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Hey everybody just wanted to introduce myself. I usually join forums right away when I buy any kind of vehicle to get real answers to real problems that you can't find on a Google search. I never did with my quad because I have not had a single issue with it in 9 years of owning it until last week but I'll get to that. I have a 2008 Honda 400 EX that I bought new in 2011. When the 450 R came out everybody wanted one and the 400 EX's sat on the show room floors. I am primarily a dirt bike rider and have been riding since I was 10, I'm 47 now. I've always wanted a quad and when I saw the prices of the leftover 400 EX's back in 2011 I figured that was the time to buy it. Great quad. I ride in sand plants, gravel pits, and trails. The quad is mostly stock with 450 R front shocks, handle bar risers (I'm 6 ft), and a Rox dash plate because the stock one rattled too much. I want to keep it stock though. I know alot of people open up the air filter but it has plenty of power for me and I like the durability of the 400 EX.
Last ride I took I tried climbing up on this broken down bridge out in the woods. My front tires made it up on the beams but my rear tires spun and I slid sideways and it stalled. I couldn't start it after that and had to push start it. I had 2 nights earlier hooked up my trickle charger because I wanted to ride and hadn't used it in awhile. The battery was 12.8 volts. It still is 12.8 volts but won't start. All it does is click once and nothing. To me that sounds like a solenoid. My green neutral light comes on, the kill switch is on run, I've jumped across the solenoid with a screw driver and get just the smallest spark, the fuse is good, and I'm just thinking that even though it's 12.8 volts the battery is stock and now must be 12 plus years old. That's amazing that I got 12 years out of it. I've researched this and I've heard you can jump it from a car battery and just really quick hit the start button to see if it turns over. I'm pretty sure the battery is just old and done but is jumping your quad from a car battery and just giving the starter a quick bump safe? I don't want to burn out a starter. I don't have a load tester for the battery but after 12 years I would think it's done its time. It's just weird that it started every time that day and didn't show any signs of being weak and then just nothing. I was working on it last night and figured it was time to ask the forum for help. So I'll continue to plug along trying things but I appreciate any advice or tips to narrow down the problem.
I'll update any of my findings when I figure it out so other people can use this for their own troubleshooting.
 

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Either the starter motor or the battery has failed - disconnect the battery, use jumper cables, connect the ATV's battery battery leads to any good 12v battery (car, truck, tractor, riding mower, motorcycle) and try starting the ATV normally. Once started, disconnect the jumper cables and operate it normally, just don't turn the lights on - there is a chance if you run without a battery the lights can burn out. Or, you can leave the battery in place and connect jumper cables, start and disconnect the cables - you just don't want to leave jumper cables connected from a large battery to a small battery - the large battery can over charge and cause the small battery to blow up if left connected for a long time (a long time is more than a few minutes), but a minute will not usually be a problem (there is exceptions to every case).

If it starts normally being jumped, then install a new battery - if it won't crank or cranks very slow, check connections (especially grounds) and isf the connections are good, then a new starter motor may be the order.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Either the starter motor or the battery has failed - disconnect the battery, use jumper cables, connect the ATV's battery battery leads to any good 12v battery (car, truck, tractor, riding mower, motorcycle) and try starting the ATV normally. Once started, disconnect the jumper cables and operate it normally, just don't turn the lights on - there is a chance if you run without a battery the lights can burn out. Or, you can leave the battery in place and connect jumper cables, start and disconnect the cables - you just don't want to leave jumper cables connected from a large battery to a small battery - the large battery can over charge and cause the small battery to blow up if left connected for a long time (a long time is more than a few minutes), but a minute will not usually be a problem (there is exceptions to every case).

If it starts normally being jumped, then install a new battery - if it won't crank or cranks very slow, check connections (especially grounds) and isf the connections are good, then a new starter motor may be the order.
Hey thanks Here 2 help. I jumped my quad today off my car and it did turn over so the battery was indeed the culprit. I was 99% sure that was the problem I just didn't want to burn out my quad starter since my car has 3 or 4 times the cold cranking amps. It has taken some time but I'm realizing patience pays off and I didn't want to just start replacing parts until I pinpointed the problem. I still can't believe that I got 12 years out of the stock battery. That's a big Attaboy for Here 2 help. Last I heard 10 Attaboys wipes out one "Whoops!"
 
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