The best way to buy and sell an ATV

Whether you’re looking for a new ATV or selling up for a newer model, all-terrain vehicles are rugged machines that require some preparation before they change owners. Like any vehicle you find online (or off), there are things you can do as a buyer and a seller to help make the transaction a smooth one, with happy Kijiji members on both sides. Let’s start at the beginning.

Editor’s note: This article has been newly updated.

Check the tires

As a buyer, ATV tires can be expensive to replace and are key to ensuring safe driving. Check that the tread is not overly worn down and that there are no cracks or chunks missing from the rubber. When selling, make sure your tires are in good shape and replace them if worn down. A vehicle with decent tires will likely sell a lot faster and command a higher price on Kijiji than one with worn treads.

Find your bearings (and ball joints)

When inspecting the ATV, jack it up on one side, grip the tire, and try to wiggle it in and out and up and down. Listen and feel for any rattles, grinding, or knocking sounds or movement that indicate worn bearings or ball joints. Repeat this process on the other side. Like tires, you will want your bearings to be in good shape. Replace or tighten as needed, whether you are the buyer or seller.

Don’t get shocked

Look around the top area of the shocks to see if there is any oil leaking. If there is, this indicates a worn shock that will need to be replaced to ensure stability while driving.

Let’s talk CV boots

Check the pleated rubber CV joint boots on the driveline. These keep grease in the wheel joint in order to lubricate moving parts. Look between the pleats to ensure that no grease has leaked out, there are no cracks, and that the boots are in good condition. If you are selling a machine with signs of wear, consider having a good tune-up or lower the price to reflect the work that the buyer may need to put into it.

Check the engine

Whether you are buying or selling an ATV, the engine matters. A lot. So take a look at the engine and the undercarriage for visible damage, dents, or cracks. ATVs are usually treated with rust-resistant coatings, so rust is often a sign of stress cracks that will require welding to repair. Use a rag to wipe around the head gasket and valve cover gasket to ensure that there is no oil leaking out. Check that the chain sprocket is not too worn or unevenly worn. Look over the brake cables for cracks and wear. Check that the air filter is not overly dirty – replace parts as needed.

Getting enough fluids?

Pull out the oil dipstick and check the oil for contamination, looking for metallic flecks or overly dark colouring. Check that there is sufficient coolant and other fluids that would indicate that it has been well-maintained. If selling, make sure all your fluids are clean and filled.

Take it for a test drive

When you go see the vehicle before buying, check the lights, mileage, and starter. Take it for a test drive to ensure that it’s a comfortable fit for you and that the engine sounds right and everything works. Same goes for listing an ATV on Kijiji. Take it out and make sure it runs smoothly for the next lucky owner.

How long of a lifespan?

The lifespan of an ATV can vary greatly, as they can be driven in all kinds of conditions. Well-maintained vehicles driven on trails can last 15-20 years, while others pushed to perform over treacherous terrain will wear out at a much lower mileage. By checking the condition, you should be able to estimate whether the vehicle still has plenty of life in it. When selling, make sure to focus on the positive aspects of your machine in your Kijiji listing: when it was last tuned-up, how it was maintained, who has driven it, etc. And make sure to post lots of pictures – some of the ATV parts close up and others of the vehicle in action to make the best impression.

Final checks

As a final note, it’s always a good idea to check the VIN number of any vehicle you purchase. As an owner, you can get your ownership paperwork and your records of maintenance and repairs in order, ready to show to potential buyers.

As a buyer, when you find the ATV on Kijiji that’s right for you, make sure the bill of sale is filled out properly, and check to see if your province requires safety training and if it has age restrictions or mandatory insurance requirements. Also, check where you can legally ride an ATV near you and if there is a registration program.

So whether you are buying or selling, make sure the ATV is in good shape and ready to go. Browse ATVs or post an ad on Kijiji now to get a deal done!

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