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Dune Buggy Won’t Start: How to Fix It Guide

Dune Buggy Won’t Start: How to Fix It Guide

When your dune buggy doesn’t start, there could be some disappointment from the family that is hard to forget. The good thing is that when your engine doesn’t start, there are some things to check that will get the family back in a good mood. So what do you do when your dune buggy won’t start?

If a dune buggy won’t start, the first thing to check is the fuel. If the fuel filter is not clogged and the fuel pump is working properly, check the air filter. If the engine is getting air, check for spark and compression.

Dune buggies are versatile off-road vehicles with starting issues like any other gas-powered engine. Nothing is worse than dragging your buggy out for a day in the sand only to find out she won’t make it off the trailer. Don’t sweat it. Engines are a snap to fix once you diagnose the primary problem. So read on and learn what to do when your dune buggy doesn’t start.

What to do When your Dune Buggy doesn’t Start

While the dune buggy not starting is a bummer, it doesn’t mean it is the end of the day. There’s always something you can check to ensure that the day isn’t lost, and when working with gas-powered engines, three things always rise to the top when troubleshooting: fuel, air, and spark.

The Fuel Should be Checked for Contamination

One of the biggest culprits behind dune buggies and other engine malfunctions is gas that could be contaminated or watered down. As the fuel sits in the can over time, moisture could form inside, or bits of dust and particles that make their way inside. These things work to dilute the gas or fill it with pieces that could clog the carb or fuel injectors.

Some of the things to look for when checking the gas in your dune buggy are as follows:

  • Smell – You should smell the fuel in the tank. When moisture sets up inside the system, it smells varnish. This is because the water mixes with the fuel, and there are insufficient gas chemicals to start a steady spark. The engine will turn over and sputter out when you have bad gas.
  • Particles – If harmful bits of debris or metal is in your gas tank, getting the engine going could be a problem. Inspect the gas inside the dune buggy tank for anything that could clog a fuel or air filter.

When the gas is the problem, it is an easy fix. All you have to do is drain the old fuel out. Once the fuel is out, you should let the tank dry and add fresh fuel. If you are going to be in environments filled with sand, it is a good idea to top off before you hit the trails to protect the integrity of the fuel.

Here’s a video showing how to check the electrical of a dune buggy:

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Lack of Air will Keep the Buggy on the Sidelines.

One of the things that are often ignored with off-road ATVs/UTVs is air filtration. The amount of dirt and dust that dune buggies encounter makes them susceptible to rough starts and decreases in power and acceleration.

The things to check when inspecting your air filters are:

  • Excessive Dirt – As often as dune buggies are in the dirt, you should check the air filters for excessive dirt and sand. Once they get inside the air filter box, it will begin to fill up until there is no room for the buggy to breathe.
  • Mud – Mud trapped in your air filter is never a good sign. Plastic or metal boxes protect air filters, but mud sometimes seeps in when they hit a large mudhole or cruise through a creekbed. Mud can force the engine to fight to turn over but never get a large enough breath to get going.

A clean air filter is essential when using an off-road vehicle like a dune buggy. Like gas, any foreign particles entering the engine could be harmful. In addition, if the machine isn’t starting checking the air filter should be on your to-do list, and having spare air filters is encouraged.

Spark Plugs are the Last Resort

Spark plugs ensure that the fuel inside the engine ignites correctly. If you have a bad spark plug, there will be no ignition, and your buggy will be useless. However, a few things can happen to the plugs that could force them not to work, and they are often easy to fix.

The things to look for when checking the spark plugs on your dune buggy are:

  • Obstructions – You should know by now that dirt and mud get everywhere on the engine of a dune buggy. If sand gets around the connection between the plug and the engine, you could have problems getting the machine to start.
  • Loose Connections – If the spark plugs on the dune buggy aren’t properly attached, there will not be a spark. The jostling and jumping of a buggy can shake loose spark plug wires if they aren’t checked regularly.

The spark plugs for dune buggies are easy to get to and replace. However, if there’s scoring around the plug once removed, you should take the time to check all the plugs before trying to start the engine. Scoring means a cylinder might have problems, a massive signal of a fouled engine.

Are Dune Buggies Easy to Work on?

Dune buggies are often simple to work on. The image that pops into everyone’s head when you say ‘dune buggy’ is of a rear-engine machine with a prominent windshield and oversized tires. When the engine is close to the open area, like on a dune buggy, they are easier to work on simply because of their location.

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When your dune buggy doesn’t start, check the gas, air filters, and spark. These three items govern if the machine makes a spark capable of causing ignition. If there is still no response from the engine after these are replaced, it might be time to take the buggy to a professional.

When you choose to ride in off-road settings, there will be tiny hiccups, like your buggy not starting. The real problem is when it becomes a constant. You can avoid these problems by doing proper maintenance on your machine and prolonging the life of your buggy in the process.

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