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Utility Vehicle Maintenance

Keep your utility vehicle in good working condition for farm and stable chores.

By Toni McAllister

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Advice on keeping up maintenance on your utility vehicle
Regular maintenance on your new or used utility vehicle (UV) is important to ensure that it runs smoothly and lasts for years to come. Some UV manufacturers report vehicle lifespans of more than 15 years with proper maintenance.

The best maintenance plan is the one recommended by your UV manufacturer. Follow the recommended maintenance schedule and get receipts for money spent on repairs; otherwise you won’t be covered under your manufacturer warranty if something should go wrong.

Any repairs or maintenance should be done by trained technicians. If you are buying a new or used vehicle, work with a local dealer who can provide parts and service. In some cases, manufacturers will void warranties if the work is done by mechanics who aren’t certified with the manufacturer.

Service contracts are available to cover costs of regular maintenance through some manufacturers, although these agreements are usually geared toward businesses that own a fleet of vehicles.

To prevent vehicle problems and breakdowns, always operate your UV in accordance with manufacturer recommendations. Also, store your vehicle in an area protected from the elements.

A good habit to get into is checking your UV each time you operate it. Before getting in the driver’s seat, look at the tires to ensure air pressure isn’t too low; check exposed hoses for leaks; check and clean the area around the engine air intake; and inspect nuts and bolts for tightness. On a regular basis, check fluid levels (oil, brakes, battery and radiator).

For new UVs, many manufacturers recommend checking wheel lug nut tightness after a few hours of vehicle operation. Oil and filter changes are usually recommended after the first month of operation on new vehicles.

Most manufacturers recommend regular maintenance by a trained technician approximately every six months. Also, if you often drive through boggy or wet terrain, you may need to frequently replace your fuel filter; driving in dusty conditions might leave you with a dirty air filter that needs to be replaced more often as well.

If you spot something that doesn’t seem right, or your UV makes a strange noise, don’t hesitate to bring it in for service, especially if it’s under warranty. Maintain your UV like your car or truck, and it will keep going strong for years to come.
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