Troubleshooting Yamaha ATV Starter Problems

We know how frustrating it is when you’re ready to rock n’ roll out on the track and then all of a sudden (record scratch) … your ATV won’t start! 

Diagnosing ATV starting problems is relatively easy to do, and there are multiple tests you can run to find the problem. You want to start by testing your battery, of course. However, if your battery is new or still in good shape and your Yamaha ATV still won’t go, it’s time to poke around other areas of your machine to find where the starting problem lies. 

Tools and Parts Needed – Troubleshooting Yamaha Grizzly Starting Problems

Tools

  • 10mm socket
  • 12mm socket
  • 4mm Allen
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Volt/OHM meter (capable of testing diodes)
  • Test lead kit 

NOTE: The parts listed above are parts you may or may not need after running some of these troubleshooting tests for Yamaha YFM700 Grizzly starting problems.

Troubleshooting Yamaha ATV Starting Problems

A “no start” problem on your Yamaha ATV can be attributed to one or a plethora of electrical problems. Fortunately, there are many simple tests you can do yourself with relative ease. While your starter problem might be something incredibly simple, you might need a new battery or a starter relay. Check out our Yamaha Grizzly 700 electrical parts diagram and starting motor parts diagram for reference.

Make sure the kill switch on the left handlebar side is in the “Run” position. It might seem like a “no brainer,” but it’s actually a common oversight. 

Yamaha ATV starting problems

If nothing happens after flipping on the kill switch, remove the front plastic cover to expose the battery, starter solenoid, starter relay and other electrical components.

Yamaha Grizzly starting problems

Yamaha Grizzly 700 Starting Problems Troubleshooting Test #1

A battery test is the best place to begin. Set your volt/ohm meter to DC volts, and connect it across the two battery terminals. Your Yamaha ATV’s battery should have a reading of 12.5 volts or higher to be considered healthy. If the battery registers anything less, it’s time to buy a new battery. We also recommend you buy a Battery Tender Plus, which monitors and charges batteries when needed.  

Troubleshooting Yamaha Grizzly 700 starting problems

Deltran Battery Tender Plus

Yamaha Grizzly 700 Starting Problems Troubleshooting Test #2

After you’ve tested your battery and replaced it if necessary, the next step is to test the starter motor. Use a short jumper from your test lead kit to go across the two terminals on the starter solenoid, and make sure there’s nothing flammable nearby, as jumper contact with the terminals will create a spark. If the starter solenoid fires up the starter after making contact with the two terminals, your starter is good to go. However, if it doesn’t respond at all, you need to buy a new starter motor

Yamaha YFM 700 starting problems

Yamaha Grizzly 700 Starting Problems Troubleshooting Test #3

After checking the starter motor through the solenoid test, the next part you want to test is the starter circuit interrupt relay. Remove the starter circuit interrupt relay from the machine to test the continuity of the output by connecting it to your volt/ohm meter and the battery. 

Troubleshooting YFM 700 starting problems

Yamaha Grizzly YFM700 starter problems

Set your volt/ohm meter to measure resistance for ohms, and have it make contact with the positive terminal on your battery. Listen for a click upon contact, and look for a low resistance reading close to 0 ohms, which indicates that your starter circuit interrupt relay is working correctly. A high resistance reading means it’s time to buy a new starter circuit interrupt relay

Yamaha Grizzly 700 ATV troubleshooting starter problems

Yamaha YFM 700 Grizzly starting problems

Yamaha Grizzly 700 Starting Problems Troubleshooting Test #4

The next test after reconnecting your starter circuit interrupt relay is to disconnect the starter relay (or starter solenoid) from the machine, and repeat the same method used to test the starter circuit interrupt relay, checking for a low resistance reading near 0 ohms to ensure it’s working. If the resistance reading is high, it’s time to replace the starter relay

Yamaha Grizzly starter relay assembly

Yamaha ATV YFM700 starting problems

Yamaha Grizzly 700 Starting Problems Troubleshooting Test #5

After reconnecting the starter relay, the next step is to check the brake light relay. Turn the ignition on your machine, push the brake, and then hit the start button. If your machine doesn’t start up right away, your starting problem could be a bad brake light relay. Repeat what you did in the last two tests again for your brake light relay, checking for a low resistance measure close to 0 ohms to indicate that it’s working properly. If your brake light relay has a high resistance reading, you’ll need to replace it.

Yamaha Grizzly starter problems troubleshoot test

Yamaha Grizzly relay assembly

Yamaha Grizzly 700 Starting Problems Troubleshooting Test #6

After testing your brake light relay, the next electrical part to test is the diode, which is taped next to the battery and is distinguishable by a light blue wire and a black wire with a yellow stripe. Cut the tape off the diode to unplug it for testing. 

Yamaha Grizzly YFM700 staring problems test

Set your volt/ohm meter for diode testing, and bias each diode to see if a current flows through it. Check for a low diode reading close to 0 by touching each vertical prong, which — like some of the parts you tested before it — is also an indicator that the diodes are in good shape. A short circuit or an open circuit during this test would indicate that you need to buy a new diode assembly.

Yamaha ATv starting problems diode test

Yamaha Grizzly starting problems diode testing

Yamaha Grizzly 700 Starting Problems Troubleshooting Test #7

After plugging the diode back in, the next step is to test the connector for the Run switch on your machine. This connector is a gray two-conductor. Set your volt/ohm meter to ohms and continuity. Listen for a beep when a connection is made with the inner points of the two-conductor and your meter after turning on the Run switch. A beep tells you the connector is in good shape.  

Yamaha Grizzly ATV starting problems tests

Yamaha Grizzly 700 Starting Problems Troubleshooting Test #8

The next component to test is the engine start switch, which has a black wire and a blue wire with a black stripe. Once connected to your volt/ohm meter at the point where these two wires connect to the engine start switch, flip the engine start switch on to listen for a beep, which means it’s working.

Starting problems Yamaha ATV

Grizzly YFM700 starting problems troubleshooting

Remove the main side panel to access the wiring for the gear position switch and the reverse switch, which are the last two tests to run to check for starting problems. 

Grizzly 700 ATV starter problems

Set your volt/ohm meter to continuity, connect one end of the meter to the negative terminal of your battery, and the other end to the four-conductor for the gear selector switch (mounted on the back of the engine) to test for each position of the gear selector. Test the connection to the park gear first by putting your machine on Park, touching the pink wire on the four-conductor of the gear selector switch, and listening for a beep. Repeat this process for Neutral gear (blue wire), High gear (gray wire), and Low gear (white wire).  All the gear connections will beep if they’re working properly after making contact.

Yamaha Grizzly quad starter problems testing

Yamaha Grizzly 700 Starting Problems Troubleshooting Test #9

The last step is to check the Reverse switch, which is one terminal located around the middle of the engine, and has a green wire with a white stripe. Pull the wire off, put your machine in Reverse gear, and connect your volt/ohm meter to the terminal with the alligator clamp. For the Reverse gear, look for a reading for an open circuit (OL reading), or no resistance reading, to indicate that it’s working correctly. 

Grizzly 700 ATV starter problems troubleshoot

We hope these tests help you diagnose and repair your Yamaha Grizzly 700 starting system problems. 

The steps to troubleshoot starting problems on a Grizzly YFM700 are the same or similar for all Yamaha ATV models. However, if you want to see a similar troubleshooting procedure on a different model, watch the video above to see how to troubleshoot starting problems on a Yamaha YFZ450R.

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