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How To Fix Very Noisy Gears in an ATV

Whether you’re in first gear, second, or third, you may be experiencing a loud whining and grinding of your gears when riding. The racket is a cause for concern, as you may be experiencing some serious transmission issues. Unfortunately, noisy gears can be a common problem, especially in some models of ATVs.

The quieter the ATV, the better it is. First off, you won’t go deaf by age forty, you won’t make all of your neighbors upset each time you go riding, and you won’t scare away anything you’re trying to hunt and bring home that night. There are a few different ways to fix the noisy engine that you are experiencing, but figuring out how to fix noisy gears in an ATV can be a long process, even for the most experienced mechanics.

To start off, you can try some preventative and easy measures to take like a lubricating oil that will help with shifting. You can also attempt to insulate your ATV so the noise is dampened, although the primary issue still isn’t fixed.

atv mud riding

How to Fix Grinding Gears

The first step you will take in this process is the same as most others. You want to try and diagnose the problem before pulling everything apart and trying to fix things that may not be broken. You may have a bad U-joint, U-joint splines, ring or pinion gear, gear bearings, or several other issues. It’s not what you want to hear, but unfortunately, it’s the truth.

To get a better idea of what’s happening, you can eliminate other causes of noise. Often you can add a silencer to your exhaust or insulate the ATV to dampen all of the mechanical noise. If you’re still experiencing issues, go to your oil.

Take your oil dipstick and bring a little bit to your finger. Look closely in the oil for any metal particles. The same oil is used for both your transmission and your engine, meaning that metal pieces can be a sign of grinding gears. This is an issue for multiple reasons and can seriously damage your engine and worsen the transmission further.

One of the first things you can try is to add a little bit of Schaefers Moly EP into the gearbox. You can also try adding a very small amount (about half a teaspoon) or WS2 (tungsten disulfide) to your gearbox and your rear differential. This mostly helps with smoother shifting, which can be the cause of noisy gears in an ATV.

It’s also recommended that you start with a full tune-up. This can eliminate any issues that are caused by bad oil or small issues that can easily be fixed. It also narrows down what you’ll need to be looking for as you will discover any major issues while giving a full tune-up. If your belts are slipping, get new ones. If you have old bushings or loud wheel bearings, replace them all. This will get rid of a lot of rattle and extra noise you may be hearing.

In the end, knowing how to fix noisy gears in an ATV is a job left to someone who’s willing to rip the whole thing apart and find the issue. You might need to take apart the transmission, and if you don’t have serious mechanical skills, it’s better left to a professional.

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