ATV Won’t Start – Troubleshooting the Most Common Causes

Video my atv won’t start

This guide will help you troubleshoot the most common causes for an ATV that won’t start. Some issues are easy to fix at home, while others require assistance from a mechanic.

These are the main reason why an ATV will not start:

  • The ATV is not getting a spark or only gets a weak spark
  • The ATV is not getting fuel
  • The ATV is not getting enough air
  • The battery is defective or low on charge
  • The kill switch is bad or corroded

To identify what is causing your ATV’s starting issues, you must notice how it behaves when you attempt to start it. Choose the topic below that best describes your vehicle’s behavior to begin troubleshooting.

Related: Guide: How to Start an ATV That Has Been Sitting

The ATV Won’t Start – The Engine Is Not Turning Over

If your ATV doesn’t crank when you’re trying to start it, there are a few basic things to consider.

1. Ensure the kill switch/run switch is in the “ON” or “RUN” position

You’d be surprised how often the solution to an ATV that won’t start is forgetting to turn on the kill switch.

Also, if your ATV has a tether pull-cord style kill switch, ensure it is properly connected.

2. Make Sure the ATV Is in “Park” or Neutral

As a safety precaution, many ATVs are designed not to start when in gear.

3. Make Sure the Battery Is Charged

The battery should read 12,6 – 12,8V. Use a multimeter or a voltmeter to check the voltage.

If the voltage drops too low, the battery won’t have enough charge to start the bike.

Charge the battery or replace it if it’s dead. An easy way to test your battery is by checking the voltage drop with a multimeter as you try starting the bike. If your battery, when fully charged, drops below 11.5 volts while cranking the starter, it needs to be replaced.

4. Check the Main Fuse

Most ATVs have a main fuse; your user manual will help you locate it.

If your battery is charged, but you still get nothing when turning the key, you may have a blown main fuse. Replace it with the right size fuse and try starting again.

5. Make Sure the Solenoid Is Getting Power

The solenoid works as a switch that sends a high current to your starter when you push the start button or turn the key. For it to work, you need to ensure it gets power from the battery.

The solenoid should make an audible “clicking” sound each time you hit the starter. If it does, you know it is getting power, and the problem is likely with the solenoid itself or the starter. Solenoid and starter issues will be covered later in the post.

If you do NOT hear a clicking sound, you can use a multimeter or voltmeter to verify that the solenoid is, in fact, not getting power.

ATV solenoid starter
The solenoid is usually located near or on the starter.
  • Put your multimeter to DC Voltage.
  • The red lead goes to the solenoid’s battery side (red).
  • The black lead goes to ground.
  • You should get a voltage reading of 12V or more.

If you don’t get a reading, trace the wiring back to your battery to identify where the connection is broken. Look for loose or corroded terminals or shorts from damaged cables.

The ATV Won’t Start but Turns Over

A gasoline engine needs three essential components to start and run:

  • Gasoline
  • Spark
  • Air (compressed)

1. Check if the ATV Is Getting Fuel

  • Locate your spark plug. You may need to remove a few plastic covers to find it.
  • Remove the spark plug wire (on a carbureted ATV) or the ignition coil (on a fuel-injected ATV) from the spark plug.
  • Remove the spark plug from the cylinder head using a spark-plug removal tool.
  • If the plug it’s wet, you know the bike is getting fuel.

If the plug is dry, the bike is not getting fuel, and you need to continue the troubleshooting as described below.

2. Check for Spark

  • Install the spark plug back into the cylinder head.
  • Connect an inline spark tester between the spark plug and the spark-plug wire/ignition coil. You can get one for cheap at most auto supply stores.
  • Make sure the run switch is in the “ON” position.
  • Please keep your hands clear of the test tool and the area around it.
  • Push the starter button.
  • The test light on the spark-tester will light up if there is a spark.

Alternative method: If you don’t have a spark tester tool, you can do a visual test to check for a spark. Please note that this method may cause electric shock if done incorrectly.

  • Remove the spark plug from the cylinder head and connect it to the spark-plug wire or ignition coil.
  • Grab the plug wire and hold the plug about 1/8th of an inch away from the cylinder head. Make sure you are only touching the rubber and not any metal parts.
  • Activate the starter.
  • You should see repetitive bright blue spark arching from the spark plug to the cylinder head as the motor turns.

You will find the proper steps for troubleshooting an ATV that is not getting a spark further down this post.

The ATV Is Not Getting Fuel

If the spark plug is still dry after cranking the engine for a few seconds, you know that fuel, for some reason, is not getting to the cylinder.

Often, the issue is either with the fuel pump or a clog in the fuel supply line between the gas tank and the carburetor.

Old or unstabilized gas tends to gum up over time and may create a clog. Dirt and debris getting inside the tank is another common culprit for a clogged-up fuel supply.

The easiest way to identify the cause is through a process of elimination.

If you find contamination, such as dirt or gummed-up fuel at one spot, the whole system is likely dirty and needs a complete clean for the best result.

The steps differ slightly depending on whether your ATV has EFI (electronic fuel injection) or a traditional carburetor system.

Ensure the Gas Cap Vent Is Not Clogged

ATVs have a vented gas cap or a separate gas tank vent tube. Make sure neither is clogged and allows air to flow freely.

Fuel must be replaced with air as it gets pumped out and used. If the vent is blocked, it may prevent the fuel pump from pumping fuel out of the tank.

When a Carbureted ATV Is Not Getting Fuel

Older ATVs and some cheaper models are still designed with a traditional carburetor fuel system.

1. Make Sure the Fuel Shut-off Valve Is in the “On” Position

There should be a shut-off valve at the lowest part of the fuel tank. Make sure it is turned on.

2. Check if the Carburetor Is Getting Fuel or Not

This step will help you narrow down the possible causes of why fuel is not reaching the cylinder.

With the fuel valve open, disconnect the fuel line from the fuel inlet of the carburetor. Turn over the engine to see if gas is coming through the fuel line.

If it is very little or no fuel coming from the fuel line, you likely have either:

  • A clogged up or faulty shut-off valve.
  • A clogged-up fuel filter.
  • A fuel-pump problem.
  • A clogged gas cap or gas tank vent.

If there is a steady or pulsating stream of fuel, you know that

  • The fuel pump is ok.
  • Fuel flows all the way undisrupted from the tank to the carb.
  • The problem is likely a dirty carburetor.

Continue your troubleshooting based on the results of this initial test.

3. Check if the Shut-off Valve Screen Is Clogged Up

Fuel exits the fuel tank through a shut-off valve at the lowest part of the tank. Inside this valve, a mesh screen is supposed to stop dirt and debris from entering the fuel lines.

Disconnect the fuel line from the valve to see if gas comes through. If fuel does not flow freely, you must remove the valve to clean it.

All fuel left in the tank will drain as you remove the valve. Use a bucket to collect the fuel.

Use carb cleaner, fresh gas, and a toothbrush to clean the valve and mesh screen. Pour fresh gas into the tank to flush out any remaining gummed-up old fuel or debris before installing the valve.

If the gas in the tank is old or contaminated, you should not put it back in the tank after cleaning the valve.

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4. Check if the Fuel Filter Is Clogged Up

Not all ATVs have serviceable fuel filters, but some do. Trace the fuel line from the fuel tank to the carburetor. Look for a cylindrical canister installed in line anywhere on the fuel line.

Fuel filters are cheap and easy to replace, so it’s worth doing if you suspect that something disrupts fuel flow.

5. Troubleshoot a Fuel Pump That Is Not Working

ATVs with traditional carburetors usually have a vacuum-operated fuel pump. They are run by vacuum/pressure pulses created in the crankcase. The negative pressure pulls fuel in, while positive pressure pushes fuel out.

  • Locate the pump by tracing the line coming from the gas tank.
  • There are three rubber hoses attached to the pump.
    • One is fuel coming from the gas tank.
    • One is fuel exiting the pump and to the carburetor.
    • One is the pulse line (air), usually marked with a “P.”
  • Disconnect the inlet fuel line and position it lower than the fuel tank to make sure gas flows undisrupted from the gas tank.
  • Reconnect the inlet fuel line.
  • Inspect the vacuum line for any damage or cracking and replace it if necessary. Leaks will prevent the pump from working correctly.
  • Ensure the pulse line is connected correctly at the pump and by the crankcase.
  • Make sure the engine oil isn’t overfilled. This may cause some oil to get trapped in the pulse line, obstructing airflow.
  • Also, inspect the fuel lines going from the fuel tank to the fuel pump. If there are any signs of weather cracking, replace the line. Cracks in the fuel line may cause the pump to suck false air into the tube instead of gas.
  • Connect a vacuum gauge if you have one. The gauge should register the pulses. If no vacuum is detected, the engine might have internal issues, such as a stuck valve. Addressing these problems typically requires a mechanic’s expertise.

You may need to replace the pump if it is still not working.

Alternatively, you can pull it apart to give it proper cleaning and a rebuild. Inside there are check valves that may get stuck if dirt enters the pump. There is also a rubber diaphragm that may stretch or crack over time.

6. Test a Vacuum-Operated Shut-off Valve (Petcock Valve)

Some ATVs have a vacuum-operated shut-off valve designed to open only when the engine is running.

Identify the vacuum line that goes to one of the inlet ports. Disconnect the line and draw a vacuum to the disconnected port. The valve should now open and allow fuel to flow.

Inspect the vacuum line to ensure it is correctly connected at both ends and has no cracks that will draw false air.

If you suspect the valve is not working, put it in “prime,” which will override the vacuum-operated valve. This will tell you if the valve is working or not.

7. Clean the Carburetor

Old unstabilized fuel and debris from the gas tank may completely gum up the carburetor or block the jets, so the engine is not getting any fuel.

I recommend using a product like Seafoam or similar to see if it will dissolve the gummed-up fuel before embarking on a more thorough cleanse. Leave the choke wide open to allow maximum flow.

Click here link for instructions.

If Seafoam doesn’t work, your best bet will be to remove and disassemble the carb to clean it properly. This job may not be for everyone. Consider asking a mechanic if disassembling the carb seems intimidating.

  • Start by draining the carburetor. There should be a drain screw at the bottom of your carb bowl.
  • Disconnect the carb from the ATV and move it over to a tidy workbench. You do not want to be missing any parts when reassembling the carb.
  • Disassemble the carb. Take photos as you remove parts to keep track of where things go.
  • Use carb cleaner and a toothbrush to clean as much as you can.
  • Use an air compressor with a nozzle to clean all the small passages inside the carb.
  • Remove both the main jet and the pilot jet. Make sure you can see the light coming through it. If you cannot clean the jet, it’s best to replace it. Ensure the float assembly is not stuck and pull up the float needle.
  • Reassemble the carb and install it on the ATV.
  • You will also need to address the cause of your dirty carburetor, or it will clog up the next time you ride. Drain or siphon all of the old fuel out of the gas tank. Flush the tank with some fresh gas. Replace any fuel filters, as well, as they are likely just as dirty as the carb.
  • Consider adding a cleaner product such as “Seafoam” to your first tank of gas after the cleanse. This will dissolve any gummed-up fuel still trapped in the system. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, depending on which cleaner product you use.

Check out this guide for more detailed instructions on disassembling and cleaning a carburetor.

Related: Chinese ATV Won’t Start – Troubleshooting Guide

When a Fuel Injected ATV Is Not Getting Fuel

Fuel-injected engines, called EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection), use an electronic pump to feed pressurized fuel through fuel injectors and into the engine.

Troubleshooting a fuel-injected ATV is a bit trickier than carbureted ATVs, but it’s possible:

1. Make Sure the Internal Fuel Filter Is Not Clogged

Most fuel-injected ATVs do not have a serviceable fuel filter.

Instead, they have a non-serviceable screen or a sump filter inside the gas tank. Note that some EFI ATVs also have an inline external fuel filter.

The screen or filter is one component of the fuel pump assembly inside the tank. These filters are not meant to be serviced but may still clog up.

You need to remove the whole fuel pump assembly to access the filter.

Begin by removing any plastic covers to access the top of your gas tank. A large plastic locking ring connects the fuel filter assembly to the fuel tank. You may need a set of large pliers to remove the ring as they tend to bind.

Be careful not to damage fragile plastic components as you remove the pump assembly.

The filter will be at the very bottom of the assembly. You will generally need to replace the whole assembly to replace the filter.

To save money, consider looking up a suitable replacement filter online.

2. How to Troubleshoot an EFI Fuel Pump

Electric fuel pumps tend to fail for no apparent reason from time to time. Before they break entirely, they may gradually weaken due to wear.

A worn fuel pump may not create sufficient fuel pressure for the injection system to mist the fuel properly, which may prevent the ATV from starting. Aftermarket fuel pumps are available for most ATVs, but replacing them is not for everyone.

Also, you have possible fuel pressure regulator issues or rotten o-ring seals.

The best way to test an electric fuel pump is by measuring the fuel pressure at the fuel rail. This will, however, require a specialist tool that the average home mechanic does not have.

A clogged fuel filter or lines may also cause too low fuel pressure.

Before replacing the fuel pump assembly, it’s worth ensuring the bike is charging correctly, as a low voltage will negatively impact fuel pump performance.

3. How to Troubleshoot Fuel Injector Problems

Modern EFI ATVs may provide an error code indicating fuel injector issues. Troubleshooting fuel injector problems, however, is a task that often gives even seasoned mechanics a headache. I recommend you save this job for a dealer.

The ATV Is Not Getting a Spark

Here are a few things to try out if your ATV is not getting a spark:

  • Make sure the kill switch is turned “ON.”
  • Test if the kill switch works using a multimeter, a test light, or a simple continuity tester. Poke one probe into each of the two cables going into the switch. There should be no continuity when the switch is off and continuity when it is on.
  • Check for unplugged or damaged wires in the wire harness.
  • Replace the spark plug; it may be damaged even if it looks ok.
  • Test the internal resistance of the ignition coil. Use a multimeter to check for internal resistance between the positive and negative terminals. Set the meter to 200. You should get a reading of 0-2 ohms. Over 2 ohms, the coil is likely bad and needs to be replaced.
  • Test the resistance between the coil’s positive terminal and the spark plug. Set the meter to 200.000. You should get a reading of 10.000 – 25.000 ohms. Any reading outside this range indicates that you likely have a bad coil.
  • Finally, check if the stator is working correctly. You will find a method for testing the stator in this post.
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Complete Guide: Troubleshooting an ATV That Cranks but Has No Spark

The ATV Won’t Start – It Just Backfires

When you try to start the ATV, the engine cranks just as usual. But the engine will not start. All you get is one or several loud bangs coming from the exhaust.

These bangs are known as ATV backfiring, usually caused by the air/fuel ratio being too rich or too lean.

1. The ATV Has Become Flooded

If you forget to engage the kill switch before starting the bike, it will pull gas into the carburetor, but there is no spark to ignite the fuel.

When too much gas enters the carburetor, there won’t be enough space left to mix the required air/fuel ratio for the bike to start and run.

If you have the time, let the bike sit for a few hours before trying to start it again.

Alternatively, you can remove the spark plug while turning the engine over for a few seconds. Any excess gas will escape through the spark plug hole. Wipe the plug clean and put it back in. Then try starting the ATV as usual.

2. The Spark Plug Has Gone Bad

Spark plugs are considered consumables that may need replacing from time to time. A spark plug that has gone bad may prevent the ATV from starting and only cause it to backfire.

Replace the plug with a new one according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Related: ATV Keeps Fouling Spark Plugs – Common Causes and Symptoms

3. The Air Filter Is Clogged

A clogged air filter will restrict airflow and, therefore, significantly impact how richly your ATV engine operates. Too little air will cause an overly rich mixture, resulting in symptoms like the ones you experience.

Clean or replace the air filter with a new one before starting the bike again.

4. The Valve Clearance Is Incorrect

Another possible cause of these symptoms is that your valve clearance is incorrect. As the engine gets some hours to it, the valves may seat deeper in valve seats and may need adjusting.

Checking and adjusting the valve clearance on an ATV is not hard to learn, but it is recommended that you ask for guidance from someone more experienced the first time you do this job. If you do it incorrectly, you risk causing permanent damage to your engine.

5. The Timing Is Off

Your ATV’s engine timing dictates when to draw air and fuel into the cylinder, when to ignite the fuel, and when to release exhaust gases out of the exhaust. If one cam is off by just one tooth, you may run into starting issues accompanied by the occasional backfire.

If you’ve been working on or removing some timing components, you must ensure everything is reassembled correctly. Look up a timing diagram for your ATV and ensure all the timing marks align.

If aligning the timing marks sounds intimidating, you are probably better off leaving the job to a mechanic.

6. The Flywheel Timing Key Is Sheared

Even if you did not work on any of the timing components, the timing might be off. What often happens is that the timing advance key, also known as a rocket key, has sheared and needs replacing.

The timing key is crucial in timing your bike’s ignition as it locks the flywheel in the correct position on the crankshaft. If it breaks, your bike’s timing will be off immediately.

This little metal part is designed to break to protect other engine components. From time to time, it may break even if there is nothing else wrong.

Luckily they are not that expensive or time-consuming to replace. It is not a job everyone will be comfortable doing for themselves. Still, nothing an averagely skilled home mechanic can’t manage after watching a couple of youtube videos for their specific brand and model.

The key is located on the crankshaft. You need to unbolt and remove both the flywheel cover and flywheel (the flywheel on an ATV is called a generator) to access it. A flywheel puller may be required.

If the key is sheared, remove all pieces from the old timing key and install a new one according to factory specs. Ask your dealer to make sure you get the right one. Install the flywheel and flywheel cover before trying to start the bike.

Make sure the timing marks are lined up correctly. The timing mark layout will be different from model to model. Please refer to your service manual.

7. The Carburetor Has Become Dirty

A dirty carburetor may prevent enough fuel from getting to the cylinder, causing a lean backfire.

Due to the backfire, you know that at least some fuel is getting through. Please refer to step 3 on how to clean the carb.

8. The Fuel Is Bad or Contaminated (Water in the Gas)

Before spending money on a mechanic, it may be worth draining your gas tank and adding fresh gas. Gas may go bad if it sits too long or gets contaminated with water due to condensation.

Most gas tanks will have a removable drain plug or on/off switch at the bottom. Your next best option is to pump or siphon the fuel out of the tank.

Related: How to Know if the Gas in Your ATV Is Bad or Not

9. Engine Compression Is Poor

If a valve has stuck open, the compression will be too low, and the bike will not start. Repairing a stuck valve is usually a task for a trained mechanic.

The ATV Won’t Start – It Just Buzzes

If all you hear when turning the key is a buzzing sound, it is usually because your battery is dead or needs charging.

The buzzing sound originates from the starter solenoid relay, which isn’t engaging due to low voltage.

The solution is usually quite simple. Charge the battery or replace it if it is dead.

Also, ensure all power wires from the battery to the solenoid are correctly connected and not corroded. Put a test light across the connection you are testing as you activate the starter.

If the problem is not battery-related, you may have a bad starter or even a seized engine, preventing the starter from engaging. After ruling out a bad battery, it’s recommended to have further troubleshooting done by a mechanic.

The ATV Won’t Start – It Just Clicks

When you engage the starter, the engine doesn’t turn. Instead, you hear a clicking sound when you press the starter button. This clicking originates from the starter solenoid.

1. Bad or Corroded Solenoid

When you engage the starter, a properly functioning solenoid will produce an audible click. However, even if it clicks, the solenoid can still be defective due to internal corrosion.

Use a multimeter to test if the solenoid closes the circuit as you try activating the starter.

Put your multimeter to DC Voltage. The red lead goes to the starter side of the solenoid. The black lead goes to ground. There should be no reading when not pressing the starter button. But when you activate the starter, you should get a voltage reading of 12V or more.

If you don’t, your solenoid is probably defective and needs replacing.

Alternatively, you can use a piece of cable to jump your solenoid. Make sure the cable you use can handle the high current. If the ATV starts when jumping the solenoid, you know that the solenoid is bad and needs replacing.

2. The Starter Has Gone Bad

If your solenoid is good, the problem is likely with the starter. Starters may wear out due to old age or go bad from a busted seal that will allow oil or water to get inside the starter.

To test the starter, you need to remove it from the ATV. It’s connected with a few bolts. You will also need to remove the cable coming from the solenoid.

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Use a fully charged battery along with jumper cables to check if the starter rotates correctly. First, you should use the positive lead to connect the positive battery terminal with the positive (red) starter cable. Then attach the negative lead to the negative battery terminal.

Hold the starter firmly in place and complete the circuit by connecting the negative lead to where your starter ground to the engine.

The starter engine shaft should start spinning freely without signs of drag or scraping. Replace the starter if it is defective.

Related: 8 Typical Symptoms of a Bad ATV Starter

The ATV Won’t Start After Running Out of Gas

After running your ATV completely dry, you may find it won’t start even after filling it up with fresh gas.

If it was running fine before you ran it dry, your problem is likely fuel-related, as running the bike dry will not cause damage.

1. The Fuel Pump Needs More Time

The pump will take some time to draw fuel after the ATV has been completely emptied. This process can be especially challenging with fuel-injected ATVs.

  • Make sure the fuel tank is full.
  • Turn the key to the on position, and leave it for a few seconds before turning it off. Do not try to start it. Repeat this process a few times, which will help prime the fuel lines and filter.
  • Then try running the starter for several seconds or pulling the starter rope until the ATV starts. If the engine doesn’t start after running the starter for 10 – 15 seconds or pulling the starter rope 15-20 times, you should stop and continue troubleshooting.

2. Use the Carburetor Primer

Not all ATVs have one, but if yours has a primer pump, you should manually pump fuel back into the carburetor.

Look for a button on the side of the carb that may look like a choke knob. You will need to pump it several times to have any effect.

3. Running the ATV Dry Has Caused Dirt to Enter the Carburetor

Switching to “Reserve” and letting the bike run completely dry may allow dirt and gummed-up fuel that has set on the bottom of your gas tank to be sucked into the carburetor.

The same applies to gas contaminated with water, which is heavier than gasoline and will fall to the tank’s bottom.

Clean the carburetor, as described in step three.

4. Pour Some Gas Into the Spark Plug Holes

Remove the spark plugs and pour a dash of gas into the spark plug holes. Reinstall the plugs and try starting the bike.

This will provide enough fuel so that the ATV starts and begins to draw fuel on its own. You may need to do this 2-3 times before you succeed.

5. Blow Air Through the Gas Tank Vent

Blowing with a steady pressure into the gas tank vent tube while running the starter may help the fuel to start flowing.

6. Check for a Bad Spark Plug

Running the bike dry won’t harm the spark plug per se, but contaminated fuel may. You may need to replace your spark plug to get going again.

7. The Fuel Pump Is Burnt Out

Some ATV fuel pumps can’t take being run dry. When run dry, the RPMs will go up, and the pump will burn out due to a lack of cooling and lubrication from the fuel.

Try removing the pump and checking for internal resistance with an ohm meter. If there is no resistance, the pump is likely bad.

The ATV Won’t Start With Starter Fluid

First of all, using starter fluid on your ATV is generally not recommended. Starter fluid evaporates very quickly, and the vapor is highly flammable. Both you and the ATV can catch fire from a spark caused by a short.

It’s much safer and just as effective to carefully pour or spray some gas straight into the cylinder through the plughole. A couple of ounces should be enough before installing the spark plugs and starting the bike.

As long as the spark plug provides a bright blue spark and fuel enters the cylinder, you may suspect your compression is not good enough. Use a compression gauge and check if the bike’s compression matches factory specs. If it doesn’t, the engine might need an overhaul.

If the spark seems weak, the problem may be with the pick-up coil. Look for cracks or any other visible damage. If the coil is damaged, replace it with a new one. Note that the coil may be bad even if you get a spark.

The ATV Won’t Start After Washing

Most ATV manufacturers recommend not using a pressure washer to clean your ATV, which may damage electrical components. Instead, washing the ATV by hand using only a garden hose and mild soap would be best.

Here are a few tips to try if your ATV won’t start after washing it:

  • Washing may have caused grit to enter the kill switch or starter button switch. Open the switch and clean it with an electronics cleaner.
  • Water trapped inside the spark plug booth may cause a short that will prevent the ATV from starting. Unplug the boot and dry it thoroughly. Using a hairdryer will speed up the process.
  • Leave the ATV in the sun to dry for a day or two before attempting to start it again.
  • Open the airbox to drain any water and let the filter dry out.
  • On a fuel-injected ATV, try spraying the injector with an electronic cleaner to expel any trapped moisture.
  • Check if any water has entered the fuse box, causing shorts.
  • Other electronics that don’t like getting wet are the coil pack and CDI/ECU box.
  • If you washed the ATV while running, it might have sucked water into the carbs. Locate the drain plug on your carb and drain it. You may also need to replace your spark plug. Just a tiny amount of water may foul the plug instantly.
  • If too much water has entered the cylinders from running the bike when washing it, it may have damaged the valves or piston rings.
  • Disconnect and apply dielectric grease to every electric connector as a preventive measure for future trouble-free washing!

The ATV Is Flooded and Won’t Start

I’ve dedicated an entire post on repairing an ATV submerged in water.

The ATV Won’t Start in Cold Weather

  • Start by making sure the battery is healthy and fully charged. If the battery is below 12,6V, it needs a charge to provide the necessary cranking power to start a sub-zero ATV.
  • Make sure the spark plug is healthy.
  • Clean the carb as described earlier in this post. A dirty carb may cause issues when it’s cold.
  • A carbureted ATV may need a richer fuel mixture to start in the cold. Usually, it’s enough to turn on the choke, but you may need to install one size bigger pilot jet. Try giving it some gas when turning over the engine.
  • The intake valves may be tight. Remove the rocker cover and ensure the valve clearance meets the spec.

The ATV Won’t Start With a New Battery

You’ve just installed a new battery, but the ATV still won’t start.

  • Make sure the battery is fully charged.
  • Make sure the battery is installed correctly.

Then, refer to the other topics in this post according to how your ATV is behaving. Does the engine turn over? Does it make clicking or buzzing sounds? Start from the top and work your way down if you are unsure where to begin.

The ATV Won’t Jump Start

If you cannot jump-start your ATV, it may not be a dead battery causing your starting issues. Make sure you are following the proper procedure for jump-starting an ATV.

The ATV Won’t Pull Start

If the ATV starts when engaging the electric starter, it should also start with a pull starter. I recommend you begin troubleshooting as if the turns over but won’t start.

Wrapping Up

In wrapping up this comprehensive guide on ATV troubleshooting, remember that the key to diagnosing start-up issues lies in a systematic approach, assessing each potential cause step by step.

By understanding the most common reasons and their solutions, you’re well-equipped to tackle any start-up challenge your ATV presents. Stay patient, keep safety paramount, and happy riding!

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>