Driving Your ATV in Winter

Sweeping across the snow-covered landscapes on an ATV brings an unmatched excitement. Yet, this frosty escapade comes with its own set of risks. With continuous snowfalls, hazardous ice-laden lakes, concealed dangers, and the company of many other thrill-seekers, maneuvering through this wintry haven presents a thrilling test.

Consequently, you must be entirely too careful; better safe than sorry, and we’ll wrap all of that up for you right now.

By the way, if you own an RV, you’ll want to read about your awnings cover options here. If you own one, read about 12v lighting options for your boat here.

1. Self-Precautions

Safety Gear

Whenever you’re using any vehicle, especially during winter, you have to protect yourself not just from possible accidents, scrapes, and injuries but from the biting frost as well. 

Hence, always wear multiple layers of clothes with proper insulation, specifically around the extremities such as hands and feet. Moreover, don’t ever forget your goggles and helmet.

Have a Partner

There is absolutely nothing worse than being stuck somewhere in a patch of snow or due to a fallen log all by yourself. Therefore, if your ATV is suitable for having a partner, take one, and enjoy the company of friends and/or family.

Driving Your ATV in Winter

Another option to go by is if you know someone who owns an ATV, you could go out as a group and make sure that no one falls behind for any reason.

Route Rules

Typically, route rules are non-negotiable, and when it comes to snow, they become holy! If there’s a stop sign, you must stop; when there’s a speed limit, you must abide by it. Any road rules are to be followed without discussion, especially when going through pedestrian areas or neighborhoods with schools.

2. ATV Precautions

Fuel Stabilizer

In general, ATV fuel is mixed with ethanol which is susceptible to absorbing moisture, leading to a breakdown. Consequently, investing in a good brand of fuel stabilizer will save you a lot of trouble and money.


The first thing you need to do before getting on top of your ATV is to check the tires for any punctures or damage. The thing is, ATV tires are already designed so that they’re incredibly durable and can go through all types of routes and terrains without trouble.

Still, if your interests lie in snow riding, you have to make sure that your tires are broad with raised ribs. Raised ribs are a mix between radiant paddles and rigid tread blocks. This allows the ATV to go through the snow as smoothly as possible and with the lowest balance factor.


Tracks are always an available choice, but they’re a bit expensive. We would only advise opting for them if you live in a place that is constantly snowing. Otherwise, they won’t be worth the time, effort, and money invested in their application and removal per season.


Lubrication is a normal phase of an ATV’s maintenance cycle. Nonetheless, when it’s the winter season, and with everything freezing up, it becomes even more important. 

Parts that protect the joints and the ATV frame have to be cleaned and lubricated consistently, such as CV joints, brake cables, and the motorcycle chain.


Even with all of the careful preparation and experience that anyone can have, accidents can happen, and you might end up with your ATV stuck somewhere. That is where an installed high-quality winch would come into.

All you need to do is find a stable tree or any well-rooted entity to pull your vehicle out of the snow.

Coolant, Air Filter, and Oil Maintenance

Don’t forget to check on your coolant regularly to keep your vehicle working optimally. Fill up your coolant and when it’s completely used-up, don’t hesitate to throw the rest out and refill your container.

The same goes for oil changes and the cleanliness of your air filter. Air filters in ATVs can be easily cleaned by taking them out, wiping the outside, washing them, leaving them to dry, and replacing them.

Can I Drive My ATV in Winter Without Using the Clutch for Shifting?

Yes, you can drive your ATV in winter without using the clutch for shifting gears. Many ATVs are equipped with a semi-automatic transmission that allows you to change gears without using the clutch. This makes it easier to ride in snowy or icy conditions without worrying about clutch control.

3. Extras and Accessories

Portable Charger

A portable charger is essential nowadays, especially if you’re taking a longer trip, and you want to make sure that all of your communications devices are backed up, just in case any of them runs out, and you need to use them.

Heated Grips

Heated grips will help keep you focused and allow you to control and monitor your ATV much better as you maintain full feeling in your hands. Frostbites can easily lead to the loss of one or more fingers.

Final Thoughts

No matter if you’re an experienced enthusiast of driving your ATV in winter or if you’re newly exploring the territory, staying safe is your number one priority. Know your environment, know your vehicle, keep all of your safety gear on, and ensure that your ATV is running 100% before you make any moves.