ATV Engine Oil Change: Step-by-Step Guide and Tips

Have you ever thought about skipping the oil change for your ATV’s engine, thinking it’s too complicated? You’re not alone; many feel the same way. At first, changing the oil in your ATV might look daunting, but with a thorough guide and practical tips, it becomes an easy job. This article is designed to walk you through each step with care, helping to reduce your trips to the mechanic and save you some money. Get ready: straightforward maintenance starts here!

Key Takeaways

  • Oil changes are key for an ATV’s health. Regular changes make your ride smoother and save fuel too.
  • Doing an oil change isn’t hard! With the right tools like a drain pan, socket wrench, and clean rags, you can do it yourself.
  • Changing your own oil saves money. It helps you know your ATV better. This can be good for fixing other problems in the future.
  • The kind of oil to use matters. Always pick what the maker of the ATV says to use. Using the right one keeps your engine happy!
  • Don’t forget to check for leaks after changing oil! Look at where the plug and filter are for any drip spots.

Importance of regular ATV engine oil changes

Keeping your ATV’s engine oil fresh is key to a long, happy life for your ride. It lets the parts of your engine run smooth and easy. By boosting its performance, it also makes every gallon of fuel go further.

If we miss oil changes too often, our ATVs can’t do their best work. They might even break down! No matter the model or how we use them, all ATVs need new oil about once a year or every 100 hours of riding time.

Plus, taking care of this on our own shakes off the cost and wait time at a shop!

Benefits of DIY oil changes

Changing the oil in your ATV yourself has many perks. You will save money this way, because you won’t have to pay someone else to do it for you. Doing it on your own also means you know exactly how the job gets done.

This gives you a better idea of what’s going into your vehicle’s engine and helps with future fixes too! DIY oil changes are great for off-road vehicles like ATVs, helping them run smoother and longer.

Over time, taking care of your own oil change can add years to your ATV’s life. So why not give it a try? It’s easy, cheap, and very helpful for keeping our rides in top shape!

Overview of ATV oil change process

Changing oil in an ATV is not hard. It looks like changing car oil but simpler. We start by taking out the drain plug. Then we let the old, dirty oil flow into a pan below. After all the used oil drains, we take off and throw away the old filter.

Putting in new oil comes next after replacing the filter. We do this through a funnel to avoid spills and messes that can harm our ATVs engine parts. Finally, checking for leaks ensures that everything is done right with no loose ends left behind!

A skilled mechanic working on an ATV engine in a garage.

Let’s talk about the nuts and bolts of ATV oil changes. It might seem like a task best left to mechanics, but changing your engine oil can be a breeze! Plus, doing this routine maintenance at home saves you time and money.

First up – gather your gear. You will need a drain pan, socket wrench, oil filter wrench, funnel, rubber gloves and some clean rags. These tools help make sure no mess is made during the process.

Next step: get your ATV ready for an oil change. Position it so that it’s steady on level ground. This prevents leaks or spills when draining the old oil and adding in new one.

Now we’re onto the real work; draining the old engine oil! Find two bolts under your ATV’s engine meant for this purpose. Remove them carefully to allow all old oil to flow out into your drain pan.

With older oils out of the way let’s dive into replacing the existing filter with its fresh counterpart using our trusty oil filter wrench! Once done with replacement don’t forget checking if our engines are leak proof before moving ahead!

Last part of our process remains as simple as pouring fresh potion – I mean new engine oil; not forgetting close observation over levels on dipstick inspection though keeping them optimal as always!

Having said that don’t overlook some handy tips ensuring both longevity & performance stay intact making these DIY sessions worth every ounce of effort put in: Always choose recommended type & weight for oils since there isn’t any one size fits all solution here except what’s preferably suggested by manufacturers themselves! And remember never ever overfill those tanks nor dump off used stuff improperly – do right by both machine & Mother Nature alike!

Lastly answering questions ticking away inside heads from frequency of changes till handling costs or subsequent consequences if regularity goes missing amid choosing between car versus transmission oils for such tasks! Topics pretty vast yet answer remains same i.e., prioritizing care above cost always keeping in mind no expense spared ultimately ensures longevity of ATVs if not entirely then surely a huge chunk from it!

We hope this guide proves helpful to all ATV Riders out there. Whether you are an everyday rider or enjoy your ATV on weekends, knowing how to change oil will make you self-reliant and keep your vehicle in top shape!

Tools and Supplies You Will Need

Workbench with neatly arranged tools and supplies, creating a productive workspace.

To get started with your ATV oil change, you’ll need a few key tools and supplies. Grab yourself a good drain pan to catch the old oil, along with both a socket wrench and an oil filter wrench for access.

A funnel will keep things tidy when adding new oil. Don’t forget rubber gloves to protect your hands and clean rags for any spills or wipe downs. Now that you’re all geared up, you’re ready to tackle the task at hand!

Drain pan

We need a drain pan for the ATV oil change. It goes under the ATV to catch old oil. This stops any mess or spills on the ground. Always use a clean drain pan each time we change oil.

This makes sure we contain all the old oil well. We can also get rid of the old oil in the right way with a drain pan.

Socket wrench

You need a socket wrench for this job. It does good work in tight spots. The socket wrench takes off the drain plug to let old oil out. No more dirty hands or hard twists! We also use it to take off the oil filter if your ATV has one.

Right tools make all jobs easy and clean, just like our trusty socket wrench here! Do not forget to follow what the maker of your ATV says. Each ATV is different so look at your manual before you start.

Oil filter wrench

We use an oil filter wrench to take out the old oil filter. This tool fits onto the end of the filter. It lets us grip and turn it easily. Some ATV riders might try to do this with their hands.

But, they will often find it too tight or slippery due to oil leaks. An oil filter wrench can save a lot of time and effort!


A funnel is a key tool that can make your ATV oil change task simple and mess-free. It guides the new oil right into the tank without spills happening. One handy option is the Form-A-Funnel® Draining Tool.

This funnel flexes, bending to fit any space, making it super easy to pour in oil. For something larger like a sub-transmission oil change on Honda Pioneer 1000 models, you will need about 1.27 US quarts of specified oil—again, using a proper funnel makes this job smooth and neat! So, always keep this useful tool ready for your ATV maintenance tasks.

Rubber gloves

Rubber gloves are crucial for an ATV oil change. They keep your hands clean from old and new oil. Dirty engine oil can harm your skin over time. Gloves also give you a better grip on slippery tools and parts like the wrench or oil filter.

Always wear them when doing an ATV engine oil change to stay safe and clean.

Clean rags

Clean rags are a must for any ATV oil change. They keep things neat and tidy while we work on the engine. We use them to wipe down the area where the oil-filter gasket touches the engine.

This keeps dirt or other bits from getting into our machine.

These rags also deal with any spills or drips that happen during an oil switch. It’s easy for a bit of oil to dribble, but a quick swipe with a rag cleans it up fast. Microfiber cleaning cloths, shop towels, or even old terry cloth towels come in handy here! So, let’s grab some clean rags before we start and get this oil change done right!

Step-by-Step Guide for Changing ATV Engine Oil

In this section, we’ll walk through the entire process of an ATV oil change – from positioning your ATV correctly and efficiently draining out old oil to replacing filters and filling up new oil.

We’ll even show you how to spot potential leaks so you can ride with confidence! So grip those wrenches, let’s get our hands dirty together in ensuring the perfect maintenance for our precious ATVs.

Positioning the ATV

First, let’s put the ATV in the right spot. We recommend using a lift or jack. This gives us easy access to all parts of the ATV when it’s time for an oil change. If you have one, use your Mad-Ramps ATV loading system.

It makes this step super quick and easy!

Draining the old oil

We first need to place our ATV on a firm, level ground. Next, we start the engine and let it run for about 10 minutes. This warms up the oil and makes it flow out easier. We then use our socket wrench to loosen the drain plug at the bottom of the engine.

But be careful! Don’t remove it fully yet. Now, slide the drain pan under the ATV so that it’s right beneath this plug. There should also be a hole in your skid plate where you can see this happening better.

Once everything is set up, unscrew that plug by hand and watch as all of those old dirties pour out into your oil pan below!

Replacing the oil filter

You need to remove the old oil filter first. Use a wrench for this job. The way to turn it is anti-clockwise. This step in the oil change process is very important.

Next, get your new oil filter ready. Turn it clockwise as you put it on. It’s easy and quick! Make sure you have an oil drip pan under your ATV while doing this work so no oil spills out and makes a mess.

Adding new oil

Get your new oil ready. Use an oil funnel to make this step easy. Pour the oil into your ATV slowly. Keep track of how much oil you add. Some ATVs need a specific amount, like Chinese 125cc and 110cc ones.

Do not pour too fast or too much at once! Make sure there is enough, but also that it’s not overfilled. Doing this right will keep our ATV running well for many rides to come.

Checking for leaks

Let’s check for leaks next. After putting in the new oil, we need to make sure it stays in! Start your ATV and let it run at idle for about 30 seconds. Look under it to see if any oil is dripping out.

Pay close attention to the area around the oil drain plug and oil filter where leaks often happen. Use a dipstick to verify the right amount of oil is still there after running your vehicle.

If you find small or large spots of fresh engine oil underneath, this can be a sign of some serious issues with your ATV!

Tips for a Successful ATV Oil Change

Ensure the engine is warm before starting, use only oil with the recommended type and weight, don’t overfill the tank, and always dispose of old oil responsibly. We’ll delve deeper into each of these tips in our guide – keep reading to learn more!

Always start with a warm engine

Let’s talk about the engine. A warm engine is always a good start for an oil change. If you plan to change your ATV oil, heat up that engine first! Running your machine for about ten minutes does the job.

A hot motor helps in many ways. First, warm oil flows better and faster than cold ones. It makes draining old oil easy and quick. This trick also gets more dirty oil out of our ATV’s system.

The end result? More room for fresh, clean oil to do its magic! Trust us, it is all worth it!

Use the recommended oil type and weight

Using the right oil is very important for your ATV. Each ATV model needs a certain type and weight of oil. The maker of your ATV tells you what kind to use. If you use this, it will help keep the engine running well for a long time.

Don’t just guess or pick any old oil off the shelf! Making sure we follow these guidelines helps us ride better and longer. It can also stop problems before they start. So let’s do it right, guys! Let’s get that correct oil type and weight every time we change our engine oil!

Don’t overfill the oil tank

Putting too much oil in the tank is bad for your ATV. The engine can’t work right if there’s too much oil. It could cause a mess or damage parts inside. Always check the manual to know how much oil your ATV needs.

Use a dipstick to make sure you don’t add too much. It’s easy and keeps your ATV running good for a long time!

Properly dispose of old oil and filter

We need to be careful with old oil and filters. Don’t put them in the regular trash. This can harm our earth. Some stores that sell or change motor oil will take used oil for free.

They will also recycle it for you. Before you give the filters, drain all the oil from them first. If these places are not near you, look for other ways to get rid of old motor oil properly.

Always check if your old motor oil is seen as risky waste before tossing it out. We need to keep our world clean!


In this section, we will address common questions that arise when changing ATV engine oil such as how often you should do it, whether car oil can be used in place of ATV-specific oil, the associated cost of an ATV oil change and its importance to the overall health of your vehicle.

We’ll also tackle whether transmission oil changes are possible on an ATV.

How often should ATV oil be changed?

Changing the oil in an ATV should be done often. We need to do it every 1000 miles or so. Some makers of ATVs say to change the oil each year or after 100 hours of riding time. Most of us change the engine oil and filter on our ATVs every six months.

If we ride a lot, we might choose to switch out our oil about every fifty hours on the bike. For those using their ATV, UTV, or Side-by-Side vehicles more than others, changing their engine oil every 25 hours or once per month is best.

Following these tips helps keep your ATV running well for years!

Can you use car oil for an ATV?

No, we can’t just use any car oil for our ATVs. Both car and ATV oils may seem similar, but the slight changes in their build make a huge difference. These differences matter most for ATVs that have wet clutches or manual transmissions.

For these types of vehicles, the right type of oil is key to good performance. One suitable option is Mobil 1 4T, which works well with bikes and UTVs too! Using wrong oils like some meant for cars could damage your toy’s engine.

Play it safe – always choose the right ATV lubricant.

How much does an ATV oil change cost?

The cost to change oil in an ATV varies. It can be anywhere from $20 to $100, or maybe more. This depends on what kind of ATV you have and where you go for the service. If you do it at home, it may only cost about $30 for new oil and a filter.

Doing your own oil change helps save money!

What are the consequences of not changing ATV oil?

Neglecting ATV oil changes can harm your vehicle. The oil may become weak at doing its job if you don’t change it often. This could lead to severe damage to the engine, making your rides less smooth and fun.

Over time, water can build up in the engine and gear parts of the ATV. This might cause big problems if you keep using old oil for a long period of time. Forgetting to change the ATV oil may also result in more wear and tear on your machine, less fuel efficiency, or even a total breakdown of the engine! To avoid these risks tied with not changing ATV oil; keep fresh oil in there as much as possible— this will help clear out dirt particles and make sure everything keeps working well.

Can you change the transmission oil on an ATV?

Yes, you can change the transmission oil on an ATV. It is part of ATV care. Some ATVs have different oils for the engine and transmission. You need a socket wrench to open the drain plug.

Let all old oil run out into a drain pan. Then put in new transmission fluid with a funnel. Close it up tight so no leaks happen! This helps your ATV work better and last longer.


We hope you found our guide on how to change ATV engine oil useful. Now you can keep your ride in top shape all by yourself. Remember, a little care goes a long way in keeping your ATV running smoothly for years.

Happy riding!


1. How often should I change my ATV’s engine oil?

You should change your ATV’s engine oil every 100 hours of use, or at least once a year.

2. What kind of oil do I need for my ATV?

Use the type and grade of oil recommended by your ATV’s manufacturer to ensure smooth running.

3. Can I change the engine oil in my ATV myself?

Yes, you can change your own ATV oil if you have basic tools and follow the correct steps.

4. What happens if I don’t change my ATV engine oil regularly?

If you don’t change your ATV engine oil regularly, it can cause damage to the engine over time.

5. Can old or dirty ATVs’ Engine Oil harm its performance?

Yes, old or dirty engine oil can lower an ATVs’ power output and fuel efficiency over time.