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ATV Won’t Stay Running or Won’t Idle

How about when the ATV won’t stay running or won’t idle? Or for some reason, it keeps going off and maybe cannot stay idle for long. These are common problems that we do not expect sometimes but we eventually run into at one point in owning the ATV.  

There are some issues that can cause this to happen and that is what we are specifically going to look into. It is also important to know how to fix each of them. Sometimes, however, the issues might end up being too difficult for us to fix by ourselves. 

This is why we really need to have prior information about such situations so that we get to know what to do when an ATV won’t stay running or won’t idle. 

ATV Won’t Stay Running or Won’t Idle? – Common Causes

  • Faulty spark plug 

If the spark plug is faulty, the ATV definitely won’t stay running. Sometimes it won’t even start. The spark can’t be generated to ignite the engine for the ATV to start. A faulty spark plug can partly be functional but definitely very troublesome. 

That is why you should have a spark plug that is healthy. Now if the ATV won’t start at all or partly starts then goes off soon afterward the first place that you should probably check is the spark plug. The spark ug should be healthy. 

A healthy spark plug is milk chocolate brown in color. The first sign to know that your spark plug is not in good shape is the color. A black spark plug is probably blown off and can not work anymore. Consider replacing the spark plugs if they are faulty. 

  • A clogged fuel filter 

A clogged fuel filter may cause the not support the ATV to stay running. The dispatch of oil may be limited for this reason and this might be the main cause why it runs for some time then goes off. 

However, if your ATV is regularly serviced, this might not be a regular problem since the fuel system is always cleaned. The fuel filter should be clear to allow fuel into the engine for combustion. 

  • A dirty carburetor 

One of the other big issues that can limit the time the ATV runs is the carburetor. A carburetor that is dirty might not allow the fuel to be filtered properly. If it’s clogged up, it might allow very little oil to get to the engine. 

Therefore, the carburetor should be clean for the engine to start and work properly. Sometimes bikes that have been sitting for a long time may have this problem. The oil that was left in the fuel system might end up gumming and clogging the carburetor which can lead to this problem. 

  • Dirty fuel injectors 

Those ATVs that do not have carburetors have fuel injectors. Now when the fuel injectors are dirty, the bike usually has issues while running. Sometimes it might fail to start while sometimes it won’t stay running. 

The fuel let through onto the engine cylinders is very little and it cannot allow the ATV to start or if it’s starts it cannot run for long. They can be cleaned and the old fuel drained out and replaced with a new one. 

  •  When the idle setting is too low 

When the idle setting is too low, the amount of fuel that is usually allowed into the engine is usually very little to allow the engine to run on idle. The idle setting is usually a small screw that can be adjusted to allow either low or high amounts of fuel into the engine when the engine is running on idle. 

  • The engine is contaminated with water 

The bike might have been left outside on a rainstorm or it might have been submerged in water. This causes the fuel in the tank to be contaminated with water. Impure fuel can lead to such problems. When there is such a problem, the fuel tank needs to be completely emptied and the contaminated oil replaced with new oil. 

  • Incorrect adjustment of the engine throttle control switch  

This is a small component that is located on the throttles. Inside the switch,  there should be two metal connectors that should not get too close. When they get close enough, leaving the bike idle may mean getting connected too soon which makes the ATV go off. 

The switch however can be readjusted to get rid of the problem. It should be always in the correct position before starting the ATV or setting it to idle. 

  • Any problem with the fuel system 

When there is any problem with the fuel system, there is bound to be a problem when you leave the bike idle. The fuel injectors or carburetors, contamination, faulty fuel passages all transform into the same problem. 

Therefore it should be checked thoroughly especially after a long time of sitting in the yard. Make sure every part of the fuel system is clear of the old fuel and that every component is in good shape before getting to use the ATV. 

When the problem is severe, the ATV won’t even start.  Worse even, it won’t stay running for long. Cleaning the fuel system is already part of addressing the issue that can cause it to either fail to idle or stay running for a very short time.

ATV Won’t Stay Running or Won’t Idle? Final Word 

An ATV that won’t stay running or won’t idle usually has a problem. It might be huge or small but it’s among the ones we have discussed above if not any other that is more advanced. Therefore in finding out why your ATV won’t run for long or why it cannot stay idle, be sure to address the factors above. 

Some of them take a longer time to address and sometimes a technician may be involved when the problem becomes difficult to address. Part of why an ATV won’t stay running or won’t idle is leaving it sitting for long or maybe leaving old fuel in the tank and fuel system which would cause gumming up. 

So it’s better to clean the fuel system entirely together with the ignition system to make sure the ATV would start without any problems, stay running for long enough, or would idle for the required time.