How Often Should You Change Your UTVs Oil?

In ATV Setups by Kevin

UTVs, also known as Side-by-Sides, are one of many offroading vehicles that use an internal combustion engine to move forward. These types of engines not only need gasoline to function, but they also need engine oil.

And so, if you have been riding your UTV for a while already, then you might be wondering something: how often should I replace the engine oil? and while the answer to that is obviously going to depend a lot of factors, including how often you are riding, which UTV model it is, and more, there is a rule of thumb that can apply to 99% of models.

So, the answer is that you should be replacing the engine oil every 40 hours of use or once every month, whatever comes first. again, this is going to depend on a bunch of factors like for example of how often you are riding, and what type of UTV it is, among other things. I would also advise that you check your UTV manual so that you can have the most accurate answer though

Changing the engine oil is very important because by doing so you are preserving the engine’s internals, which helps to maintain your UTVs resale value. I’m a firm believer that failing to replace the engine oil is one of the main reasons peoples UTVs break down prematurely, and so, you should really stay on top of it, and also general maintenance in general. the ideal thing to do is to change the oil as often as possible though, so if you have the cash for it that can be the best thing that you do for your UTV

So How Often Should You Replace Your UTVs Oil?

Like I said in the upper paragraph, this is going to depend a lot on several factors, like for example how often are you riding your UTV, which UTV model it is, the general climate where you usually ride, among other things. however, a general estimate is that you should replace your UTVs oil once every 40 hours of riding or once a month, whatever comes first. this is what I do on my ATVs, and now on my RZR, and its what I recommend that you do too.

Now, there are some folks who should be changing their oil even more often than that, and there are some other people that do not need to bother as much. for example, if you tend to ride your UTV frequently on a sand dune or on the beach, then changing the oil every 30 hours of riding is recommended because the sand and dust in the environment will get into the engine itself, affecting the side by side’s piston and thus reducing the engine’s longevity.

There are some UTV enthusiasts who do not ride that often or use their UTVs for work purposes. if this is your case, then you do not need to change the oil as much. I would recommend changing the oil once every 60 hours of use, or once every 2 months.

How to change the engine oil in your side by side

If you are reading this article, then chances are that you are going to be changing the engine oil soon. if this is your case, then read below, because I decided to write down a general step-by-step guide on how to replace the oil the easiest way possible.

The first step is to get everything that you are going to need. you are obviously going to need your engine oil of choice, an oil pan, a new oil filter, and a screwdriver that can open the oil filter cap.

The second step is identifying where everything is in your UTV. and what I mean by that is where is the drain plug, where does the oil filter go, and where exactly do you fill up the engine oil. the drain plug, which is the plug that you remove so that we can discard the old oil, is usually located below the UTVs chassis. the oil filter is usually by the side of most UTVs engines. finally, you fill up the engine with oil, just find out where the oil filler cap is. it should have an image saying something like “oil” or similar. you can always check where everything is on your side by side manual

The third step is turning on the engine for a while. we do this step because that way the old oil still inside the engine warms up and that reduces its viscosity, ensuring that the oil is drained faster and easier. leave the engine on for about 10 minutes, and then turn it off and unplug the drain plug, usually found under the UTVs frame. the old oil should start spilling out. 

While the oil is spilling out, you can go ahead and start changing the oil filter. the oil filter location is going to vary depending on which UTV model you have, but like I said, its usually either by the side of the engine mainframe, or it is under the cargo bed. after you find it, just unscrew the bolts, and replace the old filter with the new one. you can then decide to discard or stay with the old filter depending on its condition.

The oil filter is usually on the side of the engine mainframe

After you change the filter, its time to add the oil. you are going to look for the filler cap, usually found on the top of the engine. after that, just start your UTV up and leave it idling for 2 minutes. it’s very important to make sure that the oil that you are going to be using is compatible with your engine. again, you can find this information on your UTVs owners manual.

Make sure you only use engine oil recommended by the manufacturer

Why it is important to change the engine oil regularly

UTV engine oil works by lubricating and protecting your engine’s insides from grime and carbon buildup. it can be considered one of the most important liquids on your Side by side, and so, frequently replacing it with some fresh oil is important. replacing your engine oil is one of the easiest things to do and it’s also one of the things that will most preserve your UTVs resale value. people that are thinking of selling their UTVs down their roads should religiously replace their oil. this will make sure the engine lasts a long time.

Another reason why its so important is that you risk losing performance if you tend to ride with stale oil. it’s no secret that engines can lose potency if not maintained, especially older models, so maintaining proper oil levels is essential to getting optimal performance from your side y side67

Which type of oil is best for your side by side?

The best oil for your UTVs engine will depend on several factors, like for example which UTV model it is, the climate where you ride on, among other things. anyways, the first thing that you need to know is that there are 2 types of UTV engine oil available: conventional oil and synthetic oil.

Conventional oil is just what the name says: it’s just the typical black oil that has always been used on engines. this oil has several advantages. the first one is that it’s significantly cheaper than the synthetic stuff. you can expect to get 1 quart of conventional oil for around 20$. it also tends to be much easier to find as well. I’m my humble opinion, you should only be using conventional oil if your side by side specifically asks for it, or if you can’t find synthetic oil, which will rarely happen nowadays.

Synthetic oil is made on a laboratory, and the main advantage of it is that It lasts much longer than conventional oil. a bottle of synthetic oil can easily last you over a year, which you can run out of a quart of conventional oil in less than 6 months. because of their man-made nature, synthetics tend to have fewer impurities when compared to conventional oil, plus it tends to be the better option on more extreme climates. synthetic oils have a catch though: they tend to be more expensive than conventionals, but I think its completely worth it, especially when you consider that it’s going last much longer than the normal stuff.