How Often Should I Change The Oil Of My ATV?

In ATV Setups by Kevin

How Often Should I Change The Oil Of My ATV?

Since ATVs are similar to pretty much all machines with internal combustion engines, they share several characteristics: they run on fossil fuels, they have an intake and exhaust, they create emissions, and they also require several fluids to run properly.

One of those fluids is engine oil, which primary purpose is to lubricate clean and protect the moving parts of the engine. a normal ATV engine can contain more than 30 moving parts and the oil greatly assists in the smooth moving of these pieces.

it’s one of the most basic and fundamental liquids inside the quad. so it’s important to replace the oil every time you drive a certain amount of miles.

Depending on the specific quad that you have, and how many miles you traveling on the quad, changing every month or 50 hours of use is best, whatever comes first.

but it can greatly vary depending on what type of use you are giving to the quad. a utility quad used for farm work or similar will need less frequent oil changes than a sports quad that is constantly revved high.

but anyways, to be sure, it’s always a good idea to check the manual that comes with the quad or go to an ATV forum.

Generally, the more frequent you change the oil the better, especially if you have a favorite model or something that has high performance or a few mods installed.

but if you don’t have the cash it’s not super necessary, just that your cylinder might suffer in the long run. but anyways, here are some other tips and considerations:

How to change the oil of an ATV

For some people that don’t yet know how to change the oil of your quad, it’s really simple:

The first thing that I recommend is getting the oil warmer, especially if the temperature is low. a good time to change the oil is after you stop riding the quad. doing this makes the oil much more fluid and less viscous and easier to get out of the quad.

The second thing is getting a small bucket or similar and unscrewing the drain bolt. after you take out the bolt you will see a stream of black oil leaking through. try to avoid a mess and have your bucket ready so that you can get all that used oil.

I would advise changing the oil filter every few months or so

The third step is getting a new filter and discarding the old one. the filter purpose is to remove all types of gunk and grime that the oil might have, so it screens bad particles that might damage the engine over time. a new filter can make a night and day difference in your engine

The fourth step is simply screwing the bolt back in and adding the oil. it’s important not to confuse the transmission oil bolt with the engine oil bolt, as you might destroy your tranny if you do that!

Then the last step is simply adding the oil. read the manual to make sure if your quad works best with an specific type of oil.

Why it’s important to change oil regularly?

Oil is often considered to be the most important liquid in your engine other than fuel. the normal process of an engine consists of several thousand explosions inside of it, and that wears the components and parts.

Proper lubrication and protection is essential for the best performance of your ATV. the oil protects from the grime and carbon deposits that eventually build up over time, so it also works like a mini maintenance.

Which oil should I use?

The brand and type of oil that you should use ion your quad depends a lot on the specific quad, the average temperature and the use that you are giving the 4wheeler, but in general, it’s always a good idea to always just buy the recommended oil in the quad’s manual.

but if you have checked the manual and you don’t see a recommended option, then there are several options to choose from.

The first one is conventional oil. this is “natural” oil made by mixing crude oil with several additives, which increase several characteristics like viscosity. this is the most common oil you are gonna find in the market and will work really well.

they usually come in gallon bottles which means it will last you a long time since ATVs have smaller oil pans. conventional oil is also one of the cheapest options on the market so if you have several quads and are on a budget, this is the recommended choice.

Synthetic oils are oily substances created in a laboratory that are also used to provide lubrication and protection of the engine. they are generally considered superior to conventional oil because they generally lubricate better and are more resilient, they also have a superior viscosity in extreme temperatures.

They are more resistant to oxidation and are generally easier to clean. also, one of the big advantages is that the oil lasts longer in the engine so that you don’t need to make oil changes as often.

One of the disadvantages of this type of oil is that it’s much costlier than normal oil. but I consider it a good price to pay especially for your higher end quads in the long term. the other disadvantage is that not all ATV engines recommend synthetics.

if this is the case you are gonna have to choose the natural oil so that you don’t damage the engine.

Should you use high mileage oil?

There are some new oils that have been appearing over the years, one of these is high mileage oil designed to protect the engine parts against wear and tear over the years. the manufacturers claim that this type of oil is quite useful if you have older ATV engines and that you plan on using them over the long haul.

There are some other people that do not recommend them on ATVs, simply because ATV engines are much simpler, generally using only 1 cylinder. also, it’s much harder to rack up miles on an ATV because they are slower and are generally used to assist a farmer and so you do not need to be going at high speeds are using the quad every day.

and since it’s oil for a niche use, it more expensive than conventional and synthetics, so that’s why I think it’s not worth it to use this type of oil.


ATV engines are similar in some ways to car engines: they use fossil fuels, have an intake and exhaust, and create emissions. also, they can use the same oil as a car engine. anyways, the oil serves to lubricate and protect the engine and clean up grime and carbon deposits from igniting the fuel.

What is recommended is changing the oil every month or 50 hours, whatever comes first. it also depends on the use you are giving to the ATV if you are revving the engine a lot or just are just idling with it.

Changing the oil religiously is important because as you burn fuel, carbon deposits and other particles are created, which sticks to the engine walls and makes the engine performance drop and the fuel economy suffer as well.

There are 2 types of oil: conventional and synthetic. conventional is generally more easily found and cheaper, and the synthetic generally has better viscosity and additives, but it’s more expensive and more quad engines might not be able to use it.