Four-Wheeler Cranking Up With the Key Off

Got an ATV or side-by-side that tries to start up with a new battery but with the key off the ignition? You might have a starter solenoid problem on your hands.

Partzilla’s ATV/UTV expert John Talley hosts live Q&A sessions on our YouTube channel every Friday at 3pm Eastern. In this session, John was asked what could be causing a 4-wheeler to want to crank up even with the key off when a new battery is put in.

four-wheeler starting problem starter solenoid

Why is My 4-Wheeler Cranking Up with the Key Off?

Hello, I’m trying to figure out why my four-wheeler wants to crank up when I put a new battery in with the key off. Thanks. 

John Talley: Wow. You definitely have a short going on there. And when I say short I don’t mean a short to the ground. It’s wanting to roll, so the first thing I would probably look at is your starter solenoid, because chances are that little plunger in there is stuck and it’s connecting those two posts together and guess what? That’s going to make your starter just sit there and spin over without turning the ignition system on. So my guess is going to be that you need to replace your starter solenoid

Buy a powersports starter solenoid

Buy a powersports starter motor

Watch the video below to learn how to test a starter solenoid/starter relay.

Watch the video below to learn how to test powersports vehicle starters.

Watch the video below to learn how to troubleshoot problems with an ATV that won’t turn off.

Want to see more live repair questions answered? See more motorcycle and ATV repair questions answered here.



Why Partzilla?

Commercial Discounts

Special discounts for companies in the powersports industry


Government Sales

Discounts for federal and most state and municipal agencies