4 Polaris Ranger Years to Avoid (Explained Why?)

Are you going to buy a Polaris Ranger but don’t want to waste your money on a problematic model? 

You have come to the right place. 

Because I will tell you which years the Polaris Ranger has had problems so that you can make a decision and get the best vehicle possible. 

So read on to find out which Polaris Ranger years to avoid!

Polaris Ranger Years to Avoid

Polaris Ranger Years to Avoid

These years Polaris Ranger models you should avoid. I have also mentioned why you should avoid them. Actually every year the model of the Polaris Ranger has problems. 

However, some have less and some have more problems than others.

So, I have mentioned the below years because these models have more problems than the other years. 

Also, I have described the most common problems of these models.

2013 Model

1. Steering Problem:

One of the most common issues with the 2013 Polaris Ranger is a steering problem. Due to this, it will be difficult for you to turn the steering wheel. 

Mostly this problem is due to physical obstructions like debris or rocks in the steering mechanism. 

Sometimes, it could be due to a worn-out steering component such as a ball joint or steering rack. 

Also, it could also be due to improper alignment or suspension components.

2. Engine Overheats:

Engine overheating is a common problem faced by owners of this vehicle. This issue occurs when the engine does not receive enough airflow or if it has become clogged with dirt and debris. 

Overheating can also be the result of improper maintenance and failure to replace worn-out or damaged parts, such as spark plugs or air filters. 

In some cases, an oil leak or broken fan belt may be the culprit. 

Symptoms of engine overheating include white or blue smoke from the exhaust, a foul smell from the engine compartment, and difficulty starting or running the vehicle. 

To prevent overheating, regularly check your Ranger’s fluids and filters, ensure that all belts are tight and properly adjusted, inspect all hoses for cracks and leaks, and ensure that any aftermarket accessories are installed correctly.

3. Starter Problem:

Another problem that owners of a 2013 Polaris Ranger had experienced is an issue with the starter. 

When this happens, the engine fails to turn over when the ignition is engaged. 

The cause of this problem can be due to a number of factors, such as a dead battery, loose or corroded connections, low voltage from the alternator, a bad starter solenoid, or a faulty starter motor. 

To diagnose and resolve the issue, it may be necessary to inspect the battery for loose cables or corrosion; check for proper connection at the ignition switch; check for worn-out relays and fuses; examine the wiring harness and terminals; test that there is adequate voltage coming from the alternator. 

4. Backfires:

Backfiring occurs when unburned fuel from the engine’s combustion process ignites in the exhaust system. 

This results in a loud popping sound that can be startling and potentially damaging to the vehicle. 

The most common reasons for this are incorrect ignition timing, an improperly adjusted carburetor, a vacuum leak, worn spark plugs, and a faulty exhaust valve or gasket.

2014 Model

1. Difficulty in Starting:

One of the most common problems with the 2014 Polaris Ranger is difficulty in starting. 

Mostly you will face this problem due to a faulty starter motor, bad spark plug, clogged fuel filter, stuck choke, weak fuel pump, or low battery power. 

The symptoms of this problem are loud clicking noises when the key is turned or an engine that cranks over but won’t start. 

If any of these issues are present, it’s important to contact the Polaris dealer for proper maintenance.

2. Gears Won’t Change:

Many owners of a 2014 Polaris Ranger also reported difficulty with their vehicle shifting gears. 

In some cases, the gear shift lever is stiff and difficult to move. 

Mostly, this problem is due to low fluid levels in the transmission. To fix this you will need to add transmission fluid. 

If this does not solve the problem, then it may be necessary for you to investigate further into other causes such as broken or disconnected linkage components or wiring issues with the electrical system. 

Replacing any malfunctioning component parts should resolve this issue and allow the vehicle to properly switch between gears again. 

3. Charging Problem:

Many Polaris Ranger owners have reported that their vehicle battery drain within minutes or hours of being unplugged, even after having been fully charged. 

This problem is due to faulty wiring or connections, a bad alternator, or corroded battery terminals. 

So, you should replace the battery or alternator to fix this problem. 

Also, maintaining a regular cleaning for your battery and its connections can help ensure that your Polaris Ranger’s charging system remains in good condition.

2016 Model

1. Clutch Problem:

The most common problem that Polaris Ranger 2016 users reported is a clutch problem. 

You can face power loss and difficulty moving your vehicle due to this issue. You can have this problem due to worn belts, improper clutch adjustment, or lack of lubrication. 

To fix this you should check these things and make sure all are working properly. 

And also to avoid this in the future you should regularly maintain these parts of your vehicle.

2. Engine Runs Rough:

Many owners have experienced engine problems, most notably an issue where the engine runs rough or stalls. 

This is usually caused by a clogged fuel filter, faulty spark plugs, an improperly adjusted carburetor, a faulty fuel pump, or a malfunctioning ignition coil. 

Other possible causes include low oil levels or dirty oil, a weak battery, or vacuum leaks in the intake manifold. In some cases, a bad oxygen sensor can cause the issue as well. 

To troubleshoot and repair this issue, start by inspecting the air filter for dirt or debris that may be causing the problem. 

Next, check for any loose or corroded connections on hoses and wires leading from the fuel system and replace them if needed. 

3. Noise Problem:

The 2016 Polaris Ranger has been known to have a noise problem. This can manifest itself in a variety of ways, such as a loud knocking sound coming from the engine and an excessively loud exhaust note. 

The source of the problem lies in the way in which the engine operates. 

Specifically, when the engine is running at higher RPMs for a sustained period of time, it can cause certain components of the engine to become compromised due to excessive heat and vibration. 

The result is that these parts start to wear out prematurely, leading to increased noise levels and inefficient operation of the engine. 

In order to fix this issue, it is highly recommended that owners take their vehicles to dealers. 

Because they will fix it for you if your Polaris Ranger is under warranty. 

2021 Model

1. Cooling Fan Problem:

One of the common 2021 Polaris Ranger problems is the cooling fan issue. 

This issue can cause your vehicle to overheat and reduce its performance, which can lead your vehicle to turn off unexpectedly. 

You can have this problem due to wiring or a defective fan motor. To diagnose this problem, start by checking the condition of the fan itself. 

Look for signs of wear and tear, such as cracking or fraying wires. If everything looks alright, then check the connections between the wiring and the fan motor. 

Make sure they are securely connected and in good condition. If any of these components appear loose or damaged, replace them. 

2. Engine Bogging:

Engine bogging is another problem that you can face while using your Polaris Ranger 2021. 

This happens when an engine isn’t able to deliver enough power, or when it experiences a sudden loss of acceleration. 

Engine bogging can happen due to the spark plug misfiring, fuel system issues, air filter blockage, and more. 

To fix this you will need to check the spark plugs for any signs of fouling or damage. Also, inspect the air filter to make sure it’s clean and free from debris or dirt build-up. 

Then check the fuel system for blockages or clogs that could be preventing proper flow. 

Tips for Buying a Used Polaris Ranger

1. Research the Specific Model Year:

Before buying any model Polaris Ranger, research the particular model year you’re considering. As this article suggests, you should avoid the 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2021 models due to known issues.

2. Check the Maintenance History:

You should ask the seller for a detailed maintenance log. This will give you an insight into how often the UTV was serviced, what repairs were done, and if it had any recurring issues.

Regular maintenance can indicate a responsible owner and might also hint at a longer-lasting vehicle.

3. Physical Inspection:

  • Look for Signs of External Damage: Check for dents, rust, or any indications of major repairs.
  • Inspect the Tires: Ensure they are evenly worn. Uneven wear might indicate alignment or suspension issues.
  • Undercarriage Inspection: Look for signs of excessive rust, especially in places where it shouldn’t typically appear.

4. Test Drive:

  • Never buy UTV without taking it for a spin. Pay attention to how it starts, idles, and runs.
  • Listen for any unusual noises. Knocking, grinding, or squealing can indicate potential problems.
  • Test the brakes, acceleration, and maneuverability.

5. Ask About Storage:

Where and how the Polaris Ranger was stored can affect its condition. Ideally, it should have been kept in a garage or under a cover to prevent weather-related wear.

6. Consider a Professional Inspection:

If you’re serious about buying, it might be worth the cost to have a professional mechanic or technician familiar with Polaris Rangers inspect it.

They can provide an objective assessment and might spot issues you missed.


The Polaris Ranger is an excellent choice for those looking to buy a side-by-side vehicle. 

However, you should be aware of certain years that may have been affected by manufacturer defects. 

Through my research, I have found that you should avoid the 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2021 Polaris Ranger. 

I hope this article was helpful to you. If you have any questions about these vehicles, please leave them in the comments below. 

We’d love to hear from you!

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