Riding an ATV can be exciting, but not as much if the voltage regulator has left your ATV with little or no power. This can be very frustrating when you’re already hitting the trails.
But can you ride an ATV without a voltage regulator? Here’s is what you need to know about a voltage regulator.
What is a voltage regulator?
A voltage regulator is an electromagnetic component that controls field current through the rotor inside the alternator. An alternator can output high voltage without a voltage regulator, destroying the ATV’s electrical system and battery. Regulators are designed to keep the voltage in the range that engine components can safely handle and function well.
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What does a voltage regulator do on an ATV?
A voltage regulator converts the alternative current (AC) into a direct current (DC). This ensures that the ATV’s battery has sufficient power at all times. This power makes the ATV run smoothly without any sputtering.
If you ride your ATV without a voltage regulator, the battery will be overcharged. This means that the AC energy will be concentrated on the battery and won’t flow to the other parts of the ATV that require power.
As the battery continues to handle much power, it starts weakening and will eventually get damaged. If your voltage regulator has issues, the ATV will not be as powerful as it should be.
However, there are other reasons why your ATV can lose power. Therefore, there are other issues you should look out for on your ATV that will show when the voltage regulator is falling out.
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So, will ATV run without a voltage regulator?
Although you can temporarily run an ATV without a voltage regulator, you should avoid this at all costs. The voltage regulator converts the raw energy from the ATV’s stator to the right energy that the battery can utilize. If you run your ATV for long without a voltage regulator, you will ruin the other engine parts in no time.
If you suspect an issue with your voltage regulator, you need to have it checked by a professional. Without the right energy from your battery, the ATV won’t be operable. The voltage regulator is a crucial part of your engine and should never be ignored.
What are the signs of a bad voltage regulator?
Checking the signs of a faulty voltage regulator will help you fix the problem sooner. Since the voltage regulator brings a steady flow of power to all parts of the ATV, there are various ways to check when the voltage regulator is faulty.
High voltage in the battery
There are two ways a voltage regulator can get faulty. First, it can direct too much power to your battery. Second, it can fail to direct sufficient voltage to the battery. If the battery receives too much power, you’ll start having issues sooner rather than later. A fully charged battery has 12.6 volts. Anything above that can cause damage. The battery will start getting warm, or it can explode or crack if left unchecked.
If you get too much voltage, then the voltage regulator isn’t diverting power as required. This can be frustrating to troubleshoot because most people don’t check the voltage regulator when the ATV fails to start.
Battery light or check engine light
Whether the voltage regulator is overcharging the battery or failing to charge it, various sensors may pop up. If either of these lights pops up, you need to stop driving immediately. Either the battery may explode, or the ATV might die.
Vehicle dies while running
If the voltage regulator isn’t directing sufficient power to your battery when you’re riding, the ATV will shut off when hitting the trails. Your ATV requires voltage to run, so you’ll have problems if it doesn’t get any power.
The Cost of a Voltage Regulator Replacement
The average voltage regulator replacement cost is between $15 and $250. The cost of replacing a voltage regulator depends on the model of your ATV and the part you choose. If you don’t know how to replace a voltage regulator, visit any ATV repair shop to help you out. You’ll need an additional $100 to $300 for the labor costs. If the regulator is located on the inside of the alternator, the labor cost will be higher. If placed outside the alternator, the price will be relatively low.
How do you test a voltage regulator?
The right way to test a voltage regulator is using a multimeter. All you need is to put your multimeter clamps directly on the battery terminals.
What causes a voltage regulator to go bad?
A voltage regulator may fail if you’re running the motor with the battery disconnected or if there is poor contact on the battery terminals.
The voltage regulator is a crucial part of your ATV. Therefore, you need to ensure that the regulator is in good shape before hitting the road.