How do I Troubleshoot a 2003 Honda Rancher Starting Problems?


The 2003 Honda Rancher is a powerful ATV designed for adult riders. With proper maintenance and storage in the off-season, a Rancher should last years with no major repairs needed. However, as with any vehicle that generally lies unused for an entire season, you may occasionally have trouble with the starter. This is especially true after long periods of inactivity. There are a few things you can try to troubleshoot the starter before you take the machine to a professional mechanic.

Things You'll Need

  • Compressed air in a can
  • Replacement spark plug
  • Wrench
  • Wire brush
  • Spark plug tester
  • Pull up on the small seat release lever underneath the back right of the seat cover. Pull the seat back and then lift it free to expose the carburetor and fuel lines.

  • Pull the black fuel hose free of the carburetor and inspect it for blockage or damage. Clear any blockage.

  • Reinsert the fuel hose into the carburetor.

  • Pull the spark plug cap free from the spark plug.

  • Clean the area around the base of the spark plug with compressed air. Remove the spark plug with a wrench.

  • Inspect the spark plug for cracks or corrosion. Clean the electrodes on the end of the plug with a wire brush. If the spark plug is wet, set it aside and allow it to dry.

  • Test the spark plug with a spark plug tester. Replace the spark plug if it tests bad.

  • Reinsert the spark plug if it tested good or insert a new one. Hand tighten it, then secure it with a wrench. Replace the spark plug cap.

  • Lower the choke you use when you start the ATV if the spark plug was wet. Attempt to start the ignition.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you still experience problems with the starter, you will need to have the machine professionally serviced.

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