Buying a used ATV
Interview source: Lucas Cooney, Editor, ATV.com
Buying a used ATV can save you a lot of money. And when they're well taken care of, these machines can literally last for decades.
Lucas Cooney is the editor of ATV.com. He says when you're shopping for a used ATV, keep in mind that it's not going to look like it's in pristine condition. Look past the little dings and scratches. However, it's important to carefully inspect the body of the machine.
"Bring a flashlight with you, and check first and foremost for any signs of rust, especially if it's a steel-framed ATV," says Cooney. "Chances are if there's rust, the machine is going to be damaged whether it's from a crack or something like that. It'll rust and that's going to need a repair. If it's an aluminum frame, you're not going to find any rust, so you've got to be extra careful looking for cracks in the frame or in the welds. Cracks usually show up darker than the aluminum, and especially on the weld marks will kind of show up as little black lines. So those are things to keep an eye out for."
Pop off the seat, take off the lid to the air box, and look around. Take out the air filter and if you see any dirt or water in it, that's not a good sign. Cooney says this might mean that debris in the engine as well, which could lead to costly repairs.
Be sure to start the engine – and make sure it's cold when you do.
"If you get there and the engine feels warm, it might mean he's trying to hide something, hide how it's going to feel when it's starting, so ask him to start it up cold," says Cooney. "Put your hand on it when you get there and make sure it is cold, and that's a good indication of how it's going to start up for you. And once it's started, just kind of listen for any abnormal engine noises. If it sounds like an engine should, then it's a pretty good bet you've got a good product."
When you are looking at used ATVs, Cooney recommends bringing someone with you who rides. They might see things that you don't, and can be the voice of reason if you get caught up in what may not be a good purchase. Don't be afraid to walk away if the deal isn't exactly what you want.
What is a used ATV worth? Find out here
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