Polaris Sportsman 500 CDI Wiring Diagram:Troubleshoot Issues

What does the Polaris Sportsman 500 CDI wiring diagram look like? It has color codes which make it easier for you to comprehend. For instance, black wires are used for grounding and battery negative terminals, while red wires are used for the positive terminal. Other colors are also present.

If you’re like most new Polaris owners, you probably can’t wait to get out on the trails and start exploring the great outdoors. But before you do that, you’ll need to ensure you know how to repair your Polaris Sportsman 500 in case of minor electrical malfunctions. 

And that means having a solid understanding of its wiring diagram. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s dive into the beautiful world of wires and circuits we have brought here.

An Overview of Core Colors in Polaris Sportsman 500 CDI Wiring Diagram

Here are the core colors used in a Polaris Sportsman 500 CDI (Capacitor Discharge Ignition) wiring:

BlackGround connection or battery negative terminal
RedBattery positive terminal and wire connection before circuit breaker and fuse
Red/PurplePositive voltage after circuit breaker or fuse
YellowStator coil connection to LR volt regulator
Black/yellowIgnition kill to CDI
TanSensors for engine temperature
OrangeEngine rotation sensor
Yellow/redSends your engine crank signals
Black/whiteSends ignition pulse
BlueOil level signal
PinkFuel level signal
Red/whiteFuel gauge wire
Blue/white and Green/whiteQuick trim
GrayRPM limiter signals
BrownHall Effect signal
GreenIgnition trigger
PurpleMagneto coil to CDI

Polaris Sportsman 500 Capacitor Discharge Ignition Wiring Diagram

Here is a detailed diagram that shows the ins and outs of the car’s CDI wiring system.

polaris sportsman 500 cdi wiring diagram
A wiring diagram for Polaris Sportsman 500 (CARB) Models (Source: Polaris ATV Forum)

What causes CDI Problems in Polaris Sportsman 500?

Install a Polaris Stator & CDI Ignition Upgrade Kit

The CDI box comprises everything responsible for starting your car. All these components work together to start the combustion in your engine. If it’s not working properly, it might be because of these reasons:

  • Incorrect spark plug gap: The spark plug gap is the distance between the electrodes on the spark plug. 
  • Faulty spark plug: A spark plug not functioning correctly can cause ignition problems. This can be due to wear, damage, or a manufacturing defect.
  • Disconnected, loose, or corroded wiring: Wiring issues can cause ignition problems by disrupting the flow of electricity to the ignition components.
  • Faulty ignition switch or engine stop switch: If the ignition switch or engine stop switch is not functioning correctly, it can cause an incomplete ignition circuit.
  • Misadjusted or faulty ETC switch: The ETC (engine throttle control) switch controls the throttle position.
  • Poor ground on your ignition coil: The ignition coil requires the good electrical ground to function correctly. 
  • Faulty stator: The stator is a part of the charging system that generates electricity to power the ignition system. 
  • Wrong wiring: If the ignition system is wired incorrectly, it can cause ignition problems.
  • Faulty ignition coil windings: The windings inside the ignition coil are responsible for generating the high voltage required to create a spark.
  • Loose or damaged flywheel: The flywheel is a rotating part of the engine connected to the crankshaft. 
  • Wide air gap on your trigger coil: The trigger coil is a part of the ignition system that creates a magnetic field to trigger the ignition coil. 

Troubleshooting a Faulty Ignition System in Polaris Sportsman 500

Replace Pulse Coil on a Polaris Sportsman 500

Follow the steps below to identify and fix what’s wrong with your CDI:

1. Replace your Spark Plugs

Before installing the new spark plugs, check the gap between the electrode and the spark plug. The gap should be set to the manufacturer’s specifications, usually 0.6 to 1.8 mm. 

After replacing the spark plugs, it’s a good idea to test the ignition system to ensure it’s working correctly. One way to do this is to use a spark tester, a diagnostic tool that you can connect to each spark plug wire to see if the spark plug is firing correctly.

2. Verify that your CDI has the Right Output Voltage

To test the voltage to the CDI unit, you will need a peak reading adaptor or a voltmeter. First, locate the CDI unit, which is typically mounted near the engine. 

Disconnect the CDI unit from the ignition coil. Connect the positive or negative terminal to the engine ground. Then, turn the ignition key to the “on” position, and use the gadget to measure the voltage at the CDI unit’s power output. If it’s working correctly, it should be 300 volts DC.

Measure the pulse coil voltage too. To do this, disconnect all the wires in your CDI unit. Start your engine and measure the readings with your peak reading adaptor. The reading should be 4.5 volts.

The peak reading adaptor: Our pick RMSTATOR Multimeter can help you measure these values. 

If the voltage exceeds or is below the mentioned values, replace all your wires. If not fixed, replace the whole unit. If the voltage is okay, move to the next step.

3. Verify if your Coil has a Ground Connection to the Engine

Locate the coil and the engine ground point. Use a multimeter to test for continuity between the two points. To do this, set your multimeter to the “continuity” setting. Touch one probe to the ground terminal on the coil and the other probe to the engine ground point. 

If the multimeter beeps or indicates continuity, the coil has a ground connection to the engine. Thus, if there is no continuity, there won’t be beeps. Replace your ground wire and clean the terminals. 

4. Disconnect and Check your Ignition Coil

Once the coil is disconnected, you can measure its resistance using a multimeter. To do this, set your multimeter to the “resistance” or “ohms” setting. Touch the probes to the terminals on the coil. 

The resistance of the coil should be 10,500 ohms for Polaris Sportsman 500. If the reading is higher or lower than this, it could indicate that the coil is faulty, so replace it.

5. Replace your CDI Module

Replacing the CDI module should only be done as a last resort after all other potential fixes above have been ruled out. 

However, replacing the CDI module can be a complex and time-consuming process, and it can also be expensive if you purchase a new one. Therefore, it is always best to diagnose and repair the issue using other methods before replacing the CDI module.


Here are answers to common Polaris wiring questions:

Q: What’s the Best Way to Prevent CDI Wires from Corroding?

Use barrier coats in your wires such as epoxy, plastic tapes, and nylons.

Q: Can I Replace the Polaris Sportsman 500 CDI Module on My Own?

Yes. You only need to purchase a new module and connect all the wires correctly.

Q: What’s the cost of buying a new Polaris Sportsman 500 CDI Module?

A new module costs $24 to $100, depending on the quality. 


With the above Polaris Sportsman 500 CDI wiring diagram and the diagnosis steps, you can fix any of your ATV ignition problems. You only need to ensure you have the right equipment and measuring gadgets to make the diagnosis accurately. 

Troubleshooting electrical and ignition problems in your Polaris Sportsman 500 requires a systematic approach. Use the diagram to eliminate potential causes and identify the root cause of the issue. However, it is best to contact a certified Polaris dealer or mechanic for further assistance.


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