How to Bring Your Dead ATV Back to Life
Last time you shut off your quad it was working great, but now it won’t start.
Last time you shut off your quad, everything was working great…but now it won’t start. What do you do?
First, check the battery. If it’s fully charged, move on and check the carburetor. If it’s not gummed up and seems to be in working order, check the ignition wire. If that’s not the culprit, install a new spark plug and see if it’ll fire up.
Still won’t start? Okay, if none of those are the reason your machine isn’t running, your next step is to delve deeper in to the carburetor. Pull out the pilot jet and look through it–if there’s any debris in it, you won’t see daylight. If it’s gunked up, replace it.
Next, check for spark. There may be an unplugged wire in the harness. Finally, if all else fails, check the stator. We suggest running through this list, but if you still can’t get your quad running bring it to a professional mechanic.
Repeat: Don’t Neglect the Battery
Getting your trusty ATV ready for storage after a great season of hunting requires a little more forethought than you may realize. One thing many people will neglect every year is the battery that spins life into your ride.
Batteries come in many shapes, sizes, types and brands. With technology advancing as it has, you will find one on every machine. Most of the newer ATVs will have sealed maintenance-free batteries, which simply means they do not have to be topped off with fluids of any kind. These batteries Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries will still need to be charged though. Here are a few things to consider in order to protect that expensive battery when storing your machine for extended periods.
Remove the battery from the ATV and clean the positive and negative posts thoroughly with a mixture of warm water and baking soda. Cleaning the terminals this way removes any corrosion and allows the charger to do its job. An old toothbrush works well when scrubbing the battery posts.
Add Vaseline or waterproof grease to the posts after reconnecting the power leads to keep corrosion from coming back.
If you have a battery that requires topping off, remember to only use mineral free or distilled water. Wear gloves and safety goggles when opening a serviceable battery because battery acid is caustic and will cause severe burns to bare skin.
The number one killer of any battery is neglect. You need to connect your battery to some form of trickle charger during the off-season to keep it alive.
Regular maintenance prevents breakdowns. Keeping your electrical system happy is one way to be sure your ATV is ready when you are.