Electrical Issues Solved.. sort of

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Electrical Issues Solved.. sort of

Recently, we had a customer bring us his machine because of a mysterious loss of connection between the battery and everything else.  Nothing electrical was working: electric start, lights, or heated grips.  Very frustrating!

We'd had strange issues like this before, so we went through all the typical troubleshooting steps we'd done before, but with no luck.

In this article, we'll go through some of the troubleshooting steps we'd take in a situation like this, and we'll show you what the solution was for this customer. 

When electrical problems appear, there are some pretty basic steps to follow that will generally identify the problem.

  • Check the battery.  If one or more of the battery have failed, it may not be providing enough power to do anything.  Faulty batteries can be replaced within 30 days of the date of purchase.  After that, you can buy any other suitable battery. 
  • Check the wires. Where the handlebar folds for storage, the wires also bend, and have been known to get pinched or crimped.  If one of those wires is damaged, you may need to repair or replace it.
  • Check the connections. Sometimes, it's just a matter of a loose battery connection, or a disconnected wire.  Make sure they're all tight, including the ground wire from the battery, all the way to the lights at the front.
  • Check the wiring harness. Snowdogs all have a central wiring harness that's inside the main switch on the left handlebar.  It's the assembly with the yellow starter switch and the switch for the lights.  If that casing is damaged, it's possible that one or more of the connections inside is also damaged.  You may need a new harness.
  • Check the Ground. This one is so simple!   If you've ever done trailer wiring, you'll know that 95% of all electrical issues are related to a bad ground.  Make sure that the ground wire connection is tight, but also that the wire is in direct contact with the base of the engine.  A ground is not effective if it's attached to a painted surface.

In the case of this particular customer, it was a simple ground connection... which (we'll admit it, we're still learning) was an easy fix, in the end.   

The ground connection was installed on the outside of the painted shroud assembly, so it wasn't making a good connection.  Once we installed it under the shroud, in direct contact with the engine body, our problem was solved!

Electrical problems can be frustrating, especially out in the field.  Maybe this is something you already know, but for those of us who are new(er) to engine maintenance and repair, we hope these tips give you just a little more confidence to try to troubleshoot your Snowdog if something's not working quite right.