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I turn the key switch to start. Sometimes it will start

Customer Question
I turn the key...

I turn the key switch to start. Sometimes it will start cranking and other times it does nothing

Mechanic's Assistant: Is the bike in "Park" or "Neutral?" Do you know if your bike has a "wheel lock" feature?

It is in neutral. Sometimes if I hold it in the start position long enough it will start cranking

Mechanic's Assistant: What is the model/year of your motorcycle?

550 Mule, pre 2000

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your bike yourself? What have you tried so far?

Yes. Checked battery connections, they are good. Check all of the wiring harness plugs and cleaned the connections.

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Motorcycle
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Answered in 4 hours by:
1/2/2018
Motorcycle Mechanic: Louie, Technician replied 6 months ago
Louie
Louie, Technician
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 13,442
Experience: 25+ yrs. experience
Verified

Hi and welcome to JustAnswer. My name is ***** ***** I'll be assisting you with your question regarding your "...550 Mule, pre 2000..." I apologize for the extended wait time you experienced, I've only just come online now and would like to assist you with your question.

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Motorcycle Mechanic: Louie, Technician replied 6 months ago

Initially, let's try check and review the basics. Proposed preliminary tries (if have not been done):

  • • re-inspect the battery, its ground lines to the harness, frame & engine, and/or re-check and re-clean the battery cables + terminals, connectors and wiring including fuse(s), fuse holder(s) and fusible link(s) (if so equipped);
  • • more importantly, have the battery externally charged; and
  • • then also have the battery LOAD TESTed (even if new/charged and just for the purpose of eliminating it as a suspect);
  • • locate the starter motor, start by following the big cable from the + terminal of the battery as it always ends up tied to a big terminal of the starter motor;
  • • jump this big terminal to a smaller terminal of this starter motor using an old wrench or screwdriver. Expect a big spark. Starter motor should turn;
  • • if yes, but the starter motor still only clacks (or no resulting noise) when attempting to jump, then the starter motor is likely faulty and/or the circuitry attendant to it;
  • • if not, then the battery-cables would be the suspect.

All others would require the use of a volt/multi-meter.

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