What kind of problems does a Can-Am Commander normally have? In this blog, we’ve outlined all the most important things you should watch for when you’re in the market for a Can-Am Commander. In the rest of the article, we’ll discuss every single problem in detail. Furthermore, we’ll tell you how to identify it, fix it and how much it costs to fix. Read on!

Also read: Are Can Ams Reliable, Check Your Model Here!

can am commander problems

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1. Overheating Problems 

A customer asks,

“I was on the trail in my 2012 Commander on Saturday, and it’s seriously overheating, and the cab is hot. I was wondering if I should replace the thermostat or remove it because I’m going to flush the radiator and add fresh coolant to it”

If you are experiencing an overheating issue, start with cleaning out the radiator coils. Check if the coolant fan working, the bottom radiator hose has collapsed internally? To get rid of steam pockets high in the head, bleed the coolant from both head screws. If that still doesn’t work, you could try to install a new thermostat and add coolant to the bleeder bolts on top of the engine heads.

Tighten everything up, and if the radiator continues to spew coolant out of the reservoir tank, remove the radiator and check to see if you can see through it to let some light in. If not, it indicates that the radiator’s fins are overly curved and are blocking airflow. Also, the cooling system may have an air bubble causing problems. Lift the front end off the ground or park on a steep hill to expel any air in the cooling lines.

Let your Commander idle with the radiator lid off for 10 to 15 minutes. After that, put the cap on and let it run for a few more minutes while periodically breaking the bleeder. If it doesn’t resolve the issue, you should look for exhaust gases in the coolant. You can buy or rent testers in auto parts stores. Install a water pump on your Commander if it passes the tests before it’s damaged.

Remember that engine temperature relates to its performance. A heavily stressed engine that isn’t receiving enough cold air is a recipe for disaster. There will be sputtering and shutdowns, and an impending engine breakdown. Radiators supply cool air into the engine to maintain smooth operation and help release hot air. They help your engine run more efficiently while enhancing your UTV’s overall performance. Can-Am Commander OEM radiators cost around $218.50, while upgrades are approximately $770.00.

Also read: 4 x Can-Am Overheating and how to Fix it!

2. Charging System Issues

A customer wonders,

“Ok, 2012 can am commander showed low voltage battery on the dash when I was out riding for about an hour. So, I shut it down, and now the machine won’t run. Is my voltage regulator gone or is it the battery?”

You can experience voltage issues if you have too many aftermarket electrical accessories. This is because the factory alternator voltage output is insufficient for your Can-Am winches, aftermarket stereos, and aftermarket lights.

To eliminate this issue, upgrade your alternator and add a Can-Am Dual Battery Kit. Otherwise, you risk becoming stuck and embarrassed on your upcoming Over landing and Camping adventure.

3. Fuel System Issues

Fuel system problems are common side-by-side. Often, the fuel problems stem from particulates and impurities accumulating in the fuel pump, fuel injectors, and the fuel lines. The deposits can block fuel flow, causing your UTV to stall and cease to start. You can resolve this problem by changing the fuel filter, cleaning the fuel injectors, and replacing or rebuilding the fuel pump.

For example, a customer reports,

“I’m wondering if I have a fuel issue. I was on the trail in my Commander’s. I turned around after 25 miles and started back, and my unit was acting like it was starving for gas; loping and lurching. If I put my foot in it, it would take off. It would do it again as soon as I began to cruise at a light load. I stopped and gave it some time to rest, and everything was fine until the temperature rose again. The dealer was perplexed but believed it is a fuel problem. I checked for water by pulling the fuel pump, but found none. The vent is not blocked either. Thoughts?”

Running your machine on a low fuel level all the time is inadvisable because the fuel grows hotter, and there isn’t enough cooling effect for the fuel pump. The electric fuel pumps tend to be good when cold, but when they heat up, and the gas gets warm, and they fail. So, let it cool or fill up with fresh cold gas, and they will work again until hot. The fuel in the tank cools the fuel pump. You can check the fuel pressure when the machine is hot and the fuel level is low or at half or below.

4. Fuel Pump Problems 

“My can Am Commander has 1300 miles and the fuel pump blew a fuse. Was just easing down a trail and the engine shut down! Does this happen periodically, or is it a sign the pump is going bad? I got a higher fuse, cranked up, and got back to camp without problems!”

A defective pump may be able to draw more power than intended. If it reaches the point where it blows a fuse with the appropriate rating, the pump is damaged. With a higher amp fuse, it runs, but with an abnormal whining noise. Replace the fuel pump. An OEM Can-AM Commander fuel pump replacement costs approximately $79.45

Also read: Can-Am Outlander, Defender, Commander Fuel Pump Problems!

5. Clutches Problems

A customer reports,

“My 2015 commander blew the belt and being new to side by side didn’t realize the clutch vent was also full of debris. So, I replaced the belt and gave it a spin. It lost all speed as it became quite hot. I’m thinking a piece of the old belt got lodged in the clutch for the reduced speed. Therefore, I can spin the secondary clutch while in park or neutral to solve the major problem.
I turn and start the UTV without putting the belt back on. If I engage the secondary clutch, it gradually begins to feel like it is shifting into gear and then does so. Then, if I go from park to drive and back to park or neutral, it spins freely again. I have a hunch I’ll have to remove the transmission. Anyone else experienced this?”

There is no way the gear selector could try to engage if it is in park or neutral, unless the shift cable has stretched, and it isn’t truly getting out of gear. Uninstall the primary and secondary parts, then check and clean each one. You will discover that little belt fragments are the root of your problems. If the temperature doesn’t rise to the point where the engine and gearbox’s covers melt, the gearbox isn’t damaged.

Also read: 4 x Most Common Can-Am Clutch Problems!

6. Shifting Problems

If your idle is normal and you have an original belt, the shifting issue may stem from dirty clutches or sticky one-way bearing on the primary clutch.

For example, a customer reported,

“I recently rebuilt the primary clutch, changed the transmission and gearbox oils, and installed a new belt on my stock 2014 Can-Am Commander. It changes smoothly into and out of all gears on flat ground. It becomes stuck in low when going up an incline. It always shifts smoothly out of high gear.

The transmission shifts smoothly in every circumstance when I turn off the engine while keeping my foot on the brake. I removed the CVT cover to check that the belt was stationary during idle. Even though the belt usually stops when it is idle, uneven terrain makes it difficult to shift out of low. Irrespective whether the transmission is hot or cold.”

In such a case, the problem is the one-way bearings. When you work the primary, remember to service or replace the one-way bearings. If they are rough a bit, it can cause shifting problems. Bad one-way bearings tugs on the secondary, causing a hard shift. An OEM One Way Clutch Bearing Kit for Can-Am Commander price is around $32.95.

7. Steering Problems/Recalls

The CPSC issued a recall of about 3,400 Can-Am Commander 2011 model year UTVs due to steering problems, which posed an accident risk. It could make drivers lose control, putting the driver, passengers, or onlookers in danger of severe injury or death.

The BRP also issued a recall for approximately 10,600 units, including Can-Am Commander 2013 model year vehicles equipped with Dynamic Power Steering (DPS). They found that in side-by-side UTVs the steering coupling could strip on the rack and pinion assembly. It could cause loss of steering control and crash risk, including severe injury or death to the driver, passenger, or bystanders.