What Is Considered High Mileage On A Kubota RTV?
Jun 15th 2023
There are many things that can be said about the Kubota RTV, and riders often describe it as a tank, a machine that never misses a beat, and a faultless workaholic that’ll do anything from hunting and ice fishing to farming and general screwing around. You can use your Kubota RTV to haul thousands of pounds of water, cement blocks, topsoil, and practically anything else, and it has proved itself time and time again as a great farm / ranch rig that's great for feeding livestock, installing fences, or working the Earth. There’s no question that the Kubota RTV is versatile, functional, and durable, and when it comes to comfort and fuel economy, it’s leaps and bounds better than ATVs and most other side-by-sides. But just how reliable is the Kubota RTV? What kind of mileage can one expect to get from one, and what is considered high mileage on a Kubota RTV? We’re about to answer these questions and more, so without delaying any further, let’s jump right in!
How Many Miles Can You Rack Up On A Kubota RTV?
Kubota’s UTV lineup is bulletproof. But as with anything mechanical, it needs to be maintained. Although they’re rugged and reliable, the Kubota RTV 900, the Kubota Sidekick, and the Kubota RTV 1100 are no different than any other UTV in that if you use them like they’re intended to be used -- and properly maintain them -- you can expect years of faithful service. If, on the other hand, you continuously abuse your machine and fail to service it, you’ll be wondering why it’s not as rock solid as everyone says.
The RTV isn’t without its problems, and if you look online, you’ll likely find people bashing the RTV for transmissions blowing apart, shafts stripping, head gaskets going out and many other issues. But the reality is that most people who are satisfied with their vehicles don’t have an impetus to spend time praising them online. You will get the one-off lemon machine – that’s unavoidable with basically anything – but you’ll also see riders with decades-old machines that were worked hard daily who haven’t spent a cent on repairs.
Discounting operator error and poor maintenance, the average Kubota RTV should surpass 10,000 miles without breaking a sweat. Furthermore, odometer figures upwards of 20,000 miles, 30,000 miles, and even 40,000 miles are entirely possible! Will you need lots of suspension bushings? Almost certainly. Are the chances high that you’ll also require new injectors, alternators, starters, and water pumps before hitting 20K miles. Of course. But when it comes to the engine and transmission, you’ll likely get thousands of hours and tens of thousands of miles before having to open them up!
How To Avoid Repairs And Make Your Kubota RTV Last Longer
In the hands of a responsible owner, the lifespan of Kubota RTV is nearly unrivaled when compared to other UTVs in their category. Kubota RTVs do have some common problems, however, and the biggest of which is related to difficult shifting. It’s important to stop entirely when shifting gears. You have to depressurize the HST when shifting because it creates the lash to shift the spur gears. Stopping and putting a foot on the brake pedal before shifting will help to take some tension off the spur gears. Changing the transmission fluid with some Kubota Super UTD fluid and filters can also help the transmission pull better, but make sure to adjust the throttle-to-transmission linkage properly for best results.
Aside from proper operation, here are some other ways to ensure that your RTV continues to keep on chuggin!
Regular Maintenance: Follow the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule (outlined in the owner’s manual) and perform regular oil changes, filter replacements, and fluid checks. This includes checking the engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid, and hydraulic fluid levels.
Cleanliness: Keep your RTV clean by regularly washing off dirt, mud, and debris. Clean the air filter regularly and replace it when necessary. Check out these Kubota RTV cleaning supplies and put them to use after every ride!
Tire Maintenance: Check your rig’s tire pressure on occasion and make sure that it’s within the recommended range (it should show the recommended PSI on the sidewall of your tires). Depending on what you’re doing, 15-20 PSI is acceptable. Old tires that can’t handle pressure can be deflated a bit, and if you’re not hauling heavy loads, you can oftentimes get by with 7-10 PSI depending on the tire.
Battery Care: Keep the battery terminals clean and free of corrosion (some dielectric grease can help with this). Ensure the battery is adequately charged and consider using a battery tender when the UTV is not in use for extended periods of time.
Lubrication: Lubricate all moving parts as per the manufacturer's recommendations. Pay special attention to the drivetrain, suspension components, and pivot points.
Payload and Towing: Adhere to the specified payload and towing capacities of your RTV. Overloading can strain the engine, transmission, and suspension, leading to premature wear and potential damage.
Proper Storage: When storing your RTV, park it in a dry, covered area (if you can) to protect it from the elements. If possible, store it on a flat surface to relieve stress on the tires and suspension. Kubota RTV storage covers are great regardless of whether you park your machine indoors or outdoors. And during transit, travel covers as well as windshield covers will also protect the vehicle from dust, road salt, sand, and fast-moving debris.
What To Look Out For When Buying A Used Kubota RTV
When buying a second-hand Kubota RTV, It’s important to consider the number of operating hours and mileage on the vehicle. That being said, however, a UTV with high mileage that has been taken care of is typically a better bet than a low-mileage machine that has been neglected and beat down. As such, it’s wise to request maintenance records from the previous owner to ensure that the vehicle has been properly cared for. One way to detect if proper maintenance has been conducted is to inspect the fluid levels and their condition. Milky or discolored fluids may indicate potential issues or a lack of periodic servicing.
Additionally, when doing your pre-purchase visual inspection, be diligent and look for any signs of damage, rust, or wear. Pay attention to the frame, suspension, and engine components in particular. Once you’ve given the buggy a thorough once-over, take it for a test drive to evaluate its performance and handling. Listen for any unusual noises or vibrations during acceleration, braking, and steering. Finally, it’s advised that you do a price comparison when looking for a good deal on a used Kubota RTV. Research the market value of similar used RTVs in your area to ensure that you're paying a fair price based on the vehicle's condition, age, and features.
It won’t last forever, but a Kubota RTV or Kubota Sidekick that has been taken care of will definitely give you your money’s worth. It’s a two-way relationship, though, and if you want your side-by-side to last, you’ve gotta put in the time and effort to both maintain it as well as repair it as soon as things go wrong. Is there an upper limit? Naturally! But if you follow the aforementioned advice, you can expect your Kubota RTV to hit low- to mid-quintuple-digit mileage numbers before finally having to send it off to that great scrapyard in the sky!