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Just joined today and need some advice on where to start looking.
I just got a 2013 sportsman 400 4x4. The previous owner rolled it so I got it cheap. I put a new battery on it and soon as I put the switch to run and turned the key to the ON position the started just started spinning. And when I turn the key past that it quits spinning. I know I have more than one problem here but want to know where to start as far as the ignition goes.
thanks in advanced
 

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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.
Thanks for the add, and the helpful guide. Unfortunately my problem doesn’t quite get answered. I have a 2016 sportsman 570. Runs great. It has a starting problem that is intermittent. Most of the time it turns over and starts. Not really fast but turns over and starts. About 30-40% of the time turning the key just gives a click. Then I have discovered if I rotate the key back and forth, repetitively trying to start it rapidly, eventually it will turn over and start. I’ve cleaned all the connections I could find. Does this when the battery is fully charged too. Another thing to note. I shut it off during plowing the other day. When I tried to restart it turned over, slow as usual but didn’t start and the battery eventually didn’t have enough juice to turn it over. Jumped it from my van and it turned over like never before, super fast, and started right up. Any ideas come to mind from these details? Did not buy new. Bought from a farmer 2 years ago.
 

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Doesn't make any difference what the static volts are 'after charging' - volts are not supposed to be checked until 4 hours after charging to let the float charge dissipate. What's important is how many volts with just the key on and how many volts during cranking?
 

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Ok. I'll charge it up, and through the Multimeter on it, with key on and then when cranking...or clicking, and report back. THANK YOU. This has been a headache for awhile. Worried one of these times it won't start. Also don't want to buy a battery if it's not the problem. thanks
 

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Ok. I'll charge it up, and through the Multimeter on it, with key on and then when cranking...or clicking, and report back. THANK YOU. This has been a headache for awhile. Worried one of these times it won't start. Also don't want to buy a battery if it's not the problem. thanks
Doesn't make any difference what the static volts are 'after charging' - volts are not supposed to be checked until 4 hours after charging to let the float charge dissipate. What's important is how many volts with just the key on and how many volts during cranking?
Charged it up... read 14.2V
Turned the key on...still read 14ish
Turned the engine over and it dropped to 3-5ish volts, first few tries did not turn over. 3rd try it turned over
Back to key in ON position. now more like 10.8V

Bad battery?
 

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Yep - has degraded and is not holding up under high load - get a good quality AGM battery - charge it on an automatic charger at 1.25 amps until fully charged (2 to 10 hours) before installation for best battery life.
 

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Yep - has degraded and is not holding up under high load - get a good quality AGM battery - charge it on an automatic charger at 1.25 amps until fully charged (2 to 10 hours) before installation for best battery life.
Great. Thanks again. Out of curiousity, should the battery stay at full charge when the starter is drawing down what it needs? or what is an acceptable drop?
thanks
 

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A good battery will not drop below about 10.5 volts on an extended crank - anything over 5 seconds is an extended crank
 

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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.
I’m getting a spark but it’s very inconsistent...I thought about going and buying a spark tester or putting fuel in the spark plug hole. How much fuel should I put down there?
 

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One drop of fuel in the spark plug hole is probably 50 times more fuel than the carb supplies at a given moment, but liquid fuel does not burn - only the vapor from the fuel burns, so putting fuel in the spark plug hole is only a quick way to flood the cylinder and make starting difficult.
 
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