Polaris Ranger 900 XP Problems (With Fixes)

Polaris Ranger 900 XP stands out in the world of utility side-by-sides thanks to its smooth, reliable power. Over the years, this UTV has been one of the industry’s best-selling vehicles, serving new and old customers. It offers plenty of innovative features to boost the riding experience.

The Ranger 900 XP boasts an 875c twin-cylinder engine that delivers 68 horsepower. With its True On-Demand all-wheel drive and Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI), the UTV guarantees sufficient power and traction to tackle any terrain. But despite all these impressive features, this side-by-side is not immune to problems.

The leading Polaris Ranger 900 XP problems are difficulty shifting, fuel injector issues, turf mode failure, slipping belt, overheating, knocking noise, and battery not charging.

Do you own a problematic Polaris Ranger 900 XP? Here’s how to fix it.

Difficulty Shifting

Gear shifting problem is a typical issue you’ll likely encounter when riding your Ranger 900 XP. Most users claim that the gears will grind while shifting, and the shifter may fail to engage unless they turn the UTV off. This issue happens when shifting from Park to a low/high or reverse gear.

Grinding of gears can result from several issues within the system. If not addressed on time, this problem can cause severe damage to your UTV’s drivetrain.

A misadjusted shift selector is the leading cause of the shifting problem with this side-by-side. Adjust and lubricate the selector properly. If the grinding issue persists, replace the selector lever and cable. Tighten the front nut holding the shift cable to eliminate the grinding issue.

Difficulty shifting can also stem from a worn or damaged clutch. A worn clutch will prevent the smooth shifting of gears. A professional mechanic will diagnose and repair or replace the defective clutch.

When conducting routine maintenance, always check the transmission fluid level and condition. Low fluid level or dirty/contaminated fluid can cause parts to wear out. The system relies on this fluid to allow smooth shifting of gears. So, refill or replace the fluid when necessary to prevent shifting problems.

Fuel Injector Issues

Malfunctioning fuel injectors can trigger several engine performance issues, including starting difficulties, rough idle, misfires, and failed emissions. If your Ranger 900 XP has some of these issues, the injectors could be to blame.

The fuel injectors send pressurized fuel into the internal combustion engine. Issues with the injectors will cause low fuel pressure, leading to poor combustion. Clogged, leaking, or damaged injectors are the possible causative factors.

Cleaning the injectors will help remove the clogs. Failure to clean the fuel system will cause the injectors to get clogged again. Add an injector cleaner into the tank and run the engine. The injector cleaner will remove any deposits within the lines.

Remember to replace a clogged filter or a defective fuel pump. Lastly, replace any leaking or damaged injectors.

Belt Slippage Problems

Belt slippage is one of the most reported Polaris Ranger 900 XP problems. A slipping belt can cause transmission problems, loss of power, and overheating issues. It may slip when starting the engine at high gear or riding on loose gravel at 20-25 mph.

Users riding this vehicle on snow or deep puddles will likely experience a slipping belt issue. Poor maintenance or improper installation can also cause a slippage problem.

Before looking for a new belt, check if you have a properly installed drive belt. A loose belt will easily get dislodged or misaligned and slip out of place. Install the belt correctly and adjust the tensioner to maintain the appropriate tension.

A belt slippage issue may also result from a dirty or worn belt. Clean the belt and drive pulleys to remove any dirt or debris. Inspect the belt for cracks, fraying edges/wear and replace it. A professional mechanic can help you choose a high-quality belt to minimize slippage problems.

Engine Overheating

Like any other utility side-by-side, your Polaris Ranger 900 XP engine may overheat if poorly maintained. Since this vehicle tackles dusty trails and rugged terrains, it requires proper maintenance to keep the engine in top-tier condition.

However, the Ranger 900 XP may develop issues over time, causing the engine to overheat. An overheated engine will lose power and cause damage to various components.

A clogged radiator can cause your UTV’s engine to overheat. If you drive the UTV in dusty trails, the radiator can get clogged with mud, sand, grass, and other debris. Cleaning the radiator and fins with a hose can help clear the clogs.

The temperature sensor in this UTV can cause the engine to overheat in warmer climates. This sensor triggers the fan when the temperature reaches 220 degrees. However, the sensor may fail to trigger the fan in warm climates, causing the temperature to reach between 230 and 250 degrees.

You can combat this issue by bypassing the sensor. A mechanic can install a toggle switch on the dash to enable you to use the fan when needed. This switch should run between the sensor wires to bypass it.

Lastly, a low coolant level will cause overheating problems. Check the coolant level and condition to see if everything is okay. Add more coolant or replace it if it appears old or contaminated.

Knocking Noise After Starting

The Ranger 900 XP makes several alarming noises, including a knock after firing the engine. This loud knocking noise persists for a few seconds and eventually subsides.

Unlike many Polaris Ranger 900 XP problems, this noise doesn’t indicate a defect within the vehicle. The source of this noise is the cam chain tensioner, as it pumps up using hydraulic pressure. This chain controls the timing chain’s tension.

You’ll hear the loud knocking noise as the cam chain tensioner takes its time to pump up to ensure proper tension.

If this noise feels annoying, you can replace the hydraulic cam chain tensioner with a mechanical one. A good example of a mechanical tensioner is the Tusk Tensioner, which will eliminate the knocking noise.

If the knocking noise persists, examine the exhaust for leakages. A leaking exhaust allows hot gasses to escape through the gaps. As the hot gases cool, they make a loud knocking noise. You can resolve this by replacing faulty seals or other broken parts in the exhaust system.

Turf Mode Failure

The turf mode on your Ranger 900 XP is a drive setting that unlocks the rear wheels (rear differential), allowing these wheels to spin freely. Over time, this drive setting can fail due to a worn clutch or bearings.

These components wear out due to excessive friction resulting from insufficient lubricant. They also wear out due to regular use. In this case, it’s good to seek professional help to have the bearings and clutches repaired or replaced.

Issues with the Engine Control Unit (ECU) or Transmission Control Module (TCM) may also cause turf mode failure. The ECU and TCM have a significant impact on the gearbox settings. If these control modules are to blame, hire a qualified technician to fix them.

Battery Not Charging

The Ranger 900 XP battery is usually the cause of many electrical problems in this UTV. You may experience difficulties starting the engine if the battery won’t charge. Your UTV accessories may also fail due to insufficient power.

Poor connections and wiring may cause charging problems. Check the wiring between the battery terminals and the alternator. Clean the terminals and secure the cable connections. Then, test the alternator using a multimeter and have it repaired or replaced if necessary.

If none of these fixes allows the battery to charge, the battery could be too old or damaged. Try charging the battery in the garage. If it fails to retain a charge, replace it.

Are Polaris Ranger 900 XP Problems a Deal Breaker?

No. While the Ranger 900 XP is prone to several problems, it’s undoubtedly a reliable side-by-side for adventure enthusiasts. The vehicle is famous for its power and performance when tackling any terrain. However, you can’t overlook the drawbacks of this UTV.

Fortunately, you can overcome most Polaris Ranger 900 XP issues with modifications or repairs. If you encounter intimidating issues, take the UTV to an expert to fix them.