How To Do A Compression Test On An ATV

A compression test on your ATV can be a great method of keeping on top of your ATV’s performance. These tests measure the peak pressure inside the engine’s cylinder as the engine is turning over. Low compression can point towards serious issues with your engine and this test helps diagnose exactly what’s going on.

You can perform a compression test on an ATV easily on your own. It requires a few preparations and a few tools, but with the right guidance you can know what to do in no time at all.

atv compression test

Prep for the test

Before testing your engine compression on the ATV, you’ll need to get ready. There’s not much to the preparation, but it’s incredibly important to do a thorough job.

First, find the best ATV compression tester you can find. This might mean spending a bit more money than you want, but it will be sure to get you the most accurate reading possible and save you more money in the long run.

The main part of preparation is to clean the engine and the air filter. This will prevent any dirt from getting into the cylinders and causing abrasions along the cylinder walls, meaning further wear and tear on your engine.

Use compressed air to clean the area around the spark plug to get any debris out of the way. This will pay off in the long run. Next, you can remove the spark plug and replace it with the compression tester.

Two different methods

An ATV compression test can be done hot or cold. Many professionals say that a warm engine will give the most accurate pressure readings as it is then working at its normal operating temperature.

For best results, you can always do both methods, but remember that most people do it with a warm engine.

Perform the test

With the kill switch engaged or the engine switch turned to off, hit the throttle multiple times. Make sure you are preventing the ATV from turning over, or you won’t get an accurate reading.

Do this around five times and take a reading. Go back and try multiple times to check for a consistent pressure reading and write these all down. Compare these to what pressure you had when you first got the ATV and you should be able to start diagnosing any problems from there.

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