Polaris is a pioneer when it comes to off-road vehicles such as ATVs and UTVs. They have a massive client base, and they do have a successful lineup to back that up, such as the Ranger. Even with all this success, you cannot overlook the fact that the company has been plagued by problems. One of these problems is the Ranger Ignition Switch. This blog identifies the issues and provides suggestions on how to fix them.

Polaris Ranger may experience intermittent power loss or engine shutdown due to loss of voltage because of the ignition switch. Ranger ignition switches are also susceptible to wear and tear, harness issues, or weak internal springs.

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

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1. Intermittent Power Loss and Engine Shutdown

If you’re experiencing intermittent power loss and engine shutdown with your Polaris Ranger, you’re not alone.

One user recently reported that when they turned the key to the on/accessory position, it applied a small force toward the start position, and the power cut out. Here’s what he has to say:

“I can turn the key to the on/accessory position to get ready to start it and barely apply a small force toward the start position and the power cuts out. Even when out, I can turn the switch to start, and the engine roars to life. If I again provide a small amount of pressure toward the start position while running, the engine dies along with all power.”

Even when the key was out of the ignition, turning the switch to start caused the engine to roar to life. However, if they provided a small amount of pressure toward the start position while the engine was running, the engine would die along with all power.

This issue is likely related to a faulty ignition switch. Fortunately, there are solutions available to fix the problem.

One option is to replace the ignition switch with an OEM part. Alternatively, some users have reported success using the switch from the Highlifter units, which are sealed and may provide better durability over time.

Whatever solution you choose, it’s important to address the issue promptly to avoid further damage to your Polaris Ranger.

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

2. Harness Issues

Engine problems can be frustrating and confusing, especially when they involve unexpected behavior like starting or stopping without using the key. One example of such a problem is related to the brown and black wires on the key harness of some Polaris Rangers, which may cause the engine to start only when the brown wire is disconnected and stop only when it is reconnected.

This issue has puzzled many Ranger owners and raised questions about the role of the ignition switch, the brake switch, and the grounding of the wires. Some have speculated that a sensor or a bad ground might be the cause, while others have suggested checking the battery, the starter, the solenoid, and the fuses. However, the exact reason behind the brown wire phenomenon is not clear.

If you are facing a similar problem with your Ranger or another utility vehicle, here are some tips to help you diagnose and fix the issue:

  • Consult the service manual and the wiring diagram to understand how the starter circuit works and what components are involved.
  • Check the battery voltage and the connections to make sure that the battery is fully charged, and the terminals are clean and tight.
  • Test the starter motor and the solenoid to see if they are functioning properly and have the correct voltage and amperage.
  • Check the ignition switch and the brake switch to make sure they are not faulty or loose. The ignition switch controls the power to the starter and the accessories, while the brake switch controls the brake light and may also affect the starter circuit.
  • Inspect the wiring harness for any damage, corrosion, or loose connections that could affect the flow of electricity. Pay special attention to the brown and black wires on the key harness and their grounding points.
  • Consider seeking the help of a mechanic or an expert if you are not confident in your skills or tools. A professional may have the experience and the equipment to diagnose and fix the problem faster and more accurately.

3. Weak Internal Spring of Ignition Switch

Polaris ranger ignition switch problems

If you’re experiencing issues with your ignition switch not returning from “start” to “run” position, it’s probably due to a weak internal spring. Many vehicle owners have dealt with similar problems and have found that replacing the switch is often the best solution.

However, getting to the back side of the instrument cluster can be tricky, especially if you’re not familiar with the process.

Fortunately, if you have a 2008 model, accessing the instrument panel is relatively easy. The panel is black and removable, mounted on the dash. At the top left and right corners of the panel, you’ll find two nuts that thread onto plastic nubbins that stick out the back.

Using a 3/8 driver on an extension, you can remove these nuts and gain access to the back of the instrument panel.

One thing to be careful of when reassembling is not to break off the nubbins. Once you have access to the back side of the panel, you should be able to swap out the ignition switch without removing the panel entirely.

It’s worth noting that there’s no firewall as in a car, since the engine isn’t located under the hood.

While this process may seem intimidating at first, with the right tools and a little patience, you should be able to replace your ignition switch with ease. Remember to follow all safety guidelines, and if you’re unsure of anything, don’t hesitate to seek the advice of a professional.

4. Pulling Out the Switch With the Key

You may have encountered the frustrating issue of your switch pulling out with the key, causing parts to fly everywhere. While this problem is not widespread, some owners have reported it in the past.

The good news is that replacing the switch is a relatively simple process. However, it’s crucial to ensure you acquire a high-quality replacement.

While cheaper aftermarket options are available, it’s always best to go for a factory replacement. This will ensure that you have a reliable and durable switch that won’t cause issues in the future.

To find a factory replacement, you can check with authorized dealers or look online at reputable retailers such as Everything Polaris Ranger or UTVCanada.

While this issue is not very common, it’s essential to remember that it can happen to anyone.

Here’s a quick and easy video guide to replacing the ignition switch on a Ranger.

5. Vehicle Dies During Driving Due to Loss of Voltage

One common problem that Polaris Ranger drivers may experience is a car that starts and suddenly stops during driving. This can be caused by a temporary loss of voltage due to heat or shaking, which can result in power loss and cause the engine to stumble and die.

If the switch fails while you are driving, the engine may shut off, causing you to lose control of the vehicle. This can be frustrating and time-consuming, especially if you rely on your Ranger for work or recreational activities.

This Ignition switch problem can be caused by a variety of factors, including faulty wiring, damaged components, or a malfunctioning switch.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do except change the ignition switch altogether. The new aftermarket switch can cost $15 to $25.

Regular maintenance and inspections can help prevent ignition switch problems from occurring in the first place.

6. Bad Ignition Switch Due to Wear and Tear

Your Polaris Ranger ignition switch can simply succumb to wear and tear over time, causing it to fail and no longer function properly. This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as regular use, exposure to the elements, or internal damage to the switch components.

When an ignition switch is worn out, it may not make proper electrical contact or may become loose. This can result in a number of issues, including difficulty starting the vehicle, intermittent electrical problems, or the complete failure of the switch to function.

This can manifest in a variety of ways, such as flickering lights or malfunctioning gauges.

When the ignition switch is worn out, it can cause a number of problems that affect the vehicle’s performance and safety.

If you suspect that your Polaris Ranger’s ignition switch is worn out, it’s important to have it replaced as soon as possible to prevent further issues and potential safety hazards.