bumpy dirt roads 99% of the time.

Polaris XP 1000

Polaris XP 1000 Ready for winter storage

Textron Arctic Cat

Textron Arctic Cat

Clean your UTV inside and out.

Clean the dirt and grease off of your UTV – this can start the corrosion process, and you have a big investment. This is one of the easiest ways to keep it looking great.

Fuel system.

If you have added Ethanol fuel, make sure to have the additives needed to keep the fuel mixture. This is where I see a lot of problems. People seem to add way more than needed. It serves a purpose to keep the fuel in good shape through one winter, but too much added will start leaving a coating on injectors, fuel pump, etc. Only use exactly what is required for the amount of fuel in the Side x Side.

Amsoil has a fuel stabilizer for long term storage, and Amsoil quick shot in case you had to use Ethanol base fuel. When adding the fuel additives, make sure to run the UTV long enough that it will get all the way through the fuel system in 15-20- minutes as stated in the Polaris owners’ manual.

Drivetrain Fluids

Fluids in UTVs act as a cleaning agent to get all the dirt and debris out of it, along with acids that build up in used oil and will corrode engine parts.  So, changing the fluid removes dirt and debris that may have ended up in it from all the dust and water. Just think about how much dust is on just one mountain or desert ride – it gets everywhere and is almost certainly going to find a way into your drivetrain.


This is a great time to give a complete and thorough check of all suspension and steering to make sure there are no loose parts that will start to become a problem in the future.


Most modern-day UTVs come with shocks that need the proper amount of nitrogen charge. When was the last time you had these checked?  Shocks are one of the most expensive parts on your side x side and get next to zero maintenance. Start with washing off your shocks, then blow them off with compressed air, and then spray them with dry lubricant on the threads.


Check your antifreeze – not only how full it is, but you can buy a $4.00 gauge at the auto parts store to test the strength of the antifreeze.

Air filter

This is the most under-serviced item on the UTV and the most critical component to stop major engine damage in our extreme dirty riding conditions. This is a great time to step up and buy a new air filter.

Air Filter

Don’t let this be your air filter


Remove the battery, clean it off with soapy water, clean the terminals, and keep it inside or use a battery tender. Several UTVs have come into the shop for engine running problems and I found it to be battery terminals corroded to the point that they start losing voltage.


Set air pressure in your tires, and if your UTV stays outside, make sure to cover them up to keep from getting weather -cracked.

Outside Cover

If your UTV stays outside for the winter, make sure you have a waterproof-breathable cover.

One more thing I will do at the end of the season is to pull off the lower skid plate, clean all the dirt and debris off the plates, and reinstall.

Call now to get your side x side in for winter maintenance and be ahead of the crowd next spring!

Until we ride again.