- Do It Yourself Auto Repair
My Polaris ATV 4 x4 sportman won't start or run right
Running issues that are typical
I have heard this many times over the years the customer calls me and says: I went out to the garage and tried to start my ATV and it would not run right. Customer says: I just had it running last year and it ran fine. Well let’s look at the issue first on why this happens.
1. Customer usually forgets to put fuel stabilizer in the fuel tank and then run it a little bit to make sure the stabilizer gets into the carburetor. Note: when water vapor of any kind gets into the carburetor and it freezes it may damage the carburetor. You see water expands by 9% of its volume and can break granite so your carburetor has no chance of living if this happens.
2. The ATV was probably put away dirty with mud all over it. This also creates an issue mud has water in it and gets into little cracks everywhere like wiring harness and other key components. When the mud freezes it breaks things apart.
3. Now lets go over what I have seen and how to go about fixing them, you see Polaris’s are not built like a Honda, Yamaha or Suzuki. The first this to do is take the carburetor off and clean it out be very through see my other hub page on this in detail. Always empty and clean out the gas tank why use old gas just not smart.
4. Remove the spark plug and replace it (never use old plug waste of time). Put new spark plug into wire and have spark plug grounded to the frame. Crank over bike and see if you have a strong spark, you should hear a snap when it is strong and see a flash of light at the end of the plug. Most cases the spark will be weak or no spark.
I know what it is: Hooray this advice will save you a lot of time, money, headaches and research.
5. The Stator is dirty, now some ask what in the world is this? Well it is on the right side of the bike as you are sitting on the machine by your right foot. It is on the engine case.
What does the stator do? It provides timing for the spark to allow the correct timing of the piston to fire. This is very important since no spark or correct spark bike will not run. Well what causes this? Dirt and more dirt.
Polaris’s stator is not sealed like the other ATV's mentioned earlier and water and dirt gets inside this see picture it prevents the magnets inside the flywheel to pull a spark.
6. So now lets take off the cover to it, be careful not to lose any bolts it requires a 8mm socket. When removing old bolts be careful because they do break off sometimes so be ready with an easyout kit if needed. You may have to remove the break pedal and the foot bracket.
Now that the cover is off see picture you will have to remove the flywheel that covers the stator. This will require a wheel pulley see picture but not to fast the wheel pulley will not remove the flywheel all by itself it will take some extra work. So hook up the pulley and tighten it up snug, then with a small sledgehammer tap on the pulley firmly outwards away from the ATV so tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap and the fly wheel will come off you may have to tighten the pulley after several taps. But it will come off. Note be very careful not to damage the threads on the stem of the flywheel I always put the nut on loosly so in case the tread gets damaged I can unscrew it off the stem. Believe me it works well over the years.
7. Now that the fly wheel is off you will see the stator see picture and it will be dirty so clean up everything with a wire brush and try to make all of the components look like new. See picture of the dirt that was in a Polaris 500. But now that all of the parts are clean put it back togethor and it will run like new in most cases. Time required for a novice will be 2 days. Do not over torque the bolts when putting them back in or they will break and you will be calling me hahah
Michael H. Simmons