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How To Change The Oil On An ATV: 2 Stroke Or 4 Stroke

How To Change The Oil On An ATV: 2 Stroke Or 4 Stroke

Proper maintenance is crucial for the smooth running and longevity of your ATV, regardless of whether it has a 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine. Taking good care of your ATV not only ensures its longevity but also helps you avoid costly repairs in the long run. 

Changing the oil is an essential maintenance task that contributes to the engine’s smooth operation and longevity. If you wish to change the oil for your ATV 2-stroke or your 4-stroke, you can either go to the mechanic or you can do it on your own

While it may seem daunting, changing the oil on your ATV is not a very difficult task if you follow the proper process with care and patience. It’s important to have the right tools for the job and use the recommended brand of oil as specified by the manufacturer. Using the wrong brand of oil can potentially cause damage to the engine

This article will provide you with all the necessary information to perform an oil change on your ATV, so read on to learn more!

Changing the Oil in an ATV 4-stroke

When it comes to the proper maintenance of an ATV, the timely changing of oil is one of the most important aspects. The process of oil change involves three aspects including; knowing the frequency of oil change, keeping the tools required to change the oil, and following a series of steps.

Frequency of Oil Change

Understanding the recommended frequency of oil changes is crucial for your vehicle’s longevity and performance. 

However, it’s important to note that the specific interval may vary depending on the manufacturing company and the model of your ATV. It’s up to you to ensure you are aware of the manufacturer’s guidelines by referring to the ATV’s manual. By doing so, you will have helpful information on when and how often you need to change the oil, tailored specifically to your ATV. 

While a general guideline is to change the oil at least once a year, you must consult the manual for accurate and specific instructions. Following the manufacturer’s recommendations will enable you to take the best care of your ATV’s engine, ensuring optimal performance and minimizing the risk of potential issues. So, make it a habit to refer to the manual and follow the guidelines provided, as it empowers you to make informed decisions about your ATV’s maintenance routine.

Tools Required

The following are the tools required for changing the oil in your ATV 4-stroke

  • Wrenches
  • Suitable oil (usually 10w-40)
  • Funnel
  • Oil filter
  • Oil pan
  • Paper towels or rags

I like to get an entire oil change kit or maintenance kit every year to do the yearly maintenance on my ATV. Here is an example of an ATV Maintenance Kit found on Amazon. This probably won’t be the exact model you have but it gives you an idea of what to look for.

Steps Involved in Changing the Oil in Your ATV’s 4-Stroke Engine:

Here are the steps involved in changing the oil in your ATV’s 4-stroke engine:

Run the Engine

To start the oil change process for your ATV’s 4-stroke engine, begin by running the engine for a short period. Allowing the engine to warm up slightly serves a purpose: it helps the oil reach a higher temperature, enabling it to flow more smoothly and encouraging any impurities to be expelled. 

However, be cautious not to let the oil get excessively hot. Running the engine for a brief duration is sufficient to get the components moving.

Once this step is completed, you can proceed to the next stage, which involves draining the oil. If necessary, you can also utilize a bike stand to facilitate the process.

Drain the Oil

Start by putting the oil pan under the quad to catch all the oil as it drains out the ATV. Remove the drain plug and wait for all the oil to drain completely out of the engine.

  • Wear the rubber gloves, if you wish.
  • Remove the drain bolt with the wrench.
  • Let all the oil drain completely.

Replacing the Oil Filter

Once the oil is drained completely, you need to do the following tasks:

  • First, remove the oil filter. Use a wrench to remove it.
  • Clean the oil filter cover.
  • Clean the area if you’d like.
  • Replace with a new filter.


Before replacing, try using some new oil around the rubber edge of the filter. This makes a better seal and helps with removing it next time. In case, the oil filter is a reusable metal type, just wash it properly and let it dry properly. If possible, you can use compressed air to dry it.

So, with this, you have drained the residue oil replaced the oil filter, and are ready for the final step (that is) adding new oil.

Adding New Oil

Before adding fresh oil, it’s essential to ensure that all of the old oil residue has been completely drained out. Once you’re ready to proceed with the oil change, follow the guidelines outlined below:

1. Confirm Oil Quantity: Check that the quantity of new oil matches the specifications provided in the manufacturer’s manual for your ATV.

2. Use a Funnel: Unless you’re confident in your ability to pour the oil directly into the oil fill opening without any spills, it’s recommended to use a funnel. This will help prevent any oil from being wasted or making a mess.

3. Replace and Tighten Drain Bolt: Before filling the engine with fresh oil, reinsert the drain bolt and ensure it is tightened properly. This will prevent any oil leaks during operation.

4. Fill the Engine with Oil: Carefully pour the appropriate amount of oil into the engine, making sure not to overfill or underfill. Typically, there will be markings or indicators on the oil reservoir or dipstick indicating the correct oil level.

5. Wrap-Up: Once you have successfully filled the engine with oil, you have completed the oil change process. It’s important to dispose of the used oil responsibly, following local regulations.

 Now let’s move on to learning how to change the oil in your ATV’s 2-stroke engine.

Steps Involved in Changing the Oil in Your ATV’s 4-Stroke Engine:

Typically, in my 2-stroke engines, I never change the oil. The oil gets mixed with the gas and only requires periodic refilling. It’s similar to refilling the gas tank, where you should regularly monitor the oil level in a 2-stroke engine and refill as necessary.

However, I can understand the desire to change the oil in certain situations, particularly if the ATV has been idle for an extended period. If that’s the case, the steps for changing the oil in a 2-stroke engine are quite similar to those for a 4-stroke engine, although the filter setup may differ or there may not be a filter at all. Additionally, it is crucial to ensure you use 2-stroke engine oil specifically, as it differs from 4-stroke oil, and mixing the two can lead to complications and potential issues.

That covers the process of changing the oil in both ATV 4-stroke and 2-stroke  engines.


In summary, proper maintenance is crucial for the well-being of your ATV, whether it is a 4-stroke or 2-stroke vehicle. Changing the oil is an essential part of this maintenance routine, and it should be done according to the guidelines provided in the manufacturer’s manual.

Fortunately, you can perform the oil change yourself by following a series of steps. Firstly, it’s recommended to run the engine to warm up the oil, allowing any impurities to come out in the residue. Afterward, you should drain the oil completely. Next, replace the oil filter, if applicable, and finally, refill the engine with the recommended brand of oil.

By following these steps and adhering to the manufacturer’s recommendations, you can ensure that your ATV’s engine remains in optimal condition, promoting longevity and reliable performance.

Thanks so much for reading to the end!

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