Can-Am Commander Problems And Their Solutions

Today, we will discuss some common problems you may encounter with the CAN-AM Commander models and their solutions.

The CAN-AM Commander is a popular side-by-side UTV that has gained a loyal following among off-road enthusiasts due to its impressive performance and capabilities. However, as with any vehicle, it’s not immune to issues that may arise during operation.

The most common problems that user experience with CAN AM Commader are Starting Problems, Overheating Issues, Transmission Problems, Clutches Problems, Shifting Problems,Power Steering Problems, Fuel System Issues, The brake lights not working, Clunking Noise and Battery Not Charging.

CAN-AM Commander Problems And Their Solutions

1. Starting Problems

There are several common causes of starting problems in your CAN-AM Commander UTV, and we’re here to help you diagnose and fix them.

One of the primary causes of starting problems in a CAN-AM Commander UTV is a faulty battery. A dead or discharged battery might manifest itself in your machine’s inability to turn over, weak cranking, or even a total lack of power.

To determine if this is the issue, it’s crucial to check your battery voltage with a multimeter. A fully charged battery should read at least 12.6 volts.

If you find that your battery is low on power, it’s time to recharge or replace it. However, if your battery seems fine, you’ll want to look closer at your battery connections.

Corroded or loose battery terminals can disrupt the flow of electricity, preventing your engine from starting. Simply cleaning and tightening these connections should resolve the issue.

Another common cause of starting problems in a UTV is a malfunctioning starter solenoid. This device bridges the battery and the starter motor, transmitting electrical power to get your engine running.

When a starter solenoid fails, it can produce various symptoms, including a clicking noise, an engine that refuses to crank, or a silent, non-responsive ignition switch.

To test your starter solenoid, you can use a test light or a multimeter to check for voltage at the starter motor’s terminal. You must replace the starter solenoid if the voltage is low or nonexistent.

Another vital component of your CAN-AM Commander’s starting system is the starter motor itself.

Over time and through regular use, a starter motor can begin to wear out or develop internal issues that prevent it from functioning properly.

To identify whether your starter motor is the cause of your UTV’s starting issues, try tapping it gently with a hammer – sometimes, this can free up any stuck components and get the motor working again. If this method does not work, consider diagnosing the starter motor further or replacing it entirely.

Fuel system issues can also lead to starting problems in a CAN-AM Commander UTV. If your engine has insufficient fuel pressure, it will not start at all.

A clogged fuel filter or a problematic fuel pump can be the culprit. To remedy this, it’s essential to check and inspect the fuel systems components, such as the fuel filter and fuel pump, for any signs of wear, clogging, or other issues and replace them as needed.

Lastly, a malfunctioning ignition switch is another potential cause of starting problems in a CAN-AM Commander UTV.

If the ignition switch does not effectively transmit power from the battery to the rest of the vehicle, the engine will not receive the signal it needs to begin the combustion process.

To identify an ignition switch problem, try turning the key and observing the behaviour of your UTV’s electrical accessories – if they do not work reliably, it may indicate that your ignition switch is faulty and needs replacement.

2. Shifting Problems

Shifting problems can be quite frustrating for off-road enthusiasts, as it can severely impact the performance and safety of your side-by-side vehicle. Let’s uncover the possible causes of shifting problems in your UTV and discuss how to fix them.

1. Clutch system maladjustment:

An improperly adjusted clutch system is one of the primary reasons for shifting problems. If your clutch cable has too much or too little play, it may not fully disengage when you shift. A poorly adjusted clutch can wear out prematurely and result in difficulty changing gears.

The Fix:

You should inspect the clutch cable, adjust it to its proper tension, or consider having a mechanic do it to ensure it has been adjusted correctly.

2. Damaged clutch components:

The clutch itself can be the root cause of your troubles. A worn or damaged clutch disc, pressure plate, or release bearing can cause grinding, slipping, or difficulty when shifting.

The Fix:

Inspect and replace any damaged or excessively worn components of the clutch assembly. It’s essential to address these issues promptly, as it can lead to more serious and expensive problems down the road.

3. Transmission fluid level:

Low or contaminated transmission fluid can result in difficulty changing gears, as well as grinding noises and decreased transmission performance. This liquid is crucial for the smooth functioning of your UTV’s transmission, as it lubricates the moving components, facilitates gear shifting, and dissipates heat.

The Fix:

Regularly check the transmission fluid level and condition, making sure to top off or change the fluid as needed according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. This will help maintain proper lubrication and avoid premature transmission wear.

4. Worn or damaged gearbox components:

Over time, the internal components of your transmission may wear out or get damaged, leading to shifting issues. A lack of maintenance, exposure to extreme off-road conditions, or excessive wear and tear can cause this.

The Fix:

Perform regular maintenance to slow down the wear on your transmission, and have it inspected by a mechanic if you suspect any damage. If repairs are necessary, it’s best to consult a professional to ensure the job is done correctly.

5. Shift linkage problems:

The shift linkage connects your gear shifter to your transmission, allowing you to change gears. However, if bent, misaligned, or damaged, it could cause a wide range of shifting problems.

The Fix:

Inspect the shift linkage and connectors for damage or wear. If necessary, replace the damaged components or have them repaired by a professional mechanic.

3. Overheating Problems 

Overheating problems are unfortunately common in off-road vehicles like the CAN-AM Commander UTV, but no worries, we’ve got you covered!

1. Lack of Coolant:

One of the primary causes of overheating in your CAN-AM Commander UTV is the insufficient level or complete absence of coolant in your vehicle’s radiator. The coolant is essential for keeping the engine temperature within the desired range.

How to Fix:

Check the coolant level in the radiator and, if necessary, top it up with the recommended coolant mixture. Also, inspect the radiator cap and hoses for any leaks or cracks, and replace any damaged components to ensure proper sealing and pressure.

2. Clogged or Dirty Radiator:

A dirty or clogged radiator can prevent coolant from flowing efficiently, reducing its cooling capacity and eventually causing your UTV to overheat.

How to Fix:

Clean the radiator’s exterior and remove any mud, dirt, or debris that could obstruct airflow. You may also need to flush or reverse flush the radiator to remove any internal build-up of sediment or rust. Be sure to inspect the condition of the coolant; if it appears dirty or contaminated, drain and refill it with the recommended coolant mixture.

3. Damaged Water Pump:

The water pump in your CAN-AM Commander UTV is responsible for circulating coolant throughout the engine to regulate temperature. A malfunctioning or broken water pump can cause overheating due to inadequate coolant circulation.

How to Fix:

Inspect the water pump for any signs of wear, damage, or leakage. If the pump is not operating properly, replace it with a new one to ensure efficient coolant circulation and prevent overheating.

4. Malfunctioning Thermostat:

A faulty thermostat might not open at the right temperature or even stay closed, which prevents the coolant from circulating through the engine, resulting in overheating.

How to Fix:

Test the thermostat by monitoring the engine temperature and assessing whether the thermostat opens and closes properly. If the thermostat is malfunctioning, replace it with a new one to ensure proper engine temperature regulation.

5. Debris or Faulty Fan:

The CAN-AM Commander UTV is equipped with a cooling fan designed to dissipate excess heat from the engine. A damaged or obstructed cooling fan will likely cause the engine to overheat.

How to Fix:

Inspect the cooling fan for any visible damage, and ensure there is no debris blocking its movement. If the fan is malfunctioning or has sustained damage, replace it with a new one to maintain proper airflow and cooling efficiency.

6. Engine Wear or Internal Issues:

Over time, various internal components of the CAN-AM Commander UTV’s engine may wear down or become damaged. This could lead to diminished cooling capabilities or increased heat production, resulting in overheating.

How to Fix:

Regularly service and maintain your vehicle’s engine to prolong its lifespan and minimize the risk of overheating. If you suspect internal engine issues or extensive wear, consult a professional mechanic to evaluate and address the problem.

4. Transmission Problems

Well, your Commander may be facing some transmission issues. In this discussion, we’ll delve into the potential causes of these problems and how to troubleshoot them.

1. Fluid Problems: Most transmission issues begin with the lifeblood of the system – the transmission fluid.


Low, dirty, or burnt transmission fluid can lead to erratic shifting, slipping gears, overheating, and even total transmission failure.

How to Fix:

Check and maintain the transmission fluid at the appropriate level. Clean or replace the transmission filter on a regular maintenance schedule to ensure fluid flow remains unrestricted. If the fluid appears dark or smells burnt, a full fluid change and possible inspection of the transmission is recommended.

2. Clutch Malfunctions:

Your clutch system is key to successfully shifting between gears without damaging your transmission.


Worn, overheated, or warped clutch plates can prevent proper clutch engagement, leading to grinding or difficulty shifting gears, especially under heavy loads or aggressive acceleration.

How to Fix:

Regularly inspect and replace the clutch plates, as necessary. Use only manufacturer-recommended clutch parts for optimal performance to prevent further complications.

3. Transfer Case Issues:

The transfer case in your Commander is responsible for distributing power between the front and rear axles, ensuring your UTV performs optimally.


Worn gears or internal issues can lead to abnormal vibrations, difficulty in engaging 4×4 modes, and leaks from the transfer case.

How to Fix:

Maintain the transfer case fluid level and quality, using only manufacturer-recommended fluid. If internal issues are suspected, consult with a professional technician to thoroughly inspect, diagnose, and repair the faulty components.

4. Electronic Failures:

Modern UTVs, like the CAN-AM Commander, have electronic systems that work in harmony with the mechanical components to ensure smooth, reliable operation.


Faulty sensors or electrical wiring can lead to false signals that affect transmission performance, such as unexpected gear shifts or warning lights on your dashboard.

How to Fix:

Scanning tool identifies and diagnoses potential sensor or wiring issues. Repair or replace the malfunctioning components as required.

5. Mechanical Wear and Tear:

The drivetrain of your Commander is made up of various mechanical components that wear over time, even when properly maintained.


Wear and tear on gears, bearings, and other parts can lead to transmission noises, vibrations, and eventual failure.

How to Fix:

Regular inspections of the drivetrain components and proper maintenance will help identify and rectify these issues before they lead to costly transmission repairs or replacement.

5. Clutches Problems

1. Dirty or Low Transmission Fluid:

Insufficient or contaminated transmission fluid can lead to transmission issues, including overheating, gear slipping, and increased friction between moving parts. It’s essential to check the fluid levels regularly and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for fluid changes.

Ensure that you use the proper transmission fluid specified by the manufacturer and have the fluid level checked and adjusted by a professional if necessary.

2. Worn Out Clutch Plates:

Over time, the friction material on clutch plates can wear down, making transmitting power from the engine to the transmission difficult. You might notice a burning smell or have difficulty shifting gears when this happens.

You’ll need to replace the worn-out clutch plates with new ones to fix this issue. Consult a qualified mechanic for the replacement procedure, as doing so incorrectly can lead to further damage.

3. Transmission Solenoid Issues:

The transmission solenoid regulates the flow of transmission fluid within your CAN-AM Commander’s transmission. If it becomes faulty, the fluid flow might get disrupted, resulting in issues like erratic shifting or getting stuck in one gear.

Diagnosing a transmission solenoid issue may require specialized diagnostic equipment, and it is generally best to have a professional mechanic investigate and replace the solenoid if necessary.

4. Transmission Sensor Malfunction:

A failing transmission sensor can provide false or inaccurate readings, leading to incorrect gear changes or poor performance.

You might see warning lights or indicators on your dashboard when a sensor problem arises. In such cases, consult an expert to perform a diagnostic test and replace malfunctioning sensors.

5. Mechanical Wear and Tear:

Over time, various transmission components, such as gears, bearings, and shafts, can wear down or become damaged, leading to grinding noises and gear slipping.

Routine maintenance is vital to prevent extensive wear and tear on these parts. Should you suspect a mechanical issue with your transmission, it is best to seek the help of a professional mechanic who can inspect and replace any damaged components.

6. Power Steering Problems

First, let’s look at some of the common causes of power steering issues in your CAN-AM Commander UTV:

1. Low power steering fluid:

One of the most common culprits behind power steering problems is low power steering fluid levels. When the fluid level is low, it can cause the power steering pump to work harder, resulting in poor steering performance and even damage to the pump itself.

How to Fix:

Regularly check your power steering fluid reservoir and top it off whenever necessary. Be sure to use the manufacturer-recommended fluid type for optimal performance.

2. Damaged power steering pump:

The pump generates the hydraulic pressure needed for your UTV’s power steering system to function correctly. If the pump is damaged or worn out, it may not provide sufficient pressure for proper steering assistance.

How to Fix:

Inspect the power steering pump for any visible signs of wear, damage, or leaks. If a problem is found, have a qualified mechanic repaired or replace the pump

3. Faulty power steering rack or gearbox:

The power steering rack or gearbox is a crucial component that converts the hydraulic pressure generated by the pump into mechanical force to aid in steering. If the rack or gearbox is damaged or worn, it can lead to poor steering performance or complete loss of power steering.

How to Fix:

Have a professional mechanic inspect your power steering rack or gearbox. They can determine if the component is faulty and needs repair or replacement.

4. Worn or damaged power steering belt:

The power steering belt transfers power from your UTV’s engine to the power steering pump. If the belt is worn, damaged, or loose, it can result in reduced pressure from the pump, leading to poor steering performance.

How to Fix:

Inspect the power steering belt for damage, wear, or improper tension. If required, have the belt replaced or adjusted by a qualified mechanic.

5. Damaged or loose power steering hoses:

The power steering hoses connect the pump to the steering rack or gearbox. If these hoses are damaged, loose, or leaking, it can result in reduced pressure and poor steering performance.

How to Fix:

Check the power steering hoses for damage, leaks, and proper connection. If any issues are found, have the hoses repaired or replaced by a professional mechanic.

6. Electronic power steering failure:

Some CAN-AM Commander UTV models have electronic power steering (EPS). A failure in the EPS system can result in poor steering performance or complete loss of power steering.

How to fix it:

EPS systems typically require specialized diagnostic tools to determine the cause of the issue. Consult your UTV’s owner’s manual for guidance or visit an authorized dealer or mechanic for proper diagnosis and repair.

7. Fuel System Issues

A dirty or clogged fuel filter is a primary cause of fuel system problems. As the filter becomes dirty, fuel flow to the engine gets restricted, leading to reduced power and poor engine performance.

Replacing the fuel filter regularly by the manufacturer’s recommendations is critical to maintaining optimal fuel flow and avoiding costly engine damage down the line.

Another potential culprit is a faulty fuel pump. The fuel pump supplies fuel from the tank to the engine at a consistent pressure.

A pump that is starting to fail may produce inadequate pressure, causing an uneven supply to the engine and affecting its performance.

The pump may fail outright in extreme cases, rendering the vehicle inoperative. Replacing the fuel pump when it shows signs of failure can help prevent further complications and extend the life of your UTV.

Poor quality, contaminated, or inappropriate fuel can also lead to fuel system issues. Low-quality fuel may create deposits within the fuel injectors, obstructing fuel flow and impairing engine function.

Contaminated fuel may introduce dirt and debris into the engine, leading to significant performance problems. Ensure that you’re using appropriate and high-quality fuel in your CAN-AM Commander UTV to prevent these issues from arising.

A faulty fuel injector may be another reason for subpar fuel system performance. Over time, injectors can become clogged, leaky, or fail altogether.

A malfunctioning injector will likely lead to combustion problems, resulting in uneven engine idling, reduced power, and increased fuel consumption.

Regularly inspect your fuel injectors to determine if they need servicing, and consider replacing them when signs of wear and tear are evident.

An obstructed or damaged air intake might also affect your fuel system. When the engine isn’t getting enough air, it can’t combust the fuel properly, resulting in reduced power and performance.

Regularly inspect and maintain the air filter and intake system components to remain clean, ensuring optimal air-fuel balance and performance in your UTV.

8. The Brake lights Not Working 

There could be several reasons behind this issue, ranging from a blown a fuse to a faulty wiring harness.

1. Blown Fuse:

One of the common reasons for the brake lights not working is a blown fuse. The fuse protects the electrical circuit of your brake lights by breaking the connection in case of a surge or short circuit.

To fix this, locate your fuse panel and identify the fuse responsible for your brake lights. If it appears to be blown, replace it with a new one.

2. Damaged or Burnt-Out Bulbs:

Another prevalent cause is damaged or burnt-out brake light bulbs. Even though the bulbs in CAN-AM Commander UTV have a long-life span, they are not immune to wear and tear.

To check the condition of your brake light bulbs, remove them from the housing and inspect them closely for any damage or signs of wear.

Replace them with new ones if you find they are burnt out or damaged.

3. Defective Brake Light Switch:

The brake light switch near the brake pedal activates your brake lights when you apply pressure on the pedal. If this switch malfunctions, your brake lights may not work properly.

To diagnose a faulty brake light switch, remove the switch and use a multimeter to check the continuity. If there is no continuity, replacing the switch with a new one is time.

4. Damaged Wiring Harness:

Over time, the wiring harness connecting the various electrical components of your CAN-AM Commander UTV, including the brake lights, can deteriorate, get damaged, or corrode.

In this case, inspect the wiring harness for any visible damage, corrosion, or wear.

You can repair or patch the affected area if the damage is minor. If the damage is extensive, you may need to replace the entire wiring harness to restore your brake lights’ functionality.

5. Faulty Ground Connection:

A bad ground connection can prevent your brake lights from working correctly. To fix this problem, locate and inspect the ground connection point for the brake lights. Ensure that the connection is secure, clean, and free from corrosion.

If necessary, clean the connection point using a wire brush or sandpaper, and reattach it firmly.

6. Malfunctioning Turn Signal Switch:

In some cases, the problem may lie within the turn signal switch responsible for controlling your brake lights. To check if this is the issue, try operating the turn signals. If they do not work as well, it is likely that the turn signal switch is faulty and needs replacement.

9. Clunking Noise

Here are some common causes of that clunking noise and the steps you can take to troubleshoot and fix them.

1. Worn or Damaged CV Joints:

The most common reason for a clunking noise in your CAN-AM Commander UTV is worn or damaged constant-velocity (CV) joints. The CV joints allow power to be transmitted from the transmission to the wheels while maintaining a constant speed. When these joints wear out, they can cause a noticeable clunking noise, especially during turns or when accelerating or decelerating.

How to Fix:

To determine if your CV joints are the culprit, inspect the rubber boots covering the joints for cracks or tears, as a damaged boot can allow dirt and debris to enter and cause wear in the joint. If you find any signs of damage, you’ll need to replace the entire axle assembly with a new one.

2. Worn or Loose Suspension Components:

Another possible cause of clunking noises in your CAN-AM Commander UTV is worn or loose suspension components, such as bushings or ball joints. The suspension system is designed to provide a smooth and stable ride, but components can wear down or come loose over time, causing unwanted noises.

How to Fix:

Inspect the suspension components for signs of wear, such as cracked or broken bushings and loose or worn ball joints. If you find any damaged components, they must be replaced to eliminate the clunking noise and improve your UTV’s handling.

3. Driveline Issues:

The driveline in your CAN-AM Commander UTV includes the drive shafts, differentials, and U-joints that connect your engine to your wheels. Clunking noises can indicate worn or damaged U-joints or other driveline components.

How to Fix:

Inspect the driveline components for signs of wear, such as excessive play or rust. If you find any issues, replacement of the affected components is necessary. Make sure to perform regular maintenance like greasing the U-joints to prolong their lifespan and prevent future clunking noises.

4. Loose or Damaged Skid Plate:

The skid plate on your CAN-AM Commander UTV is designed to protect the underside of your vehicle from rocks and debris. However, if it becomes loose or damaged, it can cause a clunking noise as it comes into contact with other parts of your UTV’s undercarriage.

How to Fix:

Inspect the skid plate for damage or loose mounting bolts. If it is damaged, replace it with a new one. Tighten any loose bolts to ensure a secure fit and prevent further noise.

10. Battery Not Charging

There could be several causes for this issue, and understanding them will help you fix the problem efficiently.

1. Faulty Alternator/Stator:

The primary function of the alternator (or stator in some UTVs) is to charge your UTV’s battery while the engine is running. A failing alternator is a common cause of battery charging issues. Your battery won’t charge properly if the alternator is defective or not generating sufficient power.

How to Fix:

Inspect the alternator or stator for visible damage, loose connections or worn-out parts. Test its output voltage with a multimeter. If the alternator is not generating enough power or is damaged, it’s time to replace it.

2. Damaged or Loose Belts:

In some UTVs, the alternator is driven by drive belts connected to the engine. A damaged or loose belt might prevent the alternator from spinning at the right speed and hinder the charging process.

How to Fix:

Check for visible wear and tear on the belts or if they are loose. If required, replace or tighten the belts to ensure proper functioning of the alternator.

3. Corroded or Damaged Connections:

Corroded or damaged wiring and connections could obstruct the flow of electricity, preventing your battery from charging.

How to Fix:

Inspect the wiring and connections between the battery, alternator, and the UTV’s electrical system. Clean any corroded terminals, connectors or cables, or replace them if damaged.

4. Malfunctioning Voltage Regulator:

The voltage regulator plays a significant role in maintaining a constant voltage to charge the battery. A failing voltage regulator could lead to an overcharged or undercharged battery.

How to Fix:

Test the voltage regulator with a multimeter and confirm if it’s maintaining the correct voltage output. If the voltage regulator is faulty, it’s time for a replacement.

5. Dead or Weak Battery:

The battery could be the culprit. A dead or weak battery might not hold a charge, even if your charging system works perfectly.

How to Fix:

Test your battery with a multimeter or take it to an auto parts store for a load test. If it’s unable to hold a charge or is beyond its expected lifespan, it’s time to invest in a new battery.

6. Faulty Ignition Switch:

A malfunctioning ignition switch can cause disruptions in the electrical system, preventing the battery from charging properly.

How to Fix:

To rule out the ignition switch as the cause of the problem, check if all electrical components function properly when the UTV is turned on. If you still suspect the ignition switch, consult a professional mechanic for further diagnosis and repair.