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Should You Relocate Your Radiator On Your ATV? Is It Worth It?

Relocating your ATV’s radiator can seem like a big task that may or may not need to be done. From my personal experience with ATV’s, here is my opinion.

Should You Relocate Your Radiator On Your ATV? This depends on what you drive your ATV through. If you drive mostly through mud, then yes you should. You should even relocate your radiator if you drive through deep water because there is typically vegetation floating in the water that could potentially get stuck to the front of your radiator. If you mostly ride dusty trials, then it would not be necessary for you to relocate your radiator because nothing is going to clog it. If your ATV starts to display a “Temperature” light which means that your engine is running hotter than it should, and you know that your radiator is clogged, then you should definitely relocate your radiator.

Deciding on whether or not to relocate you radiator is a big decision. This will drastically change the appearance of your ATV and the installation can be a job. Keep reading and I will help you decide.

Signs That You Should Relocate Your ATV’s Radiator

The main obvious sign that you should relocate your radiator is if you plan to do extreme mud riding or any mud riding at all. These machines cost too much money to risk permanently damaging the engine from just hitting a few deep mud holes.

Another sign that you may want to relocate your radiator is if your radiator is prone to collecting mud and every time you wash your ATV you notice that your radiator needs cleaning as well. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Go ahead and install one because maybe one day you will be miles away from the parking lot and, only then, your ATV will start to overheat.

Have you ever been riding and your temperature light come on? I have, and it is not a good feeling. You don’t know whether your engine is just running a little hot or if you should keep driving it at all. There’s a good chance that your radiator has some mud or vegetation caked on it. Whenever this happens, air cannot flow through the fins on the radiator which helps cool the coolant down. Almost every ATV has a fan attached to the radiator to help with this when driving at slow speeds but it can’t do its job if there is mud layered on the exterior of the radiator.

Advantages of Relocating Your ATV's Radiator

Prevents Over Heating: The main reason people relocate their radiator is to prevent their ATV’s engine from overheating. The radiator contains coolant or antifreeze and this coolant cycles through your ATV’s engine and back up through the radiator. When this happens the coolant gets hot and needs to be cooled back down by air flowing through the fins on the radiator. But if mud is clogging it, the coolant cannot get cooled down enough to perform its job.

Easily Accessible for Cleaning: Another advantage of relocating your radiator is that you are, now, able to keep it clean longer and when it is time for your machines bath, you can clean it with ease. PLEASE NOTE: Do NOT use high pressure to clean your radiator because it may bend or damage the fins. A water hose and a regular nozzle will do the job just fine.

Makes Your ATV Look Better: Relocating your ATV’s radiator will drastically change the appearance of it. Depending on the type of relocation kit you purchase, it can make your ATV look a lot meaner and provide it with a more aggressive look. The reason I say this, is because some ATV's look better with a kit than others. You can also pay someone that has a metal laser cutting machine to create you a custom steel radiator cover which can make for a sweet looking ride.

Disadvantages of Relocating Your ATV's Radiator

Takes Up Space: The main reason people do not install a radiator relocation kit is because it uses up so much space on their front rack. For the hunters, this can prevent hauling deer or installing a nifty gun rack on your front rack. For the mudding guys, like myself, the radiator can limit your options when choosing speakers or light bars for your ATV.

Installation Can Be Difficult: Installing a radiator relocation kit can be quite difficult. I don’t want to go into the details but there will be drilling holes, extending cables and fitting hoses. I would definitely take your time on the install and read the relocation kit instructions very carefully before starting. Like they say, “measure twice, cut once”.

Makes Your ATV Look Worse: Depending on your taste, the kit you go with may give your ATV a weird look and you might be disappointed. I suggest searching your ATV with the exact radiator relocation kit and viewing some pictures before purchasing, even if you have to contact someone to send you some images. Trust me, it will be worth it. I would say 90% of the time, your ATV is going to look better, more aggressive and unstoppable with one of these kits sitting on the front rack.

Most Popular Brands of Radiator Relocation Kits

  • High Lifter
  • Wild Boar
  • Lucky 7
  • Rubber Down Customs
  • Can Am


To conclude this post, if you are currently riding in mud or plan to ride in mud, I would highly suggest relocating your ATV’s radiator to the top of your front rack for the sake of prolonging your engines lifespan. This will give you an extra layer of relief when you get deep into some muddy trails, especially riding by yourself. Despite the work involved for the installation and the space it needs on your front rack, this accessory will pay for itself time and time again.

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