Polaris Ranger Diesel Problems [Solutions Explored!]

If you’re here, you might be having some trouble with your Polaris Ranger Diesel and looking for some solutions. Polaris Ranger Diesel is notoriously showing mechanical errors across all versions and models.

For this reason, we will explore all the Polaris Ranger Diesel problems and fixes.

Problems include the engine overheating or not starting, transmission shifting difficulties, battery not charging, and problems with fuel delivery. Faulty components most popularly show the vehicle losing power due to loose connections and dirt build-ups obstructing riding experiences.

The good news is easy fixes to restore the efficient and effective operation of your Polaris Ranger Diesel are available; keep reading on then!

Polaris Ranger Diesel Engine Problems

This problems are becoming a tough deal for any Polaris Ranger owner. However, the solutions suggested below can be easily done to fix the issues. 

Rough Idling At High RPMRough Driving ExperienceReplace Faulty Components
Engine OverheatingBurning SmellsCool With Coolants
Acceleration IssuesJerking While SpeedingClean Air Filter And Throttle Body

The symptoms can help you determine the exact issue with the vehicle and take appropriate measures.

Problem 1: Rough Idling At High RPM

The most common cause of a high idle is a vacuum leak. A leaking throttle body, a sticking idle air control (IAC) valve, a dirty throttle body, or a faulty engine control unit (ECU) are the most likely causes of the issue.

To diagnose the exact cause, a thorough inspection of the hose, intake manifold gasket, and throttle body should be conducted. Using the best motor vehicle diagnostic tools will confirm where the heart of the matter lies. (our pick: Aramox Motorcycle Diagnostic Tool)

Symptom: Rough Driving Experience

When your car is having a rough idle, you may feel the engine chugging, vibrating, or shaking while the car is running. This can make your driving experience uncomfortable, and you may feel a slight bouncing sensation in your seat.

Additionally, you may notice the engine’s RPM is higher than normal while it is idling.

Solution: Replace Faulty Components

To fix the issue, you have to find out which one of the parts is causing the trouble specifically. You can replace the hose, gasket, or throttle. You can also replace the IAC or the ECU depending on where the problem lies.

Qualified mechanics can properly do the replacements and follow the directions and advice they provide.

The cost of replacing these units can vary greatly depending on the model and year of the machine. Most new IACs cost between $100 and $400, while new ECUs can range in price from $400 to $1,000 or even more, depending on the model.

Moreover, labor costs for installing a new IAC or ECU can range from $200 to $500, depending on the shop performing the work.

Problem 2: Engine Overheating

The main causes of an engine overheating in a Polaris Ranger Diesel can be attributed to insufficient coolant levels due to a bad cooling system and a thermostat that stopped functioning properly.  

Symptom: Burning Smells

The most common symptom of an overheating engine is a burning smell. This smell is usually caused by an inadequate transfer of electric pressure within the system.

Solution: Cool With Coolants

The process of cooling down a Polaris Ranger engine with the use of good coolants involves several steps:

  • Cool down the engine naturally by running it at a low speed for a few minutes. This will allow the engine to cool down on its own. 
  • Check the cooling system for any leaks or damage. If any are found, they should be fixed or replaced. 
  • Now, drain the coolant and replace it with a fresh, quality coolant. This will ensure the engine is protected from corrosion and other potential damage. 
  • Once the coolant is filled, start the ATV and allow it to warm up. This will help circulate the coolant throughout the engine, ensuring it is evenly cooled.

Remember, the ATV should be turned off and allowed to cool down naturally. This process should be repeated periodically to ensure the engine operates at its best.

Problem 3: Acceleration Issues

Over time, Polaris Rangers can experience acceleration issues due to a buildup of dirt, grime, and other debris in the engine and exhaust system. This buildup can cause the ATV to lose power and reduce its ability to accelerate.

Symptom: Jerking While Speeding

When an ATV has acceleration issues, it may produce jerking while speeding symptoms. This usually occurs when the ATV is not receiving enough fuel or air.

If the issue is not addressed quickly, it can cause further damage to the engine.

Solution: Clean Air Filter And Throttle Body

The process of cleaning air filters and throttle bodies is quite simple and requires a few steps to do the job. The work can be done using a good quality wrench and socket sets; here are the steps:

  • Remove the air filter from the engine compartment and gently shake it to remove any loose dirt and dust. 
  • Next, the filter should be sprayed with a light cleaner and allowed to sit for a few minutes. 
  • After the cleaner has done the job, rinse it with water. 
  • Now, remove the throttle body using a wrench or socket set. Wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove any dirt and grime. 
  • Finally, the throttle body should be sprayed with a cleaning solution and wiped clean.

Once the whole process is done, the air filter and throttle body should be re-installed, and the vehicle should be ready to go.

Polaris Ranger Diesel Transmission Problems

Many owners have experienced issues with the transmission of their Ranger. Let’s, therefore, find out how the solutions can be applied. 

Clutch IssuesClutch Pedal VibratingReplace The Clutch
Hard To Shift GearsShaking TransmissionReplace The Transmission Filter
Belt SlippingLoud Squealing SoundAdjust The Tensioner And Replace The Belt
Rear Differentials IssuesGrinding NoisesReplace Transmission

Problem 1: Clutch Issues

There are three main possible reasons why the clutch may go bad at any time. These include old and worn clutch plates, low clutch fluid levels, and dirt contamination.

Overheating engines can cause the clutch to go faulty due to thermal damage to the clutch plate, which causes it to overheat and eventually wear out.

Symptom: Clutch Pedal Vibrating

You will see this vibrating as the clutch is not finding the proper platform to perform efficiently. This is when you try to work with the clutch pedal.

Solution: Replace The Clutch

Replace the entire clutch mechanism with a good clutch replacement set. The process goes like this:

  • The first step is disconnecting the battery, disconnecting the transmission from the engine, and removing the drive line. 
  • After that, the pressure plate, clutch disc, and flywheel must be removed. To do this, a special clutch alignment tool and a few other tools, such as a ratchet, socket set, and torque wrench, will be needed. 
  • Once the old clutch is removed, the new one can be installed. The flywheel should be cleaned and resurfaced before the new clutch is fitted. 
  • Then, the pressure plate and clutch disc can be reinstalled with the alignment tool. 

At the end of it, reconnect the drive line, transmission, and battery to make your machine perform better than before. 

Problem 2: Hard Shift Gears

Problems with shifting gears are a common issue with the Polaris Ranger Diesels. Low transmission fluid or a worn transmission can also cause hard shifting.

If the transmission is not properly lubricated, the gears can become stuck or difficult to shift. And so, you are required to understand the conditions first to apply the solution.  

Symptom: Shaking Transmission

If the transmission is forced to shift into a higher gear before it is ready, it can start shaking. The transmission becomes overloaded and causes it to shake and shudder. 

Solution: Replace The Transmission Filter

The appropriate fix is replacing the transmission filter, which would resolve the hard gear shifting issue. 

Get a good quality transmission filter kit and start the process, which requires the necessary tools: a socket wrench, a socket set, a screwdriver, a funnel, and a pair of pliers.

The process for replacing the transmission is as below:

  • Start the process by raising the vehicle and removing the transmission pan. Loosen and remove any screws or bolts that secure the transmission pan to the vehicle, and then use your socket wrench to remove the pan carefully. 
  • Once the pan is removed, you should be able to see the transmission filter. Loosen the filter with your socket set, and then use your pliers to remove it from the transmission carefully.
  • After that, place the new filter in the transmission. Use the funnel to add the recommended amount of transmission fluid. 
  • Use a socket wrench and socket set to bolt the filter into place securely, and then replace the transmission pan.

At the end of the entire process, lower the vehicle, and you are done.

Problem 3: Belt Slipping

Belt slipping is a phenomenon that occurs when the drive belt, such as a serpentine belt, slips off its pulley, resulting in reduced power being transferred from the engine to other components.

Belt slipping is caused when the belt is too loose or worn, or the pulley is misaligned, making it difficult for the belt to grip correctly.

Symptom: Loud Squealing Sound

When a belt slips, it can create a loud squeaking sound while riding. This sound is caused by the belt slipping against the pulleys or other components.

Solution: Adjust The Tensioner And Replace The Belt

The process of adjusting the tensioner of a vehicle to fix belt slipping issues involves the following steps:

  • Locate the tensioner and loosen the tensioner bolt with a wrench.
  • Use a pry bar to rotate the tensioner pulley clockwise, increasing the tension on the belt.
  • Once the desired tension is achieved, retighten the tensioner bolt securely.
  • Finally, start the engine and observe the tensioner pulley to ensure the belt is tensioned correctly.

By following these steps, you should be able to adjust the tensioner on your vehicle and fix any slipping belt issues.

Other than that, if you are advised to replace the belt, let the professionals do the job for you. It will ensure that your machine is running for an extended period.

Replacing a Polaris Ranger drive belt typically involves a few steps:

  • First, find the belt tensioner, which is generally located on the left side of the ATV engine. 
  • Then, the drive belt should be disengaged from the tensioner and removed from the machine. 
  • The new belt should be routed around the clutch, pulleys, and tensioner. 
  • At last, the belt should be tensioned by pushing the tensioner toward the engine and then locked in place with the locking nut.

You will see that this will do the job securely. 

Problem 4: Rear Differentials Issues

Rear differential issues in a Polaris Ranger are caused by worn-out bearings, a worn-out differential, or a broken differential ring gear. These issues can cause the vehicle to experience difficulty turning and a grinding or shaking sensation when turning.

Symptom: Grinding Noises

Symptoms associated with a rear differential issue include a grinding sound coming from the rear end when the vehicle accelerates or decelerates.

The sound may be intermittent or continuous. A vibration or roughness may also accompany it felt in the seat or steering wheel.

Solution: Replace the Transmission

Replacing an ATV transmission is a process that requires patience and specialized tools such as socket and wrench sets.

It is essential to understand the transmission components and the correct way to remove and install them. The process goes like this:

  • Drain all the fluids from the transmission in a container and then remove the exhaust, intake, and other components connected to the transmission. 
  • Remove the bolts and nuts that hold the transmission to the ATV’s frame. 
  • Disconnect the driveshaft, remove the clutch and pressure plate, and remove the transmission itself. 
  • Install the new transmission. You will need to attach the new transmission, connect the driveshaft, and reattach the clutch and pressure plate.

End the process by reattaching the exhaust, intake, and other components and refilling the transmission with proper fluids. For a proper understanding, here is a guide for you: 

Polaris Ranger Diesel Fuel Adjustment Issues

Polaris Ranger EFI Fuel Pump Troubleshooting

To ensure that your Polaris Ranger Diesel runs appropriately, it is essential to understand the common fuel adjustment issues and how to address them. Mostly, the fuel delivery system is not balanced and sufficient enough for a smooth and consistent ride.

Problem: Fuel Pressure Issues

This problem is usually caused by the improper activities of the fuel pressure regulators. It can happen due to how dirt build-ups happen over many years.

When you inspect the regulator, you will see how the dirty surfaces are not letting proper fuel running functions happen. You can also check the fuel pressure using a fuel pressure gauge to ensure it is within the manufacturer’s specifications.

Symptom: Poor Fuel Economy

If the fuel pressure is too low or too high, it can cause the engine to run excessively, meaning it is using more fuel than necessary. This can cause the engine to run inefficiently and reduce fuel economy. 

Solution: Change The Fuel Pressure Regulator Or The Gauge

Removing the old fuel pressure regulator and gauge is relatively simple. It requires some good time and attention.

Here are some steps to follow:

  • Disconnect the fuel line from the regulator and gauge. This can usually be done with a wrench or ratchet. 
  • Unscrew the mounting bolts that secure the fuel pressure regulator and gauge to the fuel rail. 
  • Lift the regulator and gauge off the fuel rail.
  • Remove the fuel pressure regulator and gauge from the mounting bracket. Depending on the type of regulator and gauge, this may require using a screwdriver or other tool.
  • Discard the old parts; the regulator and gauge are free from the mounting bracket.
  • You can install the new fuel pressure regulator and gauge in the reverse order of the removal process. 
  • Start by attaching the new regulator and gauge to the mounting bracket and securing them to the fuel rail with the mounting bolts. 
  • Re-connect the fuel line to the regulator and gauge. 

Once the installation is complete, you can start the vehicle and check the fuel pressure to ensure everything is working correctly.

Polaris Ranger Diesel Battery Issues

One of the most common complaints with the Polaris Ranger Diesel is that it has issues with its battery. There are reports of Polaris Ranger’s batteries not holding a charge or that the battery tends to drain quickly.

Problem: Battery Not Charging

To diagnose the problem associated with not charging, you should check the battery cables to ensure that they are securely connected. If this does not solve the issue, you should use a multimeter to test the voltage at the battery terminals.

A battery that has been used for more than three years tends to have this problem, which is not so unusual. 

Symptom: Trouble Starting

When the battery is not charging correctly, the engine may not start. This is because the battery is not providing enough power to the starter to turn the engine over.

Solution: Replace The Battery

The first step when replacing an ATV rider battery is to locate the battery. This is usually located near the seat and behind the headlights. Start with the process when you have located it; this is how it goes:

  • Disconnect the negative terminal by removing the nut from the negative terminal and disconnecting the wire from the battery.
  • After the negative terminal is disconnected, the next step is disconnecting the positive terminal from the battery. This is done by removing the nut from the positive terminal and disconnecting the wire from the battery.
  • Once the battery is disconnected, remove the old one. This is done by loosening the mounting bolts and removing the old battery from the ATV. 
  • Here, you must install the new battery by mounting it into the ATV and tightening the mounting bolts.
  • Connect the positive wire to the positive terminal and the negative wire to the negative terminal.

The last step is to test the battery. This is done by turning on the ATV, testing the electrical components, and riding around for at least 30 minutes. If everything works correctly, the battery has been successfully replaced.

Polaris Ranger Diesel Maintenance Guide For Durability

Polaris Ranger Diesel Maintenance

With regular maintenance, the Polaris Ranger Diesel can be the most reliable and efficient vehicle for your outdoor adventures.

Here are some tips and tricks:

  • Follow a regular maintenance schedule
  • Change the engine oil and filter at least every 500 hours or as recommended in your owner’s manual.
  • Clean and inspect the air filter more often
  • Keep your fuel clean by using the correct fuel type and clean fuel filters when necessary.
  • Make sure the timing belt is in good condition and properly adjusted.
  • Inspect the exhaust system regularly
  • Lubricate drive train components and ensure it’s always lubricated.

The proper care and maintenance ideas will make your Polaris Ranger Diesel last many years. 


Do Polaris Range Diesel have problems speeding on bumpy terrains?

Due to low ground clearance, Polaris Ranger Diesel can have difficulty speeding on bumpy terrains. Also, for the fact that diesel engines are heavier than gasoline engines. This makes them bounce abruptly, leading to losing traction or control.

Do transmission issues lower the lifespan of the vehicle?

Yes, transmission issues can lower the lifespan of a vehicle by causing premature wear on other components. It can also lower the lifespan by reducing fuel economy and leading to more frequent breakdowns.

How do you check the fuel pressure on a Polaris Ranger?

The fuel pressure on a Polaris Ranger can be checked by first disconnecting the fuel line from the fuel pump. And then, you have to connect the fuel pressure gauge between the fuel line and the fuel pump. Once connected, start the engine and check the fuel pressure. 


The Polaris Ranger Diesel problems are several in numbers that can affect its performance and reliability. However, solutions are available, so you won’t be hurt if anything goes wrong.

Hope we helped you sufficiently; it’s time to go; goodbye!


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