Polaris Sportsman 500 Problems

Written by brianna collins
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Polaris Sportsman 500 Problems
A faulty spark plug can cause engine and starting problems. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

One of Polaris' most successful models of utility all terrain vehicles (ATVs), the Sportsman 500, is prone to the same operational problems as any vehicle. The company offers troubleshooting tips in the owner's manual to guide owners through minor repairs.


If the engine doesn't turn over while using the starter, there is likely a problem with the Sportsman 500's electrical system. Polaris recommends owners remove and service the quad's battery. Owners can use a solution of baking soda and water to clean build-up from battery terminals and a separately powered device to charge the battery to the recommended 12.8 volts.


Many different systems and parts can cause engine problems that make the Sportsman 500 stall, misfire or run poorly. One of the most common may be inadequate fuel levels. Refuel with either leaded or unleaded gasoline with a pump octane rating of 87 or higher if this is the case.

Spark Plug

To troubleshoot the spark plug, remove it from the Sportsman 500's single cylinder and inspect the insulator tip. Replace it with a new NGK BKR6E spark plug if the tip is burnt or brittle. Adjust the spark plug gap to exactly 0.035 inches before reinstalling the plug.


Inadequate levels of coolant can cause the Sportsman 500 to overheat. Troubleshoot this system by adding coolant to the reserve tank and the radiator reservoir. The Sportsman 500 takes a coolant mixture of 60 per cent antifreeze and 40 per cent coolant.

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