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6 Most Common Honda Big Red UTV Problems- How to Fix

Are you a proud owner of a Honda Big Red UTV? This multipurpose utility vehicle has been a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts and work crews alike for its reliability and versatility. However, like any machine, the Honda Big Red is not immune to issues.

Common Honda Big Red UTV Problems include transmission issues, engine failure, power loss, malfunctioning differential lock, poor performance, and incorrect oil readings. However, proper maintenance and care can solve these problems quickly and efficiently.

In this article, I’ll go over some common Honda Big Red UTV problems and how to fix them. I’ve got you covered whether you’re experiencing engine trouble or transmission issues. So buckle up, and let’s dive into the world of Honda Big Red UTV troubleshooting!

Big Red UTV is a SxS:

The Honda Big Red UTV, also known as the MUV700, falls under the “side by side category” (SxS) of vehicles. Honda has manufactured this multipurpose utility vehicle for several years, and the MUV in its name stands for “Multipurpose Utility Vehicle”. The Pioneer 700-4 SXS is the current replacement for this model.

Basic Features of Honda Big Red UTV:

Feature

Type/ Value

Valves

4

Valves Per Cylinder

4

Valve Configuration

OHV

Starter

Electric

Engine Type

Single-Cylinder

Cylinders

1

Engine Stroke

4-Stroke

Cooling

Liquid

Fuel Injector Size (mm)

40

Carburetor

No

Carburetion Type

Fuel Injected

Transmission Type

Automatic

Fuel Requirements

Regular

Fuel Type

Gas

Fuel Injector

Yes

Number Of Speeds

3

Primary Drive (Front Wheel)

Shaft

Hi / Low Range

Yes

Brake Type

Hydraulic Disc

Suspension Type

Independent Double Wishbone

With this information, let me jump to the associated problems and their fixes.

1. Problems with the Transmission:

Many Honda Big Red UTV owners have reported issues with its transmission system.

The Big Red UTV has a three-speed gearbox, meaning it has three gears for forward motion and one for reverse.

The most common issue reported is that the vehicle becomes sluggish while shifting gears, particularly in cold weather. This usually happens due to two main reasons:  

  • The vehicle has idled for too long
  • The transmission oil level is lower than the normal level

When the vehicle is idling for too long, the transmission fluid begins to break down, causing sluggishness in gear-shifting. This can be solved by keeping the engine running for short bursts and then allowing it to rest.

6 Common Honda Big Red UTV Problems- How to Fix

The second major cause of transmission problems is low levels of transmission oil. Low transmission oil levels can cause the gear to become stuck and the UTV unable to start.

Some major reasons and their fixes are:

1.1. Issue due to Automatic Clutch:

Since the UTV has an automatic transmission, it also means it has an automatic clutch. The automatic clutch engages when a person applies the throttle. The clutch engages slightly when the UTV or ATV is idling higher than usual. 

This engagement of the clutch place tension on the metal gears, which are inside the gearbox. It becomes challenging to shift the gears due to this sudden pressure.

How to Fix:

It is advisable to detect the issue with clutch engagement which places extra pressure on the metal gears.

You can detect the problem and seek help from a mechanic to resolve this issue with the automatic clutch in the Honda Big Red UTV.

1.2. Issue due to Transmission Oil:

The problem with the transmission in Honda Big Red UTV could also be due to lousy transmission oil. It can disrupt the working of the transmission system in the vehicle.

How to Fix:

It is advisable to keep an eye on the oil viscosity in your vehicle during riding. If the viscosity level is not suitable for the transmission oil, it is recommended to change it to avoid transmission issues.

1.3. Issue due to Transmission Component:

The malfunctioning transmission components of Honda Big Red UTV can cause problems in the shifting process of gears. It becomes arduous for the rider to enjoy their adventurous off-roading ride with transmission component issues.

How to Fix:

The solution for a malfunctioned transmission component is to replace the entire component with a new one. You can contact the dealership for this purpose or seek an automobile expert’s help.

1.4. Over-Exposure of Vehicle to Cold Weather:

The transmission of Honda Big Red UTV shows an issue when the vehicle is over-exposed to cold weather. This over-exposure of the vehicle to cold weather can cause the gears to stick, and the vehicle face trouble in starting unless a person opts for a higher gear.

How to Fix:

The most common cause of transmission problems in cold weather is incorrect viscosity oil in the engine. The viscosity of oil refers to its thickness and its ability to flow.

When temperatures drop, oil thickens, making it more difficult to flow through the engine and lubricate its moving parts. This can lead to increased wear and tear on the engine, resulting in transmission problems.

To avoid transmission problems in cold weather, it is essential to use the correct viscosity oil in your Honda Big Red UTV. For temperatures above 20 degrees Fahrenheit, you should use 10W30 oil.

However, for temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, it is recommended that you use 5W30 oil.

2. Engine Failure:

The most common cause of engine failure in the Honda Big Red UTV is an accumulation of fluid on the underbody shield. This can lead to the transmission drying out, leading to an eventual engine shutdown.

6 Common Honda Big Red UTV Problems- How to Fix

A dead battery is another common cause of engine failure in the Honda Big Red UTV. If the battery is not charged, the engine cannot turn over and start. 

To determine if the battery is dead, you can use a multimeter or a voltmeter to test it. If the reading is below 12 volts, the battery is dead and must be replaced.

Besides a dead battery, the other issues that may prevent the UTV’s engine from starting include the following:

  • A blown fuse – If it has been blown, it can prevent the UTV from starting. You can use a multimeter to test the connection to check for a blown fuse. If the multimeter indicates that the fuse is blown, it must be replaced.
  • Loose battery cables – If the battery cables are loose, the engine will not be able to start. It is essential to check the battery cables for any signs of wear and tear and to ensure they are properly connected.
  • A swamped engine – If the engine has been swamped, it must be drained before it can be restarted. This is especially important if the engine has been submerged in water or mud. To drain the engine, you must locate the drain plug and use a suction pump to remove the fluid.
  • Neutral transmission – If the UTV is neutral, then the engine will not be able to start. To ensure that the transmission is in the correct position, you can use a multimeter to test the connection and ensure it is in the correct spot.

How to Fix:

The only solution for engine problems in Honda Big Red UTV is replacing the engine unit completely. You can consult your UTV manual for instructions and fix minor issues.

But if the entire engine unit needs to be replaced, it is better to seek help from an automobile expert.

3. Power Loss in Vehicle:

The vehicle shows a significant lag in acceleration when it is being driven in terrains that are steep, muddy, or in the mountains.

The major reasons for the power loss in Honda Big red UTV include:

  • The presence of bad quality fuel in the vehicle
  • Choked filers and injectors of the vehicle
  • Fault in the spark plug
  • Improper levels of oil
  • Dirty fuel in the engine

Accumulation of dust and dirt in the vehicle makes the liquid more dilute resulting in power loss.

Moreover, disturbed levels of oil in a vehicle, especially a higher amount, can lead to froth production in the vehicle's lubrication system. This reduces the oil's ability to lubricate the vehicle's moving parts. 

Lower oil levels in the vehicle put extra load on the engine and increase friction resulting in power loss.

How to Fix:

If you are experiencing engine power loss in your Honda Big Red UTV, there are several steps you can take to fix this issue.

  • Step 1: Check the Fuel Filter-

The fuel filter is responsible for filtering out debris and contaminants from the fuel before it reaches the engine. If the fuel filter is jammed, it can limit fuel flow to the engine, causing power loss. Check the fuel filter and replace it if it is clogged or dirty.

  • Step 2: Check the Air Filter-

The air filter is responsible for filtering out dust and debris from the air before it enters the engine. If the air filter is dirty, it can restrict airflow to the engine, causing power loss. Check the air filter and replace it if it is dirty or clogged.

  • Step 3: Check the Spark Plug-

The spark plug is accountable for igniting the fuel and air mixture in the engine. In case the spark plug is defective, it can cause misfires and power loss. So check the spark plug and replace it if worn or damaged.

  • Step 4: Check the Battery-

Low battery voltage can cause power loss. Check the battery connections and charge or replace the battery if it is dead.

  • Step 5: Check the Carburetor-

A dirty or clogged carburetor can cause power loss. Clean the carburetor or replace it if it is damaged.

  • Step 6: Check the Ignition Coil-

A faulty ignition coil can cause power loss. Check the ignition coil and replace it if it is faulty or damaged.

By following these steps, you can fix the power loss issue in your Honda Big Red UTV. However, if you are not comfortable performing these steps yourself, it is recommended to seek the assistance of a qualified mechanic.

4. Malfunctioned Differential Lock:

The differential lock is one of the biggest problems with the Honda Big Red UTV. This system is responsible for locking the front wheel and preventing it from spinning independently from the other.

The most common cause of this issue is the previous use of the UTV on uneven ground. This can cause the front drive shaft to pop out of the front differential, cutting power to the wheels.
6 Common Honda Big Red UTV Problems- How to Fix

How to Fix:

Here’s how you can fix a malfunctioning differential lock in your Honda Big Red UTV:

  • Step 1: Check the Electrical Connections-

The first step in fixing a malfunctioning differential lock is to check the electrical connections. Ensure that the electrical connections are secure and free from corrosion. If there is corrosion or a loose connection, clean the connection and tighten it appropriately.

  • Step 2: Check the Solenoid:

The solenoid is a critical component in the differential lock system that engages and disengages the lock. If the solenoid is faulty or damaged, it can cause the differential lock to malfunction. Therefore, check the solenoid and replace it if it is defective or damaged.

6 Common Honda Big Red UTV Problems- How to Fix
  • Step 3: Inspect the Actuator:

The actuator is responsible for engaging and disengaging the differential lock. If the actuator is damaged, it can cause the differential lock to malfunction. Therefore, inspect the actuator and replace it if it is damaged.

  • Step 4: Check the Differential Lock Cable

The differential lock cable connects the differential lock actuator to the differential. If the cable is damaged or broken, it can cause the differential lock to malfunction. Therefore, check the cable and replace it if it is damaged or broken.

  • Step 5: Check the Differential Lock Mechanism

The differential lock mechanism is responsible for engaging and disengaging the differential lock. If the mechanism is damaged, it can cause the differential lock to malfunction. So, check the mechanism and replace it if it is damaged.

5. Poor Performance:

The engine of Honda Big Red UTV holds a sensitive build. But, different users have complained that the engine dies, which means that the vehicle does not perform as it should when it is being the driver in muddy, sandy, or rocky terrains.

It often happens when dirt clogs the filters and injectors of the vehicle, and whenever this situation arises, it should be immediately addressed. The dirt and clogging in the air filters can decrease the engine's performance, causing premature wear.

Dirty fuel in the engine also leads to its poor performance. It has been noted that gasoline takes about 30 days for decomposition.

During this time, the varnish is formed inside the vehicle’s carburetor and prevents the proper circulation of gasoline. It prevents the Big Red UTV from starting correctly.

How to Fix:

Cleaning the clogged or dirty air filters and other engine components properly is recommended to speed up their working. You can clean them on your own, or you can seek help from a mechanic too.

If you further want the best engine performance, you can add a gasoline stabilizer too in your vehicle to tackle the issue with gasoline.

6. Improper Oil Reading:

Proper lubrication is crucial for the optimal performance and longevity of your Honda Big Red UTV engine. An incorrect oil reading can lead to engine damage and increased wear and tear on engine components.

How to Fix:

To prevent this problem, selecting the appropriate oil for your vehicle is imperative.

According to the manufacturer’s instructions, the SAE 10W-30 (Pro Honda GN4 4-stroke oil) with an API service classification of SG or higher is recommended for your Honda Big Red UTV. 

Using the recommended oil type and grade will ensure that your engine is lubricated correctly, preventing an erroneous oil reading and reducing the likelihood of premature engine failure.

To maintain the correct oil level, it is essential to check it regularly. Before checking the oil level:

  1. Ensure the dipstick is clean and debris-free.
  2. Then, insert the dipstick into the engine and remove it to check the oil level against the markings on the dipstick.
  3. If the oil level is low, add the recommended oil until the level reaches the appropriate level.

Pros and Cons of Honda Big Red UTV:

Pros

Cons

Honda Big Red UTV is excellent for camping, trips, and off-roading. These vehicles can pass through rough terrains and even muddy and rocky terrains.

Honda Big Red UTV has a maximum speed of 40 MPH only.

Honda Big Red UTVs are known to have a lower center of gravity in them. Therefore, there are lower chances of rolling even if 2-6 people are in the vehicle. In addition, this vehicle has wide wheels and offers improved stability while riding it.

Honda Big Red UTV offers low-ground usage to its rider.

Honda Big Red UTV has a strong structure that ensures the safety of its riders. A cage in this UTV helps prevent body damage until all the passengers are seated in the vehicle.

This vehicle is noisy compared to other vehicles due to its rattling doors and front and rear differentials.

Honda Big Red UTV is easy to control as it has a steering wheel, gas pedals, and a brake. There is also a clutch for manual transmission.

There is a rugged instrument behind the steering wheel in Big Red UTV, which is not easy to control due to its big size.

There is greater passenger capacity in Big Red UTV, which the whole family can easily participate in enjoying the off-roading adventure.

Honda Big Red UTV Users’ Feedback/Review:

“I’ve been using the Honda Big Red for work on my farm for the past two years, and it has been nothing but reliable. It can handle the toughest terrain, and it has a great suspension system that smooths out even the roughest rides. I’ve also used it to tow heavy loads, and it doesn’t struggle at all. Overall, I’m very happy with my purchase.”

– John D

I use the Honda Big Red for hunting and off-roading, and it hasn’t let me down yet. It’s got plenty of power to climb steep hills and crawl over rocks, and the four-wheel drive system is excellent. The only downside is that it’s not the fastest UTV out there, but that’s not a big deal for me.”

– Mike T

I bought the Honda Big Red for my construction business, and it’s been a great investment. It’s got a lot of cargo space, and it can easily carry all the tools and supplies I need for a job. The UTV is also very maneuverable, which is essential when working in tight spaces. I highly recommend it.”

– Sarah H

I use the Honda Big Red for recreational purposes, and it’s been a blast. It’s got a comfortable seat and a smooth ride, and it’s easy to handle. I’ve taken it on some pretty rough trails, and it’s never let me down. Plus, it looks great, which is always a plus.”

– Alex

As you can see, the Honda Big Red has a lot of satisfied customers. Whether you need a UTV for work or play, this vehicle can handle whatever you throw at it. So if you’re in the market for a reliable UTV, the Honda Big Red is definitely worth considering.

Final Thought:

The Honda Big Red UTV is a sturdy and reliable vehicle that can provide you with a great off-road experience. While some common problems you should be aware of, they are not necessarily indicative of a major issue and can easily be rectified.

If you take good care of the UTV, perform routine maintenance, and check for any signs of wear and tear, you should have a worry-free experience with the Honda Big Red UTV.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs):

Is Honda Big Red considered a good vehicle?

Yes, Honda Big Red is a multipurpose vehicle and a good choice. It has a robust tube structure that offers big red chassis. The strong structure of Big Red is built to last longer. It holds an excellent frame that is well-designed and clean.

What is the top speed offered by Big Red 700?

The top speed offered by Big Red is 40 mph, and it produces less sound. This vehicle can perform better than Polaris, Can-Am, and Arctic cat, but it is seen that this vehicle does not go beyond 60 mph.

In which year Big Red UTV by Honda was released for sale?

Big Red UTV was released for sale in the year 2011-2012. It is a side-by-side vehicle with a hydraulic torque converter and is easy to use. It has an automatic transmission in it which performs an intuitive performance.

What is the worth of a Honda Big red UTV?

Honda Big Red UTV holds an average price of $7000, which is its retail price. The suggested list price of Big Red is $11,000, which is its base price.

How many gears are present in Honda Big Red?

Honda Big red is a three-speed automatic vehicle having a hydraulic torque convertor. The automatic transmission of the Big Red has a torque convertor, hydraulic clutches, and an ECM (Electronic control module), which help select the forward and reverse gears.

Which model of Honda Big Red is considered the most powerful one?

The model Four Trax Rincon of Honda from 2022 is considered the most powerful. It has a liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine, considered the largest engine in the entire range of Honda ATVs.