6 Reasons Your ATV Won’t Start (And How to Fix It)

Table of Contents

Nothing is more frustrating than preparing to operate your UTV or ATV and discovering that it won’t start. There are several reasons your ATV won’t start and their various solutions.

Meanwhile, ensure you’re calm as you try to identify the issue with your off-roader. I have compiled some reasons your ATV won’t start and what you can do to ensure it’s up and running.

Stay with me to learn more!

Here’s Why Your ATV Won’t Start

Motocross Enduro Quad Atv Motorsport Motorcycle

1. You Have a Dead ATV Battery 

Battery care for off-road vehicles is an essential aspect of ownership. You can have trouble starting your UTV or ATV if you have a low or outdated battery. 

You can use a voltmeter to check the battery’s level. It also prevents overcharging. Just be sure to adhere to the battery’s recommended charging rate.

Additionally, make sure the terminals are corrosion-free and clean. Also, ensure that its lead connections are tight. Your engine might not start or turn over slowly due to these problems.

2. The Air Filter is Clogged

The most frequent cause of abrupt no-start problems with ATVs is this. Regular engine maintenance is required, especially if you enjoy riding in muddy terrain.

In contrast to the paper air filters found in cars, the 2-stroke ATV engine’s air filter is formed of foam lather. 

The filter will let air enter the engine while obstructing dirt and other debris from getting to the carburetor. The ATV will need to be maintained, and part of that involves looking at the air filter.

When the car’s air filter is blocked, the engine cannot get air, and occasionally dirt and debris may also enter the engine.

The ATV will then start emitting black smoke from its exhaust. This is the first warning sign that the air filter needs to be checked before the ATV struggles to start. 

Additionally, an ATV with a clogged air filter will start slowly and finally not at all.

3. It Lacks Fuel

Enduro Motocross Quad Run Cross Motocross Riding

You should frequently check your battery’s charge and ensure your UTV has adequate fuel before hitting the trails. 

One of the tasks we take to complete a pre-ride inspection is to check the fuel levels.

A fuel level alert light is installed in off-road vehicles, which illuminates when the gas level falls below a predetermined threshold. 

To avoid a hassle in the future, constantly refill your quad immediately rather than waiting until your next ride. This will help you avoid being stranded and have a safe ride.

Make sure to routinely inspect the fuel line for leaks and cracks that could accelerate the rate at which your off-roader uses petrol.

4. The Kill Switch Is On

Your off-road vehicle’s engine can be turned off in an emergency using the kill switch, sometimes called the run switch. 

Depending on your ATV, kill switches might be pulled, buttons, tethers, or remote controls.

Additionally, the kill switch must be in the “run” or “on” position for the quad to turn on. One of the most frequent causes of an ATV not starting is this, and it’s also the most straightforward to fix.

5. Insufficient Spark in the Engine

It may be receiving insufficient or weak spark if the engine is turning over but doesn’t spark. A weak spark won’t ignite the fuel and start the engine. 

If such is the case, it is possible to figure it out quickly and simply. Take the spark plug out of the engine and reinstall it in the plug.

Please turn on the engine again after placing it on a cylinder or another surface that will ground it. If you’ve done it correctly, the grounded piece should touch something and send some sparks.

Consider changing the spark plug as well. These are inexpensive, and they will help you with your problem. 

Make sure the model is the right one and is properly gapped. If you still do not see any sparks, you could face a different problem.

6. Insufficient Compression in the Engine 

Volcano Sands Toxins The Foot Atv Mountains

Your engine won’t draw fuel to the cylinder and will continue to run if it doesn’t receive enough compression. Your engine’s interior contains moving elements that require a tight seal to function correctly.

The two most frequent causes of insufficient compression are a blown piston ring or a head gasket that is worn out or leaking. There may be scarring on the cylinder’s interior walls if dirt enters the engine via the air intake.

Final Word

If you encounter one of these reasons, your ATV won’t start; you can usually fix it quickly and continue exploring the trails for the remainder of the day. 

Even though most of these repairs are simple and affordable, it’s always a good idea to take your ATV to a qualified mechanic if you don’t know the necessary maintenance.

After fixing the problem, you’ll have safe cruising with the people you love.

More Of The Same Category​

John Lawrence

John Lawrence

Hello, my name is John Lawrence, and I’m an adrenaline junkie.
My whole life, I’ve been drawn to activities that get my heart racing, from Bungie jumping to parachuting, motorcycles, and even water skiing, and there’s nothing that does that quite like ATVing.

About Me

ATVs are a lifestyle – I’m sure you know.
Lucky for me, my son (who got the bug from me LOL) just got a job with an ATV dealer, so I can get the insider’s secrets – but I’ll share it with you!

Recent Posts

Go offroad style