Winter weather is hard on vehicles. It puts an extra strain on engines and batteries. Here are some tips to improve the performance of your Polaris Off-Road Vehicle in cold weather environments.
The No. 1 cause of poor starting is fuel quality. Make sure your vehicle has a tank full of fresh 87 octane fuel from a high volume gas station. This ensures you’re getting fuel mixed for winter driving.
(The exceptions to the rule of 87 octane are RZR Turbo models, which require 91 octane fuel).
A winter fuel mix has a higher Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP), which increases evaporation and eases starting. Summer fuel mixes have lower RVPs. They’re less likely to evaporate in warm weather riding, which prevents vapor lock issues.
After filling your tank with fresh gasoline, run the engine for 10-15 minutes to fill the fuel system with the fresh winter blend.
Check your spark plug gap and condition. A fouled spark plug lacks the voltage required to ignite fuel.
Make sure you’re giving your engine time to warm up after starting it in cold weather. For a period of time after start-up, the engine is in fuel enrichment mode in cold weather. This improves starting by adjusting the fuel mixture.
Avoid short trips. Cold weather is especially hard on batteries. At 32 degrees Fahrenheit, a battery can lose 35 percent of its strength. At 0 F, it can lose 60 percent of its strength.
In cold temperatures, starting an engine can take up to twice as much power. On a short trip, the engine is unable to recharge the battery enough to make up for the power lost starting the engine. That quick trip to the mailbox and back can be harmful in the winter when more power is required to start the engine.
Also keep an eye on corrosion buildup on your battery. This becomes a bigger problem in the winter because a poor connection limits the available power flow.