How To Clean Mud Out Of ATV Radiator

When you’re mudding, that stuff gets everywhere. It’s part of the fun at the time, but when you get back home and you’re ready to clean your ATV, you will discover a whole new meaning to the term, “getting everywhere.” Mud can even get caked inside your radiator where it is quite hard to remove. You can’t just leave it. If you don’t get it out, your engine can overheat. So, let’s discuss how to clean mud out ATV radiators so you can fix the problem.

unstuck atv in mud.jpg

Routine Clean

It is crucial that you clean your ATV when you return from every ride or at least after every weekend of riding. If you don’t, all the sand, mud, and everything else that got on and inside your ATV while you were off-roading will just sit there and have an opportunity to damage the components.

Your radiator should be part of your routine cleaning. You can clean it with a water hose, which is a pretty simple clean, but you’ll probably have to remove the radiator to access all of it properly.

Some people feel a pressure washer is the answer to how to clean ATV radiator, but it isn’t a good idea. The pressure can significantly bend the fins on the radiator, which will reduce its ability to cool and probably mean the purchase of a new radiator. Fans of the pressure washer method believe they can just point the pressure washer straight and stand a little farther back to prevent the damage, but a water hose is fine and the pressure washer method is risky.

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How to Clean Mud Out of ATV Radiator

What makes mud so hard to clean is that it dries and becomes hard like concrete. You have three ways to tackle this situation, wash the ATV off before the mud dries, rehydrate the “concrete” so it turns back into mud, or use a cleaner to act as elbow grease where you can’t use elbow grease.

If the mud is still mud, take the radiator out of the machine and wash it with the water hose from the front and back. Some people like to spray more from the back to the front because this is the opposite of how it entered the radiator.

If the mud has already dried, hose the radiator down and let the water sit for a bit to rehydrate the mud. Then give it a more thorough clean.

If that didn’t work, try Simple Green or a coil and condenser cleaner made for air conditioners. Apply whichever product you want to use, let it soak into the mud, and then hose it off. No scrubbing is necessary. Do rinse it thoroughly.

While you’re cleaning your radiator, you may discover some bent radiator fins from impacts or maybe trying to use a pressure washer. You can fix a few slightly bent fins with a radiator fin comb. It’s an inexpensive and easy to use tool that literally bends the fins back into shape.

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