Do you own a Hisun utility terrain vehicle (UTV)? Have you started experiencing some issues with your recreational ride or trusty workhorse lately? You’re not alone.
Hisun UTVs are extremely popular for both recreation and utility use. But like any machine, they can develop common problems over time that leave you stranded.
This comprehensive guide will cover the most frequent Hisun UTV problems owners face and provide troubleshooting tips to diagnose issues to get you back up and running. We’ll specifically look at:
- Engine problems like failure to start or loss of power
- Overheating issues
- Electrical gremlins
- Knocking, clanking, and other strange engine noises
Properly maintaining and repairing minor problems on your Hisun UTV will save you the costly headaches of more significant mechanical breakdowns down the road. Let’s get started unraveling the most common Hisun problems owners experience.
Table of Contents
Why Hisun UTVs Are Susceptible to Certain Issues?
Hisun Motors is a reputable Chinese manufacturer of affordable UTVs, side-by-sides, and motorcycles. Their lineup of rugged and economical recreational and utility vehicles have grown very popular in recent years.
However, some inherent design factors and components used by Hisun make their UTVs more prone to certain recurring issues, including:
- Low-quality plastic body panels – The exterior plastic body panels on Hisun UTVs tend to degrade and become brittle over time, leading to cracking and breaking. This allows mud, water, and dust to enter the internal components and electrical systems, potentially causing problems.
- Underpowered cooling systems – Hisun engines work hard and generate a lot of heat. But the cooling system components like the radiator, fan, water pump may be undersized and struggle to keep things cool under demanding conditions. This can lead to overheating.
- Electrical problems – Some Hisun models seem particularly susceptible to loose wire connections, shorts in the wiring harness, and electrical gremlins that can cause anything from intermittent stalling to complete failure to start.
- Engine tune issues – The fuel mapping and ignition timing from the factory may need adjustment over time as engine wear occurs. This can contribute to decrease performance and pre-ignition detonation.
Knowing the vulnerable points on Hisun UTVs will help you diagnose and repair the most common problems. Next, let’s look at each of the major trouble areas in more detail.
Engine Won’t Start or Is Hard to Start
Turning the key and being met with silence or labored cranking is incredibly frustrating. A Hisun that won’t start or has difficulty firing up is one of the most common owner complaints.
Fortunately, there are several areas you can troubleshoot to get the engine spinning again:
- Check the battery condition and connections – Weak or corroded battery connections are often the culprit if the starter barely turns over or clicks. Inspect cable ends and terminals for corrosion or looseness. Tighten and clean as needed. A fully charged battery should read 12.6 volts or higher.
- Replace the fuel filter – A restricted fuel filter that is clogged with debris will choke the engine of its vital fuel supply. No gas flow means no combustion. The filter on most Hisun UTVs is easy to access and replace.
- Inspect the fuel pump and relay – The fuel pump pushes gas from the tank to the injectors. If it fails or the fuel pump relay goes bad, the engine will crank but not start. Listen near the tank when turning the key to hear if the pump is buzzing. No buzz indicates a problem.
- Check or replace spark plugs – Worn or fouled spark plugs won’t produce the strong spark needed for ignition. Pull the plugs and inspect for excessive wear or carbon deposits. Replace with the proper new plugs gapped to spec.
- Replace a dirty air filter – Just like a restricted fuel filter, a super dirty air filter can essentially suffocate the engine by limiting air intake. Fortunately, air filters are inexpensive and easy to change when clogged.
- Check engine oil level – Running low on oil can allow bearing surfaces to wear excessively and even seize. Top off if low and change oil regularly.
With basic tools and a little mechanical aptitude, you can run through these troubleshooting steps to get your reluctant Hisun motor cranking again.
Loss of Power on Hills or Under Load
A Hisun UTV that feels low on power or struggles on hills may have you scratching your head. These annoying symptoms typically stem from a few common issues:
- Clean or replace a dirty air filter – Just like with starting problems, a severely clogged air filter limits the engine’s air supply, resulting in power loss. Inspect and clean or install new air filter.
- Replace dirty fuel filters – Restricted fuel filters reduce gasoline flow to the injectors, causing power loss. Swap clogged filters for fresh ones.
- Inspect spark plugs – The spark plugs fire thousands of times per minute to ignite the fuel/air mixture. Plugs that are old or fouled won’t produce a consistent spark, hurting power.
- Check for bad gas – Over time, fuel breaks down and loses combustibility. Drain old gas and run fresh if you notice a drastic loss of power.
Issues like low compression or incorrect ignition timing can also sap engine power. But the above are the most common and easiest problems to remedy yourself. A well-maintained Hisun should have plenty of acceleration and hill climbing ability.
Overheating While Riding
Seeing your Hisun’s temperature gauge creeping higher and higher is worrisome. The stressful combination of strenuous riding, clogged cooling system components, and hot weather often leads to UTVs overheating. Here are some ways to pinpoint and fix the problem:
- Clean radiator and grilles – The radiator needs good airflow to shed heat. Mud or debris blocking the fins and screens greatly reduces its cooling ability. Carefully wash and inspect.
- Check coolant level and condition – Low coolant due to leaks or neglect reduces the system’s heat dissipating ability. Check level and top off with the proper 50/50 antifreeze mix.
- Test radiator fan operation – Electric fans mounted behind the radiator pull air through to cool when at low speeds. If inoperative, the engine can overheat. Verify fans activate using a multimeter.
- Replace faulty water pump – The water pump circulates coolant through the system. Leaking or broken internal impeller vanes will lead to overheating. Test pump operation and flow.
- Inspect hoses – Cracked, soft, or leaking coolant hoses can allow precious antifreeze to escape. Squeeze along hoses to feel for weak spots prone to future failure.
Minor cooling system neglect can quickly escalate into major overheating issues and engine damage. Give your Hisun’s cooling components regular inspections and preventative maintenance.
Electrical Problems Plaguing Performance
Few things are scarier than a UTV that randomly stalls, has shifting electrical performance, or fails to start. Loose connections, shorts in wiring, and other gremlins cause Hisun’s electrical woes. Be proactive with:
- Battery inspection – The battery is at the heart of providing power. Loose terminal connections cause intermittent electrical faults. Clean terminals and check voltage regularly.
- Check fuses – Vibrations and electrical spikes can blow fuses causing component failures. Carry spare fuses and confirm they are not blown when troubleshooting.
- Inspect wiring harness – Damaged or bare wires touching metal components can short and cut power. Look for signs of fraying, rubbing, or pinching.
- Check alternator belt – If the alternator belt slips or breaks, the battery won’t recharge. Inspect for cracks and proper tension.
- Test alternator output – Make sure your alternator is charging the battery above 13.5 volts at high idle. If not, it may need replacement.
Take time periodically to inspect all electrical connections and components on your UTV. Finding small issues before they strand you is important.
Knocking, Ticking, and Other Engine Noises
Hearing strange new metallic knocking, ticking, or knocking sounds from your Hisun’s engine is never a good sign. These noises indicate a variety of possible internal issues:
- Use higher octane fuel – Pre-ignition engine knock happens when fuel combusts too early due to pressure and heat. Higher octane gas is less prone to detonate.
- Replace worn spark plugs – Faulty spark plugs can misfire causing ticking or rattling noises. Inspect plugs for damage and install fresh set.
- Check engine oil level – Low oil allows more valvetrain noise. Keep oil level topped off to reduce tapping sounds.
- Use proper weight oil – The wrong viscosity oil for your climate and operating conditions can contribute to noisy hydraulic lifters and valvetrain components.
- Adjust valve clearances – Excessive valve clearance allows the valvetrain to slam around at higher RPMs, creating noise. Have a mechanic inspect and adjust.
Don’t ignore new engine noises and vibrations that appear. Addressing them quickly reduces the chances of catastrophic engine damage down the road.
When to Seek Professional Hisun UTV Repair
Performing basic troubleshooting and repairs on your own Hisun UTV is perfectly achievable for most owners. But if you’ve worked through all the above issues and problems persist, seeking professional help is advisable.
Specifically have an experienced UTV mechanic inspect issues like:
- Loss of compression indicating internal engine wear
- Damaged pistons, rings, cylinders
- Faulty fuel injectors or pumps
- Cracked engine cases or damaged crankshafts
- Severe overheating problems or head gasket failure
A qualified repair shop has the skills, diagnostic tools, and experience to properly identify and fix major mechanical problems. They can also handle more in-depth maintenance like valve adjustments.
Investing in professional repairs and maintenance will extend the useful life of your Hisun UTV and prevent more headaches down the road.
Enjoy Your Hisun UTV for Years to Come
Hisun UTVs provide tremendous capability and value for recreational and utility use when maintained properly. We hope this guide to the most common Hisun UTV problems and troubleshooting tips helps you keep your side-by-side running strong.
Catching minor issues before they become major will save you money and hassle. Be proactive with preventative maintenance, tune-ups, and inspecting wear items. And don’t hesitate to consult a professional when you need expert diagnosis and repair.
With a little TLC and vigilance, a Hisun UTV can deliver years and years of off-road fun or dependable jobsite services. Maintain your machine well so you can enjoy it to the fullest.