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How to Rustproof a Winch Cable on My ATV

Nothing lasts forever, and this applies to winch cables on ATVs. A winch cable is prone to wear and tear, which can result in winch failure. This can be disappointing when you need your winch to take you out of muddy terrains or any tight spot.

Rust is a common cause of wear and tear on winch cables, and rustproofing is a great measure to prevent rust.

Here is how to protect ATV winch cables against rust:

atv waterproof gloves and winch with rust

How to Prevent Rust on Your ATV Winch Cable

The best way to prevent an ATV winch cable from rusting is to lubricate it. Although winch cables are lubricated from the factory, the lubrication can only protect the cable for a few years of its service life. Hence, you must lubricate it after some time of owning your winch cable.

Get Steel Lubricant

Start by getting yourself some high-quality lubricating oil for winch ropes. Although you will be offered different lubricants, a lubricant made for winch ropes is the best to get the job done. The tip is to ensure that the lubricant is purposely made for lubricating steel cables or ropes similar to the one in your ATV winch.

You may be tempted to use multipurpose oils for your winch cable, but this won’t serve the intended purpose. Although the oil will find its way into the core, it won’t adhere well to the surface and prevent rust.

Also, avoid using extra-thick grease lubricants on your winch as a form of lubricant, as they are not meant for winch cables. They are too thick to penetrate the surface of the cable and reach the core. This negates the purpose of getting them.

Once you get yourself some winch cable lubricant, here follow this process to lubricate your winch cable and prevent it from rusting:

Cleaning the Cable

The first step is to clean the wire rope. The lubricant won’t have its maximum effect on the rope if the rope is dirty. Hence, it makes sense to clean the cable first. Cleaning the cable also helps get rid of any substances that may react with the lubricant and reduce its effectiveness.

This cleaning shouldn’t be a difficult task or take much of your time. With water and a cleaning brush, you can quickly clean your winch rope.

Apply the Lube

Once you have cleaned your ATV winch rope and dried the liquid, it is time to apply the lube.

Applying the lubricant is also a simple task to undertake within a few minutes using the same brush. The purpose of the brush is to let the lube distribute evenly on the rope so the lubricant can easily get to the rope's core.

The good thing about lubricating your winch rope to prevent rusting is that you can start using the winch immediately after the application; there is no need to give it some time to soak.

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