ATV Has Spark and Fuel But Won’t Start – What You Can Do?

It feels really irritating when you just have a smoother ride on your ATV, but suddenly it refuses to start. And this becomes really concerning when the spark works fine, and there is enough fuel. So, what can go wrong? 

ATV has spark and fuel but won’t start may arise due to improper cylinder compression, clogged fuel lines and filters, and a dirty carburetor. In addition, issues with the fuel pump, battery, and engine electrical systems can cause the problem. 

To fix the issue quickly, it is important to find the root cause and apply the best course of action.

Troubleshooting & Fix for ATV Has Spark and Fuel But Won’t Start

We will first go through the most basic troubleshooting process. And then move towards the advanced ones. Hopefully, the issue will be solved. 

1. Check the Gear of Your ATV

The gear of your ATV should be in the correct position, and only then can you expect the vehicle to start. Sometimes, riders forget to enable the correct gear, and the ATV won’t start. You must therefore make sure the gear is in neutral.  

2. Ensure There Is Enough Charge on the Battery

In order to start your ATV, it is essential to make sure there is enough charge in the battery. And you can’t ever expect to start your ATV with a lower battery charge. So, you have to charge the battery if there is insufficient charge. 

3. Check and Fix the Fuel System

A properly functioning fuel system is essential in order to start and ride your ATV. But things can go otherwise, meaning the fuel system sometimes can’t work as expected and causes the ATV not to start. 

So, first, you have to check the fuel line to see if it is clogged. Then, clean the fuel line. If there is a leak in the fuel line, you have to replace it. 

In addition, the fuel filter of your ATV becomes clogged and dirty. You need to resolve this issue as well.

Beyond that, you should carefully test the fuel pump on your ATV. The fuel pump on your ATV comes with components like a fuse, vacuum hose, and carburetor. 

So, make sure you check the components one by one and repair or replace them based on their condition.

Read Also: Why ATV Starter Button Not Working? Reasons & Fixes

4. Check and Clean/Replace the Faulty Air Filter

Restricted airflow causes the engine to not start. And this can happen if the air filter of your ATV becomes clogged or damaged. 

So, you need to first clean the air filter if it becomes dirty. If the air filter is damaged, you need to replace it with a new one that suits your ATV. 

5. Check and Test Low Engine Compression

The engine cylinder of your ATV should be functioning correctly. But there isn’t enough compression for the engine to start. Moreover, incorrect engine timing will take place. 

The solution here is to check the cylinder compressor on your ATV. There can be something wrong with the head gasket or piston of the engine cylinder. Now, if the components become faulty, you should replace them as soon as possible. 

Here, you can check out this video on testing the compressor of your ATV engine. 

6. Check and Replace the Faulty Battery

When the battery of an ATV goes bad, it can also cause the vehicle not to start, even if the spark works fine and there is enough engine fuel. No, you should also check the battery to figure out if there are any issues. 

Sometimes, the battery of your ATV can be damaged or the battery terminals broken. Whatever the case, you should test the battery, and if it turns out to be bad, you should replace it. 

Read Also: Why Your ATV Brakes Won’t Build Pressure – How To Fix?

How to Clean a Dirty Carburetor on an ATV?

You should never allow the carburetor of your ATV to be dirty or blocked, as this can create issues if the engine doesn’t start. 

So, it is a wise act to check the condition of the carburetor on a regular basis and clean it. Now follow the steps below;

  • Step 1: Remove the carburetor from your ATV (near the engine).
  • Step 2: Remove the parts of the carburetor. 
  • Step 3: Clean the carburetor. Here, you can use a soft toothbrush or cleaning spray in order to perform the task.
  • Step 4: Rinse the parts of the carburetor with fresh water. 
  • Step 5: Dry the carburetor parts.
  • Step 6: Reassemble the components of the carburetor.
  • Step 7: Re-install the carburetor on your ATV. 

Here, you can also check out the YouTube video in order to clean the dirty carburetor on your ATV. 

Read Also: ATV Goes into Gear But Won’t Move? Here’s Reasons & Fixes!


We were surprised to see a lot of questions from people about why the ATV engine doesn’t start, even if there are no issues with the spark and fuel. And we plan to answer some of the most frequently asked questions. 

How Often Should You Replace the Fuel Filter on Your ATV?

You should always replace the fuel filter on your ATV based on its condition. However, replacing the fuel filter once a year (30k-50k miles) is recommended. Moreover, regular inspection of the fuel filter is the best thing you can do to avoid any issues regarding it. 

What Are the Signs of a Dirty Carburetor on an ATV?

In most cases, you will discover extreme corrosion on the carburetor of your ATV if it becomes dirty. In addition, if you find it hard to start your ATV, this can happen due to a clogged or dirty carburetor. 

How Do You Manually Start an ATV?

There are multiple ways you can start your ATV manually. You can manually start the ATV by bypassing the ignition switch. In addition, it is also possible to pull-start your ATV if regular starting isn’t possible.

Read Also: ATV Battery Not Charging While Running? Here’s the Fixes! 


If your ATV is not starting, you should resolve the issue carefully. Don’t take any unnecessary steps or replace components without proper testing. 

Instead, it will be better to check the issues with a professional mechanic if you don’t have any prior knowledge.

In addition, when the issue is resolved, you need to be up to date on the maintenance of your ATV to avoid any major issues.

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