An ATV Is Losing Power Intermittently: How to Fix It

Have you been riding around and noticing a lot of instances when your ATV is losing power intermittently, but don’t know how to fix it? There are a lot of reasons why you could be experiencing a lot of power shortages throughout your ride, and a lot of reasons why you need to fix it immediately as well. For both safety and enjoyment reasons, you want to make sure your ATV isn’t losing power.

In order to fix an ATV that is losing power intermittently, you need to diagnose the problem. From battery connections to a faulty ECU (engine control unit), there are a lot of causes of electrical issues. We’ll work on guiding you through the issues that you need to check on and how to get them fixed when you encounter the main problem.

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Checking Battery Connections

Over the years of riding on rough terrain wires can easily come loose and become the cause of an ATV that is losing power intermittently. If there is a poor connection, the circuit may not always be fully completed, and you’ll experience the symptoms of a complete power outage.

Go through and check all of the primary connections to the battery, really checking them to make sure the connection is strong. Follow some of these out towards primary components of your engine and look for any loose wires or pieces that need to be replaced.

Check Battery Life

When a battery gets older, it can cause power outages if it doesn’t have the capacity to provide power for everything all at once. You can check the battery life with a voltmeter in order to determine how much life your battery has left. Sometimes switching the battery out can quickly solve all of your problems.

Check the Ground Wires

If the ground wires are misconnected, you can experience issues in the same way as faulty battery connections. When a circuit is fully completed, it includes a space for the remaining energy to be grounded. If it can’t, then the circuit will be interrupted and not work properly.

Corroded Ignition Switch

The ignition switch is as in charge of shutting power down as it is for turning it on. Often, an ignition switch can become corroded and shut the power off intermittently. They can also become fully packed with dirt and debris from the riding you’re doing. If you are having issues starting up alongside your intermittent power loss, you might want to look at the ignition switch.

Faulty ECU

The ECU (engine control unit) acts as the brain for your ATV. From the fuel injectors to the ignition and other sensors, your ECU does it all. When the ECU isn’t working properly, nothing on your ATV will be. This can easily result in losing power across the board. The sporadic loss of power will come from an ECU that needs reprogrammed or potentially replaced.

One of the easiest ways to find out if you have a faulty ECU is to bring it to the dealer. They can plug in and get a complete diagnosis to tell you what’s going on. There’s a potential for a poor voltage regulator that controls how much power is being pumped into the ECU, so the problem may be caused by something affecting the ECU poorly rather than the ECU itself.


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