Common Polaris Sportsman 850 Problems and Fixes

Are you the proud owner of a Polaris Sportsman 850? These ATVs are incredibly popular for a good reason: smooth rides, reliable braking, and excellent acceleration.

Polaris Sportsman 850 problems

However, even the best-maintained vehicles can experience occasional issues or breakdowns.

To help you keep your Sportsman running in peak condition, we’ll explore some known problems with this model and advise on troubleshooting and fixing them.

Read on to learn more about common Polaris Sportsman 850 problems—and how to effectively work through them!

Some issues related to Polaris Sportsman 850 are Battery Problems, Engine Overheating, Electrical Problems, Fire Hazard Problems, Stalling or Backfiring, Power Steering Problems, Clutch Slipping, Transmission Problems, and Safety Issues. Check out the solutions for these problems.

Common Polaris Sportsman 850 Problems and Their Solutions

1. Battery Problems

Various factors can cause battery problems in Polaris Sportsman 850.

Are you experiencing frequent dead batteries or a battery that won’t hold a charge? Have you recently taken your ATV for a long ride or left your Sportsman unused for an extended period?

Is the battery kept at the correct temperature? These are all questions to ask yourself if you are having issues with your battery.

If you’ve experienced frequent dead batteries, it may be due to corrosion on the terminals, problems with the charging system, or a weak battery.

Corrosion is likely if the terminals look greenish and powdery and can be fixed by cleaning them off with a wire brush.

If there’s an issue with the charging system, it may require professional help to diagnose and repair it. It’s also possible that the battery itself has weakened due to age and needs to be replaced.

In addition, if your Sportsman has been sitting idle for an extended period without use, its battery may have gone flat or died completely.

The best way to prevent this is by using trickle chargers when not in use – these will ensure that your battery remains charged even when not used for long periods.

Ensuring your ATV’s battery is kept at optimal temperatures is also important; extreme cold or hot temperatures will reduce its effectiveness and efficiency over time.

To keep it running optimally year-round, consider investing in a good quality ATV cover to protect against extreme temperatures during winter and summer months.

2. Engine Overheating

The primary cause of engine overheating with the Polaris Sportsman 850 is inadequate cooling system maintenance.

The cooling system consists of several parts, like the fan belt, radiator, water pump, thermostat, hoses, and coolant reservoir.

When any of these components fails or becomes clogged due to a lack of regular maintenance, it can lead to engine overheating.

Another cause of engine overheating in the Polaris Sportsman 850 is a malfunctioning cooling fan.

The fan helps maintain an adequate temperature inside the engine by dissipating heat when running at high temperatures.

If the fan isn’t working properly or has broken down entirely due to wear and tear, this can lead to excessive heat build-up within the engine and result in overheating.

Fortunately, you can take some steps to fix this problem before it gets out of hand.

First and foremost, maintain regular servicing for your cooling system components, such as cleaning and replacing air filters, checking fluid levels in coolants and antifreeze solutions, and inspecting radiators for leaks or damage from debris or corrosion.

Additionally, have your technical mechanic check if the electrical wiring for your cooling fan is working properly and replace any worn parts if necessary.

3. Electrical Problems

Are you experiencing electrical problems with your Polaris Sportsman 850?

Are your headlights flickering and the battery draining quickly? Do you find that your ATV won’t start or is not functioning as it should?

Electrical problems in a Polaris Sportsman 850 can be caused by many factors, including weak connections, bad grounds, low voltage output from the alternator, and faulty wiring.

Here are some of the most common causes and how to fix them:

• Weak connections – Weak connections can be found wherever two pieces of metal are connected. Inspect the connections between wires or components and ensure they are secure.

If necessary, tighten the screws or use dielectric grease to improve conductivity.

• Bad Grounds – A poor connection between the negative battery terminal and the frame of the ATV often causes bad ground.

To fix this issue, clean off corrosion on both surfaces and ensure all bolts are properly tightened.

• Low Voltage Output from Alternator – To ensure optimal performance from your ATV’s alternator, check its voltage output with a multimeter.

If it is lower than expected, replace it with a new one.

• Faulty Wiring – Faulty wiring can cause intermittent power issues or even prevent your ATV from starting up altogether.

Inspect all wiring for any frays or breaks and replace damaged wires accordingly.

By addressing these common causes of electrical problems in Polaris Sportsman 850s, you should be able to reduce their occurrence or avoid them altogether.

However, if you are still having trouble after trying these fixes yourself, do not hesitate to contact an experienced technician who will be able to diagnose and repair any further issues that may arise.

3. Fire Hazard Problems

Many Polaris Sportsman 850 owners have recently questioned the potential fire hazard problems that can arise from using this particular model of All-Terrain Vehicles.

What are the causes of these fire hazards, and how can we prevent them?

The Polaris Sportsmen 850 is known to have several safety issues that could lead to a fire hazard. One of these is the overheating of the engine.

When an engine is repeatedly revved and used at high speeds, it can generate excessive heat.

This excessive heat can cause components within the engine, like spark plugs and wiring insulation, to malfunction or even catch on fire if left unchecked.

Another issue with this model is its fuel hoses, which are often prone to cracking and leaks over time, leading to dangerous vapors being released around the vehicle, which could potentially ignite and cause a fire.

Also, inspecting the wiring regularly is important. Look for any frayed wires or exposed wiring; if you find any damaged areas, replace them immediately with properly insulated wiring.

Additionally, check all connections to ensure they are tight and secure; loose connections can create sparks resulting in a fire hazard.

Maintaining the fuel system by replacing old or worn-out parts with new ones is also essential.

Clogged fuel lines or ill-fitted parts can create hazardous conditions where fuel may leak, leading to potential fires.

Several precautionary steps should be taken to prevent potential fire hazards from occurring in the Polaris Sportsman 850 model.

First, using a thermometer or temperature gauge, you should regularly check your engine for any signs of overheating or unusual temperatures when running at high speeds.

It is also important to inspect all fuel lines for any cracks or leaks that could result in vapor buildup around the vehicle.

Finally, you should replace any worn spark plugs and ensure all electrical wiring insulation is intact so as not to create any shorts in your system.

4. Stalling or Backfiring

One of the most common causes of stalling and backfiring at idle is air leaks in the engine’s intake system.

Air leaks can cause the fuel-air mixture to become too lean at idle, leading to stalling and/or backfiring.

To fix this problem, inspect all gaskets and seals around your intake for any sign of wear or damage. If any are found, they should be replaced as soon as possible.

Another possible cause for stalling and backfiring could be spark plug fouling.

Spark plug fouling occurs when oil from the engine accumulates on the spark plug’s electrode, preventing it from firing properly.

This can result in misfires that cause stalling and/or backfiring.

To resolve this issue, check and replace your spark plugs if necessary.

A third possibility is a clogged fuel filter or fuel injector. These components will prevent sufficient fuel from reaching the engine, resulting in a lean mixture that leads to stalling and backfiring.

Before replacing them, if necessary, you should inspect both components to ensure they are not clogged or blocked with debris.

Finally, an incorrect timing setting can also lead to stalling or backfiring at idle.

It is important to ensure that the timing has been set according to manufacturer specifications before checking any other components to diagnose this issue properly.

5. Power Steering Problems

You may be experiencing issues such as jerky or difficult steering or a complete lack of power steering. If this is the case, it could be caused by several potential issues.

Let’s explore some of the most common causes and solutions for power steering problem.

One of the most common causes of power steering issues in the Polaris Sportsman 850s is a low fluid level. The fluid level should be monitored regularly to ensure that it is at an appropriate level.

If the fluid level is too low, the system will not be able to move the steering components properly, which can result in a difficult or jerky movement when turning.

The fix for this issue is relatively simple – top up the power steering fluid to its recommended level as outlined in your manual.

Another potential problem that may cause poor performance in the power steering system is a faulty pump or belt drive mechanism.

This can happen when these components wear out due to age or become damaged due to debris getting inside them.

A malfunctioning pump or belt drive can reduce pressure within the system, resulting in jerky steering movements and difficulty when turning sharply.

To rectify this issue, have a qualified technician inspect and replace any worn or damaged parts necessary for proper operation.

Finally, If your machine has an electric-powered power steering unit, there may be problems with the wiring harnesses connecting it to your vehicle’s computer systems.

This can cause erratic behavior within the system due to interference from other electrical signals on your ATV, leading to difficulties correctly operating the wheel and effectively controlling direction while driving.

To address this problem, you will need a trained professional to conduct testing and repairs on any affected wiring harnesses and connections that may be causing interference with the system’s performance.

6. Clutch Slipping

Reasons for Clutch Slipping in Polaris Sportsman 850 ATV:

Worn Clutch Plates: Over time, the clutch plates can wear out due to excessive use, heat, or dirt accumulation. Worn clutch plates can cause slipping, resulting in power loss.

Damaged Clutch Springs: Clutch springs hold the clutch plates together. If they become damaged, the plates can slip, causing clutch slipping.

Incorrect Clutch Adjustment: If the clutch is not adjusted correctly, it can cause the clutch to slip. A clutch that is too loose or too tight can result in slipping.

Oil Contamination: If the clutch is contaminated with oil, it can cause slipping. This can occur if the engine oil is overfilled or leaks in the crankshaft seal.

Warped Clutch Basket: If the clutch basket becomes warped, it can cause the clutch plates to slip.

How to Fix Clutch Slipping in Polaris Sportsman 850 ATV:

Inspect the Clutch Plates: Remove the clutch cover and inspect the clutch plates for wear. If they are worn, they will need to be replaced.

Check the Clutch Springs: Inspect the clutch springs for damage or fatigue. If they are damaged, they will need to be replaced.

Adjust the Clutch: Check the owner’s manual for instructions on adjusting the clutch. Make sure the adjustment is correct and within the specified range.

Check for Oil Contamination: Check the engine oil level and inspect the crankshaft seal for leaks. If there is an oil contamination, replace the seal and drain and refill the engine oil.

Replace the Clutch Basket: If the clutch basket is warped, it must be replaced.

7. Transmission Problems

Common reasons for transmission problems in ATVs include using too low of a viscosity oil, incorrect clutch adjustment, or worn parts inside the transmission, such as bearings or gears.

In addition, contamination from dirt, debris, and water can cause damage to the internal components of the transmission.

The first step in troubleshooting transmission problems in your Polaris Sportsman 850 ATV is to inspect all of the external parts that could be causing an issue.

Start by checking the oil level and viscosity to ensure it is correct for your model ATV.

Next, check the external drive components, such as chains and sprockets, for any damage or wear that may have resulted in a misalignment or binding condition.

Finally, ensure all clamps and screws are properly tightened, and no leaks are present around the driveshaft seals.

If these basic steps do not resolve your issue, you may need to open up the transmission case and inspect its internal components more closely.

This should only be done by an experienced technician who can safely disassemble and rebuild an ATV’s transmission.

Common repairs include replacing worn bearings or gears, cleaning out contamination such as dirt/debris, replacing gaskets/seals, or adjusting clutch settings if necessary.

8. Safety Issues

Reasons for Safety Issues in Polaris Sportsman 850 ATV:

Lack of Maintenance: One of the main causes of safety issues in Polaris Sportsman 850 ATV is a lack of regular maintenance. Failure to maintain the vehicle can lead to worn or damaged parts, which can affect the safety of the ATV.

Incorrect Tire Pressure: Incorrect tire pressure can affect the handling and stability of the ATV. Overinflated or underinflated tires can cause the ATV to handle poorly and increase the risk of accidents.

Worn or Damaged Brakes: Worn or damaged brakes can cause the ATV to stop slowly. This can result in accidents and injuries.

Malfunctioning Lights: If the lights on the ATV are not working properly, it can make it difficult for other drivers to see you. This can increase the risk of accidents, particularly in low light or dark conditions.

How to Fix Safety Issues in Polaris Sportsman 850 ATV:

Regular Maintenance: Regular maintenance is essential for ensuring the safety of your Polaris Sportsman 850 ATV. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule to maintain the ATV properly.

Check Tire Pressure: Check the tire pressure regularly and ensure it is within the recommended range. Overinflated or underinflated tires can affect the handling and stability of the ATV.

Inspect and Replace Worn or Damaged Brakes: Inspect the brakes regularly and promptly replace any worn or damaged parts. Brakes are essential for the safe operation of the ATV and should never be neglected.

Repair or Replace Malfunctioning Lights: If the lights on the ATV are not working properly, have them repaired or replaced as soon as possible. This will ensure that other drivers can see you and reduce the risk of accidents.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much horsepower is a Polaris 850?

The Polaris Sportsman 850 has a powerful 78 horsepower.

How do you break in a Polaris 850?

For a new drive belt, driving for 30 miles (48 km) before full use is recommended.

How much is a Polaris 850 High Lifter?

The exact price of the Polaris 850 High Lifter depends on the location and the specific model. Generally, the prices range from around $11,000 to $15,000.

What year did the Polaris Sportsman 850 come out?

In 2009

How much can a Polaris 850 tow?

It has a towing capacity of 1,500 lbs

How fast can a Polaris 850 go?

The Polaris 850 has a top speed of around 85 mph (137 km/h)

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