Partzilla Live Q&A with John Talley – March 25, 2022

John Talley is back with another edition of Partzilla Live Q&A, answering your motorcycle and ATV repair questions.

Fuel and air and starting problems for both motorcycles and ATVs were brought up many times during this edition. Check out some excerpts from Partzilla’s latest live Q&A session below, and tune into our YouTube and Facebook channels every Friday at 3pm Eastern for the next edition. 

Partzilla Live Q&A 03-25-22

Partzilla Live Q&A Highlights – Fuel/Air and Starting Problems

My 2004 Honda Rancher 350 ES won’t start. Neutral light comes on, but when I jump the solenoid, the starter turns over but it still won’t start. Doesn’t seem to be getting any power to the ignition system. All fuses near the battery test well. What might be the problem?

John Talley: Well, the first thing that comes to mind that’s going to be really simple is, are you sure or have you tested the run-stop-run or run-stop switch? I think it’s on the left, on the TRX350 Rancher. If that is faulty or intermittent, I think it could be creating the problem you’re talking about. 

I have a problem with a Honda 420 ATV with intermittent starting. It turns over but not starting. I have replaced the battery, spark plugs and ignition switch. I’ve had many technicians look at it, including the Honda dealer. Any ideas?

John Talley: Well, you said intermittent starting, so it does start on occasions but not every time? It looks like you’ve done everything on the electrical side, so my indicator would say I’m pretty sure I have spark, and there are ways to check that by pulling the spark plugs out and putting them on the side of the head and cranking it over to see if it’s sparking or not. So I’m leaning toward it being on the fuel side. You didn’t tell me the year, but I know the 420 had a recall one year on the fuel pickup on the fuel pump, if memory serves. So I wonder if your pickup side is causing the problem.  

I have a 2006 Suzuki GSX-R1000, and every time I leave it for an hour and go to start, most of the time it’ll run for about 5 seconds and then I have to start it again and it’s fine. Not sure why it takes two starts to run after it’s been sitting. Any ideas?

John Talley: I kind of lean toward the fuel system on this. It sounds like your fuel pump may be on its way out. It’s getting it going initially and then it’s tapering off, and then that motor is finally freed up enough, so that tells me it’s probably on its way out. And given that it’s an ’06, it’s well over a decade old, so I’d say that’s probably what you’re facing. If not the pump, at least the pickup screen on the bottom of the pump, the filter for it. 

I have a Yamaha R6 that I washed, then I started the bike and found out that water got into the tank. Can the spark plugs be damaged because of the water? 

John Talley: I could potentially see that if you’re saying it sucked it into the fuel system. And what may be happening is the viscosity of the water is a little bit thicker than fuel, so it may be stopping up the fuel injectors. So you may have to pull the fuel rail and flush it out as well before it’ll start acting right. And I know that Motion Pro makes a fuel injector cleaner that’s just a small machined aluminum device where you put the injector on there and use regular carb cleaner along with the battery to activate the injector itself. And you need to spray through it. It sounds like you may need to do that.

Want to see more live repair questions answered? See all of Partzilla’s past Live Q&A sessions here.  



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