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What Are the Different Types of ATV Snorkel Kits?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2016
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Many all-terrain vehicle (ATV) owners install ATV snorkel kits on their machines to allow the vehicles to remain operational and running when mud and water are covering the engine. This is a tried-and-true method of preparing an engine to survive the effects of being submerged under the mucky surface; however, some owners do not install the proper ATV snorkel kits. Kits are offered to supply fresh air to the fuel system by way of a carburetor or injector unit, but are not the only kits required. Most riders require ATV snorkel kits to feed air to the transmission, differentials and even the exhaust.

Due to the vehicle's ability to operate in rough terrain, many ATV owners use their machines to go into very harsh areas. This can cause the ATV to sink beneath the surface of water and mud, essentially starving the engine for air and stopping it from running. Not only does this typically strand the rider in the middle of a bad place to be on foot, it also creates a difficult rescue for the ATV because it is essentially buried. A solution to this scenario can often be ATV snorkel kits. A snorkel kit raises the air intake position from under the rider's seat area on most ATVs to above the handlebar area.

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Many ATV snorkel kits supply only the air intake snorkels; however, there are other components of the ATV that also can become damaged when submerged in water and mud. These areas include the transmission vent, the belt drive area and the differentials of most ATV drive trains. By installing ATV snorkel kits on these sensitive components, an ATV is much more likely to survive an encounter with deep water or mud. While the air intake snorkel kits often include hard plastic or aluminum tubing, the snorkel kits for the other critical components are commonly nothing more than longer lengths of rubber tubing to raise the vents for the components to a higher location on the machine.

An exhaust snorkel is not commonly thought to be of importance due, in part, to the exhaust's ability to blow past the water pressure. There are kits for the exhaust system as well, however, since this system can become damaged by internal water, mud and sand. It is also subject to damaging engine components, such as exhaust valves, piston rings and push rods due to increased pressure pushing against the exhaust. The exhaust snorkel also prohibits water being sucked into an engine that might stall under water.

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