How to Start a Polaris Sportsman 500 – 4 Step Guide

The Polaris Sportsman 500 is older than most teenagers nowadays. Since you’re here you’re probably a hardcore enjoyer of the quad formula. Maybe you want to be a competitive professional or even a beach tour guide. Either way, you need to know how to start a quad, discreetly. But it’s not an easy task as it sounds.

So, you’re wondering how to start a Polaris Sportsman 500?

It’ll take 4 steps to start a Polaris Sportsman 500 engine. First, level the vehicle. Make sure the transmission is in PARK and the parking brake is locked. Get on the vehicle and turn the fuel valve on. Use the choke knob for a cold engine, and wait for it to settle. Then switch the knob to RUN.

This is an essentials-only rundown of the facts. If you need more details about this pressing matter, you need to stick with us. This article will give you key information on all that is involved.

Read on for the comprehensive details!

Background on the Polaris Sportsman 500

Founded in the mid-1950s, Polaris became famous fairly easily in Minnesota, US. They’re the largest manufacturer of all-terrain vehicles in the country. They are also the 3rd largest internationally and heavily vouched for in the ATV industry.

Polaris Sportsman 500

The Sportsman 500 was one of the most advanced in their lineup of ATVs. They are lightweight and equipped for multi-personnel long-range trips in any weather condition.

Their updated counterparts boast up to a powerful 44-horsepower ProStar Engine. The all-wheel-drive function is also a new addition, a welcome one in that.

Despite its top-of-the-line build and great performance, its startup can be rather confusing. They’re obviously not as user-friendly as the newer variants from the company.

But all it takes is a little practice and basic know-how. Be it how to start a Polaris sportsman 450 or 500. We got you covered!

Read on to know more about the starting!

Starting the Engine With 3 Steps

Starting the Polaris Sportsman 500 is relatively simple once you have gone over it a few times. We have mentioned briefly step by step, so take a look.

turn the ignition key to start Polaris Sportsman 500

Step 1: Position the Vehicle

Firstly, position your ATV on a level or flat surface from the point of ignition. A well-ventilated area is often preferred for engine temperature regulation. Make sure the seats have cleared out for even weight as well.

Do not sit on the vehicle as you’re moving it onto the starting terrain. Once you have leveled the vehicle on mostly smooth terrain, you are ready for the next step. 

Step 2: Park / Brake

Now place the transmission in PARK and lock the parking brake. Make sure the starter interlock is off, this will prevent the engine from starting.

Especially if the transmission is in gear and the brake is disengaged. Do not turn the fuel valve on at this stage.

Step 3: Ignite

Turn the fuel valve on and also the starter interlock, so the engine can start. You can sit on the vehicle at this stage.

You can turn on the choke. But don’t use it when starting an engine that has already been warmed. Excessive use of choke also causes the spark plug to become wet-fouled, so be mindful.

If the engine is cold, however, the choke knob requires it to be pulled until it stops. The choke can also be varied gradually. This is best for any engine temperature.

Step 4: Throttle and Run

If by now, the choke knob hasn’t settled, then the tension must be increased. This is done by adjusting the nut clockwise multiple times.

After it has stopped excessive motion, you can move the engine stop switch to RUN. Don’t press the throttle when you choose to start the engine. You have to turn the ignition key clockwise until it reaches the ON position.

You might be thinking how to start a Polaris Sportsman 500 without a key?

Simply touch the jumper “4” to ‘1” and the engine will start expectantly.

This action engages the starter. You must activate the starter for a maximum of five seconds. After this, release the key upon the engine starting.

Solutions for the Engine Not Starting

If however, your engine fails to start, the fix for these issues are rather simple. For ease, we explain them briefly.

Change Batteries

This is rather obvious as mentioned before, buy new batteries! The 3V Lithium cells are found in any shop. Spare batteries are a quick fix for most issues in the transmission, these are for the speedometer.

You must change batteries every 2 weeks, as recommended by most enthusiasts. The batteries in the IC should also be changed.

Oil Filter And Throttle Knob

Check the break-in oil and filter. This is usually done every 24 engine hours or roughly a month of use.

If the oil is well into the transmission, the problem does not lie in it. Instead, you may check the IC on the speedometer.

Also, make sure the fuselage and the throttle knob are functional. This will surely help you on how to hotwire a Polaris Sportsman 500.

Replace Temperature Sensitive Components

Replace components that are temperature sensitive with caution. Operating the ATV right after starting could cause engine damage if it is cold. So you should allow the engine to warm up for a while before the engine starts.

If by some chance, the engine does not start, turn the key to the OFF position. Wait five seconds before attempting to start the engine again. Repeat until proper throttle.

If the engine slows or stops, reposition the choke knob partially inwards. This is to allow the proper warm-up of the engine. You may also vary the engine RPM with the throttle to aid the process.

Finally, when the engine gradually idles smoothly, push in the choke completely.

If you have trouble understanding how to start a Polaris Sportsman, you may need tools.


What to do if my Polaris ATV is not starting?

There could be a few possibilities, lack of a solid spark, speedometer, or ignition malfunction. To fix any of these, ground the tip on the motor and turn it over. You should make sure to have a solid spark. If you fail to have a solid spark, you have an ignition problem.

Why does my ATV click but not start?

The usual reason a quad could fail to start upon clicking is the battery. Troubleshooting this issue first is necessary. If you find that your battery is functioning as it should, the next common problem is the solenoid. Also, a bad starter motor could be the cause. 

How do you know if your ATV is flooded?

Running through bodies of water in your ATV could cause flooding of the engine. But if your quad is dry, then it may be something else. Try to start it a couple of times with the engine choke on and give it some gas. If it turns over but fails to start, it might be flooded. 

Wrapping Up

We hope by now you know how to start a Polaris Sportsman 500, and all that’s involved.

With an overall great value quad, the job of maintenance is rather easy. With a little knowledge and understanding, the ease of use is noteworthy for this ATV. After all, the Sportsman 500 is older than most teenagers.

Thanks for reading, feel free to return for more queries on the Polaris Sportsman 500!

Mark Williams

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