How to Keep Your ATV Looking New

Even though you take your ATV out into the muddiest, dirtiest, and nastiest trails out there, that doesn’t mean it can’t look good and clean in the times between. If you know how to keep your ATV looking new or how to make ATV plastic look new, you can show off your rig all over while you ride around.

We can all acknowledge that riding is far more fun than cleaning your ATV all the time, but it’s easy to forget that dirt does more than just look bad. If you don’t keep your ATV looking new and clean, dirt can work its way deeper into the mechanical workings of your ATV and eventually cause serious issues. A clean ATV can also help to keep it running as if it is new, not just look good.

With the massive amounts of dirt on the ATV, it can be overwhelming to work on getting it clean. Here, we’ll talk about specific ways how to make ATV plastic look new and get your entire ride sparkling without too much work down on your knees scrubbing away.

atv riding in muskeg.jpg

Consistent cleaning

One of the best ways to keep your ATV looking new is to have a good routine that you use after every time you ride. Dirt that sits on the machine for a long time will lead to more buildup and more difficult cleaning.

Not only does this become more difficult to clean, but the mud on the ATV also holds moisture that can start rusting the metal parts of your ride. As it all builds up, you can get rust and corrosion in several parts of the engine and body, leading to performance issues and a shorter lifespan.

Create a routine for cleaning after every ride that you can stay consistent with. There are only a few main steps that you need to include in a regular cleaning rather than getting detailed each and every time.

Start by plugging up the exhaust and any other air intake points where water could get in and damage the engine. You’ll now use a hose with a pressure nozzle, or a pressure washer with decreased pressure, to get all of the mud off. Get as much as you can reach easily with the hose and clean the dirt off the entire body.

If you’ve used a sealer before, try applying a high-quality cleaning product to get the finer dirt scrubbed off. It should work better if you’ve had a sealer applied beforehand, but if not, you can still use it. Rinse all of the cleaners off before then using a degreaser for any spots that were hit by some fluids.

Finally, rinse off anything that may be remaining and let the ATV air dry out of the sun.

Use a sealer

A sealer helps to cover up the ATV plastic and prevent it from getting stained by mud over time. It will also give your ride a shiny appearance and make future cleaning even easier as mud won’t stick to your ride as easily. Most of these sealers are hydrophobic, which will shed water and help to prevent any rusting from ever starting up.

Prevent fading

The biggest perpetrator when it comes to fading plastics on your ATV is the sun. UV rays break down the plastics and the paints in the machine, making for a dulled-down look that isn’t nearly as appealing as a fresh paint job.

In order to prevent fading, use a sealer that has UV protectant abilities. Also, store your ATV out of the sun and dry it in the shade after you wash it.

Cleaning the engine

Using a quality engine cleaner to keep the engine looking new is just as important as working on the exterior. These cast aluminum parts aren’t going to get as clean as a simple cleaning routine after riding. You need to use a special cleaner and be more detailed in getting all of the nooks and crannies spick and span.

Be careful to wear proper protection when cleaning with these engine cleaners, as many contain strong acids to break through the grime and it can be dangerous for your skin.


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