How To Fix Common Can Am Outlander 650 XT Problems

The most unique Can-Am Outlander 650 XT problem is the left leg overheating issue. This particular problem is more common in Outlander 650 XTs that came out before 2020. Other than that, you can also see smoke coming out from the engine and have trouble with clogged air filters and valve clearance.

The Outlander 650XT can be a lovely set of wheels out in the wilderness. But, like any other vehicle, it has its demons. What are the most frequent predicaments that Can-Am Outlander 650XT owners have to deal with on a regular basis? Do you always have to take the vehicle to a nearby repair shop, or can you find the solutions yourself?

We will go over the most common Can-Am Outlander issues you will find in Outlander 650 XT forums and discuss potential solutions.

Overheated Left LegInstall an exhaust wrap. It will allow for better heat regulation.
Frequent Power DropsIt could be a spark plug issue. Try cleaning them first. If they still don’t work, replace them. If the spark plugs are okay, check the air filter. Clean it properly and if it doesn’t work, replace it altogether. You should also check the gas. If it’s too old, it will cause the vehicle to malfunction. 
Black SmokeCheck the fuel injector first. If it leaks, fix it. If you can’t stop the leak, replace the injector. Narrow valve clearance might be responsible as well. The valve clearance might reduce if the valves move out of position during bumpy rides. Correct the valve clearance by tightening the screws. 

Common Can-Am Outlander 650 XT Problems And Solutions

Can-am outlander 650 XT Issues

1. Overheated Left Leg

Let’s start with the most notorious Outlander 650 XT problem; the overheated left leg. The fully covered front side in pre-2020 Outlander 650 XTs is primarily susceptible to this hindrance. In the 2020 edition, Can-Am introduced side vents for better heat regulation. In previous models, the airflow heading toward the exhaust pipe goes near the left ankle region.

For this reason, you might feel the left side of the vehicle to be much hotter than the right side. This is not a universal problem, but many Outlander 650XT owners have faced this problem. In the early 2010 models, the problem might not be that apparent since the Environmental Protection Laws were not as strict as they are today, and they could exhaust more fumes.


Installing an exhaust wrap can do wonders in solving this issue. The exhaust wraps prevent the vehicle frame from heating as it captures most of the heat within the exhaust headers and pipes. The drop in engine temperature will also improve the unit’s overall performance. On top of that, your ATV will look pretty badass with an exhaust pipe. That’s a bonus!

2. The Vehicle Keeps On Losing Power

You are having fun exploring the outdoors with your Outlander 650 XT. Everything is running smoothly, and then you decide to kick up the gear. The moment you do that, the engine bogs down. What did just happen? Your engine suffered a power loss as you tried to get more out of it. Is it normal? Not really. So, let’s investigate what went wrong.


Clean/Replace Spark Plugs

The solution will vary depending on the source of the problem. We are probably dealing with a faulty spark plug, a clogged air filter, or contaminated fuel. Let’s begin with the spark plug. If the spark plugs get covered with grease, dirt, or carbon, they might not be able to generate a spark and start the engine.

Take out the spark plugs and check them closely for deposits of foreign objects. You should be clearly able to see the dirt accumulation on them. Use specifically-made spark plug cleaner spray to clean spark plugs. You can scrape off some of the dirt buildups with a knife. Make sure not to use abrasives or a shot blaster for cleaning spark plugs.

Clean/Replace Air Filters

What if the problem stems from a clogged air filter? The air filter purifies the air before it is taken into the carburetor. The filter does this at a cost. Over time, it gets filled up with dirt and debris. Without regular maintenance, the filters will clog up and prevent air from getting into the carburetor. As a result, the engine operation will be hampered.

You should find the air filter under your Outlander 650 XT seat. It’s a foam air filter, so it doesn’t require to be dealt with as delicately as a paper filter. That said, you should use an appropriate cleaning solution so that it doesn’t get damaged while cleaning. Scrub it, wash it, and then air dry it. The air filters should be as good as new!

Expired Gas

Your engine will also lose power if the gas is bad or impure. If the gas is mixed with ethanol, which is common practice in many places, it can become outdated in less than a month. Over time, ethanol draws moisture, which weakens the gas’s ability to power the engine. Change the gas and see if the power interruption continues to happen or not.

3. Black Smoke Coming Out Of The Vehicle

Black smoke always has an ominous vibe to it, don’t you think? So, when you see your ATV coughing out dark fumes, it clearly indicates that something is just not right. A clogged or faulty air filter can be responsible for this. If that’s the case, you know how to deal with it. But there could be other reasons as well.


Fix The Fuel Injector 

One of the factors that could lead to black smoke emission from ATVs is a leaking fuel injector. Thankfully, it’s not much difficult to repair. Wait for the vehicle to cool down. Once it does, take off the fuel line and change the two O-rings you will find inside. Now power up the ATV and check for leaks. If it still leaks, you have to get a new fuel injector. 

Readjust The Valve Clearance

Insufficient valve clearance often makes the engine emit black smoke. If you notice a noise coming out of the cylinder heads with the smoke, then check the valve clearance immediately. Since ATVs go through rough terrains, the valve clearance might get fouled up. Turn the screw anticlockwise to increase the gap between the valves with a ring spanner. 

Final Words

Among the common Can-Am Outlander 650 XT problems, the left-side overheating issue stands out the most. Many Outlander 650 XT owners have expressed their frustrations about this particular issue, so we felt the need to highlight this problem. Adding an exhaust wrap to the vehicle can help you overcome this problem that originates from the unit’s design flaw.

The other problems we discussed are not exclusive to Outlander 650 XT by any means. You will see a lot of ATV owners making these same complaints regardless of the brand. Regular maintenance is quite helpful in avoiding these nuisances. If you treat your Can-Am Outlander 650 XT well, it will love you back as well. 


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