What is Wrong With My UTV Wiring?

Rick Sosebee
by Rick Sosebee
What is Wrong with My UTV Wiring? This is what a Polaris Ranger owner needs to know and he turned to the ATV AnswerMan for help.

Here is exactly what the reader asked the AnswerMan, followed by his response:

I’m not sure what the issue is but if someone could help me that would be great. I have a 2010 ranger [800] and it seems to be having trouble running sometimes but not always. I Took it up to my hunting spot when I tried to unload it from the trailer it was idling rough and seemed very sluggish. It would jump around 1130 – 1100 rpms then go way down to 900 rpms. I finally was able to get it going and after roughly an hour it was still just lacking power and not idling well. Then it started dying on me before I went to load it back on the trailer. Has fresh fuel and no water in the gas tank. The dealer did the 50hr service on it with new plugs and stuff. Never had any problem with it idling before. For how much this thing cost me it should hold up way better than this. Please help.

It seems that many Polaris Rangers from 2010-2012 do have some issues with wiring. There are several places on the wiring harness, particularly the small section going up to the throttle body sensors that seem to rub and chaff causing gremlin-style problems. This section of wiring is located under the seating, obviously, but on the left side of the engine bay. If you trace the wires coming off of the throttle body you might notice zip ties holding the wires taunt and this creates some of the problems. If I’m not mistaken there is even a small fixture/plate that holds the wires out of harm’s way yet attached to one of the actual starter bolts of the machine.

The copper strands of wire have actually been known to break inside the colored wire insulation, making it nearly impossible to find. If you snip the zip ties and simply inspect the wiring, its tough but you can see when the wire strands are broken by the way the insulation of the wire looks in comparison to those around them.

Once those connectors have been inspected, follow that wiring until it reaches the main harness which should run back under the flooring. Look for sections that could be rubbing on anything. I have seen a case where the wiring rubbed across the parking brake cable housing and literally rubbed bare spots across some of the wires, causing the shorts.

When or if you find the break/short, simply repair it with some kind of wire connector for that size wire. There are companies that do sell replacement pigtailed wire harnesses should you discover that the wires are broken too close to the plug. Good luck.

Rick Sosebee
Rick Sosebee

Whether he is in Mexico covering the Baja 1000, building ATVs for local racers, or out enjoying the trails, Rick’s passion shows in his stories. Learning to wrench his own machines from his grandfather, Rick also has an undying appreciation for the mechanics of off-road vehicles. Do not let the dirt and mud fool you, though, as Rick also has a deep love for street cars.

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