What kind of problems does a Polaris Ranger Diesel 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 Polaris Ranger Diesel. 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!

When looking at the Diesel Ranger, the primary problem is related to the clutch. Though one of the issues was resolved in a recall, if you want a smooth ride, you’d have to invest a lot in an aftermarket clutch. Belt slipping is also a common problem with this model. Other than that, there are a couple of necessary tweaks.

Let us look at some of the problems that you could encounter with the Polaris Ranger Diesel. Furthermore, at the end of this, you will know how to perform required repairs and their costs

Also read: Polaris UTV Reliability, Check Your Model Here!

polaris ranger diesel problems

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1. Belt Slipping

This is a regular issue that Polaris Diesel Ranger owners face. As soon as the belt reaches a certain age or a certain amount of wear, the belt starts slipping. The same issue is also seen in a few models of the Polaris Razor as well. It is safe to assume that Polaris made the same technical mishap with the design of the Polaris Ranger.

According to some customers, the Ranger becomes impossible to drive when it is loaded with passengers or cargo, or when riding up steep inclines. Basically, when the engine is pushed too hard, the belt seems to slip.

Polaris admitted this flaw when a few complaints regarding this issue started popping up. They mentioned the problem was caused when the engine overheats, causing the drive belt to heat up and expand. They even put out a fixing kit which was a vented belt cover to aid cooling.

There are instances where the dislodged belt caused damage to other internal components. Especially due to parts of the belt itself getting stuck in between other components. Depending on whether your Ranger is subjected to other damages, repair costs will vary.

Usually, once the belt slips, you’d have to replace it. Depending on the quality of the belt you wish to put on your UTV, the replacement cost will vary. OEM belts cost between $100 and $200.

2. Clutch Problems

Polaris is no stranger to clutch issues. Recently, a ton of vehicles coming out of Polaris have suffered due to clutch issues. Here we discuss the recall issued for 2020 and 2021 Polaris releases. Among these models is the Ranger Diesel.

A recall was issued regarding this problem and more than 100,000 vehicles were brought in for repairs. All sales were suspended and owners were informed not to drive the affected vehicles without getting the problem sorted out.

The clutch issue made the Ranger hard to stop. Once you decelerate and attempt to stop the UTV, it will continue to roll forward. You’d have to pump the brakes again in order to stop the vehicle.

Polaris identified the reason for this to be a mishap when manufacturing the drive-clutch stationary sheave. This caused the drive belt to stay engaged even after the clutch is released. Thus, all models with this particular component installed will suffer due to clutch issues.

Also read: 5 x Most Common Polaris Clutch Problems!

3. Running Hot

This is what one owner had to say about his overheating engine,

“Mine tends to run hot once I get above 35 mph for about 10 to 15 minutes, it’s done that since I bought it new.”

Engines can run hot due to a variety of different reasons. Usually, if you continuously push your machine to its limits. But 35 mph cannot be considered a challenge for a Ranger, nor is 10 to 15 minutes exhausting for an engine. Since it is brand new, there are not a lot of reasons why the engine might overheat.

Upon further investigation, the reason why the Diesel Ranger overheats is due to the mudguard. Though it is not the first reason that comes to mind, in this case, the mudguard obstructs airflow and thus results in your UTV running hot.

Since the mudguard is not a crucial component, the solution is quite easy. All you have to do is remove the mudguard. You should be fine riding without it, but you can get a suitable replacement if needed. A lot of owners tend to use their Ranger without a mudguard, especially when it is hot outside.

Even if you call Polaris support, they would suggest that you ride without your mudguard if outdoor temperatures are above 100 Fahrenheit (=38 Celsius). The detaching mechanism is not complicated either. So you can keep the mudguard off and attach it when the temperature is favorable or if you plan to ride through a muddy trail.

Also read: 6 x Polaris Overheating Problems and how to Fix it!

4. Hard Shifting

Polaris manufactured vehicles from the last decade are known to give you a hard time shifting. This is more commonly seen in vehicles with larger engines, and this includes the Diesel Ranger.  All this trouble can be traced down to the clutch installed by Polaris.

Here’s what one owner had to say about the clutch,

“I have a 2011 ranger diesel with the yammer. I had hard shifting problems with mine, Polaris put in a 2012 clutch. Same problem. The 13 &14 have the same hard shifting issues.”

An acceptable solution for this problem would be to replace the clutch with something that functions better and shifts smoother. But tracking down aftermarket clutch kits, springs, and other necessary components for the Diesel Ranger is not that easy.

To bypass this issue, Polaris Diesel Ranger owners are swapping their stock clutches with Duraclutches. They seem to fit in well with the Diesel Ranger and solve the hard shifting problem. According to user reviews, the Dura Clutch appears to be much better than the OEM clutch that you could get.

Though replacement clutches are hard to find for the Diesel model, you could easily get your hands on an OEM clutch if you have a different Polaris Ranger. Nevertheless, owners still prefer to switch out the stock clutch with a Dura Clutch.

The only issue with the Dura Clutch is that it is slightly costlier than the OEM product offered by Polaris. The Dura Clutch costs around $1500 for the complete kit. On the other hand, you could purchase a different placement for about half the price.

Depending on how you use your Ranger, you should decide the clutch you want to get. If you ride it regularly, a Dura Clutch could turn out to be a good investment.

If you are on a tight budget, plenty of second-hand stock clutches are available on the market. Many owners swap their clutches for a Dura Clutch while the UTV is still new. If you can get your clutch covered under the warranty, it might be a better option than investing in a $1500 clutch.

Also read: 5 x Most Common Polaris Transmission Problems!

5. Idling High

This is another common issue with the Diesel Ranger, though it rarely gets noticed. Diesel engines are noisier compared to their petrol counterparts, so if you are not aware, you could easily miss or ignore your engine idling at high RPMs.

Owners are experiencing their Ranger idling at around 1700 RPMs and sometimes higher.

“My idle is consistently between 1650-1700. And the idle adjustment screw does nothing.
I don’t believe I have any air leaks, and I’ve gone through the fuel system to make sure that was clear and functioning.”

The common suspects when the engine is idling high are,

  • A vacuum leak
  • Fuel related problems
  • The throttle cable

In the case of the Ranger, it is none of the above.

The Ranger idles high because of the injector rod spring. This is the spring on the right side of the engine that connects to the throttle. It is a tiny part and fairly inexpensive. The repair procedure isn’t hard, either.

If this doesn’t solve the issue, you would have to go through the traditional causes of idling high.