Honda Rancher 420 Electric Shift Problems & Solutions

Faulty or worn electrical connections, bad angle or speed sensors, extremely tight gear components, clogged fuel injectors, bad fuel pump relay, and bad batteries are the most common Honda Rancher 420 Electric Shift problems.

Among the three transmission systems in Honda ATVs, the ESP or Electric Shift Program is known for its convenience while driving in different conditions. But most users face the above issues with their Rancher 420. 

We tried to figure out the reasons behind these problems and showed you how to troubleshoot these problems. With no more ado, let’s dig into the deep.

Honda Rancher 420 Electric Shift Problems Table

Problems Cause Solutions
Shifting Problems Faulty wiring Check electrical connections
Faulty sensors Check the speed and angle sensors and replace them if necessary
Low transmission fluid Check fluid level and refill if necessary
Tight gear components Nothing is required
Fuel System Problems Clogged fuel injector Clean the fuel injection system
Bad fuel pump relay Check the fuel pump relay and replace it if required
Starting Problems Loose battery connections Check the connections and fix them
Dead battery Check the battery and replace if required

Honda Rancher 420 Electric Shift Problems and Solutions

You might already have a brief idea of what can go wrong in your Honda Rancher 420 electric shift. These problems are common in ATVs manufactured in different years. Let’s discuss the causes and solutions in detail.

1. Shifting Problems

Gear shifting happens with the press of two buttons fitted on the handlebar of your ATV. But pressing these buttons might not always guarantee a clean shifting. And this happens due to several reasons.

Faulty Wiring

The electrical connection between the shift switches and other components in the system may go bad sometimes. These connections may be loose or worn out. Sometimes, the mice can chew the cables. As a result, the gear won’t shift even if you press the button.


You need to check all electrical connections to ensure everything is working correctly. If there is any faulty connection point, fix it to solve the problem.

Faulty Sensors

Speed sensors measure the speed to determine which gear to put. And angle sensors determine what gear the vehicle is in at the moment. If these sensors don’t work properly, the vehicle won’t be able to select the right gear. And instead of seeing flashing dashes on display, you will see static dashes.


Checking the sensors is the first thing you need to do. If the sensors are found to be bad, you have to replace them with new sensors. The problem should be gone after the replacement.

Low Transmission Fluid

The engine oil you put in the vehicle also works as the transmission fluid. If the fluid level is low, transmission components won’t work properly. So, the vehicle will have shifting problems.


Check the fluid level and top it up if necessary. After the first oil change, you can use synthetic oils to improve efficiency.

Tight Gear Components

When the vehicle is new, gear components may be too tight. As a result, there might be static dashes on the display when you upshift or downshift. Rocking the ATV a bit might solve the problem.


Regular wear upon driving solves this problem naturally. So you don’t need to do anything.

2. Fuel System Problems

Besides shifting problems, fuel systems on your Honda Rancher 420 can often go bad. Here are the most common reasons behind the problems with their solutions.

Clogged Fuel Injector

The fuel injection system should precisely deliver enough fuel to the engine. If the fuel system is clogged due to built-up gunk, the vehicle won’t run smoothly. Sometimes, you might see sputtering or other issues for this reason. 


Checking the fuel system at a specific interval is suggested to solve this problem. If the fuel injector is clogged, you should use cleaning solvents to remove all the dirt and debris from the system.

Bad Fuel Pump Relay

It helps the fuel pump build enough pressure to deliver the right amount of fuel. A faulty relay will prevent the pump from building pressure. As a result, enough fuel won’t reach the combustion chamber, and the vehicle performance will be reduced drastically.


If the relay goes bad, you can take it to a mechanic to fix the component. But if that doesn’t work, you should replace the fuel pump relay.

3. Starting Problems

Power issues are also common in Honda Rancher 420 ES models. The reason can be any or both of the following.

Loose Battery Connections

If the battery isn’t connected properly, the vehicle won’t start. Worn out cables can also be the reason behind the ignition problem.


Check the battery connection and fix it if required.

Dead Battery

Parking the ATV for a long time without starting it may cause the battery to discharge completely. In this case, you will have a hard time starting the vehicle, or it might not start at all.


Check if the battery is dead. If so, consider replacing the battery to solve the problem.

You can also watch this video to learn more reasons behind the problem.


Where is the shift sensor located?

The shift sensor is placed inside the valve body, and everything is inside the transmission system.

What are the symptoms of a failing speed sensor?

If you see excessive revving before shifting or erratic behavior of the speedometer, it means the speed sensor isn’t working properly.

Can I reset the electric shift on a Honda Rancher 420?

Yes. You should put the vehicle in D1 or D2. Then turn the ignition while holding the upshift and downshift buttons together. 


Honda Rancher 420 ES is a very popular ATV for its rugged build quality and impressive performance. But some common problems occur in this vehicle that might bother you from time to time.

We showed some of the Honda Rancher 420 Electric Shift problems with their causes and possible solutions. Next time you face these problems, check the guide to figure out the reason and take measures to troubleshoot the problems. 

Mark Williams

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