Polaris Scrambler 500 Problems And Their Solutions

Polaris Scrambler 500 is a popular all-terrain vehicle (ATV) produced by Polaris Industries, a well-known manufacturer of off-road vehicles.

polaris scrambler 500 problems

It is designed to handle a variety of terrain types, including rough terrain, mud, and sand.

The Polaris Scrambler 500 is powered by a liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke engine with a displacement of 498cc.

It has a maximum horsepower of around 40 hp, which makes it capable of reaching top speeds of up to 65 mph.

Some common problems with Polaris Scrambler 500 are Starting Problems, Engine Doesn’t Turn Over, Engine Runs Irregularly, Stalling or Misfires, Engine Pings or Knocks, Engine Backfires, Loses Power, Drive Belt and Cover Problems, Transmission Problems, Fuel Pump Problems, Electrical Problems, Overheating Problems and more.

If you are facing these issues too then continue reading to know how to fix it.

Quick Overview of Problems And Solutions

Problem Solution
The engine doesn’t turn over Check battery connections, replace battery if necessary, check starter motor and solenoid
Engine runs irregularly Clean carburetor, adjust idle speed and mixture, check the spark plug
Stalling or Misfires Clean the fuel system, replace the fuel filter, check the spark plug, adjust the carburetor
Engine pings or knocks Use higher octane fuel, check ignition timing, and replace the spark plug
Engine backfires Check the carburetor, adjust valves, replace the spark plug
Loses power Clean the air filter, adjust the carburetor, and check the exhaust system
Drive belt and cover problems Replace worn or damaged belt, check and replace the cover if necessary
Transmission problems Check and replace damaged parts, adjust shift linkage, replace the transmission oil
Fuel pump problems Replace fuel pump, check fuel lines for blockages
Electrical problems Check wiring and connections, replace faulty components

Common Polaris Scrambler 500 Problems and Their Solutions

1. Starting Problems

Many owners of these ATVs have encountered this frustrating issue, but fortunately, there are ways to diagnose and fix the problem.

One of the main causes of starting problems in a Polaris Scrambler 500 is a weak battery.

If your ATV’s battery is not fully charged, your vehicle might not start, or it could start only with difficulty.

The solution is to ensure that your battery is fully charged before attempting to start your ATV.

Another possible cause of starting problems is a clogged fuel filter.

Over time, dirt and debris can build up in the fuel filter, preventing fuel from flowing to the engine. If this is the case, you can easily fix the problem by replacing the fuel filter.

A faulty ignition switch is another common culprit of starting problems in a Polaris Scrambler 500.

If the switch isn’t functioning properly, it can prevent your ATV from starting.

If you suspect that this is the cause of the problem, have your ignition switch checked and replaced if necessary.

Finally, a dirty carburetor can also cause starting problems. In this case, dirt and debris can clog up the carburetor and prevent fuel from flowing to the engine.

You can clean your carburetor yourself using a carburetor cleaning solution and a brush, or you can take your ATV to a mechanic for professional cleaning.

2. Engine Doesn’t Turn Over

One of the most common reasons why the engine doesn’t turn over is a dead battery.

When the battery is dead, it cannot send the electrical power needed to start the engine.

Another reason could be a dirty or faulty spark plug.

If the spark plug isn’t working correctly or has accumulated dirt, it won’t ignite the fuel-air mixture in the combustion chamber.

A clogged fuel filter or the fuel pump not working correctly can also stop the engine from turning over.

The fuel filter prevents debris from entering the fuel lines that provide gas to the engine.

When it’s clogged, fuel may have difficulty reaching the engine.

On the other hand, a failed fuel pump can disrupt the fuel flow.

Now that you know the main causes let’s move on to the step-by-step process of fixing them.

Step 1: Check the Battery

Make sure the battery isn’t dead by using a multimeter to test the voltage. The battery should have a voltage reading of around 12 volts.

If you get a reading of less than 10 volts, then you need to replace the battery.

Step 2: Inspect the Spark Plug

Remove the spark plug, clean it and check if it’s working correctly.

A functioning spark plug should have a spark of blue-white color.

If the spark plug isn’t generating any sparks, you should replace it with a new one.

Step 3: Replace the Fuel Filter

Locate the fuel filter in your Polaris Scrambler 500 and replace it if it’s clogged.

It’s better to replace it regularly after every 100 hours of riding to avoid this issue.

Step 4: Check the Fuel Pump

Listen to the fuel pump as you turn the key to the “on” position, but not starting the engine.

If you hear a clicking sound or no sound at all, the fuel pump may be the culprit.

You can test the fuel pump by removing it and applying power directly to it.

3. Engine Runs Irregularly

One of the main causes of engine irregularity is a clogged air filter.

Over time, dirt and debris can accumulate in your air filter, restricting the airflow and making the engine run poorly.

To fix this issue, start by removing the air filter and cleaning it.

Use a washable air filter cleaner and let it dry completely before reinstalling it.

This will ensure that the airflow is unrestricted and the engine runs smoothly.

Another common cause of engine irregularity is a dirty fuel filter or carburetor.

A clogged fuel filter can cause the engine to run poorly, while a dirty carburetor can cause inconsistent acceleration and performance.

To fix this issue, start by replacing the fuel filter.

If the problem persists, clean the carburetor by carefully removing it, disassembling it, and cleaning it with a carburetor cleaner.

A faulty spark plug can also contribute to engine irregularity. A dirty or damaged spark plug can result in inconsistent ignition and poor performance.

To fix this issue, remove the spark plug and inspect it for dirt or damage. If needed, replace the spark plug with a new one.

Lastly, a low battery charge can cause irregular engine runs.

A low battery charge can lead to poor ignition and slow cranking, resulting in poor engine performance.

To fix this issue, start by checking the battery connection and making sure it is tightly secured.

If the battery charge is low, recharge it using a battery charger to ensure that it is fully charged.

4. Engine Stalls 

Engine stalls occur when the engine suddenly stops running, and in most cases, it can be quite frustrating.

It can happen when you are riding on rough terrain, making turns, or even while idling. But what causes engine stalls, and how can you fix it?

Several factors can cause engine stalls, including fuel and air supply, electrical systems, and mechanical issues.

One of the main causes of engine stalls is a dirty or clogged carburetor.

A dirty carburetor can prevent the engine from getting enough fuel, leading to a sudden stop.

Another cause of engine stalls is a faulty ignition system.

If your spark plugs are worn out or the wires are faulty, the electrical system will fail to provide a spark to ignite the fuel, causing the engine to stall.

Mechanical issues like a worn-out transmission or a damaged clutch can also cause engine stalls.

Now that we know the main causes of engine stalls let’s look at how to fix it.

One of the easiest ways to fix a stalled engine is to clean the carburetor.

Start by removing the air filter and the carburetor.

Soak the carburetor in a carburetor cleaner overnight to dissolve any dirt, grime, or gunk.

Rinse the carburetor with water and let it dry.

Reassemble the carburetor and reinstall it, and voila! You have a clean carburetor that should work like new.

Another way to fix engine stalls caused by an electrical issue is to check the spark plugs and the ignition wires.

Remove the spark plugs and inspect them for damage or wear.

Replace any worn-out plugs and wires.

You can also use a multimeter to check the ignition wires for continuity.

If the wires are not working correctly, replace them.

5. Engine Misfires

Engine misfires occur when one or more cylinders in your ATV’s engine fail to function properly.

This can be caused by a variety of factors, such as a faulty spark plug, a damaged ignition coil, or a clogged fuel injector.

Ignoring engine misfires can lead to more serious problems down the line, such as damage to your catalytic converter or oxygen sensors.

So, how do you fix engine misfires? Here are the steps you need to take:

Step 1: Identify the problem cylinder(s)

The first step in fixing engine misfires is identifying which cylinder(s) is causing the problem.

You can do this by using a scan tool or code reader to check for trouble codes.

Alternatively, you can perform a cylinder balance test to isolate the affected cylinder.

Step 2: Inspect and replace faulty components

Once you have identified the problem cylinder(s), inspect the corresponding components for signs of damage or wear.

This includes spark plugs, ignition coils, and fuel injectors.

If any of these components are faulty, they should be replaced immediately.

Step 3: Clean the throttle body and intake manifold

If your Polaris Scrambler 500 has a dirty throttle body or intake manifold, this can also cause engine misfires.

In this case, you may need to remove these components and clean them thoroughly.

Step 4: Check for vacuum leaks

Vacuum leaks can also cause engine misfires by allowing unmetered air into the engine. Check for damaged or loose vacuum hoses and replace them as needed.

Step 5: Perform a compression test

If all else fails, perform a compression test to determine if there are any internal engine issues causing the misfires.

Low compression can be caused by worn pistons, rings, or valves, and may require more extensive repairs.

6. Engine Pings or Knocks

Engine pings or knocks are abnormal sounds that occur when the air/fuel mixture in the engine ignites spontaneously, rather than through a controlled combustion process.

This can cause the pistons to knock against the cylinder walls, resulting in a distinctive knocking or pinging sound.

There are several potential causes of engine pings or knocks, including:

1. Low-quality fuel:

The use of low-quality or improperly mixed fuel can result in pinging or knocking sounds in your engine.

This is because the fuel burns at a higher temperature, leading to spontaneous combustion.

2. Carbon buildup:

Over time, carbon deposits can accumulate on the engine’s combustion chambers and spark plugs.

This can cause the air/fuel mixture to ignite prematurely, leading to engine pings or knocks.

3. Overheating:

If your engine is running too hot, it can cause the air/fuel mixture to ignite too early, resulting in engine pings or knocks.

So, how can you fix engine pings or knocks in your Polaris Scrambler 500? Here are some steps you can take:

1. Switch to high-quality fuel:

Utilizing good quality fuel is the first step in resolving engine pings or knocks. Use fuel containing at least 91 octane and avoid filling the tank completely.

Refill the tank in half or three-quarter portion, which may put less stress on the engine.

2. Check and clean your spark plugs:

Clean the carburetor if it appears to have clogged due to any dirt or debris.

Carbon deposits must also be cleaned from the spark plugs.

If the spark plugs are worn or damaged, they should be replaced.

3. Address overheating issues:

Ensure your engine is not overheating due to a faulty engine thermostat or other cooling system problems.

Check whether the coolant fluid levels are sufficient.

7. Engine Backfires

Engine backfires occur when there is an unburnt fuel-air mixture that ignites in the exhaust system, causing a loud noise and a sudden puff of smoke.

So, what are the main causes of engine backfires in your Polaris Scrambler 500?

Well, it can be due to various reasons such as incorrect fuel mixture, clogged filters, faulty spark plugs, ignition timing issues, or even damage in the exhaust system.

But don’t fret. Here are some steps you can take to fix engine backfires:

Step 1: Check fuel mixture

Make sure to use the correct fuel-to-air ratio, as a lean or rich fuel mixture can cause engine backfires. Refer to your Polaris Scrambler 500 4×4 owner’s manual to determine the right fuel mixture for your particular model.

Step 2: Clean air and fuel filters

Clogged filters can interrupt the fuel flow and disturb the air-to-fuel ratio. Thus, it’s essential to clean them.

Step 3: Inspect the ignition system

Make sure spark plugs, coils, and wires are in good condition. A faulty ignition system is often responsible for backfires.

Step 4: Check the timing 

Iimproper ignition timing can cause engine backfires. Consult your Polaris Scrambler 500 owner’s manual to ensure correct timing.

Step 5: Inspect the exhaust system

Lastly, check your exhaust system for any damage to pipes or cracks, as this can lead to engine backfires.

8. Engine Loses Power

It can be a frustrating and concerning problem that can hinder your riding experience.

But don’t worry, there are plenty of causes for this issue and simple fixes that you may be able to do at home.

Main Causes

1. Dirty air filter:

One of the most common causes of a loss of engine power is a dirty air filter. Over time, debris can clog up the filter and restrict airflow to the engine, leading to poor performance.

2. Bad fuel filter:

Similar to the air filter, a clogged fuel filter can limit the amount of fuel that reaches the engine, causing a loss of power.

3. Electrical system issues:

Faulty spark plugs, ignition coils or battery can all lead to a loss of power.

4. Carburetor problems:

If the carburetor is clogged or damaged, the correct fuel-to-air ratio may not be achieved, resulting in power loss.

How to Fix 

1. Clean or replace the air filter:

Begin by removing the air filter and inspecting it for dirt and debris. If it appears dirty, clean it thoroughly or replace it with a new one.

2. Check and replace the fuel filter:

Locate the fuel filter and inspect it; if it appears clogged, replace it.

3. Inspect the electrical system:

Check the spark plug and ignition coil for damage, and replace if necessary. Test the battery using a multimeter and replace if it’s not holding a charge.

4. Clean or repair the carburetor:

Remove the carburetor and clean it thoroughly. If it appears to be damaged, it may need to be repaired or replaced.

8. Drive Belt and Cover Problems

Drive belt and cover problems can be a major inconvenience, but the good news is that they are often easy to fix.

We’ll go over the main causes of these problems and give you step-by-step instructions on how to get your Polaris Scrambler 500 running smoothly again.

One of the main causes of drive belt and cover problems is wear and tear.

Over time, the drive belt can become worn or damaged, which can cause it to slip or break.

Similarly, the cover can become damaged or cracked due to exposure to the elements or impact.

Another common cause of drive belt and cover problems is improper installation.

If the drive belt is not installed correctly, it can cause issues such as slipping, noise, or vibration.

Similarly, if the cover is not installed correctly, it can become loose, allowing dirt and debris to get inside and cause damage.

To fix the drive belt and cover problems, the first step is to diagnose the issue.

If you notice any slipping or noise coming from the drive belt, it may be time to replace it.

The same goes for any cracks or damage you see on the cover.

Once you’ve identified the problem, it’s time to start the repair process. To replace the drive belt, start by removing the old belt and inspecting the pulleys for any damage.

Then, install the new belt according to your Polaris Scrambler 500’s manual, making sure to adjust the tension properly.

To replace the cover, start by removing any screws or bolts holding it in place.

Then, carefully lift the cover off and inspect it for any damage.

If it’s cracked or damaged, replace it with a new cover, making sure to properly seal it to prevent dirt and debris from getting inside.

9. Transmission Problems

Transmission is a crucial component of any vehicle. It is responsible for transferring power from the engine to the wheels.

Essentially, the transmission allows a vehicle to move forward or backward at varying speeds.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the main causes of transmission problems and how to fix them in step-by-step detail.

Main Causes

1. Low Fluid Levels

One of the most common causes of transmission problems is low fluid levels.

Without proper lubrication, the transmission can overheat, leading to premature wear and tear.

To fix this issue, check the transmission fluid levels regularly and add more fluid as needed.

2. Dirty or Contaminated Fluid

Another issue that can cause transmission problems is dirty or contaminated fluid.

Over time, the fluid can pick up dirt, debris, and metal shavings, which can clog the system or damage the gears.

To fix this issue, change the transmission fluid and replace the filter regularly.

3. Worn Clutch or Gearbox

If your transmission is making strange noises or having difficulty shifting gears, it may be due to a worn clutch or gearbox.

This type of issue requires professional help and should be diagnosed and repaired by a reputable mechanic.

4. Faulty Solenoids or Sensors

In some cases, transmission problems can be caused by faulty solenoids or sensors.

These components help control the shifting process and manage the flow of fluid through the system.

If they fail, the transmission may not function properly. To fix this issue, have the solenoids or sensors tested and replaced if necessary.

How to Fix 

Fixing transmission problems can be a complicated process, but here is a general step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Diagnose the Problem

Bring your Polaris Scrambler 500 to a reputable mechanic or transmission specialist to diagnose the problem.

Step 2: Determine the Repair Method

Once the issue has been identified, determine the best repair method.

Depending on the issue, this could involve simply adding more fluid, changing the fluid and filter, or repairing or replacing damaged components.

Step 3: Obtain the Required Parts

If replacement parts are needed, obtain them from a reputable source. OEM parts are usually the best option as they are designed to fit and function perfectly with your specific vehicle.

Step 4: Repair or Replace the Transmission

Repair or replace any damaged components or faulty parts.

This should be done by a professional mechanic with experience in transmission repair.

Step 5: Test Drive and Monitor

After the repair is complete, test drive your Polaris Scrambler 500 and monitor the transmission closely for any further issues.

Regular maintenance, such as changing the fluid and filter, can help prevent future transmission problems.

10. Fuel Pump Problems

Fuel pumps are crucial components of your vehicle’s fuel system, responsible for supplying fuel from the tank to the engine.

However, just like any other part, fuel pumps may malfunction over time, causing potential issues that might jeopardize your ride.

The main causes of fuel pump problems are often related to wear and tear, contamination, or electrical issues.

Over time, the fuel pump’s working components can wear out, causing a decrease in fuel pressure and flow.

Contamination, on the other hand, may occur due to impurities in the fuel that can cause build-up and eventual blockages.

Lastly, electrical issues can cause the fuel pump to stop working altogether or not pump sufficient fuel to your engine.

Fortunately, fixing fuel pump problems is not as complicated as it may seem. Here are the steps to address these issues:

Step 1: Check the fuel pump relay and fuse

A malfunctioning fuel pump relay or blown a fuse may halt the fuel pump’s operation. Check both of these components and replace them if necessary.

Step 2: Inspect the fuel filter

Contaminants in the fuel system may accumulate in the fuel filter, causing a restriction in the fuel flow. Remove and inspect the fuel filter; if it is dirty, replace it.

Step 3: Check fuel lines for blockages

Ensure that your fuel lines are free from any blockages that could impair the flow of fuel. If you detect a blockage, remove and clean the line, or replace if necessary.

Step 4: Test the fuel pump 

Take a fuel pressure test to evaluate the fuel pump’s performance. In case of a malfunctioning fuel pump, replace it with a new one.

11. Electrical Problems

Here are some common Electrical Problems associated with Polaris Scrambler 500 and how to fix them in simple steps:

1. Dead Battery:

This happens when the battery fails to hold or supply enough charge to the Polaris Scrambler 500. You can fix this problem by replacing the battery.

Firstly, disconnect the negative (-) cable of the battery.

Unscrew the battery holder and remove the battery. Place the new battery, screw the holder back and reconnect the negative (-) cable.

2. Faulty Starter:

This happens when the starter fails to function correctly, leading to difficulty in starting the Polaris Scrambler 500.

To fix this problem, you need to replace the starter. Firstly, disconnect the negative (-) battery cable. Unscrew the starter from the engine and remove it.

Place the new starter in position and screw it into the engine firmly. Reconnect the negative (-) battery cable.

3. Damaged Ignition Switch:

This happens when the ignition switch becomes faulty, leading to problems in starting and shutting down the Polaris Scrambler 500.

You need to replace the ignition switch. Firstly, disconnect the negative (-) battery cable.

Unscrew the ignition switch from the handlebars and remove it. Place the new ignition switch in position and screw it into the handlebars tightly.

Reconnect the negative (-) battery cable.

4. Blown Fuse:

This happens when excessive electrical current flows through the circuit, leading to a Fuse breakdown.

You need to replace the blown Fuse. Firstly, Disconnect the negative (-) battery cable.

Locate the Fuse box, which is commonly located under the hood. Identify the blown Fuse and remove it.

Replace it with the same rated Fuse. Reconnect the negative (-) battery cable.

12. Overheating Problems

The main causes of overheating in a Polaris Scrambler 500 can be attributed to a variety of factors.

These include clogged or dirty air filters, low coolant levels, malfunctioning water pumps, and even faulty thermostats.

Any one of these issues can cause your ATV to overheat and potentially damage your engine if not addressed quickly.

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to fix overheating problems in your Polaris Scrambler 500.

First, check and clean your air filter regularly to ensure that it is free of debris and allows proper air flow.

Secondly, make sure that your coolant levels are always topped up and replace any coolant that appears to be old or contaminated.

If your Polaris Scrambler 500 is suffering from overheating issues due to a malfunctioning water pump, this may require replacement.

However, before jumping to that conclusion, double-check that all hoses and connections are secure and free of damage or wear.

Additionally, if you suspect that your thermostat is faulty, this can sometimes be fixed by simply replacing the thermostat itself.

In summary, overheating is a common problem in vehicles, and the Polaris Scrambler 500 is no exception.

However, by taking proactive steps to maintain and repair your ATV, you can prevent engine damage and keep it running smoothly.

Remember to check and clean your air filter regularly, keep your coolant levels topped up, check for malfunctioning water pumps, and replace faulty thermostats as needed.

Polaris Scrambler 500 Specs

Specification Details
Engine Type 4-Stroke SOHC
Engine Displacement 498 cc
Fuel System Carbureted
Cooling System Liquid
Transmission Automatic PVT (Polaris Variable Transmission)
Drive System On-Demand True AWD/2WD
Hitch Towing Rating 1,225 lb (556 kg)
Fuel Capacity 4.5 gal (17 L)
Lighting Dual 50W Halogen Headlights and Dual Rear Taillights
Ground Clearance 4.5 in (11.4 cm)

What Do The Users Think About Polaris Scrambler 500 

As a cutting-edge all-terrain vehicle, the Polaris Scrambler 500 receives high praise from users for its incredible power and smooth handling.

However, like any mechanical device, some users have reported experiencing problems while using it.

Here’s a closer look at what users think about the Polaris Scrambler 500 and the challenges they have faced while using it.

Firstly, users generally agree that the Polaris Scrambler 500 is a powerful and agile vehicle that handles tough terrain with ease.

Whether you’re taking on rocky hills or navigating muddy trails, the Scrambler provides an exhilarating driving experience that leaves other ATVs in the dust. Its liquid-cooled engine delivers impressive horsepower while the advanced suspension system ensures a smooth ride even over bumpy terrain.

Moreover, the Scrambler’s lightweight construction and low center of gravity make it easy to handle, even for beginner riders.

Despite its many strengths, a few users have reported experiencing issues while using the Polaris Scrambler 500.

Some have complained about the vehicle’s reliability, citing issues with its transmission, brakes, and electrical system.

Others have noted that the Scrambler’s fuel efficiency is lower than expected, leading to more frequent refueling stops during longer rides.

While these issues may be concerning, it’s important to keep in mind that they are relatively rare and do not affect every user of the Polaris Scrambler 500.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the engine size of a Polaris Scrambler 500?

It features a liquid-cooled, four-stroke engine with a displacement of 498cc.

How fast can a Polaris Scrambler 500 go?

The top speed of a Polaris Scrambler 500 is approximately 65 mph.

What is the weight of a Polaris Scrambler 500?

The weight Scrambler 500 ranges from 590 lbs to 600 lbs, depending on the model and year.

What is the fuel capacity of a Polaris Scrambler 500?

The fuel capacity is 4.5 gallons.

What type of transmission does a Polaris Scrambler 500 have?

It features a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with high and low range.

What is the price of a Polaris Scrambler 500?

The price of a Polaris Scrambler 500 varies depending on the model and year, but it typically ranges from $3,000 to $6,000.

What is the towing capacity of a Polaris Scrambler 500?

The towing capacity of a Polaris Scrambler 500 is 1,225 lbs.

What is the seat height of a Polaris Scrambler 500?

The seat height of a Polaris Scrambler 500 is 33.8 inches.


As we wrap up our discussion on the Polaris Scrambler 500 problems and solutions, it’s clear that there are a lot of factors that can affect the performance of this powerful ATV.

From minor issues such as clogged air filters to more serious problems like faulty fuel pumps, there’s a lot to be mindful of as you hit the trails.

But at the core of the matter is the importance of regular maintenance and upkeep.

By performing routine checks and addressing any issues as soon as they arise, you can keep your Polaris Scrambler 500 running like new for years to come.

And by staying on top of any potential problems, you’ll be able to avoid costly repairs and downtime that can seriously dampen your off-roading adventures.

So, whether you’re a seasoned ATV enthusiast or a newcomer to the sport, it’s clear that proper maintenance is key to getting the most out of your Polaris Scrambler 500.

By taking the time to familiarize yourself with your machine and its various components, you can ensure that it’s always running smoothly and performing at its best.