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Discussion Starter #1
I enjoy my Polaris ATV, but don't really know a lot about them. I ride it in the summer and put it up for the Montana winter. Each spring, I usually charge or change the battery and it is good to go. This spring, the battery was weak so I replaced it with a brand new AGM one and expected it to start right up. But instead I just get a click. The screen lights right up, and the battery is good. If I had to guess, I would think stuck starter, but I don't know if cars compare to ATVs.

Please could I get some advice on how to begin troubleshooting this.
 

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When I have a "no start with clicking issue" on a quad, the first thing I do is hold or repeatedly click the start button and start jiggling wires around the battery and solenoid. Usually that will turn up a loose terminal and it will start up. Hopefully that works for you. If not you can diagnose more.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

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I have run into many instances on vehicles in general when you hear the click. All well and good except it does not mean the start solenoid is making contact from battery cable to the other post that goes to starter. Make sure the battery cable is sending 12v to solenoid large terminal. Depending on access one can put 12 v to post that goes to starter momentarily. If it cranks, starter is good. If not, solenoid may be bad.
 

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Put a meter on the battery - what's the voltage without pressing the start button (or turning the key to the start position) and then what's the battery voltage when holding in the start position?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for these suggestions, you and others. I will do this test on voltage and report.

I had an idea that I wanted to run by the group. I work on my own cars and can usually troubleshoot them because I have the diagnostic computers and adapters that plug in so I can see everything that the car reports. I used these system to troubleshoot and fix complicated problems on a Mercedes.

When I put the key in ignition I see a "check engine" notice on the little dash/speedo dial. This probably going to sound stupid, but I am going to ask it anyway as that is the way I learn, do they sell diagnostic tools for ATVs that I could plug in and read the faults? If so, which reasonably priced one/good quality would anyone recommend for a Polaris. (I am only ever going to buy Polaris ATVs).

Put a meter on the battery - what's the voltage without pressing the start button (or turning the key to the start position) and then what's the battery voltage when holding in the start position?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was able to get help with today. I couldn't turn the key and hold the voltmeter probes on the terminals at the same time. Here is the result:

Voltage of battery ATV just sitting there nothing turned on: 12.8V

Voltage of battery, key turned all the way to start it: 6.8v

No wonder, I just have a click. This is brand new battery that that charges just fine with my BatteryMINDer. I know it is a bit low now, less than 13.4, but I've tried to start the ATV several times. So whatever this load is has taken it down.

Please could I get advice on what is likely wrong and how to fix it?

Put a meter on the battery - what's the voltage without pressing the start button (or turning the key to the start position) and then what's the battery voltage when holding in the start position?
 

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You have either; A) (and most likely) a bad battery or B) a bad starter motor

Normally a good battery will not drop below about 10.5 volts when cranking the engine, but if the starter is bad, it could have an excessive current draw which will cause the battery to drop very low - typically about 8 volts

Use some jumper cables and a car battery - connect the positive to the positive battery cable which you disconnected from to on board battery and connect the negative to the NEG side of the battery - if it starts normally, you have a bad battery - if it's still slow or draggy, connect the ground jumper to a known good frame ground and try again, if still slow or draggy, connect the positive battery jumper directly to the starter motor lead - if it starts normally you may have a bad solenoid - if it's still slow, replace the starter motor
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the help. I've read over what you wrote several times to make sure I get it. I'll locate a car battery and do this trouble shooting. I think (could be wrong, and I am open to being proved wrong) that the battery is good. The reason I think that it is a brand new AGM battery. I took out the old AGM battery and put it on my BatteryMINDer and it came back as good, solid green and desulphated just fine.

I've been thinking about why I have this problem after this being such a reliable ATV. (I understand components just fail with age too) I don't know if this makes sense, but I will see what you think. I've mostly kept this ATV outdoors. In 2018, the seat plastic gave out, all seemed to crack at the same time. At the end of the year the upholsterer had time to do the work. Before fall, he wouldn't quote me a time to do the job. So I gave him the seat and the ATV sat outside in elements for about two weeks. I didn't cover it with a tarp or anything. We had quite a few rainstorms then. I didn't think much about it until now. I am not sure I ever started the ATV up after I got the seat back.

Maybe being exposed to the rain (my stupidity in not covering it) did either the solenoid or starter in?

You have either; A) (and most likely) a bad battery or B) a bad starter motor

Normally a good battery will not drop below about 10.5 volts when cranking the engine, but if the starter is bad, it could have an excessive current draw which will cause the battery to drop very low - typically about 8 volts

Use some jumper cables and a car battery - connect the positive to the positive battery cable which you disconnected from to on board battery and connect the negative to the NEG side of the battery - if it starts normally, you have a bad battery - if it's still slow or draggy, connect the ground jumper to a known good frame ground and try again, if still slow or draggy, connect the positive battery jumper directly to the starter motor lead - if it starts normally you may have a bad solenoid - if it's still slow, replace the starter motor
 

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It highly unlikely rain would have affected the starter motor and only a remote possibility that it might have affected the solenoid - on the other hand, batteries have a high failure rate

Just curious about the new battery - was it dry and had to be filled with acid the day you got it? When filled, what kind of charger was it put on for the activation charge (rate of charge and what amount of taper until the charger shut off)? A battery that has any amount of sulfation is damaged. Desulfation requires a special charger and the expected useful life of a sulfated battery is shorter than a battery that has been kept charged and not allowed the sulfation process to occur.

A std lead acid battery needs to be charged every 30 days - an AGM battery may go 90 days before recharging is mandated.

Conventional Batteries
Check voltage a minimum of once per month (or more frequently if stored at higher temperatures as high temperatures cause higher self-discharge rates)
Check electrolyte level (refill with ONLY distilled water only when the battery is fully charged)
Make sure the exhaust tube is free of kinks and clogs
Replace caps firmly (finger-tight only)
Recharge battery if voltage is below 12.48V

AGM Batteries
Check voltage every 3 months (or more frequently if stored at higher temperatures as high temperatures cause higher self-discharge rates)
Keep top of battery clean
Recharge battery if voltage is below 12.4V
Once activated, the battery is permanently sealed and must never be opened. There is no need to add water to AGM batteries. Adding water to AGM batteries will result in irreparable damage to the battery
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My brother is an electrical engineer and built a simple electrical car that used car batteries. He wanted to do it on the cheap so he requested people give him old dead useless batteries. Some of the ones he received were truly dead, zero voltage or close to it, but some he brought back to life using the BatteryMINDer that is pictured below. On his advice, I bought one too, though they are expensive, the model pictured was $160. I've used them to restore RV batteries, car batteries, ATV batteries and Lawnmower batteries.

Also pictured is the ATV battery from the Polaris. After 16 hours on the desulphation cycle it read 13.46 volts.

I've found a car battery that is good so I look forward to seeing what the problem is with the ATV. Again, thanks for all your help.



Just curious about the new battery - was it dry and had to be filled with acid the day you got it? When filled, what kind of charger was it put on for the activation charge (rate of charge and what amount of taper until the charger shut off)? A battery that has any amount of sulfation is damaged. Desulfation requires a special charger and the expected useful life of a sulfated battery is shorter than a battery that has been kept charged and not allowed the sulfation process to occur.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It has been a very long time with the Polaris broken and me with no time, since May 2019, but today I finally got the Polaris ATV running. I didn't want to go into winter with it broken.

Last week I had a friend come over and go over with me the battery, solenoid and the starter. He showed me that the battery was good, the solenoid was good and that the starter dropped the battery voltage to 6.5V when trying to crank. He suggested disconnecting the starter and checking the voltage. We got 13.2V so he stated the starter was bad. We removed it. I noticed a a lot of rust around the splines where it went into the starter cap. It was locked solid.

I took it apart. The brushes looked fine. The splined shaft would not turn in the cap with the O-rings. I tapped it out with a small hammer. I cleaned the splined shaft to remove all rust with a wire brush and I cleaned the cap with O-rings. I put some Molybdenum grease on the splined shaft where it rotated in the cap/bearing and reassembled the starter - 4 small clamps from Harbor Freight for the compressing the brushes sure worked well. I put everything back together and tried to start it. Viola, it started first time.

Thank you for all the help.

After fixing everything, I took the dogs for a ride out the back of the property. They have not forgotten the sound of the Polaris starting.
 

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Love it when a plan comes together!!!
 
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