My Honda ATV's Wires Got Chewed. New Starter?

Rodents crawling into ATVs and chewing up wires could create serious electrical system problems. One of our viewers had a mouse crawl into their Honda ATV and eat up the wires, which created starting problems.

ATV expert John Talley goes live on our YouTube channel every Friday at 3pm Eastern, and in this edition, John addresses starting problems with a Honda Rancher 420 that got its wires chewed up, as well as a battery issue with another viewer's quad.  

Honda ATV electrical problems

Honda ATV Electrical Problems: Chewed Wiring Q&A

I had some mouse problems with chewed wires on my 2007 Honda Rancher 420. I taped the damaged wires and replaced the battery, but the bike wouldn’t start even though I could hear the solenoid clicking. The lights work but the engine won’t turn over. Do you think I need a new starter?

John Talley: Well, you asked the right question at the right time. We just did that exact testing procedure on the TRX 420 that’s behind me. And I believe it was released yesterday or today. Go there and see how I walk you through step-by-step how to determine if it’s your wiring, or the starter, or the solenoid or maybe even the battery. 

There are a few points where the power from the battery to the starter can be interrupted, resulting in a no-start condition. In the video above, John shows you ways to troubleshoot starting problems with a Honda Rancher 420. This includes testing the battery, inspecting the fuses, and testing the starter relay and switch. 

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My brother’s ATV battery wouldn’t keep charge, so I replaced it with a new one and it held charge for a couple of uses but again will not hold charge. Has the battery gone bad already?

John Talley: I seriously doubt it. What you’re probably running into is something with the charging system. And we have multiple videos that walk you through determining if it’s the stator, or if it’s going to be your regulator-rectifier, and I could tell you 9 times out of 10, it’s going to be the regulator-rectifier. 

A regulator-rectifier test is one way to diagnose issues with the charging system of an ATV. In the video above, John shows you how to test a 3-phase regulator rectifier from three different makes, because they're not all the same. 

The stator is a key part of the charging system on an ATV. Knowing how to test it is an important diagnostic skill to figure out exactly what you need to order when it’s time to go to work. In the video above, John show you how to perform a stator test even when you can’t get your machine started. These static tests for Honda, Polaris, and Yamaha stators will help you troubleshoot a possible faulty unit in your ATV's electrical system.

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



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