ATV Has Spark and Fuel but Won’t Start: How to Fix It

It can be frustrating when you try to start your ATV, but it won’t start. You check the gas tank, and there is enough fuel. You also check if the engine gets enough spark, but this doesn’t seem to be a problem.

You are left confused as you don’t know what else might cause your ATV not to start when it has spark and fuel.

Don’t fret.

If your ATV has spark and fuel but won’t start, there are other things to check and pinpoint the cause. Here are what to check when your ATV has spark and fuel but won’t start:

atv riding in muskeg.jpg

Check the Run Switch

One common reason behind ATVs not starting when they have fuel and spark is the run switch not being on. The run switch should be in the ON or RUN position, which should be your first check when your ATV engine fails to start.

Check the position of the run switch and place it in the right position, then start the engine again. If that is the cause, your machine should start now.

Check the Gear

If you have enough fuel and the spark plug doesn’t do its job by producing enough spark, but your ATV won’t start, you also want to check the gear. This is a simple solution to your ATV not starting, but riders often overlook it.

Some ATVs won’t start unless they are in the right gear. Hence, ensure you your machine in the right gear before turning the ignition key. You can check the owner’s manual for the right gear to start your machine.

Check the Battery

One common reason ATVs won’t start even with fuel and spark is a bad battery. Your machine needs power from the battery to start and won’t respond if the battery is not charged. A dead battery is usually the cause of an ATV not starting when the ATV has been parked for a long time.

The best means to know if your battery is charged is to test it with a multimeter. A multimeter reading will give your battery status. Start by placing the multimeter’s leads on the batteries terminals and check your meter’s reading.

A good, charged battery would read 12V, and if this is your reading, you need to look elsewhere for the cause of your ATV not starting. Any reading below this tells you to charge your battery.

Check Fuel Quality

Of course, you have enough gas, but what is the quality? When your ATV has fuel and spark but won’t start, you might likely have bad fuel. Bad fuel is usually a result of the fuel sitting in the tank for a long time. For example, if you have parked your machine for months, the fuel might have degraded.

Hence, you want to replace the fuel and the fuel filter.

Check the Airflow

One underrated reason why an ATV might refuse to start is obstructed airflow. The engine needs proper air to mix with the fuel for combustion to start. Failure to receive enough airflow, usually due to a dirty air filter, prevents the engine from starting.

Start by replacing the air filters. You can do this on your own or outsource it to a pro, especially if you panic not to cause further damage to the machine.



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