Why Is My ATV Shutting Off When Idling?

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Issues creeping up after rear of ATV struck

Why is my ATV shutting off when idling? That is what one of our readers wants to know after the back of her machine was hit.

Here is exactly what reader Kevin asked the ATV AnswerMan, followed by his answer:

My son hit me in the rear end of my atv [2007 Can-Am Outlander 400 XT] Saturday. I had no problems till this and then it started shutting off when idling and idling rough. Could the battery be the problem since it is in the rear and may have been jarred loose? Nothing else really back there that could cause problem I don’t think. I have seen where the battery loose can cause weird things to happen.

Sorry to hear that your quad is having troubles. Getting hit in the rear of that machine can create small yet significant issues, even though the damage may appear minimal. There is a good bit of important wiring as well as electrical devices hidden in the rear of the Can-Am Outlander frame and most of it deals with the very things you seem to be having issues with. One of the first things I would look at is, of course, the battery as you had mentioned. The battery can be broken inside regardless of its outward appearance.

Here is the kicker about the battery. Can-Am had originally installed a lead acid battery in the 2007 Can-Am Outlander 400 XT, so if it is a lead acid battery you might have broken a cell or some other type of connection inside. The original Can-Am part number for that battery was 715900316. However, it appears that the battery has been superseded to a newer number of 410301203 that could be a more updated AGM style battery. The AGM could be a little more resilient when it comes to impacts, so you just need to know what type of battery you have and have it tested accordingly.

After you have the battery tested and it proves to be in good working condition, I would look at the voltage regulator / rectifier that is mounted back there as well. Look for wiring that is cut or chaffed and that could be rubbing against any metal that would enable a temporary short of any kind. Also check that the plugs on the voltage regulator are secure and not broken or simply not plugged in all the way. It is possible that the plug could have been broken loose, but is still in contact just enough to have the engine start but then cut out. If the securing lock on the plug is broken, a zip tie around the Voltage rec/reg would keep it in place just fine. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to buy an entire wiring harness just for the plug.

Good luck!

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