Winterize Your ATV for Long-Term Storage: Complete Guide

Winter tends to surprise us, doesn’t it? One moment you’re having a blast cruising the trails on your All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV), and suddenly, the cold weather sets in.

And we all know what that means – time to get our trusty ATVs ready for their big winter nap! Speaking from experience, we’ve taken our lessons learned over snowy seasons into account and meticulously compiled this comprehensive guide about preparing your ATV for winter storage.

It’s packed with handy cleaning tips, essential maintenance tasks, storage solutions and more! We want nothing less than longevity for your beloved machine. So buckle up and discover how you can protect your ATV against Old Man Winter’s icy clutches – because when spring arrives, we want you revving up engines and kicking up dirt rather than dealing with pesky repairs!

Key Takeaways

  • Cleaning your ATV before winter storage stops rust and damage.
  • Drain fuel or add a stabilizer to keep gas from going bad.
  • Taking out the battery keeps it safe during cold months. A trickle charger helps too.
  • Inflate tires fully to stop them from flattening on one side.
  • Change the old oil for new, as well as switching out filters, helps keep parts from rusting.
  • Cover your ATV with a breathable fabric cover for best protection against weather and pests.

Understanding ATV Storage Needs

Well-organized garage with an ATV and mechanic at work.

It’s essential to recognize that different ATV storage needs, like winter storage, daily storage, or even travel-related storage demand unique considerations. Also don’t forget about the importance of space for your gear and accessories.

Winter storage

For winter storage, we need to get our ATVs ready for the cold months. Getting it set for a long break keeps it safe from snow and sleet. An ATV can stay in a garage or any covered spot.

We should keep its battery charged with a trickle charger during this time. This way, we stop damage and make the ATV last longer. Doing these steps right will save us time, cash, and stress later on.

Daily storage

We use daily storage to keep our ATVs safe and ready for the next ride. This means cleaning off any dirt or mud after each ride. We also put on a cover to shield from dust and other unwanted stuff that can damage it while it sits idle.

Don’t store your ATV in a wet place. It’s best kept in a dry, cool spot.

The battery is also important during daily storage. In cold weather, we use a trickle charger for the battery. It keeps the power level steady over time, even when not being used often.

Following these steps makes sure our ATV is always set for an adventure anytime!

Travel-related storage

Travel can be hard on ATVs. You need solid plans for travel-related storage to protect your ride. It’s smart to find a cool, dry spot for your ATV. This keeps it safe from heat and dampness.

A good cover is key too! The right cover fights off dust and dirt during trips. If you plan this out well, your ATV will last longer! We know that climbing over rocks is part of the fun, but when you’re done, keep your quad safe with good travel storage habits.

Storage with space for accessories and gear

We know you love your ATV gear as much as the ride itself. Good storage for accessories and gear is a must-do. This means helmets, gloves, boots and more need their own spots too. We should give them dry places that are easy to get to.

A good plan keeps everything safe and ready for use next time. High shelves or lockers work well for this purpose. All things have their place when it’s time to park our ATVs at the end of the day.

Types of ATV Storage

An ATV parked in a rustic outdoor storage shed surrounded by snowy mountains.

We’ll delve into the four key types of ATV storage—outdoor, enclosed, covered and elevated—to help you find the most suitable option for your needs. Keep reading to learn how each type can safely house your ATV during a chilly winter hiatus.

Outdoor storage

Outdoor storage is one choice for your ATV. A good cover keeps dust off. But, a dry place like a shed is best. It guards your ATV from bad weather like snow and cold. If you don’t have an indoor spot, think about renting a small storage unit.

It’s also smart to use a trickle charger if your ATV will be outside. Extreme cold can drain the battery fast. And always put on a breathable cover when you store it in the shed or garage during winter months.

This helps keep your ride safe until you’re ready to hit the trails again!

Enclosed storage

We love our ATVs and want to keep them safe. Enclosed storage is the best choice for this. It gives solid protection from bad weather like snow, sleet, and slush. Your ATV stays dry in a cool place.

This keeps it good as new for longer times. A garage is often used as an enclosed space for storing your ATV during winter months. Use a porous cover too! It will guard against dust but let air circulate all around your ATV when it’s stored away long-term.

Covered storage

Covered storage is a great choice for our ATVs. It keeps them safe from harsh weather. A shed or similar area works well for this. Snow, rain, or hot sun don’t get to the ATV in a shed.

This type of storage helps keep the ATV’s life long and its shape good. Storing our ATVs this way saves us money on future fixes too!

Elevated storage

Elevated storage keeps your ATV safe and dry. It is a great way to use space in a garage or shed. You lift your ATV off the ground. This can stop damage from water or pests on the floor.

We use an elevated rack to hold the ATV up high, just like shelves in a store. Some call it vertical storage or overhead storage, but all mean the same thing: your ATV is stored safely above everyone’s head!

Preparing Your ATV for Winter Storage

Before tucking your ATV away for winter, make sure to give it a thorough cleaning. This not only ensures that the dirt and grime accumulated over riding season won’t damage your ride, but also allows you to inspect your vehicle more closely before storage.

If there’s fuel left in the tank, either drain it out or add a stabilizer to prevent deterioration during the dormant period. Don’t forget about removing or maintaining the battery; this means keeping it fully charged, as letting it discharge could result in permanent damage.

Inflate those tires properly because an under-inflated tire can develop flat spots when parked for too long. Remember to replace old oil and air filters since leaving dirty ones all winter may cause unnecessary wear on engine parts.

Finally, seal off exhaust pipes and intakes with covers or plugs to keep rodents from nesting inside your machine while in storage.

Complete cleaning

First, we must clean our ATVs. Get rid of dirt, sand and mud from the tires to the top corners. Use water and soap for this job but be careful with electrical parts. After that, dry it well so rust won’t come.

A good wipe down can help keep water off the metal spots too. This cleaning is not only for looks; it helps stop problems before they happen for your ATV’s winter storage.

Draining fuel or adding stabilizer

Taking care of the gas in your ATV’s tank is key to good winter storage. We can either drain all the fuel or add a fuel stabilizer. If we choose not to use up all the gas, we should put in a stabilizer.

The fuel can go bad if it sits too long without being used. But, using fresh gas and a stabilizer will keep it from going bad for much longer than 3-4 months.

We don’t want an empty metal tank sitting around either as it could rust, mostly if you live where there’s lots of damp air. So let’s fill up that tank and add some fuel stabilizer before parking our ATVs for the snow season!

Remember that old sucky gas won’t get any better with a stabilizer! Only mix it with fresh new gas so you’re sure to avoid any engine issues when spring comes around again.

It may sound like extra work but taking these steps ensures our rides are ready at first sight of green grass!

Removing/tending to the battery

We take care of the battery next. We pull it out from the ATV. It’s not good to leave it in during cold months. Cold can hurt its power. Put the battery in a warm spot at home. Keep it off the ground, on a shelf or table is best.

Run a battery tender on it to keep charge up while you’re not using your ATV. This way, when you’re ready to ride again, so is your battery!

Inflating tires

Look at your ATV tires. They need air before storing the ATV for winter. Full tires stop them from going flat on one side. Always check the tire pressure in each tire. Inflate them to the level we suggest.

Inflating tires helps too with weight distribution of the ATV during storage time. This stops any squishing or flattening of the heavy vehicle on its own tired rubber boots! In this way, inflating tires keeps your ride in top shape even after a long cold nap!

Changing filters and oil

We take out the old oil and put in new. This is key when we get our ATV ready for winter storage. Bad oil has stuff in it that can hurt the engine. We also change the filter at this time.

After, we run the vehicle for a bit to let new oil move around inside. If we leave old oil in all winter, it could rust parts of our ATV from inside!


We wrap our ATVs tight for winter. It keeps them safe from wet and rust. We like fabric covers that breathe better than plastic ones. Plastic ones keep wet in which helps rust form.

A tough, waterproof cover works best for this job. This kind of cover has strong elastic at the bottom to give full cover to your ATV. Keep it out of sunlight too because strong light hurts it over time.

Long-Term Storage Tips

Learn how to maintain your ATV in peak condition during its winter hibernation, including regular check-ups and essential preparations for your spring rides. Keep scrolling to get the full scoop on these critical long-term storage tips!

Regular maintenance

Make sure to check on your ATV during its long winter nap. Keep the tires, battery, and engine parts in good shape with regular care. Look at them every now and then to make sure there’s no trouble.

You also need to do up-keeps like oil changes and filter replacements before storing the ATV. These tasks help keep an ATV in top-notch condition. All these steps are vital for its health over those cold months when your ATV won’t see much action.

Checking for any potential issues

We must always look for possible problems on our ATV before we put it into long-term winter storage. Rust prevention and corrosion protection are key steps to keep your machine safe.

We check every part of the bike. Dirt or mud can make your ATV rust if not cleaned off. Bug splats and brake dust need a good clean as well, they can cause corrosive damage over time.

Let’s also ensure that all safety measures are in place, especially for young riders who may take out the ATV without supervision. A thorough check is hugely important to stop any future issues from happening after you remove your bike from storage once winter ends.

Preparing for riding after storage

First things first, we make sure our ATV is clean and dry. Dust or mud left on the ATV can harm its parts over time. We also check the oil and change it if needed. Fresh oil keeps the engine running smooth.

We don’t forget about the fuel tank either! It’s best to empty it out and run the motor until all remaining fuel burns off. Leaving old gas in lines can cause damage when we start riding again.

The tires need a look too. A bit more air than usual keeps them in good shape while we store our ride for a long time.

Don’t brush off insurance review as well! It ensures that our ATV will stay safe for next year’s rides.

Finding ATV Storage

Looking for the perfect spot to stash your ATV during winter can be a challenge, but don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. Whether it’s making use of available space in your garage or finding an affordable self-storage facility, there are plenty of options out there.

Remember, when preparing your four-wheeler for storage at any location, ensuring it’s safe from potential damage and theft is crucial.

Options for free or affordable storage

Finding affordable or even free storage solutions for your ATV can be a daunting task. However, with a little bit of research and determination, it’s totally feasible. Here are a few options that you might want to consider:

Type Description Price Range
Home Garage Your own garage can serve as an ideal storage place as it’s easily accessible and provides sufficient protection against harsh weather. Remember, it should ideally be climate-controlled as advised. Free
Sheds and Outdoor Buildings If you have a barn, shed, or other outdoor buildings that are underused, they can be a great place for ATV storage. Make sure it’s dry and secure. Free
Storage Units Many ATV owners opt for storage units because they provide the necessary space, security, and climate control. A 5′ x 20′ unit is usually sufficient. $25 to $150/month depending on location and size
Shared Garage Consider sharing storage space with friends or family members who also need space for their ATVs. This way, you can split the costs and save money. Depends on agreement
Off-season Rentals Some storage facilities offer off-season rental rates, which can be cheaper than regular prices. You might need to book in advance. Varies by location

Remember, it’s critical to prepare your ATV properly before placing it into long-term storage, no matter the option you choose. And always check regularly for any potential issues during storage.

Preparing your ATV for storage at a storage facility

Getting your ATV ready for storage at a facility takes a few careful steps.

  1. We clean our ATVs from top to bottom first. This stops rust and keeps critters away.
  2. Next, we drain all the fluids out of the ATV or put in fuel stabilizer.
  3. It’s crucial to protect the battery as well.
  4. Tires need some air so they don’t sag or crack while stored away.
  5. New oil makes sure your engine stays in good shape during long – term storage.
  6. Lastly, cover up your ATV to keep it safe from dirt and dust.


Getting your ATV ready for winter is a must-do. It keeps the ride in top shape. It also saves you money on fixes later on. Enjoy a smooth ride as soon as spring arrives with these tips!


1. What does it mean to winterize my ATV?

To winterize your ATV means you prepare it for long-term storage during the cold months so that it remains in good condition.

2. Why should I drain fuel before storing my ATV?

You should drain fuel before storing your ATV to prevent any damage from old gas left inside which can cause engine problems.

3. How can I protect my ATV tires during storage?

Inflate the tires to the correct pressure and keep them off direct ground contact if possible, this will protect them during storage.

4. What do I need to clean on my ATV before storing it?

Before storing, clean all dirt and mud off your ATV, especially under parts where moisture may hide, to prevent rusting or corrosion.

5. Is it important to change oil before storing an ATV?

Yes, changing oil is important because used oil contains acids and other things that might harm engine parts over time.