ATV trouble


Junior Member
Hi guys!

First off, I just wanna say what an incredible resource this site is.
Ive been in the business for 3 yrs, and this site has cleared up a lot of nagging questions i had. I dont know if this is the right forum for this, but I was hoping you guys could offer me some atv help.

I have 2 atv's: a 2000 Sportsman 500 and a 1999(?) Magnum 500

I put them away in our sea container last March. Stupid me, but i did this just off the trailer, as in no maintenance. (left the gas in, fuel valve on, no oil change, none of that). Either way, im prepping them up for the season now, and i have a little trouble.

Sportsman: changed oil, changed plug, drained fuel, drained fuel bowl, got it started, ran for a bit. Problem appears that after running at idle for 10 minutes, it now starts intermetintly (sp?) and only will only runs for 30 secs or so, and only with the choke on.

Magnum: changed oil, changed plug, drained fuel, drained fuel in bowl. Wont start at all. Cranks no problem, just not starting.
Its either a plug problem, (ie. plug was a PAIN to get in and out, and im concerned i may not have tightened it enought) or a dirty carb.

I know this is not exactly the best board to pose this question, but just hoped you guys could maybe help me in my troubleshooting.

Thanks, and again, great site!!! :)

Arc Burn Addict
Welcome to plowsite toolin!On the sportsman i would check the air filter and box to make sure nothing made a home in there as this happens quite often and restricts air flow.On the magnum check to see if your plug is wet indicating your getting gas and while its out check for spark on your plug,make sure the plug cap is seated correctly when you put it on,even with your plug loose it would attempt to start if your getting gas and have spark,might as well check the air filter on that one too.Be patient,these problems are usually something simple but seem impossible if you loose your temper!let me know if i can help anymore and i'm sure some of these other guys will have ideas too,Good Luck


Senior Member
northeastern WI.
as ceaman said ,pull the carbs and give them a cleaning which means removeing the jets also. note for the future turn off fuel valve next time and then start machine up to run the carb out of fuel.

DaveO Veteran
I think Ceaman and Dyna are on the $$$$. Sounds like the pilot jets are plugged. This happens when the fuel sits in the bowls for extended period. the fuel gells, and then crystalizes. This is due top the new fuels we have nowadays, many elements evaporate, leaving it to gell/solidify.

Best thing is to drain bowls at end of season, or run dry. Stabil additive works also.



Senior Member
Bryan, Ohio
Be my guess too!

Storing with fuel in them was a givaway I think.

In my Small engine days, I have seen chainsaws stored for a couple years with fuel in them.

Turned to a thick gooey mess and actually ate the aluminum tank up like it had acid in it. Pitted it badly, looked like sea coral.

That was after only two years of sitting.

Seen the thick goo many times, turns to terpentine.


Senior Member
Western NY
polaris, polaris polaris........

sportsman, sounds to me, pilot circuit in carb is boogered up, even after you soak, shoot some carb clean aerosol through all passages you can find, make sure you pull the pilot fuel screw out and clear that also. if your machine has foam air filter make sure yuo clean dry and oil your air filter before installation.

magnum: check to make sure you have spark, i have seen cdi boxes get moisture whle in storage and be pooped whe you get it back out. A slightly loose plug wouldnt keep it from firing, it possibly could keep it from running well, but it would at least fire. It were me, I would give the mag the same carb treatment as the sportsman, also check compression may have a touch of rust (from condensation) on rings or valve faces.

Ihave worked on many many polaris damn nice machine but if a person starts to neglect these machines(no maintenence, beating them) they do not last long at all.
I hope this info helps you, if you have any other questions, feel free to email me at

Really dig this site folks Scott