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  • Writer's pictureJohn Baker

What’s the Best ATV & UTV Oil?

A silver lining to the pandemic lockdowns a couple years ago has been the remarkable growth of the ATV/UTV market. People flush with stimulus cash and in search of entertainment options bought ATVs and UTVs faster than the manufacturers could make them. Those enthusiasts have to maintain their machines, which means they’re in search of the best ATV oil on the market.

There are several options available. So, which is the best ATV & UTV oil? We think AMSOIL makes the best oil for your powerful, sophisticated machine. And here’s the proof.

What’s The Best ATV & UTV Oil?

Let’s start with the best ATV oil for today’s powerful machines predominantly used to get work done. ATVs and UTVs are the jack-of-all-trades when it comes to productivity. They can plow snow; herd livestock; haul dirt, gravel and rock; pull stumps and, my favorite, help you put up several cords of firewood a season.

Pushing your machine takes a toll on the engine, however. It increases heat and stress, which can break down the oil and lead to wear and deposits that reduce power and performance.

Extreme UTV Torture Test: Polaris* Ranger*

To demonstrate protection in a high-stress unit used mostly for work, we installed AMSOIL Synthetic ATV/UTV Engine Oil in a 2018 Polaris Ranger and exposed it to extreme operating conditions in our mechanical lab. To achieve maximum power output, speed was held at 45 mph (72 km/h) while the throttle was wide open with rpm exceeding 6,000, pushing the engine and transaxle to their limits.

  • Transaxle temperatures exceeded 280°F (138°C), far beyond normal conditions

  • Engine oil temperature rose to 280°F (138°C)

  • Continuously variable transmission (CVT) belt temperature hit 270°F (132°C)

In these conditions, lubricants must withstand the heat to protect precision parts.

After 100 hours and 4,000 miles (6,437 km) of torture, the engine and transaxle were torn down.


Check out the video to see how AMSOIL products performed in the Polaris Ranger.

The piston skirt contains no scuffing and appears like new, while the crown contains no abnormal deposits despite 100 hours of severe testing.

The transmission gears are in excellent condition despite the extreme heat.

AMSOIL products delivered excellent protection against wear and deposits despite elevated heat and stress, giving you the confidence to push your machine to the limit.

That’s great for machines built for hard work, but what’s the best ATV & UTV oil for protecting today’s powerful, turbocharged sport UTVs? These units are designed to blow the doors off some cars on the road today and deliver handling and drivability that rival their automotive counterparts.

Extreme UTV Torture Test: Can-Am* Maverick*

For you, we tested AMSOIL products in one of the fastest and most powerful UTVs available today: the Can-Am Maverick X3 DS Turbo RR.

Here are a few of its gaudy stats:

  • 1,500-lb. dry weight

  • 195 hp

  • 153 lb. ft. torque

  • 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.3 seconds

  • 18 psi boost pressure

We installed AMSOIL Formula 4-Stroke® Powersports Synthetic Oil in the engine and SEVERE GEAR® 75W-140 Synthetic Gear Lube in the transaxle since Can-Am specs an SAE 140 lubricant on this machine. Then we tested it on the dyno.

  • 100 hours (3,421 miles [5,028 km])

  • Periods of wide-open throttle

  • 244°F (118°C) maximum oil temperature

  • Maximum 8,000 rpm

  • 220°F (104°C) maximum transaxle temperature

The test plan included periods of wide-open throttle to simulate climbing a hill or sand dune, for example, followed by periods of mid- and low-throttle to simulate slowing down for a corner or other obstacle.

Hitting wide-open throttle and then throttling down creates severe heat cycles that invite deposits and varnish on the pistons, rings, turbo bearing and other components. Stuck rings reduce engine compression, which also reduces power. Excessive piston crown deposits can lead to damaging pre-ignition, while deposits on the turbo bearing or shaft, called turbo coking, can reduce turbo performance and life.


Check out the video to see how AMSOIL products performed in the Can-Am Maverick.

As the images show, AMSOIL Formula 4-Stroke Powersports Synthetic Oil delivered outstanding protection despite the strenuous operating conditions.

The piston skirt contains no deposits, scuffing or scoring. The piston crown demonstrates normal, light deposits given the extreme conditions. The piston rings are free and did not stick for maximum engine compression and power.

The turbo bearing appears in like-new condition and contains no deposits or noticeable wear, which is impressive given the extreme heat of the test.

The oil performed flawlessly despite the extreme conditions and proved its ability to protect today’s powerful, turbocharged UTV engines for maximum service life and performance.

The transmission gear contains no scuffing, scoring or deposits; it appears in like-new condition.

The piston skirt appears in like-new condition, the crown contains minimal deposits and the rings remained free for maximum compression and power.

The turbo bearing is clean and in excellent condition despite the extreme heat and stress of testing.

The transmission gear contains no scuffing or scoring and appears in like-new condition.

The Best ATV & UTV Oil

The results show the excellent performance of AMSOIL synthetic ATV/UTV lubricants in the most demanding machines, whether built for work, play or a little of both. Based on testing, we think AMSOIL makes the best ATV & UTV oil.

Grab an AMSOIL oil-change kit next time your machine is due for maintenance and see for yourself.

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