How to Start an ATV Without a Key?

How to Start an ATV Without a Key_

It can be frustrating most times if you lose your ATV key and don’t have an immediate alternative to fix it. If you’re anxious about what to do the next time this happens, I’ve got a magic wand for you.

How can you start your ATV without a Key? Do you care to know? Ok, let’s walk a short journey together. Guess what? You can use a range of methods to start your ATV without a key, but you will need some set of essential tools.

To start an ATV without a key or bypass the ignition; You can start by trying to avoid or bypass the ignition, skip the solenoid, use a screwdriver, and replace the ignition key or switch. You will learn more about these components in this article, stay tuned.

The fact is that it doesn’t matter if you have the best ATV for trail riding, you need to note that your quad can start without the ignition key. First off, the switch serves as a circuit breaker that sends signals to your ATV’s electrical box. There won’t be power transmission to the rest of the electrical components in the absence of the key. Therefore, your engine won’t start.

How can you overcome this? Here are some pretty simple steps to get around it. Let’s find out:

1. Avoid or Bypass the Ignition

This is one of the preferred methods of kick-starting an ATV without the key. Most ignition switches come with two wires going into it, one wire sending power in and the other sends power to the electric box when the key is inserted. To bypass, remove the ignition switch from the equation by disassembling the switch or cutting the two wires leading to it. However, be sure to leave enough slack on the wire for future use if you wish to replace the ignition switch later.

After disassembling the switch, connect the two wires, and the electric start should work like always. Remember to connect the wires on the side, leading to the engine and not the side leading to the ignition. It would also be best if you never forgot to sever the two cables as soon as you finish your ride, or you might end up draining your battery. I also recommend that you use a switch in place of the ignition; a simple on/off switch will be perfect.

You may find out that your four-wheeler is running on more than two wires that pass through from the switch. Do not worry. Most times, make sure you focus attention on the red and black wires because there will be a ground wire in addition to the two wires from the ignition switch. All you have to do is cut these wires and tape them together. Be sure to tape together the ends of the wire leading to the engine and not the ignition.

Always remember also to disconnect the black and red wires when you are done riding to avoid draining the battery.

2. Skip the Solenoid

Although, this method doesn’t work on all ATVs, with machines with an electric start option only. Your solenoid is always beside your wiring harness and battery, and on some quads, you have to remove a side panel to access the solenoid. The ATV’s solenoid will have two main wires coming out of it and maybe some other smaller ones. Well, we only care about the two big wires. All you have to do is lay a wrench across the two connectors of the main wires, and then the squad should be able to start.

Using this method requires extra caution because if you accidentally touch the frame or anything else when doing this, you could end up causing damage to the electrical parts of the engine.

3. The Use of a Screwdriver

This sounds rather rough but desperate times call for desperate measures, and that is precisely what this method entails. Thieves usually use this method, so if you get caught driving around town with a screwdriver sticking out of the ignition by trail enforcement, well, be ready to answer some questions.

All you have to do is simply hammer a screwdriver into the ignition and then turn it on as if it were the key. The Screwdriver will break the pins in the ignition allowing you to turn the ignition on. Although, this method is not really recommended because you might damage the ignition and not get the quad to kick start anyway.

4. Replace the Ignition Key

This is the best method on our list. If you forgot your key and you are already way out on the trail, then there is no way to order a part and do the replacement. So, for those who broke their ignition or lost their key, this method is perfect for you. The screwdriver method is also not out of place.

All you have to do is find a replacement from the manufacturer for your specific ATV, and fix it. It might be expensive, but it is the best idea.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I pull start my ATV without a battery?

Yes! Most ATVs will run without a battery because they have a magneto and a pull start. You do not need 12 volts for anything on the engine.

Q: What If my ATV doesn’t have a kick start?

First off, make sure your machine comes with a pull start. The sad news is that most of the modern quads out there don’t come with pull start functionality. Yet, you don’t have to worry because there is a way out. Start by unhooking the ignition key from the electrical box. By doing this, the engine will start without even needing to use the key. This is one of the best methods that works if your vehicle is lacking in a pull start.

Q: What other tools do I need to start my ATV without a key?

If you want to start your ATV without a key, most of these methods we described here will require you to get some tools. Some of the tools include screwdriver, T-handle set, Allen wrench set, pliers, and ATV axle wrench.

Final Thoughts

By now, you shouldn’t worry if you break the ignition of your quad, ATV, or UTV. This post gets you covered. If you follow the instructions, you won’t have any worry.