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AT 420 2010 refusing to downshifting in Auto mode

3232 Views 12 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  dubsd
I am surprised I do not see more complaints in the forum about this topic.

I just purchased a 2010 Rancher AT with PS. Love everything about it but…

The 4 wheeler refuses to downshift in auto mode when going up a hill. It will bog down, slip the clutch and just not downshift. If I aggressively increase the throttle it will finally downshift with a tremendous jerk that will almost throw me off the back of the 4 wheeler. I have talked to my dealer and Honda about the problem and they tell me there is nothing wrong with the ATV. Honda’s official response direct from the service technician is “not to use the 4 wheeler in auto mode when going up and down hills.” They refer me to the user’s manual on page 82 which states: “ To climb a hill take a running start in IN AN APPROPRATIATE GEAR and speed for the condition. Maintain a steady speed as you ascend the hill”. Therefore the owner should conclude that you can only go up and down hills in manual mode. The Honda customer support representative said Honda’s official position is never to use the Rancher AT in auto mode when going up and down hills. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing but he insisted. I asked what the purpose of an Automatic transmission was if it would not automatically shift based on terrain demand. If you can only use it in wide open level ground you can put it in a gear manually and stay there all day. I continue to assume there must be something wrong with the 4 wheeler. I would invite any comments from others on this topic.
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I wouldn't ever climb a hill in auto mode, it's not safe. This is a situation where you want to keep the engine in the powerband (peak hp range), and it's something that has to be done manually. If you bog or stall your engine while on a steep grade, you're asking for trouble. Same is true for any vehicle I'm driving, not just the Rancher. If I'm climbing a steep grade in my truck I'll shift into low, walk up the hill, then back to auto if conditions are right.

Basically, the transmission shifts according to applied torque. When climbing, your load on the transmission will be high and it will not automatically downshift...ever (unless you are flying up the hill and rapidly decelerate as you reach the top).

I hate to have to say this, but the dealership is right and this is a case of rider error.
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Ahh, that's certainly different. Sorry I misunderstood you. I agree, on a slight grade, when you roll off the throttle, the ATV should downshift, depending on where you're at in the RPM range.

Mine's always worked fine, but I only have one hill that ever see.
It might also help to know that I am an older rider. My idea of enjoyment is cruising through the woods with my family fairly effortlessly. The reason I got this machine, light weight, power steering, independent rear suspension, fuel injection, auto/manual was so I am not so tired at the end of the day. OK so a mud puddle or two occasionally.

If I understand you both your machines will downshift from say 5th to 4th or 3rd when going up a slight grade. Is that correct?
You got it.
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