Will an ATV Run With A Bad Stator? What To Do About It


Engine roaring, wind rushing, heart thumping- then all of a sudden, the fun comes to a stop. Your battery on your ATV has died and you are not sure why. Perhaps this is due to a bad stator, or perhaps it is due to something else.

The stator of an ATV works to recharge your battery while your vehicle is running, similar in function to a car’s alternator. When the stator goes bad, your ATV will only run until the battery goes dead, which is not very long. Test the stator with a multi-meter to ensure that this is the problematic part.

Generally speaking, you should be able to narrow down which part on your ATV is causing the issues, especially if your battery is dying rather frequently. The tools that you will need will be relatively inexpensive, so you will just need to run a few tests and determine if your stator is the problem.

Once you have determined this, then there are a few ways to resolve the issue. Continue reading to learn more about what happens when your ATV’s stator goes bad.

What Happens When a Stator Goes Bad?

There are only so many things that can slow you down once you begin the thrill of ATV riding. Whether you engage in ATV riding for recreational purposes, use your ATV for work on a farm, or are passionate about ATV as a sport, there are few limitations that can restrict you.

However, when the ATV stops functioning, you will likely be disappointed, frustrated, and in a rush to get your vehicle working again.

One problem part that can cause your ATV to stop working correctly is the stator. The stator works to recharge your ATV’s battery as you drive it.

Similar to the function of an alternator in a car, the stator is very important for ensuring the longevity of your ATV ride. When it goes bad, your battery will not recharge while in use, so your ride will be cut short.

Then, you will only have the option of charging your ATV’s battery while it is not in use, and this will only give you a brief period in which to enjoy riding your ATV. And, of course, you could get stranded when your ATV battery dies as you will not be able to predict the range of time that the off-powered charge will provide for you.

Since the stator recharges the ATV battery while the vehicle is in use, this allows the ATV to be used so long as all of the other parts are working correctly and there is enough fuel.

When the stator goes bad, your thrills of ATV riding will be cut short, and you will surely be over it. In this case, it is important to check out why your stator has gone bad- and, of course, you will need to make sure that the stator is the reason your battery is dying in the first place.

As the stator is made up of a few different components, it is possible that damage to any of these components could cause it to become faulty. The main components of a stator include the cable (connection) and the iron and wire coils. If any of these are dirty or broken, your stator will likely stop working as it should rendering your battery uncharged and you a sitting duck.

Here’s a quick video explaining what a stator is and showing you an example in case you’d like to see it.

How Do You Know if Your Stator is Bad?

Maybe you have your suspicions that your stator is bad, or perhaps you heard of your buddy’s going bad recently and you are wondering if the same problem is happening to your ATV. Fortunately, there are a few ways to tell if your stator is bad.

A few signs that your ATV’s stator is bad include loose, faulty, or dirty connectors and a battery that will charge with a separate charger but not while the ATV is in use.

To test your stator and determine whether it is bad or not, use a multimeter to tell if the appropriate ohms are being produced. You can find the appropriate range in the ATV’s manual or online.

The main indicator that your stator is bad will be that your battery is not charging- especially if your ATV will charge when on a separate charger but not while the ATV is in use.

In short, this is a high indication because the battery is not the issue in this scenario as it is clearly able to charge. But, if the stator is bad, then it will not charge the battery which will be noticeable when your battery dies when not connected to the alternative charger.

If there are loose, faulty, or dirty connectors with your stator, then this could be the mechanical evidence you need to be able to tell that your stator is bad.

When these components go bad, then the part itself ceases to function as it was designed to do. In this case, you will either have to clean or replace the faulty component, or you will need to replace the entire stator- it depends on your situation.

Fortunately, stators themselves generally run under $100, though the parts can be found for way less (often under $20). So, if it is only a small component of your stator that needs to be replaced, then knowing this will save you a bit.

Either way, it is best to have a multimeter on hand to be able to test your stator to ensure that it is the faulty component of your ATV before continuing. Here’s an example Fluke Multimeter (link to Amazon) that I have, to give you an idea of what you’ll need.

How to Test Your Stator with a Multimeter

If you are unsure whether your battery is faulty or the stator is the problem component of your ATV, there are a few things that you can do. First, you might take your ATV battery to an auto shop and have them test the battery. This will ensure that the battery itself is or is not the problem so that you can eliminate this piece.

If the battery is able to hold a charge but is not recharging while riding, this could indicate that your stator is the component to blame. In this case, you should consider testing the stator with a multimeter to verify the energy output and determine whether or not it is functioning as it is supposed to.

To test your stator with a multimeter is a relatively simple task. To do so, follow these easy steps:

  1. Set the multimeter settings to ohms. This is the measurement that you will want to read to determine if your ATV stator is producing the appropriate amount. When there are other options available on the settings, this could make the reading hard to determine as the ATV manual will tell you the desired range in ohms.
  2. Determine the appropriate ohm range for your ATV stator. Each ATV stator has various ranges in which it should be producing, so it is important to check your ATV’s operation manual for what is best for your unique vehicle. You can use your printed manual that came when you bought the vehicle, or you can search online using your vehicle’s make and model number.
  3. Disconnect the pins from your ATV’s stator for testing. The stator will have “male” and “female” pins, or input and output pins that you will need to test. Be sure to make a note of which ones you will test to verify that all readings have been recorded.
  4. Test each pin/socket with the multimeter’s probe. Using the multimeter’s probes, touch one end to the stator’s first pin and insert the other into the stator’s socket. From here, begin testing the series of pins and sockets until each has been tested in pairs with the other.
  5. Record the readings and verify the appropriate ohms. As you test your stator, begin noticing which pins and sockets are working correctly. This will be done by reading the ohms produced and deciding if this falls in the appropriate range for your vehicle. If not, then you know you have a faulty part and this will need to be replaced.

Here’s a video showing the whole process of testing a stator, so you can see it in action.

What To Do if Your ATV Stator Goes Bad?

Once you are confident that the problematic part of your ATV is, in fact, the stator, there are a few options that you can consider. Of course, you will want to have verified with a multimeter test that this is the reason your ATV’s battery is not charging in the first place.

If your ATV’s stator is determined to not be working correctly, then you can either replace the individual parts that are not working, replace the entire stator component, or take your ATV to a professional for them to provide the appropriate action.

Of course, taking your ATV to a professional will generally cost more, but there are limited risks with this option. Usually they will warranty their work.

Otherwise, if you are attempting to take care of the part yourself and you do not actually know what you are doing, then you might be purchasing unnecessary parts, taking apart pieces of your ATV that you do not know how to handle, and risk a greater cost in the long run as you have to pay someone to fix your mistakes.

You can usually find an ATV Stator (link to Amazon) online, just make sure it will work for your model.

There are plenty of tutorial videos available, though, if you are relatively confident in working with ATV and vehicle parts, so just be sure to make the decision that is right for you and your vehicle.

Here’s a good tutorial video for replacing a stator on an ATV. Not all ATVs will be exactly the same, but these steps are a general guide for changing out a stator.

Hopefully, once you test and replace your stator (or faulty stator components), your ATV’s battery will resume charging while riding, and you can get back to enjoying the thrill of the ride.

Rob

That's me sinking another ATV. I love to ride no matter what it is, snowmobiles, four wheelers, dirt bikes, and anything else off-roading. I've experienced my fair share of machines, and like to share that experience here.

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