Troubleshooting an ATV That Won't Start After Washing

Troubleshooting an ATV That Won’t Start After Washing

Have you ever washed your ATV and then been disappointed when it won’t start? If so, you’re not alone. In this article, we will discuss the potential causes for an ATV not starting after washing, as well as preventive maintenance, vehicle identification, and other potential issues. Keep reading to learn more about how to troubleshoot this common issue.

If you’re an ATV enthusiast, you know that taking the time to properly maintain your ATV is essential. Following the steps in this article can help you prevent and troubleshoot an ATV not starting after washing. So don’t wait, get your ATV running in no time!

Table of Contents


If your ATV won’t start after washing it, it could be due to a short circuit. When water gets into the components, it disrupts the flow of voltage, resulting in the engine not starting.

This can also be caused by a gas flood in the engine. If your ATV is cranking over but not starting, it’s likely that water has caused a reduction in engine performance.

Like a game of dominoes, one thing can trigger a chain of events leading to an engine not starting.

Preventative Maintenance

To avoid these issues, you should tape and shield the connectors.

You should also use dielectric grease on the pin connections. It’s important to leave the connectors open for better protection and to prevent water entry.

This method of protection is known as hydrophobic action. Taking the time to protect the connectors can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Submersion Prevention

When washing the ATV, you should either use a bucket and brush or a fine cone spray.

Submersion is strongly discouraged, as taping and shielding is not sufficient protection. When it comes to ATV maintenance, prevention is always better than a cure.

Ignition System

You will need a meter to check the voltage of the ignition system. Make sure that the kill switch is on and in the correct position.

You should also check the connectors and fuses and use dielectric grease on the spark plugs. It is also recommended to drain and refill the fuel.

Setting the kill switch in the right direction can be a simple but effective fix that can save you a lot of trouble.

Corrosion Prevention

To prevent corrosion, wrap the connectors in tape and use dielectric grease.

This will allow quick drying and water to run off the pins. It is important not to trap the water, as this will exacerbate the galvanic action.

Taking the time to protect the connectors from corrosion can keep your ATV running smoothly for years.

Fixing a Wet Ignition System

If your ATV is wet, you should use compressed air and a towel to dry it.

You can also use WD-40 to remove moisture. Make sure to air dry the ATV indoors for two days.

Drying the ATV thoroughly is the key to a successful repair.

Other Reasons for ATV Not Starting

There are several other reasons why an ATV may not start.

Water can get into the CDI, stator, air filter, carburetor, and fuel injector. Dirt can also get into the kill switch and starter switch.

It is possible that the valves or piston rings are damaged. To stay one step ahead of any issues, it’s important to recognize the signs of a potential issue before it becomes a major problem.

The Takeaway

Troubleshooting an ATV that won’t start after washing can be a tricky process. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can prevent and troubleshoot this issue quickly and easily. Taking the time to properly maintain your ATV can be the difference between a successful fix and a costly one.

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