One Rear Wheel Not Spinning on an ATV: How to Fix It

Climbing hills and pushing through deep mud quickly gets difficult when you only have one rear wheel spinning on your ATV. If you’re in the position of having only one rear wheel spinning on your ATV, how to fix it is what you’re here to find out. There are a lot of reasons why you may have issues in your rear drivetrain, ranging from a cheap and easy fix to a more expensive rebuild.

That can sound intimidating, but there are some easy ways to check and figure out what your problem is. You can figure out how to make both wheels spin on your ATV again without too much work, but it may end up with a trip to the mechanic, depending on what’s wrong. We’ll give you a few of the first places to look if one rear wheel isn’t spinning on your ATV.

atv in woods

Take the Wheel Off

The first thing you’ll want to do is take the wheel that isn’t spinning off. This is where your problem is going to be located, and you’ll need a much closer look. It’s best to raise the entire rear of the ATV so both wheels are off the ground. See if both wheels spin in neutral. If not, you may just have something jammed in the calipers or the brake may be dragging.

Check the Calipers

If you’ve found out that the wheels won’t spin at all in neutral, check out the calipers to see if there is something wedged in there. If you’ve run over any wire, it can wrap its way in and lock down hard on the wheel, keeping it put. This will just take a bit of work to dislodge the problem or fix the calipers.

Hub Threads

To check if your hub threads have been stripped, simply pull the cotter pin out of the wheel that’s moving, undo the nut (if you can), and see if the hub and axle threads are stripped. If that’s the case, you’re looking at a new hub, axle, and most likely a new nut.

CV Axle

If you only have one rear wheel spinning on your ATV, it’s possible that you broke a CV axle, or have pulled it out of the differential. This would essentially disengage it from the system and not allow it to engage when gas is being given. That’s why you’d have the wheels spinning in neutral, but not with gas.

If the CV axle is in place and in tact, you may need to get a new differential, as it’s likely broken. That won’t be too costly, but is definitely a more advanced replacement.

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