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How to Spot Fuel Issues

How to Spot Fuel Issues

Part of being a responsible ATV owner is performing routine maintenance. However, it is also important that you know how to spot fuel issues in your ATV. Fuel issues arise in numerous ways, sometimes without any warning. By reading this guide, you will have an advantage in diagnosing any issues and troubleshooting them so you can get back to riding.

How to Spot Fuel Issues in Your ATV

There are many reasons why you would want to inspect the oil in your ATV. Flame outs, loss of power, sputtering, and surging are just a few of the symptoms you might encounter on the trail. Fortunately, identifying that there is an issue will help you take the necessary steps to fixing and maintaining your ATV. Be on the lookout for these fuel issues!

Check Engine Light: When the check engine light comes on, you should always take a quick look to see whether oil is the underlying issue. Take a look at the dipstick to check your ATV's oil levels. When the oil is black or the oil level is below minimum, you should renew the oil. ATV oil should never be filled above maximum.

Decreasing Oil Levels: As the oil in your engine is gradually eaten up, it has to be changed periodically. When the oil is eaten up faster than usual, you should inspect the consistency and consider changing the oil out completely.

Oil and Water Don't Mix: Paradise might be playing in puddles on your quad, but all that fun can potentially lead to a damaging mixture of water and oil. At the end of any riding session through puddles, rivers, and streams, you should check the dipstick and drain the crankcase. Watery oil will look a lot like creamy coffee. Once you drain the contaminated oil, fill your ATV up with standard diesel to flush everything out. Do not ride or rev the ATV with diesel in the engine. Instead, start the engine and let it idle for a few minutes. Turn it off, drain the diesel, and repeat. Let the diesel drain for at least 30 minutes. Once the diesel is completely drained, fill up your ATV with engine oil to the maximum mark on the dipstick. Start the ATV up again and let it idle for 10 minutes to let the oil mix with any remaining water or diesel. Drain and repeat before installing a new filter and oil based on the manufacturer's recommendations.

Smoking ATV Engine: Smoke is always a good indication that something needs to be replaced or at least checked, but the timing of the smoke will be an even better indication of what the underlying problem might be. If your ATV starts smoking as soon as you start up the engine but it tends to stave off once you start riding, it is likely that the condensation is just burning away. If the smoke starts to increase early on in your ride, there is a good chance that you have a case of bad piston rings or valve guides and seals on your hands. When an ATV is given time to warm up, the oil burns up better than when it is started and driven right away and the smoke will start to dissipate.

In addition to the timing of smoke, the color of the smoke will also be a good indication of what might be causing it in the first place. A little light white smoke can be perfectly normal, as long as it burns away in the first 30 seconds. When your ATV's engine starts puffing out white smoke during the ride, there is a good chance the coolant has leaked into the combustion chamber due to a broken water pump, a damaged radiator, or a blown head gasket. You should check your coolant levels for a leak or a sweet smell to determine whether your ATV may be at risk of overheating. Black smoke, on the other hand, is almost always an indication that your ATV is burning gasoline. This can happen when the ratio of air to fuel is higher than usual. Blue or blue/gray smoke is usually an indication that your ATV is burning oil. Two-stroke ATV engines typically emit a blue/gray smoke, but blue/gray smoke coming from a four-stroke engine may tell you that you have bad seals, oil, spark plugs, or piston rings. When in doubt, you should have your ATV checked out by a professional powersport mechanic to make sure everything is in good condition.

Troubling Engine Sounds: Without oil to lubricate the engine, components will start to rub and grind against each other, causing the engine to make some unusual sounds. A noisy engine is a sign that you need to replace the oil.

When it comes to needing affordable parts for your Can-Am ATV, Can-Am Parts Nation has all your needs covered with an extensive selection of crankcase, engine lubrication, fuel tank assemblies, and so much more. Please feel free to contact us with any questions about this guide or our selection of Can-Am ATV parts today.