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.
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.