ATV Neutral Light Always On: How To Fix It

ATV neutral light and switch is designed for safety. The light signals to the CDI that the machine is in "neutral" and safe to start. However, when this light develops a fault, it can become an issue. One common issue with the neutral light, is it staying on regardless of what gear your ATV is in.

As an ATV owner with neutral lights always staying on, you want to know what might cause the issue and how best to fix it. 

But what causes neutral light on ATV to not work?  

atv dashboard.jpg

Why ATV Neutral Light Is Always on And How to Fix It

Two top reasons are responsible for why the neutral light won't come on ATV: faulty ground wire or faulty neutral switch. Let's take these causes and see how they affect your ATV neutral light. 

Ground Wire Fault

The leading culprit behind an ATV neutral light staying on is a fault in the grounding system. This usually occurs when the ground wire touches the chassis or engine component other than where it is grounded on the chassis. This usually results in an unhealthy grounding, and a common sign of this defect is the dash neutral light staying on regardless of your gear. 

Troubleshooting: the best way to troubleshoot a faulty ground wire, a potential cause of the neutral light not going off, is to first check the areas you have recently worked on. The error can likely be from past repair work. 

If this doesn't identify the error, go further by checking your neutral switch, usually mounted at the transmission. A quick Google search using your make and model would help pinpoint it if you can't identify it on your quad. 

Once you identify the switch, disconnect it, and check your dashboard. You have two possible outcomes: the light stays on or goes off. 

  • If the neutral light goes off, your switch is bad and needs a replacement.

  • If the neutral light remains on, you just confirmed there is a short to ground, requiring further troubleshooting. Continue by tracing the ground wire from the switch to the dash panel. You are looking for where the ground wire rubs off with the chassis or the engine.

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Bad Switch

Again, another potential cause of your ATV neutral light staying permanently on is a bad switch. Since switches are mechanical, they are prone to wear out with time, and one common sign they give is staying on. Though your switch might come back to life by tapping it, this is still not the best solution to fix the light switch. The best way to fix this switch is to replace it. 

Replacing an ATV Neutral Switch

Replacing a neutral switch is what you can do on your own with some tools and workarounds. However, be sure you are working on the right switch, as most ATVs come with different switches, such as low, high, reserve, and neutral switches. 

You can ensure you are working on the right switch by disconnecting it and checking if the neutral light goes off or not. 

ATV Neutral Light Won't Come On

A related issue to ATV neutral light always being on is the ATV neutral light not turning on at all. When this occurs, you probably have some bad or disconnected wires. ATV neutral light not coming on is also linked to disconnected wires. Hence, you want to trace the wires connected to your switch and check the switch for any sign of damage.

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