Polaris Predator Won't Startby Brianna Collins
Polaris designed its Predator ATV as an affordable racing quad built for the course, complete with the power and acceleration necessary to compete. But if your Polaris Predator doesn't start, any high-performance marks don't really matter. If you are experiencing starting problems, Polaris has included specific troubleshooting tips in the owner's manual that deal with starting problems, organized according to whether it is the electrical system or the engine that is causing problems. Troubleshooting tips remain consistent across all Polaris Predator models through the make's final years in 2006 and 2007.
Use the Predator's electric starter. If the engine will not even turn over, there is probably something wrong with the ATV's electrical system.
Check that the engine stop switch on the left handlebar is flicked to the central "RUN" position, that the choke lever is pulled, and that the transmission is in neutral. Otherwise, the Predator's starter cannot operate.
Check the battery if the engine still won't turn over. The battery is located under the rear cab. Access the battery by removing the seat screws, the seat and the rear cab using a standard wrench.
Undo the battery straps holding the battery in its case. Disconnect the black (negative) cable first, followed by the red (positive) cable. Lift the battery carefully from the case.
Replace the battery with a new 12.8-volt battery if the original is cracked or damaged.
Scrape away any corrosion on the battery terminals, using a wire-bristle brush.
Rinse the terminals with a solution of one cup of water mixed with one tablespoon of baking soda. Dry the terminals with a clean shop rag.
Charge the battery fully to 12.8 volts with a separate battery-charging device.
Reinstall the battery by returning it to the battery holder in the Predator's rear case and reattaching the straps holding it down. Reconnect the red (positive) cable first, then the black (negative) cable. Reinstall the rear cab and the Predator's seat.
Operate the starter. Take your Predator to a certified dealer if the engine still won't turn over.
Use the electric starter. If the engine turns over but still won't start, the engine itself is likely the cause of the problem.
Check that there are adequate levels of fuel in the tank. If not, refill the Predator's tank with unleaded gasoline and restart the engine.
Check the engine oil levels. Park the quad on level ground and remove the front cab of the Predator to access the engine and oil tank.
Remove the oil filler cap and dipstick and wipe all oil from the dipstick with a clean rag. Reinsert the oil filler cap and dipstick fully and remove them.
Refill the oil tank with Polaris PS-4 oil if the oil mark on the dipstick is equal to or lower than the "ADD" line on the side of the dipstick. Screw the oil filler cap and dipstick back in place.
Inspect the condition of the spark plugs, located in each of the Predator's two cylinders. Remove each spark plug cap. Rotate each plug counterclockwise with a spark plug wrench and pull it gently from the cylinder.
Replace the spark plug with a new NGK DCPR8E plug if the electrode-end of the original is black and burnt, white and brittle, or otherwise damaged.
Set each spark plug's gap to exactly 0.035 inches. This gap is the measurement of the width between the hook at one end of the plug.
Push the hook-end gently against a firm surface to shorten the spark plug gap.
Pull the hook end with a spark plug gap tool to widen the spark plug gap.
Rotate each spark plug clockwise into its respective cylinder with a spark plug wrench. Reattach the spark plug caps. Reinstall the front cab.
Use the electric starter again. If problems continue, take the Predator to the dealer for further inspection.
Things You'll Need
- 2 clean shop rags
- Wire-bristle brush
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp. baking soda
- 12.8-volt replacement battery
- 12.8-volt separate battery charger
- Unleaded gasoline
- Polaris PS-4 engine oil
- Spark plug wrench
- NGK DCPR8E replacement spark plugs
- Spark plug gap tool
Brianna has been writing professionally since 2009. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and is excited to be part of a community that contributes to the free sharing of information and ideas.