How to Troubleshoot a Polaris Sportsman 700


The Polaris Sportsman 700 is a four-wheeled all-terrain vehicle (ATV) designed and manufactured by Polaris Industries. It is popular among off-road riding enthusiasts and is built to withstand heavy use. However, even the best Polaris ATV can stop working once in a while. Discover how to troubleshoot a Polaris Sportsman 700 vehicle to fix potential problems and get your ATV back on your favorite trails and dirt paths.

Things You'll Need

  • Oil pan
  • Standard car engine oil
  • Funnel
  • Rag
  • Baking soda and water (optional)
  • Drain the vehicle if you have used it in a wet environment, such as crossing a river, and are now experiencing a wide range of problems. Water may have entered the Sportsman 700's system. Dry the system by locating the Sportsman's drain plug, found on the bottom left-hand side of the ATV's body. Remove the plug by pulling firmly. Let any water drain out before replacing the drain plug. Move the Sportsman's transmission to the "Park" position and run the engine, pushing the throttle for 15 seconds to force out any remaining water in the system and air-dry the ATV's engine belt.

  • Change the Polaris Sportsman 700's oil if you notice poor engine performance. To proactively prevent engine problems, the oil should be changed every six months or after 100 hours of use. Place a drain pan under the Polaris Sportsman's oil drain plug, located on the bottom of the ATV's main gearcase. Pull out the plug and let the engine oil drain out. Wipe the plug with a clean rag and reinsert into the drain. Open the fill plug, found on the side of the gearcase above the drain. Use the funnel to pour in replacement engine oil before reinserting the plug.

  • Shift the Sportsman's transmission to low using the control lever found on the right of the steering column if you are having a hard time driving in certain terrain, or if you are pulling a heavy load. Sometimes, the Polaris ATV has difficulty climbing steep inclines or carrying and pulling large loads. Examples include driving the Sportsman up a ramp into a truck's bed, climbing a steep hill, and navigating through thick snow or mud. In such situations, shift to low range and only throttle forward in short bursts.

  • Check the Sportsman 700's battery connections by inspecting the ATV's battery, found under the hood of the vehicle, if the Sportsman's display panel flashes a battery charge warning or if the engine doesn't start. Check the battery connections for a buildup of corrosion which often causes such problems. Wipe with a rag to remove light deposits, or use a mixture of one cup of water and one tablespoon of baking soda to rinse and clean heavier deposits. If this does not resolve the problem, you may need to replace the battery with a new battery from your local Polaris dealer.

  • Make sure you have adequate fuel if your engine unexpectedly dies. In addition, a low level of fuel can cause the engine to sputter out if climbing a hill, as the tilting vehicle can prevent the low fuel levels from reaching the engine's intake valve. Use standard gasoline and refuel.

Tips & Warnings

  • Shifting to a low range can help you get out of most difficult terrains, including thick mud.
  • Running the Sportsman 700 on idle while operating battery-intensive services such as its headlights can cause it to falsely illuminate a poor charge warning.

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  • Photo Credit Michal Zacharzewski/
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