My polaris scrambler won't rev up

The Polaris Scrambler is a hybrid all-terrain vehicle, pairing the four-wheel drive and power of a utility quad with the acceleration and body design of a sport quad. Regardless of its categorisation, this ATV has remained in Polaris' recreational vehicle line-up for more than a decade, which may be indicative of the make's success. But, like any ATV, the Scrambler is still susceptible to mechanical damage and may require regular repairs. For a Scrambler that won't rev up, Polaris includes troubleshooting tips in the 2011 Scrambler owner's manual that apply to all models.

Use the Scrambler's electric starter and listen to the engine. If the engine doesn't turn over at all or turns over slowly, proceed with the electrical system check. If the engine does turn over but still won't start, move to the next section.

Ensure that the engine stop switch, located on the left handlebar, is set to "Run."

Park the Scrambler on level ground and check the quad's battery.

Remove the seat's screws and the Scrambler seat to access the battery and battery case.

Undo the battery holding strap. Disconnect the black cable, then the red cable, and carefully lift the battery out of the quad.

Inspect the battery terminals. If corrosion is present, remove it with a wire-bristle brush.

Remove build-up or debris from the terminals by cleaning them with the solution of water and baking soda.

Replace the battery if the original is damaged or heavily corroded. The Polaris Scrambler takes a 12-volt battery.

Charge the battery using a separately powered charger.

Reinstall the battery. Connect the red cable first this time, followed by the black cable and the battery's holding straps. Reinstall the Scrambler's seat.

Try the quad's starter again. Take the Scrambler to a certified dealer if the engine still won't turn over.

Operate the starter. If the engine turns over but won't start, proceed with engine troubleshooting.

Check the fuel level. The fuel gauge is located on the front instrument panel. Add fuel if the gauge reads empty and restart the engine. The Polaris Scrambler takes both leaded and unleaded gasoline, though it must have a pump octane of 87 or higher.

Make sure that the fuel valve is switched on if the fuel levels are adequate. The valve is located below the bumper on the left side of the vehicle.

Check the spark plugs next if the Scrambler still won't rev. The plug is located in the engine case, inside the Scrambler's single cylinder.

Remove the spark plug cap and gently remove the plug by rotating it counterclockwise with a spark plug wrench.

Replace the spark plug with a new plug if the electrode tip of the original is burnt or damaged. The specific type of spark plug varies according to Scrambler engine size and can be found in the "Maintenance" section of that model's owner's manual.

Measure the spark plug gap with a wire-thickness gauge and ensure that it is the same width stipulated in the owner's manual for a particular make. If not, shorten this gap by pressing the hook-end against a firm surface or widen the gap by pulling the hook-end with a spark plug gap tool.

Reinstall the spark plug with the spark plug wrench and replace the spark plug cap.

Attempt the rev up the Scrambler once more. Take the quad to the shop for inspection if problems persist.


Only minor repair issues are addressed in the Scrambler owner's manual. Polaris directs owners to consult a certified dealer for major repairs or if troubleshooting fails.


Gasoline is highly flammable and could ignite if introduced to a flame or spark. Do not smoke while handling gasoline. Wear gloves and goggles to prevent battery acid burns while working with the battery. To avoid engine damage, do not use fuel with ethanol content greater than 10 per cent in the Polaris Scrambler.

Things You'll Need

  • Standard wrench
  • Wire-bristle brush
  • 1 cup water mixed with 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 12-volt replacement battery
  • 12-volt battery charger
  • Gasoline (87 octane or higher)
  • Spark plug wrench
  • Replacement spark plug
  • Wire-thickness gauge
  • Spark plug gap tool
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Brianna has been writing professionally since 2009. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and is excited to be part of a community that contributes to the free sharing of information and ideas.