5 Honda Rancher 420 Common Problems and Effective Fixes

The Honda Rancher 420 is a reliable ATV for hardworking farm owners and adventure lovers. It can succeed in challenging terrains and offer the best riding experiences.

Riders value this ATV due to its exclusive features like a 4WD system, electric power steering, and independent suspension. Despite being a popular and reliable ATV, the Rancher 420 has several downsides. Honda Rancher 420 common problems include electric shift system issues, overheating, starting issues, problematic suspension, and horsepower issues.

Are you worried your Rancher 420 might have problems you can’t fix? Read on as we explore Honda Rancher 420 issues, their causes, and how you can effectively resolve them.

Electric Shift System Problems

The electric shift system in the Honda Rancher 420 makes riding more convenient while reducing rider fatigue. Instead of the traditional manual shift system, riders can use a switch or buttons to shift gears. 

The electric shift system makes shifting more manageable, even in tight spots or when carrying heavy loads.

Unfortunately, the electric shift system is not immune to issues. It relies on multiple connections and wires that may malfunction with time. The connections can get loose or corroded, and the wires can get damaged.

Other issues that can cause electric shift system problems include a defective shift motor, low battery voltage, blown fuses, and a faulty shift angle sensor.

Effective Fixes

  • Low battery voltage: A fully-charged battery allows the shift motor to work correctly. Check for low voltage in your battery and recharge it if necessary. You can also secure any loose connections and clean any corroded terminals. Replace your battery if it doesn’t retain a charge.
  • Defective shift motor: Check for continuity between the terminals of the shift motor using a multimeter. Replace the shift motor if it lacks continuity.
  • Blown fuses: Check the fuse box for blown fuses. Replace the blown fuses with new, compatible units.
  • Faulty shift angle sensor: A faulty shift angle sensor can cause shifting issues. Use a multimeter to test for resistance. If the resistance doesn’t match the manufacturer’s specs, replace the sensor.


Most Honda Rancher 420 common problems arise with regular use of the ATV. The engine may overheat and cause severe damage to various internal components. Moreover, an overheated engine struggles while accelerating and increases fuel consumption.

In most cases, your Rancher 420 will overheat if it has a dirty radiator, a faulty water pump, or a malfunctioned thermostat. In addition, the coolant can cause overheating problems if it’s low, dirty, or old.

Effective Fixes

  • Dirty Radiator: Inspect the radiator to see if stuck with mud or debris. A dirty radiator doesn’t dissipate heat evenly. Clean the stubborn buildup with water and a soft brush.
  • Faulty water pump: Check the pump for leaks or any other signs of damage. A damaged water pump can’t circulate the coolant, causing the engine to overheat. Replace the faulty water pump.
  • Low, dirty, or old coolant: Check the coolant level and add fresh coolant if it’s low. If the coolant is dirty or old, drain it and replace it with fresh coolant.
  • Malfunctioned thermostat: A faulty thermostat hampers coolant circulation, causing the engine to overheat. Replace the defective thermostat if necessary.

Starting Problems

Starting issues in Honda 420 models occur after using the ATV for an extended period. The ATV will have trouble starting or fail to start after turning it on.

Generally, ATVs experience starting problems due to poor maintenance, regular use, and aging components. If your Honda Rancher 420 has starting issues, the culprits could be a malfunctioning starter motor, dead battery, or clogged fuel system.

Effective Fixes

The first step to fixing starting issues in your ATV is diagnosing the problem to know the underlying cause.

  • Dead or bad battery: Inspect the battery to see if it works well. A multimeter will come in handy to help you determine if the battery has a problem. If the problem results from a dead battery, try to recharge it. You might have a bad or failing battery if it won’t charge. Replace it with a new, compatible battery.
  • Malfunctioning starter motor: Does the problem persist despite having a fully-charged battery? If so, inspect the starter motor for defects. The cause of a malfunctioning starter motor could be stuck gears or brushes. Tap the starter motor body slightly with a small hammer or stone until the stuck parts get dislodged. If this can’t solve the starting problem, replace the starter motor.
  • Clogged fuel system: Old gas or debris can clog the fuel system and cause starting issues. Drain the old gas and clean the tank, the carburetor, and the fuel injectors. Add fresh gas and start the ATV.

Suspension System Problems

Suspension system issues in the Honda Rancher 420 arise gradually due to increased wear and tear. The suspension may sag if the ATV carries heavy loads. Also, the Rancher 420 may bounce around, ride roughly or make squeaking noises.

If you notice that your Rancher 420 has suspension system problems, the ATV might have worn-out tires or shocks.

Effective Fixes

Like other Honda Rancher 420 common problems, you need to diagnose the suspension problem to know its cause.

  • Adjust the spring preload: Before replacing any component, try to adjust the spring preload. Doing this can improve the ATV’s suspension performance.
  • Worn-out tires: Check for uneven tire wear and replace the worn-out tires. Align the tires correctly and inflate them according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Worn-out shocks: inspect the shocks to see if they have signs or wear. Replace the worn-out shocks.

Horsepower Problems

The Honda Rancher 420 can experience horsepower issues from time to time. When horsepower problems occur, they can significantly affect your ATV’s performance and speed.

The ATV’s engine will produce 26.6 hp and achieve a top speed of 51 mph. However, due to low-quality fuel, low tire pressure, and clogged air filter, the engine may not produce the expected horsepower or achieve the top speed.

Effective Fixes

  • Low-quality fuel: If you notice your ATV has horsepower issues, check the condition of the fuel. The engine requires high-quality fuel to run smoothly. The owner’s manual has the recommended fuel for your ATV.
  • Low tire pressure: Inspect the tires to ensure they’re well inflated. If you have any tires with low pressure, inflate them.
  • Clogged air filter: A dirty or clogged air filter can cause horsepower issues. Replacing it with an upgraded air filter can help solve this problem.

You can also upgrade the exhaust, change the gear ratio and adjust the throttle to improve the horsepower.


You’re now aware of Honda Rancher 420 common problems and how to resolve them. Generally, regular inspection and maintenance can help prevent or mitigate these problems. Once you encounter these problems, address them promptly before other issues arise. If you can’t resolve the problems yourself, take the ATV to a professional to diagnose and fix it.