Why won’t my 2004 Polaris Switchback 600 start?


Hey there, I’ve got a 2004 Polaris Switchback 600 snowmobile, and I’ve been having some engine issues. Sometimes when I try to start it, the engine won’t activate at all, and it just won’t run. Other times, it does start, but it feels like it’s struggling, kind of a hard start. Any idea what might be causing these two different conditions?

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Dan Kohan 9 months 2023-09-04T03:19:34+00:00 4 Answers 95 views Beginner 0

Answers ( 4 )


    2004 Polaris Switchback 600 Won’t Start – Probable Causes

    Certainly, here are the most common causes for your engine not starting or experiencing hard starts:

    Ignition Switch and Moisture Contamination: The ignition switch needs to be checked for proper functionality, particularly in the “run” position. Moisture contamination in the switch can disrupt the electrical connections and prevent the engine from starting.
    Auxiliary Shut-Off Switch: Ensure the auxiliary shut-off switch is functioning correctly. If it’s faulty or stuck in the off position, it can inhibit the engine from starting.
    Fuel Supply: Examine the fuel supply system. A clogged fuel filter, malfunctioning fuel pump, or insufficient fuel can hinder engine ignition.
    Wiring Inspection: Carefully inspect the wiring running from the engine to the coil(s) or spark plug(s). Any damaged or frayed wires can interrupt the spark delivery, causing starting difficulties.
    Spark Plug Condition: Check the condition of your spark plug(s). If they are fouled, worn out, or covered in deposits, it can impede the ignition process.
    Eliminate Shorts: Disconnect the engine connector to rule out any potential shorts in the system. Shorts can disrupt the electrical circuit, preventing proper engine activation.
    Starter and Battery: If you have an electric starter, verify the condition of the wires connecting the starter solenoid and the battery. Ensure the battery and battery cables are in good working order as well. A weak battery or faulty connections can lead to hard starting.
    Reed Valves: Inspect the reed valves for any signs of being open or broken. Reed valves are crucial for controlling airflow in the engine, and any malfunction here can affect starting and running performance.

    By systematically checking these components, you can narrow down the possible causes of your engine’s starting issues and address them accordingly to ensure reliable operation.


    I did some checking on the starter, and it seems like when I turn the key to start the engine, I can hear a clicking sound coming from the starter area. The starter motor doesn’t seem to engage with the engine as smoothly as it used to. Also, sometimes, it just doesn’t turn the engine over at all, and I have to try a few times before it finally cranks. Do you think these symptoms could indicate a problem with the starter?


    Based on the symptoms you’ve described, it does indeed sound like there could be an issue with the starter. The clicking sound you hear is likely the starter solenoid engaging, but if the starter motor isn’t consistently turning over the engine and you have to make multiple attempts to start it, it’s a strong indicator of starter motor problems.

    To address this, I recommend replacing the starter. Here’s a link to a compatible starter for your 2004 Polaris Switchback 600. Replacing the starter should resolve the starting issues you’ve been experiencing and get your engine running smoothly again. If you’re not comfortable with the installation, don’t hesitate to bring it to the shop, and we’ll take care of it for you.

    Best answer

      Hey, I wanted to give you an update. Following your advice, I bought a new starter, got it installed, and I’m happy to say that the engine fires up and runs perfectly now. Your guidance was spot-on, and I just wanted to express my gratitude for helping me solve the issue. Thanks for your guidance!

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