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I have a 1997 Sportsman 500. Periodically the AWD engage button, does not engage. The AWD light is on. Could it be a weak battery?
 

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It could be a weak battery, a faulty switch, a poor connection and it might be working like it's supposed to - it only engages when the back wheels slip - the front wheels should not be pulling unless the rear wheels are spinning slightly
 

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Thanks. The battery is at about 11.9 Volts and the rears are definitely slipping so the fronts should engage. Is there any merit in opening up the switch on the handlebar or would you start with the battery. I put it on the charger and couldn't get it over the 11.9 but don't want to spend $84 if I can help it because it does start and run and the headlights work.
 

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Well, a bad battery can cause other failures, but first tell me about your charger - what is the brand name, model number and the output amperage?

Then tell me about the electrical system on the quad - how many volts at the battery with the engine running about 3000 RPM?
 

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Schumacher 200 amp wheeled charger. Charging for one hour at 10 Amps. (Note the battery was down to under 5.0 when I brought it inside, warmed it up before charging.)
 

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The battery is fried - the charge rate is 1.5 amps or lower for 5 to 10 hours - 10 amps is boost on an ATV - 10 amps will almost turn the engine without any battery. If the battery gets warmer than 100 to 110 degrees while charging, it needs to be removed from the charger and cooled to prevent runaway charging.

If you want to use it and perhaps make things work right, you will need a new battery that has been properly activated before installation. Proper activation is charge at 750 milliamps to 1.25 amps until the battery reaches 80 full charge, then cut the charge rate to .25 to .5 amps until the battery reaches 90% charge, then charge at .10 (one tenth) amp until the battery is fully charged (about 13.2 to 13.4 volts).

A properly activated battery will be stronger and last longer. Perhaps with a good battery the AWD will work like it is designed.
 
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