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Pros and Cons of Having a Heater in Your ATV or UTV

Pros and Cons of Having a Heater in Your ATV or UTV

When it comes to finding ways to add to the function of your favorite set of wheels, there are plenty of great additions for an ATV or UTV on today’s market. When looking for a way to add some extra heat to your ride for those chilly fall or winter adventures, there are a few things to consider first for these vehicle types. Let’s take a look at pros and cons of having a heater in your ATV or UTV as well as explore some basic information about this element.

Available Options

When looking at the pros and cons of having a heater in your ATV or UTV, you first need to know what types of heaters are available for these unique vehicle types. The vehicles themselves are different which contributes to the differences in available heaters.

For ATVs, the most common type of heater on the market is heated grips. Since a lot of heat can be lost through the hands in cooler temperatures, the grips are an obvious place to add heat. Most ATVs do not have the same type of heater most people think of like in a car because it is an open-air vehicle where most riders ride standing up, so an in-vehicle heat system simply isn’t that effective or practical. Heated grips at least help keep your hands warm. The other option for a heater for an ATV is heated seating. This can help give you a little extra body warmth. Both of these options for ATV heaters are kits you can install with ease, so they are a popular choice.

For UTVs, since the cab isn’t quite as open as an ATV and the design is more similar to a car than a bike, there are more traditional options for heaters. While there are some manufacturers creating new models with built-in heaters similar to a car, this is the exception and not the norm. Luckily for you, there are a few ways to add a heater. You can choose to install heated seats or an on-board heater system. Both options are relativity easy and won’t cost too much which makes it a good choice for this vehicle type.

The Pros and Cons


  • - A heating system can be a relatively affordable way to upgrade your vehicle. When upgrading your vehicle with this solution, many parts are universal or can be used in a variety of makes and models without the need for manufacturer specific solutions.
  • - Heated handlebars on an ATV or heated seats can be helpful for rides in the morning or at night when temperatures drop or in the autumn or early winter. Since this type of vehicle is left exposed to the elements without any type of roof, it is a good way to add some warmth.
  • - Installing a heater in your UTV gives you warmth you can control as temperatures drop which is a great added feature. Since a UTV is slightly more enclosed than an ATV, it will help to keep more of the heat from escaping than a completely open concept vehicle like an ATV.


  • - If you are unfamiliar with installing these devices, it can get tricky. You will need to watch a few how-to videos and always follow the instructions. If you are not interested in the time or practice this endeavor takes, it might not be a good addition for you try out.
  • - While a heater will not drain the battery since most don’t operate on electricity, they will require more coolant to get the job done. The coolant runs through the engine and heats up and is then released over fans in a traditional heater unit. You may find yourself going through more coolant over time because of this aspect of operation.
  • - Most vehicles aren’t used in the winter when heat would be a necessity. Most ATV and UTV riders like to ride in the spring, summer, and fall with winter being a drop-off point for the most part when speed enthusiasts switch to a snowmobile for their riding needs. If you aren’t planning on using the vehicle when it is cold enough to need a heater turned on, then this might be a waste of time and money for you. While you certainly can ride your ATV in the winter because they are made for any terrain, including snow in most cases, if you aren’t planning on it, adding a heater won’t do much.