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  • Writer's pictureCasey Reedus

Ignite The Engine: How To Turn On An ATV

Updated: Dec 10, 2023



All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) have become increasingly popular for outdoor enthusiasts and recreational riders alike. Whether you're heading out for a thrilling off-road adventure or simply using your ATV for work purposes, knowing how to properly start and ignite the engine is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps to safely and effectively turn on an ATV.

Safety First: Pre-Start Preparations

Before you even think about starting your ATV, it's crucial to prioritize safety. ATVs are powerful machines that can be dangerous if not handled correctly. Here are some safety precautions to keep in mind:

  1. Safety Gear: Always wear the appropriate safety gear, including a helmet, gloves, eye protection, and sturdy clothing. These items are designed to protect you in case of accidents.

  2. Inspect Your ATV: Perform a thorough inspection of your ATV before starting it. Check for any visible damage, loose bolts, or leaks. Ensure that the tires are properly inflated and the brakes are working correctly.

  3. Fuel and Oil: Make sure your ATV has enough fuel and oil before attempting to start it. Running out of fuel or oil can damage the engine.

  4. Location Matters: Start your ATV in a well-ventilated outdoor area, away from any flammable materials or structures. Avoid starting it in an enclosed space, such as a garage, as the exhaust can produce harmful carbon monoxide fumes.

  5. Passenger Limit: ATVs are typically designed for a single rider. Do not exceed the manufacturer's recommended passenger limit, as it can affect stability and safety.

The Starting Process

Once you've taken all the necessary safety precautions, it's time to start your ATV. Follow these steps:


  1. Ignition Key: Locate the ignition key on your ATV. It is usually located near the handlebars or on the dashboard. Insert the key and turn it to the "ON" position. This allows electrical power to flow to the ATV's systems.

  2. Choke (if applicable): Some ATVs, especially those with carbureted engines, have a choke lever or knob. If your ATV has one, engage the choke by moving the lever or knob to the appropriate position. The choke helps enrich the air-fuel mixture for easier starting, especially in cold weather.

  3. Brakes and Neutral: Ensure that the ATV's brakes are engaged. Some ATVs require the brakes to be applied before they can be started for safety reasons. Additionally, make sure the ATV is in the "Neutral" position. You should be able to shift the gear lever to this position without any resistance.

  4. Pull or Push the Start Button: Depending on your ATV's design, it may have either a pull-start or a push-start button. If your ATV has a pull-start, grasp the pull cord and give it a firm, steady pull. For a push-start button, press it firmly. Keep in mind that some ATVs may have an electric start, which requires the push of a button.

  5. Throttle (if needed): In some cases, you may need to slightly open the throttle while starting to provide the engine with more air. Consult your ATV's owner's manual to determine if this step is necessary for your specific model.

  6. Listen for Engine Sounds: As you start the ATV, listen for the engine to turn over and come to life. If the engine doesn't start after a few seconds, release the start button and wait a moment before trying again.

  7. Release Choke (if applicable): Once the engine is running smoothly, if you engaged the choke earlier, gradually disengage it to allow the engine to warm up. Consult your owner's manual for guidance on the proper timing for this step.

  8. Warm-Up: Allow your ATV to idle for a few minutes to warm up. This helps ensure smooth operation and prevents engine damage.

Congratulations! You've successfully started your ATV. Now you can proceed with your ride or work, keeping safety in mind at all times. Remember that each ATV model may have specific starting procedures, so it's essential to consult your owner's manual for precise instructions tailored to your machine.

In Conclusion

Starting an ATV is a relatively straightforward process, but it's vital to follow safety protocols and manufacturer guidelines for your specific model. By taking the necessary precautions and following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure a safe and trouble-free ignition of your ATV's engine, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor adventures or get your work done efficiently.

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