Partzilla Live Q&A with John & Garrett – August 7, 2020

Live Q&A is back with John Talley and Garrett Sifford answering more of your motorcycle and ATV repair questions

John and Garrett returned after a brief hiatus to answer more of your live questions, including some about starting problems and fuel pump issues. Check out 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 John Talley Garrett Sifford

Partzilla Live Q&A Highlights – Electrical and Fuel Pump Problems

Honda ATV Starting Problem

My Honda Rancher starter has a slow crank. I’ve run it multiple times this week with it slowly cranking and then firing right up. I let it sit just a few days because I couldn’t get it out of the garage. Now the starter is still slow but it won’t fire. Any help?

Garrett Sifford: The first thing I would check is the battery, obviously. Because the battery can hold 12 volts without a load, but the second you put a load to it, it could drop down below. Usually you don’t want it to dip below 10 volts to be honest. ... And if your battery checks out fine, you may be looking at a starter problem. It could be dirty and grimy, and I’ve even seen rocks hit the side of the can on a starter and keep it from spinning over too. …

John Talley: That would be the same thing I’d recommend. Definitely go for the simple stuff first. Take a look at the battery. If you have a friend that has access to a battery tester, that’s actually going to give you the health of the battery. Using just your volt/ohm meter to give you an idea, that’s the first step. If it’s north of 12.5 volts, it could be a good battery, but it could also mean that it’s a bad one because that doesn’t tell you the muscle that the battery has behind that 12 volts. If it’s worn out … then it may start it a couple of times, but when you’re out in the woods and you really need it to, it’s not going to get you back home.

Starter/Battery Problems

Can a bad starter cause the ground wire on a battery to overheat? Just the ground, the lead is fine. 

John Talley: Actually it can. But is the battery overheating or is it the ground wire? Because what I’ve seen before on ground wires is basically, you’ve got a bunch of different strands inside of that cable and if it has any type of corrosion damage that you might not be able to see … it’s going to change the resistance value of that and make it heat up. But if you’re asking me if it can make your battery overheat as well? Sure. Because that’s going to put more strain on your battery as it’s trying to go to ground. … If you’re telling me the lead is fine, well then it’s going to be the starterstator, excuse me, because it could be overcharging it. 

Suzuki GSX-R Starting and Fuel Problems

My 2008 GSX-R 1000 starts fine but when I give it the beans, it’s lacking in power. What might be causing that?

Garrett Sifford: Well actually the first thing I would check would be the spark plugs. … the condition of the plugs can tell you whether or not they’re fouled out, because if you have a slight fouling on one or two plugs, it’s not going to let the engine rev out at all. … That would be the first check, and then after that it could be a faulty fuel pump. If the fuel pump is not pressurizing the fuel properly, it’s not getting enough fuel for the spark, so it won’t rev out either. …

John Talley: And when you’re doing the pressure test on the pump itself, you want to do a static one … But also do it with it running, and if you can get a load on the machine, like at a dyno … keep an eye on the gauge because I’ve seen fuel pumps lie to me before. …

Garrett Sifford: If it is the fuel pump, whatever you do don’t buy an aftermarket one. Don’t buy one of those $20-$25 ones off eBay because chances are you may buy 6 or 7 before you get one that works. So it’s usually best to buy OEM. I know it’s a little bit more money, but it’s the cheaper way to go in the long run.

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

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