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7 Common Problems with Honda Rancher 420- How to Fix

Are you having trouble with your Honda Rancher 420? It’s common for ATVs to encounter issues after years of use. It provides the best features and specs, like a 4-wheel drive, injecting fuel, and independent suspension. However, it holds some cons. So what are some of the most common problems with Honda Rancher, and is there any solution to cope with such issues?

The most common problems with the Honda Rancher 420 include:

  • Issues with shifter
  • Issues with fuel and carburetor
  • Issues with steering
  • Issues with the electronic shift program
  • Issues with height, payload capacity
  • Issues with the towing
  • Issues with the horsepower

In this article, I’ll look at the common problems that Honda Rancher 420 owners have experienced, as well as solutions to help you get back up and running.

Problems with Honda Rancher 420 (With Solution):

Honda Rancher 420 is equipped with the latest technology and features. Moreover, it is a particular form of ATV that is durable and balanced.

Still, the Honda Rancher 420 has reported several problems, and owners have claimed about the issues which I discuss below:

1. Issues with the Shifter:

Honda Rancher 420 has shown the issue of being stuck due to the shift lever. When the shift lever malfunctions, the neutral indicatior flashes twice, and there is a brake light.

When the brake light is turned on, the twice-blinking neutral indicator acts as an error code for the electronic shift system. Conversely, if all the brake light switches are turned off on the brake lever, the light does not function well, and in such a scenario, the high beam performs better.

How to Fix?

The issue with the shifter in Honda Rancher 420 can be fixed easily through the following steps:

  • Step 1: Fetch a shifter tool (generally comes with the manual).
  • Step 2: Insert the tool in the over-ridden slot and hold it in its place while pushing it down.
  • Step 3: Depress the brake pedal while attempting to shift the override mechanism.
  • Step 4: Push the button on the shift and hold the shifter.
  • Step 5: After attempting all these steps, you can check the display if there is still no change in the shift lock feature.
  • Step 6: Change the settings of the default camera mode and use the feature of shift lock.

2. Issues with the Carburetor and Fuel:

The issues associated with the carburetor and fuel arise due to the dust and dirt in them, which can be resolved by cleaning them. It is advisable to clean the bowl by floating the valve and injecting the injectors to inspect the holes.

You can use the wire brush to clear and drain the obstructions from the damaged nozzle holes. However, there also arises the need to change the lead screws with compatible ones.

It is a delicate process of removing the old screws and mounting the new ones. It sometimes leads to damage to the carburetor. For example, if you wants to clean the carburetor, they can blow the air through a fuel inlet in the carburetor tubes.

How to Fix?

You can fix the issue with the carburetor and can clean it through the following steps:

  • Step 1: Use a diluted cleaner for washing the carburetor. Mix one part of cleaner in three parts of water in a container to make a dilute mix.
  • Step 2: Clean out the air filter of the carburetor and remove it.
  • Step 3: Remove the float of the carburetor along with other removable components.
  • Step 4: Soak the removable components in the diluted mixture and scrub them thoroughly.
  • Step 5: Rinse and dry away the components of the carburetor and reassemble them again.

Sometimes, dust, debris, and grime stick on the sides and walls of the carburetor. You can vacuum those using a cordless vacuum to remove them away and fix the issue with the carburetor.

You can use old clothes to protect and clean the carburetor’s surfaces. You can apply the choke cleaner in thin coats, settling the grime.

3. Issues with the Steering:

Few Honda Rancher 420 owners have reported the issue of tight steering. The steering shows such problems when Rancher is driven for about 5-10 miles per hour.

In such a situation, the vehicle accelerates quickly toward the desired direction that tightens the steering wheel.

It is recommended to tweak the tie rods, which helps lessen the tenseness created in the steering. You can examine the ball joints if they are in excessively tight condition.

You can detach the tie rods from the knuckles if there is an issue with the ball joints. It is also advisable to apply grease and oil to loosen the stiffness.

Engine blubbing is common when Honda Rancher 420 is cut off at half throttle. This issue arises due to improperly fitted valve clearances and compressions in the vehicle, which can be fixed by removing the air box. However, it is a short-term fix that can harm the engine and performance of the vehicle.

Airbox removal can cause water entry into the carburetor, damaging the motor during washing. You can replace the spark plug if you want to avoid this issue.

How to Fix?

You can fix the steering issues by following the steps:

  • Step 1: Turn the steering wheel towards the 45 degrees angle from the straight position to the left one.
  • Step 2: Turn the ignition to the ‘ON’ position.
  • Step 3: The EPS light will remain on for a few seconds and switch off.
  • Step 4: After the EPS indicator turns off, turn the steering to straight position.

4. Issues with Electronic Shift Program:

The electronic shift program is a widespread transmission that most riders love to use in their vehicle. This shift program ensures easy-time shifting gears. If you are a rider who loves to enjoy sport style, this transmission is the best option for you.

A neutral lockout function engages when you drive at a speed of more than 2 miles per hour. It makes the system of braking easier and handier.

However, sometimes, an issue arises with the electronic shift program and vehicle motor, due to which the Rancher 420 does not shift the gears.

There are various reasons behind the problem with electronic shift programs, including:

  • A wet motor due to the sudden submerging of the vehicle in the water
  •  Burning out of the motor due to hooking up with the battery
  •  Inadequate charging of the battery
  •  Grease in the shift motor gears

How to Fix?

If there arises an issue with the electronic shift program of the Honda Rancher 420, you can fix it in the following ways:

  • Step 1: Turn the ignition to the ‘ON’ position and move the transmission to a neutral state.
  • Step 2: Place the ATV in the D1 or D2 position and hold the shift buttons of your vehicle.
  • Step 3: Turn the ignition on during holding the shift buttons and fix the ECM.

You can fix the wet motor by removing it and cleaning it with an electric cleaner. You can replace the burnt motor or can install a new one.

If the battery is not adequately charged, make sure to charge it, which can fix this issue properly. If there is too much grease in the vehicle, you can replace it with all-temperature white lithium grease.

5. Issues with Height, Payload Capacity:

The seat height of the Honda Rancher is low compared to other vehicles. It has an overall height of 46.2 inches having full floorboards and steel foot pegs.

The pro-connect storage system can easily attach and detach the accessories of the Honda Rancher 420. The payload capacity of the front area is 66 pounds, while the rear area has 133 pounds.

A water-resistant storage box is also at the front side, adjust behind the large front bumper. It has a storage capacity of 1.9 L.

The issue with the rear springs and shock absorbers is responsible for creating the issue with height and payload capacity in the vehicle. 

This issue can be fixed as mentioned below.

How to Fix?

You can fix the issue with the payload capacity and height of the Honda Rancher 420 through the following steps:

  • Step 1: Upgrade the rear springs of your vehicle
  • Step 2: Add the shock absorbers to your vehicle and install a long truck bed.
  • Step 3: The next step comes with the installation of a trailer, and at last, you can add bed racks to complete the process.

6. Issues with the Fuel Tank and Towing:

The Honda Rancher 420 has an installed hitch with a tow of 848 lbs. A tank filler in the Rancher helps to fill up the 3.9-gallon fuel. It also has a reserve tank of 1.3 gallons.

Sometimes, there arises an issue with towing and fuel tank. The engine of the Honda Rancher 420 does not get enough fuel from the carburetor.

These issues can occur due to cracked vacuum hose or needle valves that might get stuck in the carburetor.
7 Common Problems with Honda Rancher 420 (With Solution)

How to Fix?

You can fix the issue of the fuel tank of your Honda Rancher 420 by using a pressure washer.

  • Step 1: Rinse the fuel tank with a washer and apply a chemical cleaning solution.
  • Step 2: Let the tank rest for a few hours so that dirt can settle easily.
  • Step 3: Then, pressure washes the fuel tank to remove the dust or rust stuck to the corners.
  • Step 4: Dry out the fuel tank for about 48 hours, and the tank is ready to add the fuel.

7. Issues with the Horsepower and Top-Speed:

Honda Rancher 420 has a longitudinal-mounted fuel-injected engine with cool liquid SOHC. The engine can produce 26.6 horsepower with a top speed of 51 mph.

The longitudinally mounted engine of this vehicle delivers the power directly to the ground. The power is delivered as an input of the throttle.

The issue with horsepower and vehicle speed is expected due to low-quality tires and the need for oil changing.

How to Fix?

You Can fix the issue with the horsepower of the Honda Rancher 420 by following tips:

  • It is recommended to use good quality and better fuel for your vehicle that can make it work properly.
  • Use an upgraded air filter in the vehicle and adjust the car’s throttle.
  • You can check out the tire size, weight, and pressure of the vehicle to adjust the horsepower of the vehicle.
  • You can upgrade the vehicle’s exhaust or change the vehicle’s gear ratio.

To know exact method to read ATV tire size, read this article.

Pros and Cons of Honda Rancher 420:



You can easily ride in this comfortable Honda Rancher 420, designed to provide overall comfort. A rider can access the handlebar control and switchgear, so you can never face trouble controlling the ATV.

This vehicle has a drum brake that is of inferior quality.

There is a powerful engine associated with the vehicle. It has a single-cylinder of 420cc, which is liquid-cooled and fuel-injected.

Honda Rancher 420 has an insufficient payload capacity that is not an appropriate one.

This vehicle provides long-lasting performance. A stainless steel exhaust system in the vehicle offers a less noisy performance. It produces less noise due to the presence of a USDA-qualified spark muffler. Long-lasting performance is ensured when the car is maintained regularly.

It has a heavy-duty automatic clutch that provides better towing capacity and driveability. The vehicle performs well because of the presence of an automatic clutch.

The rear and front rack capacity of Honda Rancher 420 is 133 lbs and 66 lbs. This capacity is higher than the other vehicles.

Final Thought:

The Honda Rancher 420 is an amazing ATV that offers riders a unique off-roading experience. Its versatility, quality, and performance give riders more than enough to enjoy.

However, as with all vehicles, it does have some aforementioned common issues that riders should be aware of. But if you keep these in mind, you can enjoy your time to the fullest when riding in your Rancher 420.

Also Read:

10 Most Common Problems with Polaris Ranger 700 XP(With Fix)
Why Are 3-Wheeler ATVs Illegal? What You Need to Know
ATV Vs Quad- Differences That You Need to Know
Can You do Yard Work with an ATV? All You Need to Know
What Is The Most Reliable Off-Road 4×4 ATV?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Which model of the Honda 4-wheeler is considered a reliable one?

The Rancher 4-by-4 TRX 420 model is regarded as the top-selling model. It is a reliable ATV that has a manual shift.

How can you reset a Honda Rancher 420?

 You can reset the Honda Rancher by following the steps:

  • Turn off the ignition switch.
  •  Move the shift of the transmission to neutral
  •  Place the ATV in the D1 or D2 position.
  •  Hold it up and down with shift buttons and turn on the ignition.

How often is it recommended to change the oil in the Honda Rancher 420?

It is recommended to change the oil in the Honda Rancher 420 after every 12 months or 100 hours. If you have traveled 600 miles, it is better to change the oil.

Does the Honda Rancher 420 own a belt?

Changing the belt in this vehicle is no hassle as it holds a gear-driven clutch. The Honda Rancher provides the power of control. A person can switch the manual and can have fun.

What do you mean by PS on the Honda four-wheeler?

PS stands for electric power steering on the Honda four-wheeler.

Is there a transmission fluid in Honda Rancher 420?

There is a properly formulated transmission fluid in the Honda Rancher 420. Other than this, a differential fluid can also protect the ATV from costly problems.

Is there an oil filter in the Honda Rancher?

An oil filter is found on the engine’s right side in the Honda Rancher 420. Sometimes, oil might leak out, so to avoid the mess; it is ragged underneath.

Which kind of gas is used in the Honda Rancher 420?

The Honda Rancher 420 engines are designed to run on the gas of regular unleaded gasoline.