Last Updated on February 22, 2023 by Bernard Juchli
It’s difficult heading out for a fun day of quad-riding only to discover the ATV battery not charging while running. It could be a faulty stator or a wiring problem. Whatever the cause, your objective is to fix it. In many cases, a faulty stator is a common reason ATV battery won’t charge while running.
An ATV’s battery is charged through a stator system, often known as a magneto system. This device is mounted inside the ATV’s engine and is both simple and sturdy. When the engine is operating, the stator constantly produces electricity. The many electrical parts of the bike also get power from this source.
ATV battery not charging while running
Whether you use your ATV for recreational purposes, farm labor, or have a passion for ATV riding as a sport, the battery not charging is never a good one. Below are possible reasons why your ATV won’t charge while running:
1. Faulty stator
The ATV stator is a key component that can go faulty, preventing your ATV from charging the battery while running, per ATVStator. It serves a similar purpose to an automobile’s alternator and is crucial to the service life of your ATV. A faulty stator prevents the ATV battery from charging while running.
If the stator fails, your fun on the ATV will be cut short, and you will quickly get tired of it. In this instance, you need to determine what caused your stator to fail, and you also need to double-check that the stator is indeed the cause of your battery not charging.
Due to its complexity, the stator might fail if any of its many parts are compromised. The cable (connection) and the iron and wire coils make up the bulk of a stator. If any of these are soiled or damaged, your stator will likely cease functioning normally, leaving your battery uncharged while running.
2. Faulty voltage regulator
It is time to determine whether the voltage regulator is functioning properly.
- Determine the location of the voltage regulator. Follow the three wires that exit the stator. They should be stored in a tiny metal box that is typically (or ideally) situated high on the bike, where it will not get wet when riding through mud or water.
- Once everything has been reconnected, start the engine.
- Use the multimeter to measure the output voltage of the regulator. One cable should be red and the other should be black. If there are no suitable connectors, press the test pins’ tips through the cable insulation to access the wires within.
- The output voltage should be stable between 14V and 14.5V. If the voltage reading is significantly off, the regulator is likely defective and should be replaced.
- Alternately, the voltage could fluctuate between 10V and 14.5V. This is likewise undesirable and typically indicates that the regulator has failed and must be replaced.
3. Loose or damaged wiring
ATVs are frequently employed in muddy circumstances or rough off-road riding. This makes the wiring especially susceptible to corrosion and detachment. A loose or rusty connection will prevent the battery from being charged while running.
Before reconnecting the battery connectors, clean them with sandpaper. The ground wire is especially susceptible to corrosion. Do the same for any exposed connectors discovered in the wiring connecting the battery and the stator.
4. Faulty battery
Several things can be done if you are uncertain as to whether your ATV’s battery or stator is bad. First, you might take your ATV’s battery to an auto shop to have it inspected. This will determine whether the battery itself is the issue.
If the battery is capable of holding a charge but is not charging while the vehicle is in motion, the stator may be at fault. In this scenario, you should try using a multimeter to evaluate the stator’s energy output and assess whether or not it is performing properly.
How do you know if your ATV stator is faulty?
You may have a hunch that your stator is faulty, or you may have heard that a friend’s stator just failed and you are wondering if your ATV is experiencing the same issue. Fortunately, there are several ways to determine whether a stator is faulty.
To know whether your stator is defective or not, use a multimeter to determine whether the correct ohms are being produced. The relevant range can be found in the ATV’s manual or online.
The primary sign that your stator is faulty will be that your battery is not charging, particularly if your ATV will charge while connected to a separate charger but not when in use.
In short, this is a positive sign because the battery is clearly capable of charging and is not the issue in this circumstance. However, if the stator is faulty, it will not charge the battery, which will become apparent when the battery dies when not attached to the backup charger.
If your stator’s connectors are loose, faulty, or unclean, this could be the mechanical proof you need to determine that your stator is faulty.
When these components malfunction, the part itself stops performing as intended. Depending on the circumstances, you may either need to clean or replace the problematic component, or you will need to replace the entire stator.
Most stators cost less than $100, while the parts may be found for much less (typically under $20). Therefore, if only a small component of your stator needs replacement, knowing this will save you some money.
Before continuing, it is preferable to have a multimeter to test the stator of your ATV to confirm that it is a defective component.
How to use a multimeter to test your stator
Using a multimeter to test your stator is a pretty straightforward procedure. To do so, simply follow these steps:
Adjust the multimeter to the ohms setting
The ohms is the measurement you need to examine to determine if the ATV stator is providing an adequate level of power. There may be other options for the settings to estimate the reading, however, the ATV handbook usually specifies the desired range in ohms.
Determine the suitable ohm range
Each ATV stator has different output ranges, therefore it is essential to consult your ATV’s operation manual to determine what is optimal for your specific vehicle. You can use the printed manual that came with your vehicle, or you can search online using the make and model number of your vehicle.
Disconnect the pins from the stator for testing
You will need to test the “male” and “female” or input and output pins on the stator. Make a note of which ones will be examined to ensure that all readings have been recorded.
Probe each pin and socket with the multimeter
Connect one probe to the stator’s initial pin and the other to the stator’s socket using the multimeter’s probes. From here, commence testing the series of pins and sockets until each pair has been tested.
Record the measurements and verify the correct ohms
As you test your stator, observe which pins and sockets are functioning properly. This will be determined by measuring the ohms produced and determining whether or not they fall within the acceptable range for your car. If not, you know you have a bad component that must be replaced.
Although the failure of stators is uncommon, it does happen. Testing the stator will help determine if it is indeed the source of the problem. The testing is straightforward, so you can do so by following the above instructions. If after running the test and you discovered it is not from the stator, you can then check other factors that can cause the ATV battery not to charge while running or have a professional look diagnose your ATV.