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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
cranked fine like normal. drove to my parents house to eat dinner. went to the atv and turn the key and no lights. i shake the 98 4trax the lights come on so i hit the starter and the lights go back off. i kick started it with the switch on and the lights come on and the head lights come (when i hit the ilght switch) on but flicker. when i rev the motor the lights dont flicker but are dim to bright... i ran the atv around for awhile and still notta. the starter wont make a noise. the lights get dim. is this symptoms of a bad battery, selenoid? maybe a short? thanks in advance fellas.. i have not jumped the selenoid to crank it yet. any tips or advice? this is the first time this has done this. i dont run it much but usally she fires right up

-a few notes. i turn the key on the light will be dim, i shake the handle bar and it will get bright. i hit the starter button the lights go dim. no noise at all on the starter
 

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Sounds like you have a bad battery or maybe bad connections. I would take the cables off and clean them good and try to charge the battery. The lights flickering and being dim and then getting brighter when you rev it up is how they will do without a battery installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sounds like you have a bad battery or maybe bad connections. I would take the cables off and clean them good and try to charge the battery. The lights flickering and being dim and then getting brighter when you rev it up is how they will do without a battery installed.
if it were bad connections you would think it would show its ugly head by now :redface:.. i checked the terminals and that area for a loose wire. moved some wires and its all the same. the terminal doesnt look corroded or anything. i hope its somethign simple :D thanks.. ill take the battery out tomorrow and trickle charge it. i assume you set the charger on low and let it charge 8hrs or so?
 

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Sounds like you have a bad battery or maybe bad connections. I would take the cables off and clean them good and try to charge the battery. The lights flickering and being dim and then getting brighter when you rev it up is how they will do without a battery installed.
if it were bad connections you would think it would show its ugly head by now :redface:.. i checked the terminals and that area for a loose wire. moved some wires and its all the same. the terminal doesnt look corroded or anything. i hope its somethign simple :D thanks.. ill take the battery out tomorrow and trickle charge it. i assume you set the charger on low and let it charge 8hrs or so?
If its not a sealed battery check the water level also.
 

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I would clean the cables anyway. Sometimes they won't look corroded on the outside, but they will be were the cable ends connect to the battery and you just can't see it. And yeah, put your charger on the lowest setting. It might not charge up. You might have to get a new battery, but I would try charging it just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I would clean the cables anyway. Sometimes they won't look corroded on the outside, but they will be were the cable ends connect to the battery and you just can't see it. And yeah, put your charger on the lowest setting. It might not charge up. You might have to get a new battery, but I would try charging it just in case.
will do, thanks for your help guys. learning something new everyday

as for a multi meter to check elecrical issue what kind do i get?
 

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as for a multi meter to check elecrical issue what kind do i get?
Until you get into the high-dollar range, they are all about the same. Don't buy a disposible one, but you don't need to spend $200 either for one that a typical garage mechanic can get use from.

Go down to radio shack or sears, or even walmart might have them, and spend $30-50 and you'll be fine.

You don't need auto-ranging, but it's nice...it will just cost you more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
as for a multi meter to check elecrical issue what kind do i get?
Until you get into the high-dollar range, they are all about the same. Don't buy a disposible one, but you don't need to spend $200 either for one that a typical garage mechanic can get use from.

Go down to radio shack or sears, or even walmart might have them, and spend $30-50 and you'll be fine.

You don't need auto-ranging, but it's nice...it will just cost you more.
so buying a multimeter will pretty much be all i need to help figure out electrical issues? or would a simple light tester be enough?


side queston for charging the battery i assume i put it on 12v and charge it over night?
 

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You definitely want a meter. If you need to check resistance, then a light won’t help. Besides, a light won’t tell you exactly how much voltage you have so for example the light might light up at 8v, but it won’t tell you your 12v system is broke. :)

Yeah, 12v overnight on the lowest setting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You definitely want a meter. If you need to check resistance, then a light won’t help. Besides, a light won’t tell you exactly how much voltage you have so for example the light might light up at 8v, but it won’t tell you your 12v system is broke. :)

Yeah, 12v overnight on the lowest setting.
good point and thanks again for being patient with me. you guys rock.
 

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I had a problem for a long time with mine doing kinda that same thing. It was ALWAYS without fail the negitive battery terminal. It would come loose all the time. I'd ride for a few hours shut it off and go back and it would be dead, or I'd get one click out of the starter and then nothing. Every time it was the negative battery terminal loose. I finally put a lock washer on it and it hasn't done it again since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I had a problem for a long time with mine doing kinda that same thing. It was ALWAYS without fail the negitive battery terminal. It would come loose all the time. I'd ride for a few hours shut it off and go back and it would be dead, or I'd get one click out of the starter and then nothing. Every time it was the negative battery terminal loose. I finally put a lock washer on it and it hasn't done it again since.
i will take note of this. i wiggled a bunch of wires while i was in there to see if anything was loose. notta. but again this was brief and not thorough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
update-- so i took the old battery out. charged it for about 4-6hrs at trickle charge. i know i should have charged it more but i noticed the needle on the charge never moved. so i disconnected it and took it to advance auto the next day. they tested it and it said it needed charging. i told them of the issue (now i dont take for word everything an adv auto employee tells me, esp if i do not know them) so i told him of the issue and i had charged it some. in a nut shell i got a closed cell sport utility battery for it. expensive yes. but iknow folks using this battery (i cant remember the name) and they have had them in theirs for 3-4yrs and never had issues with them..

now only time will tell if this is the real issue at hand. but as soon as i connected the cables (in which i cleaned good and put electrical grease on it) she fired right up..

now hypathetically if this battery goes dead whats wrong? i know the atv's do not recharge the battery per se' they just keep it from going down. is this correct?
 

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If the battery goes dead then of course there is a problem with the power generation on the machine, but when you had the old battery in there did you say you could kick it and it would start and run, and the lights worked? [I don't remember the details]. If that is true, then the power system is working and you should be good.

The electrical system on the machine will charge the battery, you would just need to run it for 12-24 hours, which most people don't do. That's the only reason one would need to manually charge a dead battery, because the machine wouldn't be run long enough to fully charge a deeply discharged battery.

ADDED: I just re-read your first post, and it looks like your electrical system is working, you just may have had a bad connection along with a bad battery. If you don't have any of those intermittent connection problems after installing the new battery, then I would guess it will be fine. Just maybe charge the battery overnight to give a good charge to start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If the battery goes dead then of course there is a problem with the power generation on the machine, but when you had the old battery in there did you say you could kick it and it would start and run, and the lights worked? [I don't remember the details]. If that is true, then the power system is working and you should be good.

The electrical system on the machine will charge the battery, you would just need to run it for 12-24 hours, which most people don't do. That's the only reason one would need to manually charge a dead battery, because the machine wouldn't be run long enough to fully charge a deeply discharged battery.

ADDED: I just re-read your first post, and it looks like your electrical system is working, you just may have had a bad connection along with a bad battery. If you don't have any of those intermittent connection problems after installing the new battery, then I would guess it will be fine. Just maybe charge the battery overnight to give a good charge to start.
yes the lights worked and etc when the motor was running. the lights did flash a lot though.. so they MAY be a connection issue in there somewhere. the new sealed battery comes fully charged. so we will see how this goes. thanks for the info as well,.
 

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The battery may have been fully charged when it left the factory, but it will begin to discharge immediately. Charging it wouldn't hurt....it may not be necessary, but it wouldn't hurt. ;)

If the lights no longer flicker like before, then chances are you got it all worked out. Lets say there was a bad connection to the battery, and when you were banging and shaking the machine around, the connection would get better and the machine would then try to charge the defective battery. That alone may cause the lights to flicker, as that intermittent connection would be making and breaking as you shook the machine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The battery may have been fully charged when it left the factory, but it will begin to discharge immediately. Charging it wouldn't hurt....it may not be necessary, but it wouldn't hurt. ;)

If the lights no longer flicker like before, then chances are you got it all worked out. Lets say there was a bad connection to the battery, and when you were banging and shaking the machine around, the connection would get better and the machine would then try to charge the defective battery. That alone may cause the lights to flicker, as that intermittent connection would be making and breaking as you shook the machine.
ill take it back out and trickle charge it for 4hrs or so.. thats not a big deal at all, no more than i drive, it actually would not be a bad idea. the flickering is what threw me off. with the new battery in there now ill drive it around tonight and see how it goes. of course if its a loose connection or something somewhere it wont show up for a while since the battery may have enough juice for it not to be an issue for now. ill keep ya posted. i quadruple checked the selenoid connection and the other connections in the battery box. everything seemed fine. i have thought about disconnecting the selenoid to clean the terminals off and use some electrical grease.
 
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