The Most Common ATV Problems You Should Know About

Whether you’ve owned them for years or you are new to the ATV game, issues with your quad are just something that you’ll have to deal with eventually. Which repairs do ATV riders run into the most? Here are the most common ATV problems owners should know about.

an ATV in soft sand shows someone riding hard–one reason for the most common ATV problems
Can-Am Renegade ATV | Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Let’s be real. Most of us that ride ATVs on the regular aren’t exactly babying our machines. You don’t buy a four wheeler to gingerly navigate a manicured trail. Raging through the mud and carving out new paths are half the fun. But all that excitement means regular maintenance and the (hopefully) occasional repair for your machine.

Common ATV repairs owners can DIY

Creek crossings, jumps, and full throttle blasts through an open field are where it’s at. But all that fun can lead some common ATV repairs. There are definitely some repairs that you can handle with a “do-it-yourself” attitude. YouTube, forums, and other places on the internet are all helpful if you need a little support for a DIY ATV repair. But what are some common ATV repairs that owners can DIY?

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According to Off Road Lifestyles, there are two key maintenance procedures that every ATV owner needs to know. Changing the air filter and changing the oil on your ATV are both simple maintenance procedures that virtually anyone can perform on their own ATV. While other DIY ATV repairs may not be in everyone’s wheelhouse, these two should be pretty straightforward.

Depending on your specific ATV model, you can generally find easy-to-follow instructions. Keep in mind that you do need to hold onto some documentation that shows what maintenance procedures you perform. Especially if you do the first round of routine maintenance on a new ATV. If you can’t provide first service documentation, it can actually void an ATV warranty.

Average cost of an ATV repair

The average cost to repair the most common ATV problems varies. For the DIY maintenance we just talked about, a gallon of ATV oil usually runs around $30. For a new air filter you can expect to pay about $7.

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When you get into other repairs––whether you plan to do them yourself or to hire a mechanic––the cost can range from $10 for a simple part to hundreds for something more involved. Off Road Lifestyles reminds us that spending $400 on a tune-up with a mechanic can be a “steal” if you got a got deal on your ATV.

The most common ATV problems

Live Outdoors reports that there are some pretty common issues most owners will face at some point. One of the most common ATV problems is when the ignition fails to turn over and the ATV doesn’t start. There’s also the matter of spark plugs. Carburetor issues are also pretty common. A full carb overhaul generally costs about $75 – $200 per carb––according to ATV Man. You can also do the carburetor work yourself will a kit that costs about $20 – $40.

a press photo of a Yamahs Kodiak against a white background
Yamaha Kodiak 700 | Yamaha

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Another of the most common ATV problems is a dead battery. Clutches need replacing every so often as well (depending on how you drive). Then there are the common ATV problems such as valve and suspension work and tire repairs or replacement. ATV tires generally last a long time due to the nature of an off-road tire and the softer surfaces we generally drive our ATVs on. However, screws, nails, barbed wire, or other sharp objects are wont to poke through. While maintenance is pretty uncomplicated, repairs are going to be necessary at some point no matter what. These are typically the most common ATV problems owners deal with.