Four Tips to Maintain Your Winch

Four Tips to Maintain Your Winch 

Four Tips to Maintain Your Winch
Updated: May 6, 2022 - Andy Lilienthal

One question we regularly get is about winch maintenance. What can be done to keep your WARN winch in the best working order? The good news is our winches are mostly maintenance-free. However, there are a few things you can do to keep them in tip-top shape to ensure they have a long service life. We have four suggestions for periodic maintenance..

Step 1 - Use Your Winch Regularly

WARN VR EVO Winch in WARN Ascent Bumper


Like a lot of things (cars and trucks, for example), a winch is meant to be used. While this doesn’t mean you need to get stuck, it does mean you should get the parts moving. If you haven’t used your winch in a few months, put it into freespool and pull the line out, then respool it. This will get all the gears turning helping to distribute lubrication. It will also get the motor moving and possibly get any moisture out. It also means you’ll have turned the clutch handle (assuming you don’t have ZEON Platinum).


Step 2 - Inspect Your Line; Wash Synthetic Rope

Step 2 - Example of Spydura synthetic rope

You should never use a winch line that has been compromised in any way, whether it’s synthetic rope or steel rope. Periodically, unspool your winch rope and inspect it for damage. This includes kinks, slices, and frays. If it is damaged, do not use it. Get yourself another winch rope.

Synthetic rope does require a bit more care than steel. One of the things you can do to promote long synthetic rope life is to wash the line. To do this, simply unspool the rope, get a bucket of water with a mild detergent, such as dish washing liquid, and dunk sections of the rope. Push the rope together in the water freeing up any grit, then move onto a new section. Then respool the rope onto the drum under tension to ensuring an even spooling.


Step 3 - Check your Winch for Water Intrusion

Step 3 - VRX winch in water

Has your winch been under water? Our VR EVO, ZEON, and ZEON Platinum truck winches and VRX and AXON powersports winches are all IP68 waterproof and can be submerged without worry of water intrusion. However, if you don’t have a waterproof winch, it might be a good idea to open it up and re-lubricate your gears and make sure there isn’t any water in the winch if it's being regularly submerged. It should be noted that our non-waterproof winches can still get wet and even go through the occasional dunking in water. If you’re regularly submerging the winch, however, it is a good idea to get them on a maintenance plan to ensure everything is up to snuff.


Step 4 - Periodic Winch Inspections

Step 4 - Performing Winch battery maintenance

Every now and then it’s a great idea to do periodic inspections of the entire winch system. This includes making sure all fasteners are tight, battery terminals are free of corrosion and are also secure, and checking that switches or sockets for remotes are free of debris. Here's a quick reference to our recommended checks:

Winch Maintenance Chart

All of these things will ensure your WARN winch will provide you years of trouble-free service. Remember: All WARN truck and powersports winches have a limited lifetime warranty on mechanical components to the original owner (North America only). Truck winches have a seven-year electrical warranty; powersports winches have a three-year electrical warranty. And be sure to hold onto those receipts as you’ll need them as proof of purchase.

Written by: Andy Lilienthal, Warn Industries

original link: Four Tips to Maintain Your Winch | WARN Industries