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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Starter Stays Engaged

I just purchased a 2012 Polaris Sportsman 400 and it's still in it's break in period. While I was starting it yesterday, I noticed that the starter stayed engaged for a few seconds (about 3) after the engine had started. My concern is that this could cause damage to the starter. Is this normal? It would seem that this should be repaired under warrenty.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 03:48 PM
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My 2011 500 does the same thing. It bothers me to no end, but I've read several posts on different forums that assure us it's normal. If it's under warranty I would definitely get it checked out.


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 04:16 PM
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It is "normal". They've been doing it for years.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Why does it stay engaged? I have a friend that said it caused damage to his starter and somehow the problem went away after he replaced it. It would seem that the starter is not meant to run at engine speeds!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 05:18 PM
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comparing it to a car starter would mean its too close. i wonder if shim would fix it....
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 08:32 PM
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My 2012 500 ho does the same, My dealer started up 3 more new units in front of me and they all did the same.
However it does not sound right, but the dealer assured me it was normal for these atv's.
Hey you guys with 2011 10and 09's does your HO has the same stater noise??
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 04:06 AM
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My wife's '09 500 HO is the same. It bugs me, but after 2 1/2 years & 1,300 miles it still works just fine. Don't think I would worry about it.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 04:08 AM
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starter motor

i have a 08 500 HO scrambler that did this from new - recently it has got stuck on longer and longer until sometimes you have to disconnect the battery to solve the issue - is this the solinoid ( this is the 2nd one i have had?)
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 05:39 AM
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my 2012 400 is doing the same, but only sounds like the starter gear is touching the ring gear, and it is B.S./
There has to be a way to fix this problem. I will be take'n this unit back for a fix.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 09:20 AM
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Don’t know why these starters cause so much concern. Their operating characteristics are due to their design and are consistent with other small engines. There’s no fix, no BS, no damage will result if their operation is within design parameters and there’s nothing the dealer can really do about it.

Nearly universal in automotive applications are “positive shift” type starters where the solenoid when energized physically moves the starter drive against spring pressure into engagement with the flywheel. At the same time, the starter motor is powered through (large) electrical contacts. When the key is released and the power cut, the springs retract the drive (near instantaneously) and the unpowered starter motor winds down without interaction. Yes, there are variations, but that’s the general idea.

The “Bendix” drive type starter dates back to at least the ‘20’s. This type involves a drive unit which operates on centrifugal force to engage the drive gears when the starter motor is energized. In this type, the solenoid is really nothing but a large relay and does no mechanical work. Once energized, the starter motor begins to spin, turning the drive through a gear. The weighted drive unit takes a moment to catch up which causes the unit to spin outward toward the flywheel on grooves machined in the shaft while overcoming light spring pressure. On initial engagement, the non-moving flywheel forces it to fully “unwind” into full engagement at which point the starter motor begins to turn the flywheel and the engine spins. When the power is cut, the starter motor spins down and spring pressure (eventually) overcomes centrifugal force and withdraws the drive. As you’ve noticed, there’s a delay in disengagement and several factors including engine speed can cause the time to vary a bit. In any case, this type of starter is nearly universal in small engine applications and isn’t generally overly troublesome.

There are a couple of other factors that affect Bendix drives. They’re sealed in the recoil starter housing and get no love or lubrication. If you have a machine with a recoil starter (probably ’08 and prior), there’s a tendency for moisture to get into the housing through the rope hole and if left in will cause the Bendix to rust which quickly ruins it. If none of the internal parts are broken, they can sometimes be saved, but operation in my experience from that point forward has always been erratic. Polaris sells replacements (very expensive) and all the individual parts. And, aftermarket Bendix drives from several countries are available from numerous vendors. Some have better reputations than others. (Most are Asian or South American.) If you ever have the recoil starter housing off the engine (whether it be a real one or a “blank”), the Bendix is easily removed for cleaning and lubrication. (Don’t forget to give the bushings in the housing and engine case a dab of grease and be sure to put the thrust washer back in the correct place.) Bendix drives that are on the way out often won’t engage at all and the starters just spin. Sometimes they’ll catch after two or three tries, but it will likely get worse over time. I’ve never had one refuse to disengage completely, but others here have reported that happening. In my experience, they’ve lasted for years with minimal attention. Your method may vary.

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Last edited by 1of7627; 08-09-2012 at 09:23 AM.
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