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My ATV Engine Isn't Turning Over: How to Fix It

It can be disappointing when your ATV engine is not turning over, especially when you want to hit the trails and have some fun.

But don't fret. There are a few checks to help you troubleshoot why your UTV engine is not turning over.

Common causes of an ATV engine not turning over include bad spark plugs, fuel shortage, and clogged air filters. But how do you fix these?

This piece looks into common reasons why your ATV engine is not turning over and how to fix them:

Here are common causes of ATV engines not turning over and what you can do to fix them.

atv and off-road rider in waterproof gear

Why Your ATV Engine Isn't Turning Over and How You Can Fix It

No spark

Your engine needs some spark to ignite the fuel. A bad spark plug will not provide enough spark to achieve this. If your ATV is not showing any spark, do this to check:

-Pull out the spark plug from the engine and plug it into the spark plug wire.

-Ensure that the spark plug electrodes are close enough to something grounded, such as the cylinder.

-Try and start the engine. If the spark plug is good, you will see spark coming out of the tip.

Insufficient fuel

Even when you have enough fuel in the gas tank, your machine engine can still lack fuel for a few reasons.

The most common reason your engine is not turning over is carburetor or fuel pump issues. If your machine has a fuel-injected motor, cleaning the injector can restore your machine.

Weak or Bad Battery

Using a multimeter, you can check if your ATV's battery is good. Do this by placing the two ends of the multimeter on the positive and negative terminals of the ATV battery. A good battery should read 12 Volts.

If you get any reading below this, you will need to charge your battery.

If, after charging the battery, it still doesn't hold above 12 Volts, then you will have to consider replacing the battery.

Old Gas

Having old gas in your ATV can aid corrosion in the fuel system. Hence, if you have parked your machine for up to six months, you want to consider replacing the fuel.

Insufficient Compression

If your engine is not getting enough compression, it won't be able to pull the fuel into the cylinder, and the engine won't turn over. You may need a pro to help check and fix this, though.

Low Air Inflow

If your ATV engine is not turning over, you want to check the air filter. The air filter must be clean to allow sufficient air into the engine. Insufficient air inflow into the engine hinders combustion, as the fuel needs to mix with sufficient air to burn.

Also, ensure there are no blockages in the air box intake. It's advisable to change them once in a while.

You also want to check the exhaust. Your ATV needs good airflow into the engine, as well as out. It's rare for the exhaust to be blocked by dirt, but it is not impossible.

Other reasons why your ATV's engine is not turning over

  • Excess amount of engine oil in the engine

  • Pull starter assembly failure

  • Ignition system failure

  •  Fuel system problem

  • Mechanical Issues

Bonus Tips

Here are some Bonus Tips for your ATV:

  • Make sure you change worn out parts regularly

  • Service the engine regularly

  • Always clean the ATV, especially dirt-prone parts

  • Change the oil frequently

  • Check coolant level

  • Replace the battery when worn-out

  • Fix minor engine issues that could deteriorate to more severe issues

Note: If you can't fix the cause of why your engine is not turning over, get a professional to help you out. It's better to hire a professional, otherwise it could be a lot more expensive in the long run.


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