ATV AnswerMan: ATV and UTV Tech Questions Answered

Aug. 27, 2012 By Rick Sosebee
Have an ATV or side-by-side tech question for the AnswerMan? Send an e-mail with your name, vehicle year, model and a detailed description of the problem to, Attn: ATV AnswerMan.

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July 2012

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May 2012

Need Help with Kodiak 400
Hi, I'm Sebastian from Germany and I have a 1995 Yamaha Kodiak 400 which is overheating since the last rides. After 10 minutes the oil temp light is switching on and the fan is starting to run. Nevertheless the fan can't work on against the hot engine. Now I'm changing the oil and hope that the problem will be solved... Do you have another tip or solution for my problem?

Before three months I was able to climb hills and all other things with the ATV, but now it is impossible because of the fact that the temperature sensor was damaged, the fan often didnít turn on. I hope nothing is wrong with the engine.

There are simple things that create heat and the first thing I would look at is the oil. Is your oil really black and burnt? Is the oil too thin for the conditions that you ride in? You should use thicker oil for really hot climates or in the summer and thinner oils for your wintertime riding. Start by simply removing the camshaft side cover on the left side of the head and see if there is any oil in the top of the engine. This will let you know the oil pump is at least working part time.

Moving on from the oil you want to be sure the carb is in good working order. If the jetting is too lean you will build heat and eventually kill the engine. This can also be caused by a carb that is varnished up on the inside. The gelling can pinch off jets and create the lean condition. Timing would be my final choice to inspect, but if the machine is running well just hot chances are the timing is ok.

Not Sucking Air
Hey, I have a Can-Am DS450 itís a 2008. I was driving it then I just lost all my power then it would come back. After I shut it off I turned it back on and it was ticking so I shut it back off. Now I turned it back on and the ticking is gone, but now itís not sucking any air.

This could be good or bad depending on your results. Iím shooting in the dark to answer your question, as I have very little information to go on. The fact that your machine was ticking doesnít mean it was dying but it could be a sign of damage. Ticking is usually a result of low oil pressure or any number of other faults including worn internal components. The fact that it isnít ďsucking airĒ as you had mentioned has me confused. Is the motor not running or it is running but not making any noises anymore? Valves are easily bent under high RPM situations so this too could be the issue. If a valve doesnít close tightly in the head it will create an air leak that will result in a no-run condition.

Wrong Bars?
My son and I got on the motosport website, typed in his four-wheeler make and model and it told us what kind of handlebars to order, so we did because his four-wheelerís stock ones broke. After receiving them my son informs me they wont fit unless he modifies the ignition, and neutral and reverse lights. I would like to know why it failed to mention that when it told us these were the correct handlebars for his four-wheeler?? Someone please reply and explain this to me. Thank you.

When you order aftermarket handlebars this is most always the result. The stock bars are sized and formed to fit any plastic or parts that fit on them for things such as warning lights, etc. This is not uncommon and is expected when changing bars. My advice would be to either buy stock factory replacements or just simply relocate the small indicator lights and key switch. Itís not the end of the world, my dear.

4 or 2?
I have a 425 Expedition Polaris four-wheeler and I want to know is it better to ride in 4-wheel drive or 2?

I really hope this isnít a trick question because it sure sounds like it. Riding in 4WD is not always necessary, especially if the ATV you are riding doesnít have power steering. This makes the machine tough to turn and wears out the rider quickly due to heavy steering effort. 4WD is used in tough terrain and steep inclines or mud. Just ride in 2WD and wait for the right conditions to add the extra front drive. You will know it when you get to the tough stuff!

Canít Order, Unhappy
I tried for the last four days to order 2013 900 Ranger LE on Polarisí website and got nowhere. Called Polaris three times Friday and I didnít get nowhere with them. Oh well sales must be just crazy to not care? I REALLY THINK POLARIS COULD CARE LESS SOME ONE AT POLARIS SHOULD LOOK IN TO THIS?

Whoa Darrell, my friend, just take a breath. Polaris just introduced this machine and Iím sure things are crazy in the production of this machine right now. Dealers do not have them yet, but Iím sure they will soon. Polaris values its customers and Iím sure you are important to them. But everything takes a little time with new units. For a little perspective, I probably will not see this unit here in Georgia until November.

Quick and to the Point
My Honda Recon ES is stuck in 2nd, what to do?
Marvin Pierce

Well, I just do not know what to tell you. Could be clutch related or electronics related and it could be operator error. Could you elaborate just a little more with your actions or the actions of the quad before the gears became stuck? That sure would help me a lot.

Ready to Ride
I'm 60 and a few years ago I lost my left leg above the knee. Sold my dirt bike and my Jeep. In 2009 I drove past our local Polaris dealer and said, ďOHHH.Ē Bought the RZR-S that same day and have never looked back. I'm not an "old man" and I rip up the backcountry whenever I get the chance from Sand Mtn. in Nevada to the Sierras and the Rubicon in California. The RZR-S has given me a new lease on life and a lot of respect from my peers when they see a one-legged elder exit the vehicle after they have been passed on the course. Thank you, and thank you Polaris.
Eric Parsley

Iím so glad you have found a new way to enjoy life, my friend. Itís a big world outdoors and we must all find a way to enjoy it. Age is a state of mind, right?

Ready to Race
I wanted to get my kid into ATV racing but donít know how to get started. Thanks,

My first suggestion would be to locate a local series. Are there motocross or ATV tracks near you? I am not sure what state you live in but many local dealers of power sports parts and machines have info posted inside somewhere. The dealer will know if there is a local series in the area. My next suggestion would be to take your youngster to a riding area and do an honest evaluation of his or her skills. Be honest with yourself and the kid as you could get them hurt or seriously disappointed if they get in a class with more experienced riders. Good luck.

Ď09 650 Outlander
I have a 2009 650 Outlander XT. It runs good when cold but when it gets hot but not overheating. It loses power and backfires, bogs out. With no lights coming on in the gauge no limp home mode.

I would first suggest that you make sure the battery is holding a good charge and that the charging system is working correctly. The machine needs a lot of voltage to operate the many items on the Outlander so this is a good place to start. If the battery proves good along with the charging system, youíll want to investigate the wiring for any shorts or grounding problems. Check all of the fuses as well.

BD-200 Bulldog Pup UTV
Hello, I have a BD-200 Bulldog Pup UTV 150cc engine. I'm having an issue with the engine running rough while under power. It stalls and has no power but idles and cranks ok. I changed the plug, fuel/air filter and replaced the fuel but it didn't help. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Ire Hornsby

I have never heard of this machine and it seems to have quite a small engine for a UTV, but Iíll give it a shot. If the machine is carbureted I would look into the carb for my problem. Usually a clogged or even partially clogged jet system will cause rough running in partial or higher throttle range. Our enemy is the Ethanol in the fuel. Start there and get back to us.

T-Con 4-Wheeler Wonít Crank
I have a t-con 4-wheeler that will not crank. I replaced the spark plug, cleaned the jets in the carburetor, gas is getting to the spark plug. It is getting fire from the spark plug. It will turn over and acts like it wants to crank but does not. I also disconnected the safety kill switch on the back of the 4-wheeler because I have heard from other people that can cause the problem. I believe it is getting enough compression, but I have not checked it with a compression tool. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. THANKS! P.S. This 4 wheeler is just a 2 cycle.
No Name

A compression check is in order. If the engine tries to start but will not run on its own then the kill switch isnít the issue. Two-stroke motors are finicky and if you run it lean just once it can trash the rings and drop the compression dramatically. My suggestion is to trade it on a name brand ATV that has dealer and factory support in the USA.

I hope that the summer riding season has been good to you, and with fall quickly approaching you might want to take the time to start servicing your ride. Change the oil for cooler weather riding and make sure the battery is charging correctly. The cold will take the life out of an almost dead battery very quick and leave you stranded in the trail. Remember, we are here for your every question, but you have to give us plenty of information on what happened before the problem as well as describing the problem clearly. I can only give info if you provide info, so take your time and give us the details.

Have an ATV or side-by-side tech question for the AnswerMan? Send an e-mail with your name, vehicle year, model and a detailed description of the problem to, Attn: ATV AnswerMan.

Previous AnswerMan Columns:

July 2012

June 2012

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