My Polaris Sportsman 500 Won't Start

by Eric Cedric

Polaris makes a range of outdoor engine equipped vehicles such as quads, snowmobiles and amphibious all-terrain rigs. The Polaris Sportsman 500 is a quad designed to haul gear, animals and riders for back country activities. If your Sportsman 500 is giving your problems with starting, there are three areas to concentrate on for troubleshooting. Look at the fuel, spark and battery systems to get the quad back up and running.

1. Turn the ignition of the Sportsman 500 on and listen for any stuttering or misfires when the starter engages the engine. If there is no ignition at all, check the fuel tank.

2. Open the gas cap and insert the dipstick to check the fuel level. If the dipstick is dry when it is removed from the tank, the Sportsman 500 is out of fuel. Pour one or two gallons from the gas can into the fuel tank and try starting the quad. If stuttering occurs there may be moisture in the fuel line. Add a quart of fuel heat--a fluid designed to combat moisture in the fuel tank.

3. Turn on the lights to the quad. If no lights come on, the battery has lost its charge and needs to be recharged. Disconnect the red and black cables on the battery terminals and remove the battery from the quad. Attach the battery to the charger and monitor the charge levels. Place the battery back in the quad after it is recharged and start the Sportsman.

4. Remove the black rubber cap from the spark plug and attach the spark removing socket to the ratchet. Turn counter-clockwise. Unscrew the spark plug with the socket. Spray the degreaser on the end of the spark plug and into the housing. Wipe away grease and degreaser. Place the spark plug back into the housing and screw into position. Place the rubber cap back on the plug and start the quad.

Items you will need

  • Ratchet and park plug socket
  • Degreaser
  • Rags
  • Gas can with fuel
  • Battery charger

About the Author

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images