It may be late July, but there’s plenty of summertime left for getting out and exploring before the long winter creeps in. If you’re in the market for a used ATV, there are just as many possible pitfalls as there can be with purchasing any pre-owned vehicle, so it’s important to do your research. When you head to your local Arctic Cat dealer, be sure to check on these common signs of wear and tear before signing on the dotted line.

Check the Tires

There’s a reason that the expression “kick the tires” has come to be shorthand for inspection of a vehicle. Think of the tires as a litmus test for the rest of the vehicle; if the previous owner hasn’t put the work in to make sure that the tires are in good condition, that might be a sign of trouble as you venture further under the hood. Check the tires for the obvious signs of wear and tear, as well as any cracks in the rubber, or signs of dry rot. Once the tires have started to crack, the ATV is no longer safe to ride on. Replacement tires are expensive, so it may be worth negotiating the price or searching for a new vehicle if it becomes obvious that you’ll need to replace the tires before the vehicle is trail ready.

Inspect the Shocks

Once you’ve finished checking the tires, the shocks should be the next stop on your list. Worn shocks mean that your tires will spend more time in the air after each bounce, which drastically reduces your vehicle’s safety and stability. When inspecting the shocks, check for signs of leakage, as it’s a common indicator of wear on the parts.

Check for Engine Leaks

Like with any vehicle, leaks in the engine can mean serious and costly repairs are on the horizon, so it’s crucial to make sure you know what you’re getting into. Bring a clean rag with to your Arctic Cat dealer and run it along the head gasket and and valve covers. If it doesn’t come away clean, that could be a sign of oil leakage. When discussing this with your powersports dealership, let them know about the cost of those repairs (which can range up to $300) and see how that affects negotiations.

Check the Brakes

When checking the brakes, there are two components you need to make sure you don’t leave unattended during your inspection. Not only should you inspect the brake pads, whose thickness ranges from 1/16 – 1/4 inch, but the backing plate as well. Allowing brakes to become worn down poses a risk to your ATV’s rotors, so ideally you want your brake pads to be considerably thicker than the minimum 1/16 of an inch to avoid any chance of metal to metal contact.

These are just a few of the things that you should inspect when heading to your local Arctic Cat dealership. If you find signs of poor maintenance, their neglect can be your gain, so it’s important to take note of these when you head to the negotiation table. Doing so can save you time and money down the road, leaving you with more hours to enjoy the outdoors before the winter comes. For more information on Arctic Cat accessories to outfit your new rig, or Arctic Cat dealers in Michigan, give our office a call. Our representatives will be happy to help get out into your new Arctic Cat and out on the road.

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