Concerned about your ATV Backfiring? Here’s Why it Happens and How To Prevent It

You are riding your ATV and you heard a sudden “pop”; you get worried. Well, there is nothing to worry about. It’s just that your ATV is backfiring.

ATV backfires when your engine runs excessively rich or excessively lean. In simpler terms, when the engine has more fuel for the amount of air present in it or if the fuel is less than the amount of air it has engulfed, the engine backfires, which manifests as a little explosion in either the intake or the exhaust of the ATV’s engine.

ATV backfiring is a very common occurrence that doesn’t particularly pose a serious threat to your quad. However, if your ATV backfires often, unearthing the cause is important.


What causes ATV backfiring?

Several things lead to backfiring in your ATV. Listed below are some common causes:

  • Clogged air or fuel filter

Clogged fuel and air filters prevent fuel from reaching the combustion chamber inflicting sudden backfires.

  • Any change in the exhaust

Even a small change in the exhaust of your ATV affects the operation of the fuel and exhaust system. This too can lead ATVs to backfire.

  • Inefficient fuel pump or low fuel pressure

A weak fuel pump or insufficient fuel pressure are two reasons that prevent the combustion chamber from receiving fuel in the required amount, and as a result, your ATV backfiring.

  • Obstructed carburetor

Letting the fuel sit in the fuel tank for a long period makes it thick and capable of clogging the jets of the carburetor. Once this happens, your ATV begins to backfire.

  • A pit in the exhaust 

Even a small hole in the exhaust system in the proximity of the engine can be reason enough to cause a backfire.

Contaminated spark plug

Another common cause of ATV backfire is a contaminated spark plug. Over a course of time, smut begins depositing on the spark plugs preventing them from kindling the fuel present in the combustion chamber. As a result, the fuel burns up in the exhaust leading to an explosion.

2020 TRX250X

How To Prevent Backfires

Now that you are aware of the common reasons that might be causing frequent backfires in your ATV, let’s learn how to prevent it.

  • Keep the air filters clean and change them frequently

Keeping air filters clean helps in preventing backfires. Buy good quality air filters from your ATV dealer and keep changing them frequently, especially if you often ride through muddy terrains.

  • Make sure the fuel injectors and plugs are in good shape 

Your engine will receive fuel in copious amounts only if the fuel injector is efficient enough. To ensure the proper functioning of the fuel injector, keep it clean. Invest in a good-quality fuel injector cleaner that effectively cleans the debris and gunk covering the injector lines. This will also help in keeping the fuel filter clean.

Also, check the efficiency of the plugs by an ignition tester.

  • Use a good quality fuel 

The best way to prevent ATV backfiring is by using high-quality fuel with fewer additives and impurities. Good quality fuel does not contaminate your fuel system with debris and gunk ensuring proper functioning of the system, and hence, fewer backfires.

  • Keep the carburetor jets clean 

Either clean the jets yourself or take your ATV to an expert mechanic. Clean jets help in preventing backfires.

  • Check the throttle setting 

A throttle increases or decreases the amount of fuel reaching the engine when it’s not functioning. Locate the throttle in your ATV and tweak the settings a bit. If your engine responds better to this change, well and good, if not, go the other way round.

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The takeaways

ATV backfire indicates problems with fuel. If your engine is receiving the fuel/air mix in a sufficient amount, your ATV will not backfire.

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