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What to Do if Your ATV Overheats

What to Do if Your ATV Overheats

At some point while riding your Honda ATV, you may find yourself in a situation where your ATV is overheating. After all, it’s easy to be in such a hurry to ride that you overlook your engine’s cooling system. Before addressing the issue, it’s best to first consult your owner’s manual to see what Honda says about overheating problems. Some of these include low engine oil, low coolant levels, and a plugged radiator or screen.

Engine Oil Level

Your engine oil should be the first area that you troubleshoot. Without enough oil, the machine doesn’t have the lubrication required to run efficiently.

  1. Park your ATV on level ground to get an accurate reading of your engine oil level.
  2. Remove the dipstick. You will likely need to lift the lever lock on the engine oil cap to do this.
  3. Use a dry cloth to wipe the dipstick clean.
  4. Reinsert the dipstick completely into the oil tank.
  5. Remove the dipstick and check the oil mark. The level should be in the safe range. If it is not, your engine oil must be refilled.
  6. Refill with 0W-40 engine oil until the level is within the safe range.
  7. Replace the dipstick and lever lock.
  8. Restart the engine and see if it continues to overheat. If so, move on the next section below.

Radiator and Front Screen

Sometimes your ATV’s front screen can be the cause of overheating. If you’ve been trail riding in the mud, the caked-up debris could be the cause. If so, it’s a quick fix!

  1. Remove the screen by gently pulling the top of it first, then the lower half.
  2. Use a garden hose to rinse away any debris.
  3. Take a look at your radiator fins. Do you see any debris? If so, rinse the fins with the garden hose as well.
  4. Replace the front screen and restart your engine. If the problem is not resolved, the last thing we need to check is your coolant level.

Coolant Level

Your coolant level directly affects the ATV’s ability to operate efficiently as you’re riding. When this level is low, it can wreak havoc on your machine.

  1. Check your owner’s manual to see exactly where the recovery bottle is. It’s commonly found on the left side of the Honda ATV under the left-side panel.
  2. If the coolant is below the MIN mark (located on the side of the bottle), refill it with more coolant.
  3. Unscrew the coolant recovery bottle cap. Pour in a mixture of 60% anti-freeze and 40% coolant until the coolant level is between the “MIN” and “MAX” marks. Replace the cap back and reinstall the left-side panel.
  4. Restart the engine.

Hopefully, your overheating problem has been resolved by one of the three methods above! If you find that your engine is still overheating, you may need to take the ATV to a certified Honda dealer. They’ll be able to determine if your issue is more serious than just overheating.