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1996 sportsman 400. Starts 1st pull and runs great but wont idle. Ive adjusted idle screw but still no luck. If i pull choke out it will idle

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Hi Allen

Sounds like you have dirt/debris in your caburetor jets,fuel passages or a diaphgram that is becoming non-flexible.
Check/Clean/Replace your Air Filter, a dirty air filter can make your engine run to rich with fuel.
Note: ALWAYS USE COMPRESSED AIR TO CLEAN YOUR JETS AND PASSAGES, VERY IMPORTANT.
Note:Before you disassemble the carburetor:
Write down on a piece of paper and or take a picture of how the linkage attaches to your carburetor for later reference when you go to reinstall your carburetor.
Mark each piece with a awl, or some kind of sharp instrument that will make an alignment scratch before you disassemble the carburetor into separate pieces.
That way you will know which way it goes back together when you reassemble it.
Sometimes you can get by with priming the carburetor or by using a very small shot of starting fluid and letting it run a few times like that, and it will flush the gunk out of the jets,but most of the time you will need to rebuild the carburetor.
Be sure to check your fuel tank for water and dirt/debris, if there is water/debris then you need to clean your tank.
Check you fuel line/s condition...after a while they will degrade and need replacement.
Check/Clean/Replace your fuel filter if you have one.
When you remove your fuel lines from the carburetor be sure to make a drawing or take a picture of how the lines are connected to the carburetor.
Also a good time to take a picture for later reference for reassembly.
If the mower is over a couple of years old, then I recommend that you buy and install a new carburetor repair kit,because the diaphragm will get hard and that will cause it to be hard to crank.
The diaphgram may look good and flexible, but it can be deceiving and not act as a fuel pump as it should because it has become too hard and will cause hard starting,start and run and shut off, etc.
When you clean your carburetor, I recommend that you use a laquer thinner type cleaner to clean and dissolve the laquer build-up in the float and needle jet passages.
Be sure to remove all plastic and rubber parts before using the laquer thinner because it can dissolve the plastic parts and render them unuseable.
Be sure to use COMPRESSED AIR to blow out all the fuel and air passages.The higher air pressure is needed to blow some of the trash/debris from the fuel or air passages.
Be careful when blowing out the passages, because there are sometimes small rubber type seats in the bottom of some of the passages.
Keep in mind that the float (if you have one) for the carburetor must be level when you go to reassemble the carburetor or follow the instructions you get with the carburetor kit, or you could also ask the parts man that you get your kit from.
When you clean your carburetor and remove the jet screws, you will first need to lightly seat the jet screws.
But before you lightly seat the jet screws count the number of turns it takes to seat the jet screws from their original position.
Be sure to mark the turns down on a piece of paper.
That way when you put the jets back in, you know to lightly seat them first and then turn them back out to their original position before you started.
Once you have your carburetor cleaned/rebuilt that should solve your problem.
Please take time to rate me
Bud

Posted on Apr 20, 2013

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SOURCE: engine on my 04 sportsman 400 wo'nt idle unlesss

there is an electronic position sensor in the throttle housing and if the throttle cable sticks even a little the sensor interrupts the flow of electricity and disables the engine to prevent loss of control so chase down your cable and lubricate it and make sure you have full range of movement

Posted on Apr 03, 2009

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SOURCE: 1996 500 sportsman, wont go over 15 mph,

Check your air filter,it could be very dirty and need cleaning or replacement.. Check your drive belt, it might be very worn. Get a Haynes or Clymer shop manual for assistance on maintaining your machine.

Posted on Sep 11, 2009

MNfisherman
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SOURCE: 1996 polaris sportsman 500 4x4 starting problem

The switch or wiring is faulty and wil need to be replaced.

Posted on Dec 17, 2009

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SOURCE: 2006 500ho sportsman runs great but it wont idle

It's the etc remove cap on throttle there is a contact in there should be open ifit touches when you let off throttle will not idle there is an adjustment on throttle cable a few inches from throttle peel back rubber covering and adjust till contact is open that should fix it

Posted on May 13, 2010

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SOURCE: 2004 polaris 500 sportsman idles

Sounds like high speed adjustment is lean. Find the high speed adjustment (probably the only one) turn it out counterclockwise one half turn should do it. Hope that helps.

Posted on Dec 21, 2010

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