Putting ATVs in secure storage for the winter protects them from the elements until it's time to ride again. To avoid unpleasant surprises when you get the vehicle out of storage, it has to be properly prepared before putting it away. Below are key steps to keep your ATV in good condition during winter storage.

How to Prepare ATV for Winter Storage

1. Switch Out the Filters

The air and oil filters get dirty because they trap contaminants, like sand or grit, as you ride to protect the engine. A dirty air filter blocks airflow needed for combustion, resulting in more fuel being burned or the ATV not starting, while a dirty oil filter will cause lessened power and efficiency. 

Oil filters should be changed every 100 hours of use, while air filters should be cleaned after every ride and replaced if it's torn or damaged. Check your owner's manual for instructions on replacing either filter.

2. Tend to the Fuel


Gas will degrade and become unstable if left sitting for long periods, losing combustibility. Metal tanks will rust from moisture if left empty, so it’s recommended to fill them and add a fuel stabilizer to minimize moisture in the tank to prevent rust while preserving fuel quality. If you have a plastic tank, it's best to drain it, the fuel lines, and the carburetor.

3. Check the Tires

Tires deflate naturally as air particles pass through the rubber, and you’re unlikely to refill them while they’re in storage. Very low tires may develop flat spots and bulging sides, ruining them. Completely deflated tires put pressure on the rims (if you have them) and suspension, causing warping and excessive wear. 

If possible, use an ATV stand, which has slotted tracks that prevent flat spots and minimize deflation. It also protects tires from rot if there's standing water on the floor of the storage area. If that's not possible, fill the tires to the correct PSI before storage to prevent damage. 

4. Cover Up Any Openings

Insects and nuisance animals, like squirrels, may see your ATV as the perfect nesting spot, especially if it's not stored indoors. They'll chew up wires or clog the engine and exhaust with debris, causing it to not start or run roughly. 

Combat this by investing in a durable ATV cover that fits snugly over the vehicle, blocking access to openings, like the exhaust pipe. It also has the benefit of protecting it from dirt and dust, which can erode paint and leave the metal body vulnerable to rust.


Start prepping your ATV by letting the professionals at All Seasons Honda & Ski-Doo in Homer, AK, service it. For 30 years, they've provided guaranteed service for ATVs and snowmobiles, including repairs. They offer competitive pricing, honest service, and a fair stock of vehicles and parts. Discover their services online and call them at (907) 235-8532.