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Discussion Starter #1
I had this problem last year about this same time. 2011 Ranger 500 Crew. Idle erratic. Most of the time will stall after cranking--sometimes will run a a few minutes before shutting down.

Last year, I tried Seafoam, new plug , replaced Air Temp sensor. After a day or so, It ran all the rest of fall, winter and spring without a problem. someone suggested last year that it may be a failing fuel pump. Disregarded because it ran fine all the aforementioned time. Strange, I know. But true. Literally almost a year to the day later, it start doing the same thing.

This year, it all of a sudden was hard to start. Manipulated accelerator and made it run. Spit, sputtered, backfired and shut off. Every time I tried. I called the mechanic. he said replace the plug. I did. It ran great for a day then back to the same problem. Replaced the plug again, but it made no difference. I replaced air temp sensor again this year with a non Polaris part. No difference. Replaced fuel pump--no difference. Siphoned gas and replaced with new non ethanol (all I've ever run in it)--no difference.

Have no idea what is going on. Seems like it doesn't like hot, humid weather.

If I manipulate the accelerator while cranking it will run and will run with no problems at high and medium speeds, but as soon as I let off of the gas, it will mostly stall and is sometimes very hard to start back even if engine has been running.

Watching the RPMs when cranking, it will get to a bout 950 RPMs and then stall. When it does decide to idle it will do so at about 1120 RPMS.

At this point, I have no clue what the problem could be. I've thrown a lot of money at this thing to no avail.. Wondering if its electrical. Idle air sensor, etc? It just doesn't seem to want to idle--other than that it will run.

Please help. Any advice is much appreciated.
 

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Questions:

1) Has this unit been stored for a period of time of disuse?
2) Was it stored with E-10 (ethanol fuel) in the tank?
3) Did you use fuel stabilizer?
4) Was the tank full or empty during storage?

Thoughts:

Plugs don't go bad just sitting. If it was running well and stored and trouble began after storage it's doubtful that the plug is the culprit. Inspection of the plug should be enough to determine whether it's fouled.
Fuel pumps do go bad. Obtain a fuel pressure gauge and check fuel pressure. Compare to specs in manual. Even a new fuel pump could be defective. Tests confirm.
Get a manual if you don't have one. There are digital downloads for most models available on line for about $10.
If it was stored with ethanol fuel simply draining the tank and replacing the fuel may not be enough. In addition to Phase Separation, ethanol fuel also damages rubber parts and even some metals. The fuel lines may have begun to deteriorate from within with no visible exterior damage. Small particles of damaged fuel hose may be clogging injectors.
Polaris states that 80% of electrical problems are due to poor connections. Corrosion, damage or dirt at the connections or wires damaged by vermin could be the problem. Inspect all wiring. Manual should tell you how to test EFI electrical components (Sensors).
I don't know whether 500s had the problem, but some engines had a problem with a wiring harness. (I think it may have been 700/7800 engines)
 

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I already suggested getting fuel system pressure done ruger went with getting new pump instead$$$:(
My thoughts lead me to a faulty sensor and or now the fuel injectors being partially plugged and low idle really starts failing and only runs with wot. BPS probably could get a better handle on this.
 

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Hi Ruger, I would be looking for any EFI fault codes from the computer first but it sounds like a IAC (IDLE AIR CIRCUIT) problem and either the harness is bad which happens quite frequently on that machine or some krap has accumulated on the diaphragm inside and is in need of a careful cleaning. My crystal balz are going "change the harness".

https://otbpowersports.com/product/idle-air-control-motor-wiring-repair-harness/
 

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You could always check the valve lash. Should be .006 on intake and exhaust. Hard starting and no idle happens when the clearance closes up.
It is easy to do.
Remove the valve cover,
Screw out the plug in the top of the flywheel cover.
Line up the T mark with the pointer while on the compression stroke.
Check the clearance.

This is from memory. If it is wrong maybe someone will correct it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all. The machine was not stored. I usually drive it every single day. Strange how it happened when it was hot out on both occasions. I know I jumped the gun on the fuel pump. And perhaps the pump is faulty and does need to be checked as well. Probably going to send it to mechanic to see if he can figure out which of these suggestions it could be. I really didn't think it was the gas, but had to make sure first as it was an easy test. The day it ran so well after I put the plug in, I had wiggled a lot of wires and tried to check them for any breaks or chafing. Didn't find any but I am wondering if something is faulty electronically and I just made the circuit momentarily by moving the wires. the machine will run at higher rpms, just won't idle and hard to start. thanks again for any ideas on this matter. I really appreciate it. BTW, I can not get it to show me any codes. Neutral, turn key to on position 3 times and wait. Nothing.
 

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Have you checked the wiring harness for chaffed and/or broken wires? Seems to me some of the earlier Rangers had this problem, and a friend of mine had the same kind of problem you are having and he replaced his wiring harness and that cured his Ranger woes, his wires were broken inside the insulation so you couldn't see the break.
 

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This sounds similar to a problem I had with my 700XP. Have you checked the codes? Mine indicated #2 fuel injector which can be a myriad of things. In my case there was a broken connection in the molded injector harness connection. Replaced it and been running for over a year. I know the frustration of not being able to diagnose a problem. Hope it helps. By the way, I isolated the problem when it was running rough by just shaking electrical connections. When I got to the #2 injector lead and shook it, it began to run smooth. Take my hand off and back to rough.
 

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Sounds like a bad fuel injector. My 800 started acting like this and had me stumped until I decided to change injectors, as the symptoms led me to a fuel issue.(Machine wouldn't crank.) I tested the injectors and they worked but noticed they didn't create a "healthy" pattern. I swapped both the injectors with new Polaris injectors and it cranked like brand new! (I never would have guessed a weak spray pattern could have such an effect on engine operation.)

If at all possible, I would always run non-ethanol fuel.

I drained the tank and replaced with fresh fuel.
Check fuel rail pressure
Checked for spark
Checked air filter and intake plumbing
A solid 12v charged battery is very important
Check all sensor wiring connections.
Lastly I pulled injectors with rail attached and dropped them into a small bowl. Then attempted to crank the engine while watching the injectors. (I knew the engine would run on brake cleaner and was down to it being injectors or mechanical engine failure.)
 

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I have a 2016 900XP. A few months after its short warranty had expired, I started having the exact problems you are having. Mine is used mainly around the house as my manual labor/toting/winching helper and had only a few hours on it- maybe 20. I checked all connections, etc. and then replaced the plugs to no avail. I store all of my gasoline and diesel fuel and use Pri-G (gas) and Pri-D (diesel) for my auxiliary equipment. The gasoline is always ethanol free and ~ 90 octane. I rotate the fuels through the trucks ~ 12 - 16 months and they all run well, so I did not initially consider fuel as the issue as it was not very old.

I siphoned ALL of the fuel out of the Ranger and replaced with new (and always with Pri-G) and in short order it started running like new again. I have learned the Ranger and Husqvarna 562XP chainsaw require fresh fuel and now only put in a couple gallons at a time in the Ranger and keep fresh fuel for it.

On the flip side, recently I noticed that somehow I missed rotating 2 each, 5 gallon cans of gasoline that had been filled in August of 2016. I am currently running it through the 2000 Toyota Tacoma mixed with a small amount of fresh gasoline and the Toyota is running fine with no hint of fuel issues.

Good luck on your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks, all. So a buddy of mine asked if her could take a look at it last weekend. When I told him all that I have told you guys, he said it sounded like the coil. So we took the plug wire off and took the coil off. When we put it back on, it ran fine. So am now waiting on a new plug wire and coil. Hopefully that will solve the problem. If not, I will start going through the suggestions you guys have so graciously offered. Again, I thank you and will keep you informed of whats going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Forgot to add, it ran fine with the exception of right when I started to move the machine forward. It would hiccup a tad and then run great down the road. Only cranked off a time or two. He said he thought that was a case of the coil again.
 

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Hello all. I want to thank all of you for your help on the machine. I wound up sending it to my mechanic and lo and behold the problem was an electrical connection under the hood that was not connected all the way. Plugged it in and it runs like a champ. Lesson learned. Look for the easy stuff first. Listen to what the folks on this forum have to say. They are wonderful. Thank all you, again for all of your help.
 

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Hello all. I want to thank all of you for your help on the machine. I wound up sending it to my mechanic and lo and behold the problem was an electrical connection under the hood that was not connected all the way. Plugged it in and it runs like a champ. Lesson learned. Look for the easy stuff first. Listen to what the folks on this forum have to say. They are wonderful. Thank all you, again for all of your help.
Intermittent electrical problems can be a bear to track down. Something to consider is Polaris' statement in their Service manual: Paraphrased it states 80% of electrical problems are caused by bad connections. Whenever a problem comes up that is suspected to be electrical it's good practice to check the connections, i.e. pull 'em apart, inspect for corrosion, dirt burnt contacts, grease 'em up with dielectric grease and firmly connect them inspecting to assure proper fitment.
 
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