How to Fix an ATV that Won't Turn Off  

You've been riding all afternoon, and now it's time to shut it down. But what happens when your ATV won't turn off? 

We came across that problem on our 2007 Yamaha Grizzly YFM700 and needed to get in there and do a little electrical system troubleshooting. Unless you have this particular model, the access points may differ, but these are a few things you need to check when your ATV won't shut off.

Tools Needed - Testing Yamaha ATV Starting Problems

Yamaha Grizzly YFM700 Starting Problems

This all began when we had starting problems on our Yamaha ATV. We replaced the battery on our unit, and in the process of cleaning up the electrical system, we may have done something to trigger this problem. When we turn the switch off, the ATV's electrical system is still live.

Diagnosing a Bad Switch on an ATV

We can hear a relay clicking on the right front of the ATV, so we're going to run a few tests to see what's triggering it. 

yamaha atv won't turn off diagnosis

First, we'll check to see if there has been any water intrusion due to a seal failure. The screws here holding the power steering control unit assembly in place are tight, so we're using an impact driver to remove them. The electronic control unit is underneath the steering unit. 

yamaha atv power steering control unit

Once the power steering unit is out of the way, we can access the engine control unit (ECU). You can pull it up and then unplug it to inspect it for water intrusion. Check to make sure the seal around the connections is dry and that the underlying electrical connections are also dry. While we didn't find any problems there, our display is still on, even though the switch is off, as seen below. So we've still got some work to do.

yamaha atv ECU engine control unit

Testing the Power Switch on a Yamaha ATV

yamaha atv power switch

We started off by just feeling the wiring that runs from the switch itself back to the connection circled here. The wire itself was warm. That may explain our problem, and might also explain why the battery kept draining out before, prompting us to replace it.

yamaha atv won't turn off

We're going to take a closer look at that switch wiring. To do this, we'll disconnect the wire from the gray connector above and then hand-loosen and remove the locking ring holding the actual switch in place. Once we do that, we'll just need to pull the wiring from under the right front fender to remove it.

yamaha atv switch wiring

Once removed, we could see the problem. Evidently the previous owner had stripped back the sheath protecting the wiring and made another connection for some electrical accessory. With the wires exposed inside this electrical tape, a connection was made when we pressure washed the unit.

The moral of this story: If you buy a used unit, ask the previous owner if they installed any accessories. The connections, if not done properly, can lead to all sorts of problems down the road.

How to Replace the Switch Assembly on a Yamaha Grizzly

Step 1. Remove the storage box to have more room to snake the wiring behind the plastic. Start by removing these two Phillips screws, then use a screwdriver to pry the snap ring assembly out of its channel and walk it off. 

yamaha grizzly atv storage box


yamaha grizzly atv storage box removal

Step 2. Push on the rim of the storage box a little and it should drop straight down. 

yamaha atv storage box removal

Step 3. From behind the plastic you can see in the photo above, insert the key-end of the switch assembly into its opening. There is a notch on the switch. Make sure it aligns with the cutout for the notch in the switch opening shown below. 

yamaha grizzly atv switch assembly

Step 4. Hand-tighten the lock ring, then use a set of channel locks to get it snug. Don't over-tighten it. They're plastic threads and you'll strip them easily if you do. 

yamaha grizzly atv starting problems

Step 5. Next, thread the plug end of the cable up from behind the plastic and into the bay with the electronics. 

yamaha atv grizzly starting system

Step 6. Then, reconnect the new switch into the electrical system. You can see it connected in the image below. 

Yamaha ATV electrical system switch

After following these steps, your Yamaha Grizzly should power off and on like normal again. Now that you know what to do when your ATV won't turn off, check out the video below to see what to do if your Yamaha YFM700 won't turn on.




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