How To Fix A Rusted ATV Frame

With all those metal components and all the moisture an ATV can come across, it’s no wonder that your ATV could start accumulating some rust. Unfortunately, rust can be ugly, costly, and potentially dangerous. First, it makes your machine look bad. Then it wears away at the ATV’s integrity. This post will share some tips on preventing rust and how to fix a rusted ATV frame.

rusted atv frame
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How to Prevent a Rusted ATV Frame

There are several steps you can take to make your ATV much less likely to rust. This is particularly important information for ATVs with steel frames as they are prone to rust. Protect all ATVs, but be extra diligent with steel.

Clean Your ATV

You should clean your ATV after every ride or every weekend trip. Clean it immediately after every salty ride. You might hand dry steel frames. Keeping your machine clean and dry will make sure rust producers don’t have much time to camp out on your metal.

Store Your ATV Correctly

You can keep your ATV dryer by storing it in a well-ventilated location that stays as cool and dry as possible.

If you absolutely must store your ATV outside, protect it from the elements with a breathable cover.

Get Out the Grease

Every time you clean your ATV, grease the fittings afterward. This will limit the spread of water into places it will be hard for you to keep dry and maintain.

Spray On Some WD-40

You can’t keep your machine but so dry, so it’s best to give your metal some protection.

Spray WD-40 (or another oil protectant that won’t damage rubber and plastic) on the:

  • Exposed parts of the frame
  • Radiator
  • Engine
  • A-arms
  • Swing arm
  • Shocks and springs

Make sure to do this when the machine isn’t hot because oil protectants are flammable.

Do not spray the brake discs with oil protectant, or you’ll make them inoperable.

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Can A Rusted ATV Frame Be Repaired?

In many cases, yes, it can. The sooner you discover the rust, the better your chances of fixing it because it will have had less time to damage your machine. This is another good reason to do thorough pre-ride inspections.

How to Remove Rust from ATV Frame

If you have found superficial rust on your machine, you can just do a little ATV frame rust removal.

You’ll need:

  • Steel wool
  • WD-40
  • Clean rag

Locate the spot. Spray the spot with a light coating of WD-40. Then wait about ten seconds to let the WD-40 soak into the rust.

Lightly rub the rusted spot with the steel wool. Try not to rub areas that aren’t necessary, because you could damage previously undamaged powder coating.

Use the rag to rub the WD-40 with the rust mixed into it off the frame. You should see a new-looking frame underneath.

The powder coating is probably damaged, which can make your frame more likely to be visibly scratched. If you want to regain this protection, you can have it powder coated.

How to Fix Rust on ATV Frame

When the rust has been sitting long enough to cause structural damage, you’ll have to do more extensive ATV rusted frame repair a.k.a. part replacement.

If the rust is on one portion of the frame that can be easily replaced like the A-arms, you’re in pretty good shape. Just replace your A-arms.

If a sizeable amount of the frame or a crucial, irreplaceable part of the frame has rusted, you’ll have to replace your frame or replace your ATV.

You can’t ride around with a rusted frame. You’ll just end up with more rust and eventually a breakdown or accident on the trail.


Clean your ATV regularly. Perform routine maintenance so you get a great look at your vehicle on a regular basis. Remove rust when it’s still superficial so it doesn’t have time to do serious damage. These steps will help you avoid the more drastic measures.

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