5 Common Polaris Predator 500 Problems– Is That Too Bad?

The Polaris Predator 500cc all-terrain vehicle (ATV) is a capable and dependable ATV, totally perfect for off-road enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies.

The most notorious thing about it is that there are frequent problems with it, including suspension problems, flywheel bolts giving up, knocking engine and not starting, problems shifting gears and cracking hose. 

What are Polaris Predator 500 problems and why do they happen is the question. Don’t worry, you will get the full answer here in this article. So stay tuned till the end!

Common Polaris Predator 500 Problems

In comparison to other ATVs, the Polaris Predator 500 requires a lot of maintenance. The cost of maintenance and the frequency of repairs can add up to a huge amount over time. 

Moreover, the Polaris Predator 500 replacement parts are difficult to come by. This is especially true of older models. 

The Polaris Predator 500’s loud engine noise can make it difficult to use the ATV in residential areas.

Common Problems of Polaris Predator 500

1. Suspension Problems

The suspension on the Predator 500 is overly stiff, resulting in a rough ride. It compresses too much and fails to rebound fully. 

The 2004 models are more prone to this problem. 

During longer rides, it can actually cause discomfort and even pain. There are weak shock absorbers which is a common issue.

Check for oil leaks, damage to the shock body or piston, and worn bushings. With the rider on the ATV, measure the distance between the centre of the rear axle and the rear fender.

If the distance is less than what the manufacturer recommends, the suspension is sagging.


To fix a sagging suspension, adjust the preload on the shock absorbers to increase the spring tension. Replace weak shock absorbers with aftermarket ones (Elka or Fox are good).

2. Flywheel Bolts Become Loose

The flywheel bolts tend to come loose over time. This can cause the flywheel to wobble, causing damage to the crankshaft or even causing the flywheel to come loose completely.

The 2005 models are more prone to this problem. 

Remove the flywheel cover and use a torque wrench to ensure that the bolts are tightened to the correct specification.


Replace the stock flywheel bolts with higher-quality aftermarket bolts. Or you can use thread locking compound on the existing bolts. 

3. Knocking Engine and Not Starting

The magnet falls off the flywheel and chews up the stator and flywheel. This is the primary reason for the engine knocking and not turning over. 

You might find shaved metal inside the left engine cover, by the magneto. There will also be shavings in the oil.

Additionally, you may smell something burning and find smoke coming out of the machine. 


Pull the flywheel with a flywheel puller. Remove the valve cover and the spark plug. 

Check to see if you can turn it by socket with the plug removed. It should be turned easily until the valves are opened. Pulling it while it is locked up could cause more damage.

Make sure the carburetor is clean. Your last resort will be to completely rebuild the motor. 

4. Problem Shifting Gears

Difficulty shifting gears, gears getting stuck and grinding noises are all issues with the Polaris Predator 500.

Check transmission fluid level, and look for dirty fluid as well. The clutch can get worn out very easily. 


Replace the dirty transmission fluid, broken or worn-out clutch, and steering linkages

5. Cracking Hose

When the Predator is left for some time, the hoses might develop cracks. Especially the vent hose on the top of the gas cap.

The first step is to look for signs of damage on all of the hoses.

Examine the hoses for cracks, splits, or bulges, and ensure that they are securely connected to their fittings.


You can grind the top of the vent round & put the hose back on. Put a zip tie around the hose so it couldn’t go any deeper in the hole than the tie.

That way, it is never under enough pressure to tear. Otherwise, replace the hose. 

Which Year Polaris Predator 500 Has the Most Problems?

The Polaris Predator 500 from 2003 to 2007 has the most reported problems. However, the 2003 model year appears to have the most reported issues.

And the prominent issues among those were with the carburetor and electrical system. 

The 2004 model year also has a high number of reported Polaris Predator 500 problems, with owners reporting transmission, clutch, and electrical system issues.

Upgrades and Modifications for the Polaris Predator 500 to Resolve Its Problems

Certain parts of the Polaris Predator 500 can be upgraded or modified to alleviate some of the ATV’s issues.

These are discussed below:

Exhaust System Upgrade: 

The HMF Performance Series Exhaust or the FMF Powercore 4 Exhaust are great options for the Polaris Predator 500.

Suspension Upgrade: 

The Elka Stage 4 or Walker Evans Velocity Series shocks are better than the factory ones on the Predator 500.

Air Intake Upgrade: 

The Polaris Predator 500 would do well with the K&N Air Filter or the Uni Filter.

Nerf Bars Upgrade: 

The Pro Armor Nerf Bars or the DG Performance Nerf Bars are great options for the Polaris Predator 500.

Tires and Wheels Upgrade: 

The ITP Holeshot or Maxxis Razr tires, paired with ITP SS rims can improve traction, handling, and overall performance on the Polaris Predator 500.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often should I clean the air filter on the Polaris Predator 500?

Every 50 hours of operation.

What is the weight capacity of the Polaris Predator 500?

Around 250-300 pounds, but it can vary depending on the terrain and other factors.

What is the warranty for the Polaris Predator 500?

The Polaris Predator 500 comes with a six-month limited warranty, but extended warranty options are available for purchase.


These are the most common problems of the Polaris Predator 500 ATV.

  1. Suspension problems
  2. Flywheel bolts giving up
  3. Knocking engine and not starting problems
  4. The problem in shifting gears
  5. Cracking hose

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