What to check before you buy that used atv !. - Honda ATV Forum
Repair & Maintenance Having problems? Doing a rebuild? All Repair/Maintenance Discussions here.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 10-17-2016, 04:12 AM Thread Starter
Super Moderator
Supporting Member
shadetree's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: north little rock, ar.
Posts: 29,936
Liked: 1883 times
What to check before you buy that used atv !.

Hey gang, as I said in another thread, here is a list of things you should check before you buy that used atv ?!. Does it start at all ?. If it starts, does it smoke ?. how good are the tires ?. are the rims bent anywhere ?, are the rims rusty ?, does the tires hold air ?. take a small car jack with you, jack the front and back up off the ground, grab each wheel, lift up/rock the whole wheel, any loose play ?, if so ?, wheels bearings are bad, tie rod ends are bad. turn the handle bars, feel any slop, rattle, clunks ?, if so ?, lower steering bearing can be bad ?. these go bad a lot, as most owners never replace them !. there is also a rubber bushing right under the bars, bolted to the upper frame, these go bad a lot too. How are the front and rear brakes ?, any play in the wheel when you jack up the rear end ?, if so ?, bad differential bearings ?, bad bearings on both outer ends ( backing plate side, and rear left axle tube has bearings in them if they are SRA ? ( SRA is solid rear axles ) IRS axles may have bearings in them ?, I have not had the pleasure of working on a IRS. ( IRS is independent rear suspension ). any oil leaks from the rear differential ?, any oil leaks or signs of oil leaks inside the rear tire rim and axle tube ?, if so ?, this means oil seals are bad. any clunks, rattles, grinds when moving ?, can be a bad differential , bearings, ring gear, pinion gear is bad !..this is costly !. does the transmission shift through all gears ?, if not ?, then this means it has a transmission problem. any noise , rattle coming from the top of the motor ?, if so ?, bad cam chain ?, bad rockers ?, loose rockers ?, worn cam lobes ?. take a compression gauge with you..ALWAYS CHECK COMPRESSION BEFORE YOU BUY IT !!. this is the number one killer in all motors !!, and it cost a lot to rebuild these motors !. Inspect the frame, from UNDER IT, REAR, FRONT, SIDES..ALL THE WAY AROUND !!, can't tell you how many times I've seen rusted out, bent, MISSING frame tubes !..lol. pull the seat, remove the air box lid, clean ?, air filter even there ?!..lol. does the inside show any signs of mud ?, water ?, sand ?, small signs of oil is ok !, as there is even oil on a new filter from Honda. any smell of fuel ?, if so ?, then you can have a stuck float needle, and the fuel is flowing back into the air box, because the one-way check valve is not working ?, these are always attached to the bottom of the float bowl, and run down and back away from the motor and carb. remove the oil dipstick, full ?, low ?, clean ?, dark ?. smell the oil, if it smells like gas ?, then at one point..the carb float needle stuck closed, and fuel ran into the intake valve, and pretty much ruined your piston rings !!. does the lights work ?, are the lights even on the atv ?. battery good ?, ignition switch work and there ?, A MISSING IGNITION SWITCH TO ME, IS A DEAD GIVE AWAY TO A STOLEN ATV !, NOT ALWAYS IS THIS THE CASE ?, BUT I JUST DON'T LIKE IT !. the number one way to tell if it's be stolen ?, IS THE ATV VIN NUMBER IS MISSING, SCRATCHED OFF , GRINDED OFF ?, OR HECK..THE WHOLE DAMN VIN NUMBER PLATE IS GONE !!!..DO NOT BUY ANY ATV IF THE VIN NUMBER IS MISSING !!!, MAKE SURE ALL LETTERS AND NUMBERS ARE THERE ?, AND CAN BE READ ?!. there are 17 digits to Honda atvs and motorcycles....ALL HONDAS ARE MADE THIS WAY !. count from left to right, until you reach the 10th digit, it will be a letter or number ?. this letter or number tells you what this atv is ?. when your inspecting the wheels as I covered at the beginning ?, don't forget to have a look at the upper and lower a-arm ball joints in the front !. how's the plastics look ?, cracks ?, missing ?, fenders are not cheap !, and on older models, most can not be purchased new !!..this means..ebay ?, or off Craig's List ?. any mud/splash guards missing ?, foot wells missing ?, again..these parts all add up !, figure in the lower cost to the seller if you really want this used atv ?!. pull the spark plug, put the spark plug back into the spark plug wire, lay it on the engine, turn the key on, crank it over a couple times, do you see any spark ?, if not ?, this means a few things, bad c.d.i. ?, bad stator ?, bad reg/rec ?, bad spark plug coil ?, bad pick up coil ?. any signs of oil seal leaks from any where on the engine ?, if so ?, they are bad..and need replacing. any oil leaks from around the oil drain plug ?, if so ?, can be a stripped out oil drain plug ?, and this will suck !..lol. I am sure I am forgetting things ?, so if anyone wants to add to this post ?, please feel free to post what to check before you buy that used atv !.

'89 trx350D foreman 4x4...'85 vf700c magna, '03 trx450fm foreman 4x4 , 2015 Yamaha waverunner fx cruiser ho, '05 trx500fm
shadetree is online now  
Sponsored Links

  Lower Navigation
Go Back   Honda ATV Forum > Honda ATV Technical Discussions > Repair & Maintenance

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Honda ATV Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome