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My 2012 Sportsman 400 HO won't start in mildly cold temps, if it has not been run within the last few days. If I push it into the garage and warm the engine with a space heater, it starts within a half second when I try. It has a full tank of fairly fresh gas, which has been treated with Polaris fuel stabilizer.

I am first starting with choke fully on and trying to start for about 10 seconds (it turns over fine but doesn't start). I then turn choke off and try. Then I try some intermediate choke positions, all with no success.

I plan on taking this ice fishing in the near future and am worried about its poor dependability in really cold weather, if it won't start in mild/cold after a few days (currently 2 degrees celsius).

Does anyone have suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter #62
Does it start when you pull start it? If so then the battery is weak and although it turns over the motor, it doesn't leave enough power to run the ignition. Have had it happen on my 500.
 

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Does it start when you pull start it? If so then the battery is weak and although it turns over the motor, it doesn't leave enough power to run the ignition. Have had it happen on my 500.
There is no pull start but the battery is only a few months old and I fully charged it very recently. I just put a space heater on the engine while it was outside, for about 20 minutes and it started in less than a second.
 

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Discussion Starter #64
Okay that's odd. If heat is helping then you must have some moisture somewhere that is freezing. Once it starts the motor makes heat which keeps it from reoccurring. When its cold it turns over quickly but doesn't start? I would try taking a bit of gas in a spray bottle and spraying in the air intake (ether works as well but be carful) and see if it fires. This will help you isolate whether its a fuel or spark issue. You can also do the old snowmobile trick and put some gas right into the spark plug hole and see if it fires.
 

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Okay that's odd. If heat is helping then you must have some moisture somewhere that is freezing. Once it starts the motor makes heat which keeps it from reoccurring. When its cold it turns over quickly but doesn't start? I would try taking a bit of gas in a spray bottle and spraying in the air intake (ether works as well but be carful) and see if it fires. This will help you isolate whether its a fuel or spark issue. You can also do the old snowmobile trick and put some gas right into the spark plug hole and see if it fires.
It was 4 degrees Celsius today... So above freezing, and I had the same problem again. It starts and runs with the choke on for about 3 to 4 seconds and then shuts off. I turn the choke off and it won't start. I turn the choke back on and it still wont start. If I apply heat to the engine by setting a heater on the floorboards for a few minutes, it starts without hesitation. What the hell? lol.
 

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Ok my turn please, I'm bummed! 2007 Polaris sportsman. I turn the key on and I don't get no display. There is an intermittent clicking sound I here. I can see the speedo slightly moving also. New battery and solenoid. Please give me spine advice.
 

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No start problem....

Well....I had been 4 wheeling all day Friday and Saturday. The atv worked great. (2007 Sportsman 450) electric start worked. Pull start worked. Good acceleration, no issues. Sunday I went to start it up...nothing. No start, no lights, no instrument panel, no nothing. I even tried to pull start it but no luck. I hooked up the battery charger for a trickle charge for the rest of the morning. The charger showed that the battery was charged....but it still would not power up. You should know that I am up in the Canadian arctic....however temperatures have been a warm -5 to -15 C.....so temperature is not a factor. I am wondering if the engine warmed up such that it caused moisture such that inside parts have froze or are damp such that it shorted out the electrical system. Or the battery is just out of juice. I have a mechanic friend who is coming tomorrow to test the battery, however we will see what he says.

Any suggestions? I would have thought I could pull start it, if the battery was low however...... Thanks
 

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Do guys use battery blankets on atvs in colder climates? I always did with skidoos but never yet with an atv. Anyone do this?
 

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I took the battery out......ahhh the positive battery cable was broke off. No wonder there was no juice to the lights or panel. Battery is charging overnight. Will see what happens tomorrow.
 

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I am dealing with this situation on my 1999 Big Boss 6 X 6.

Fresh battery.

Solenoid actuates with a thunk.

Now I have a good idea how to troubleshoot.

Thank you for a clear answer.
 

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Testing the CDI unite

I am dealing with this situation on my 1999 Big Boss 6 X 6.

Fresh battery.

Solenoid actuates with a thunk.

Now I have a good idea how to troubleshoot.

Thank you for a clear answer.
I'm working a 1998 Sport 400.New battery and the solenoid works.Gas getting to the plug,but no spark.How do you test the CDI unite,to know good or bad.
One tired phoneman
 

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Hi I'm having issues with starting. I have read through the sticky note and not being electrical minded dont know how to check if I have power with the multimeter . How do I chech for continuity
You put the key on and it does not start:

1) Make sure the run switch is on

2) Make sure the quad is in Neutral

3) Make sure the battery is in good shape and fully charged

4) When you turn the key do you get a clicking from the solenoid

a. If you don’t hear a clicking then you have to make sure that you have power to the solenoid from the key switch. You can meter it from the thin wire on the solenoid. If you don’t then you have an issue in the switch.
b. If yes, then meter the contacts of the solenoid while turning over the key. You should have 12 volts on both sides. If you do not then clean both the terminals, reattach the wires and recheck. If you still don’t then replace the solenoid. Just because it clicks does not mean that it is working.
c. If you do, then you need to check voltage at the starter motor. Meter the wire lug on the starter and check to see if you have continuity from it to the solenoid lug that is not powered. If you do have continuity, then put a jumper cable directly to the battery positive terminal and touch it to the starter motor lug.

5) If it does not turn over then you need to pull the starter motor out and rebuild it. It will be one of three things: The brushes are broken or work out (most likely), the starter is rusty and filled with sludge and crap or that the magnets have become unwelded from the side of the starter case. The first two can be easily fixed with an inexpensive rebuild kit and a cleaning. The third makes the starter motor useless except for parts.

6) If it does turn over then your next step is make sure you have spark. Remove the plug and put it back in the spark plug boot and ground the tip on the motor and turn over and make sure you have a solid spark. If you don’t then you have an ignition problem. If you do have a spark then pour some gas down the spark plug hole and put back in the plug and see if it fires. If it does then you have a fuel issue.

7) If it wont start with the starter until the motor is warm then you likely have water in the starter that is either freezing and then thawing when motor warms up or until some of it is evaporating letting the brushes make contact with the armature or loosening up the bearings so that it spins easier. Either way it need to come apart.

Hopefully someone can talk me through this. cheers
 

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I have a 2010 sportsmen 500HO won't start when it sit's for a while 24 to 36 hours. Give it a shot of starter fluid it will start a run fine. I have checked the choke cable and the carb seems to be working fine.( you can also take the air intake off and put your hand over the carb and it will start.) Just doesn't seem to want to pull the fuel in the carb otherwise. Any ideas?
 

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ARMcLaren, did you ever figure out why your machine wouldn't start? My sons 2016 450 requires that the brake be pulled in order to start. I've had a worsening problem where the ignition doesn't turn over the engine until you pump the brakes several times. Now it won't start at all. Any idea of where the switch is that tells the ignition/ECM the brake is pulled? any way to bypass this? My sons smart enough to start it without the brake.
 

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ARMcLaren, did you ever figure out why your machine wouldn't start? My sons 2016 450 requires that the brake be pulled in order to start. I've had a worsening problem where the ignition doesn't turn over the engine until you pump the brakes several times. Now it won't start at all. Any idea of where the switch is that tells the ignition/ECM the brake is pulled? any way to bypass this? My sons smart enough to start it without the brake.
 

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How to trouble shoot a no start issue

Okay so your quad does not start here is a logical step by step diagnosis to help determine what your problem may be. This guide is not meant to fix your issue just to help you determine what it is so you don’t throw away useless time and money. It is intended to help the person who has not had a lot of experience in fixing these issues. The seasoned mechanic knows these and the short cuts you can take while doing this stuff.
Something to consider: Occam’s razor says that the simplest solution is most likely the right one. If you hear hoof prints you should think Horses and not Zebra’s. :)

NO CRANKING:

You put the key on and it does not start:

1) Make sure the run switch is on

2) Make sure the quad is in Neutral

3) Make sure the battery is in good shape and fully charged

4) When you turn the key do you get a clicking from the solenoid

a. If you don’t hear a clicking then you have to make sure that you have power to the solenoid from the key switch. You can meter it from the thin wire on the solenoid. If you don’t then you have an issue in the switch.
b. If yes, then meter the contacts of the solenoid while turning over the key. You should have 12 volts on both sides. If you do not then clean both the terminals, reattach the wires and recheck. If you still don’t then replace the solenoid. Just because it clicks does not mean that it is working.
c. If you do, then you need to check voltage at the starter motor. Meter the wire lug on the starter and check to see if you have continuity from it to the solenoid lug that is not powered. If you do have continuity, then put a jumper cable directly to the battery positive terminal and touch it to the starter motor lug.

5) If it does not turn over then you need to pull the starter motor out and rebuild it. It will be one of three things: The brushes are broken or work out (most likely), the starter is rusty and filled with sludge and crap or that the magnets have become unwelded from the side of the starter case. The first two can be easily fixed with an inexpensive rebuild kit and a cleaning. The third makes the starter motor useless except for parts.

6) If it does turn over then your next step is make sure you have spark. Remove the plug and put it back in the spark plug boot and ground the tip on the motor and turn over and make sure you have a solid spark. If you don’t then you have an ignition problem. If you do have a spark then pour some gas down the spark plug hole and put back in the plug and see if it fires. If it does then you have a fuel issue.

7) If it wont start with the starter until the motor is warm then you likely have water in the starter that is either freezing and then thawing when motor warms up or until some of it is evaporating letting the brushes make contact with the armature or loosening up the bearings so that it spins easier. Either way it need to come apart.

Hopefully this will help some people figure out what direction to work toward.
How to trouble shoot a no start issue

Okay so your quad does not start here is a logical step by step diagnosis to help determine what your problem may be. This guide is not meant to fix your issue just to help you determine what it is so you don’t throw away useless time and money. It is intended to help the person who has not had a lot of experience in fixing these issues. The seasoned mechanic knows these and the short cuts you can take while doing this stuff.
Something to consider: Occam’s razor says that the simplest solution is most likely the right one. If you hear hoof prints you should think Horses and not Zebra’s. :)

NO CRANKING:

You put the key on and it does not start:

1) Make sure the run switch is on

2) Make sure the quad is in Neutral

3) Make sure the battery is in good shape and fully charged

4) When you turn the key do you get a clicking from the solenoid

a. If you don’t hear a clicking then you have to make sure that you have power to the solenoid from the key switch. You can meter it from the thin wire on the solenoid. If you don’t then you have an issue in the switch.
b. If yes, then meter the contacts of the solenoid while turning over the key. You should have 12 volts on both sides. If you do not then clean both the terminals, reattach the wires and recheck. If you still don’t then replace the solenoid. Just because it clicks does not mean that it is working.
c. If you do, then you need to check voltage at the starter motor. Meter the wire lug on the starter and check to see if you have continuity from it to the solenoid lug that is not powered. If you do have continuity, then put a jumper cable directly to the battery positive terminal and touch it to the starter motor lug.

5) If it does not turn over then you need to pull the starter motor out and rebuild it. It will be one of three things: The brushes are broken or work out (most likely), the starter is rusty and filled with sludge and crap or that the magnets have become unwelded from the side of the starter case. The first two can be easily fixed with an inexpensive rebuild kit and a cleaning. The third makes the starter motor useless except for parts.

6) If it does turn over then your next step is make sure you have spark. Remove the plug and put it back in the spark plug boot and ground the tip on the motor and turn over and make sure you have a solid spark. If you don’t then you have an ignition problem. If you do have a spark then pour some gas down the spark plug hole and put back in the plug and see if it fires. If it does then you have a fuel issue.

7) If it wont start with the starter until the motor is warm then you likely have water in the starter that is either freezing and then thawing when motor warms up or until some of it is evaporating letting the brushes make contact with the armature or loosening up the bearings so that it spins easier. Either way it need to come apart.

Hopefully this will help some people figure out what direction to work toward.
 

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Registered
Joined
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27 Posts
How to trouble shoot a no start issue

Okay so your quad does not start here is a logical step by step diagnosis to help determine what your problem may be. This guide is not meant to fix your issue just to help you determine what it is so you don’t throw away useless time and money. It is intended to help the person who has not had a lot of experience in fixing these issues. The seasoned mechanic knows these and the short cuts you can take while doing this stuff.
Something to consider: Occam’s razor says that the simplest solution is most likely the right one. If you hear hoof prints you should think Horses and not Zebra’s. :)

NO CRANKING:

You put the key on and it does not start:

1) Make sure the run switch is on

2) Make sure the quad is in Neutral

3) Make sure the battery is in good shape and fully charged

4) When you turn the key do you get a clicking from the solenoid

a. If you don’t hear a clicking then you have to make sure that you have power to the solenoid from the key switch. You can meter it from the thin wire on the solenoid. If you don’t then you have an issue in the switch.
b. If yes, then meter the contacts of the solenoid while turning over the key. You should have 12 volts on both sides. If you do not then clean both the terminals, reattach the wires and recheck. If you still don’t then replace the solenoid. Just because it clicks does not mean that it is working.
c. If you do, then you need to check voltage at the starter motor. Meter the wire lug on the starter and check to see if you have continuity from it to the solenoid lug that is not powered. If you do have continuity, then put a jumper cable directly to the battery positive terminal and touch it to the starter motor lug.

5) If it does not turn over then you need to pull the starter motor out and rebuild it. It will be one of three things: The brushes are broken or work out (most likely), the starter is rusty and filled with sludge and crap or that the magnets have become unwelded from the side of the starter case. The first two can be easily fixed with an inexpensive rebuild kit and a cleaning. The third makes the starter motor useless except for parts.

6) If it does turn over then your next step is make sure you have spark. Remove the plug and put it back in the spark plug boot and ground the tip on the motor and turn over and make sure you have a solid spark. If you don’t then you have an ignition problem. If you do have a spark then pour some gas down the spark plug hole and put back in the plug and see if it fires. If it does then you have a fuel issue.

7) If it wont start with the starter until the motor is warm then you likely have water in the starter that is either freezing and then thawing when motor warms up or until some of it is evaporating letting the brushes make contact with the armature or loosening up the bearings so that it spins easier. Either way it need to come apart.

Hopefully this will help some people figure out what direction to work toward.
2010 Sportsman 850
New starter, new battery, all grounds and connections cleaned and tight. Have 12 volts at starter power lug and 12 volts at the solenoid lug. Still won't start. When I jump the starter power lug to the solenoid lug the starter engages. Any thoughts?
 
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