How to Fix an ATV That Dies When You Give It Gas

If your ATV dies when you give it gas, it can be one of these reasons.

  1. Clogged carburetor
  2. Bad gas, not enough gas, or bad gas/air mixture
  3. Ignition problems
  4. Bad fuel lines
  5. Clogged or damaged exhaust system.
  6. Clogged Air Filter
  7. Misaligned valves

Most often, a quad that dies when you give it throttle is either because of a dirty carburetor (clogged jets) or bad fuel.

Let’s talk about the easy fixes first, but if your quad has other running issues, we have a post that goes over more options here.

How To Clean Carburetor Without Removing It

Cleaning the carburetor is an involved process and if we can avoid doing it that saves us a lot of time.

The easy fix and what you should do first is get rid of the old fuel and put fresh premium stuff in your tank. Fuel goes bad over time, and it’s common for people to leave their ATVs for months and come back to bad fuel. Bad fuel will cause all kinds of running issues.

Before you put fresh premium in your machine, add some STA-BIL Fast Fix (ad) fuel cleaner first. It may require a few runs of the engine to get the fuel system cleaner to work, but it sure beats taking the carburetor off.

I did this exact thing to my Suzuki Eiger, and it came back to normal without me having to rebuild the carburetor. It’s so simple to do, it should be the first thing you try.

Clean Your Carburetor If Your ATV Still Stalls When Taking Off

If you put fresh fuel in your tank and let the fuel system cleaner run its course and the 4-wheeler still shuts off when you give it throttle, then cleaning the carburetor is the next thing to do.

Here is a video showing you how to clean your ATVs carburetor.

Replace Fuel Lines

If you clean your carburetor, make sure to also get new fuel lines.

One way you can tell if you have bad fuel lines is that the engine will run fine on reserve, but not so well in the “ON” position.

Ethanol in the gas eats away at fuel lines and other rubber components, so if you can, avoid ethanol.

Check The Ignition

If it stalls out, it could be an ignition problem. You need to replace the spark plug and check the ignition system.

Spark plugs are easy enough to replace and not that expensive either. A lot of 4-wheelers running problems can come from foul spark plugs.

Tip: Change your spark plugs on every service. I know some say this is not needed, but trust me, you’ll have fewer problems if you change your spark plugs more often.

Check Your Exhaust System

If your quad has been running fine and then all of a sudden, starts dying when you give it gas, the problem could be in the exhaust system.

A clogged muffler can cause back pressure that makes it hard for the engine to breathe. This will make your engine run lean and eventually die when you give it gas.

If you’ve changed your muffler or exhaust system recently, you may need to rejet or recalibrate your 4-wheeler. Fuel injected ATVs need to have the computer recalibrated after getting a new exhaust system added, and carburetor ATVs need new jets.

Check Your Air Filter

If you’ve noticed that your engine stalls when giving it throttle, the problem could be a dirty air filter.

A restricted air filter will make your engine run odd and cause it to stall out. The easiest way to check your air filter is to remove it and see how dirty it is. A dirty air filter is quite obvious. Also, make sure you take the air filter out of the bag or carton before installing, I’ve seen it happen more than once.

Also, make sure you haven’t over oiled your air filter. Too much oil can cause running issues, especially when trying to take off. Here is how you oil the air filter for an ATV.

Only Runs On Choke

If your ATV only runs on choke, that is often a sign of a dirty carburetor.

You should start by checking the carburetor to see if it needs to be cleaned. If the carburetor is clean, then check the fuel lines and make sure they are not restricted, old or damaged. Also, check the air filter to make sure it is not plugged up or over oiled.

It’s also possible the fuel selector or choke cable is damaged and must be replaced if your engine only runs on choke.

The most likely reason why it only runs on choke is that the carburetor needs to be cleaned.

Most Likely Issue For An 4-Wheeler Stalling When Giving It Gas

The most likely issue for why your ATV stalls when giving it throttle is due to a clogged jet in your carburetor.

Fuel system cleaner and fresh gas can help, but most often cleaning the carburetor is the only solution.

To keep this from happening again, make sure to put fuel stabilizer in your fuel if you’re going to be using it for months. Before storing your ATV, have it run and then turn the fuel selector to the off position to get all the fuel out of the carb, so it doesn’t become gummed up.

Also, try to avoid ethanol gas where you can, especially if you don’t ride your carbureted ATV that often.