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zancat

1999 Arctic Cat 250 Starting Problems

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Okay, I have a 99 Arctic cat 250cc 2x4. I bought it knowing it had problems, it burned oil all the time when I drove it. I had it taken in to a professional who fixed it, bored it out whatever needed done to it. That was back in Sept, it was running fine until I noticed it was leaking oil. So, we fixed the line that was cut and it was fine. Just recently it wouldn't start, and when I finally got it going but it sounded aweful, would bog down, and would shut off whenever I slowed down. Now it won't start at all. I've noticed that it also smokes when I first start it up but then will quit once I've run it for a bit. The spark plug gets dirty so fast, I thought the guy had fixed all that. I want to know is this a fixable problem or will it keep coming back and will I just be wasting my money. I really like the bike, the lights work, the reverse it good, it shifts good, the body's nice, and it ran well when it was working. It's big and sturdy, and whenever I hit something or run over a a tree limb it doesn't feel like I'm going to fly over the handle bars. I'm willing to put more money into it, as long as it's going to fix the problem once and for all. If any of you have and ideas or advice I'd appreciate it, thanks

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Check your air filter, check the carb for a possible stuck float. If you don't find anything wrong there, check your timing chain, ignition timing and valve lash.

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The best way to check the previous work would be a compression test.

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A compression test is definately a good idea. If you don't have proper compression it could mean that the recent cylinder work was not done properly, or it could mean that the valves aren't sealing properly. That could be either valve guides or the valves aren't seating properly in the head either because there is not enough valve clearance and the valves aren't closing all the way, or the seating surfaces aren't sealing when the valves close. The smoking kind of points to oil leaking into the cylinder which would be either the piston/rings or the valve guides.

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My stepdad suggested we do that. When I had my oil leak, I didn't realize it. I was out riding, noticed I was almost out of gas and I turned around to head back. On the way, the 4 wheeler started to chug and slow down. I thought it was because I was running out of gas, here it was I was out of oil too. We replaced part of the hose, and filled it with oil again but it would have days where it wouldn't want to start. Then my stepbrother messed with it and got it running again and it was fine for a couple of weeks, I took it on long rides and everything so I thought all the trouble was over with. Now all of a sudden it won't start. Would it take that long for the cylinder to go bad? I tried to get to the air filter, but guy who replaced it put them on so tight I can't get them off without ruining the screws. I put my hand over the air vent and whenever I try to start it I can feel it sucking air. We checked the gasline and it's getting gas too. I just need a part and then I can do the compression test, but it sounds like I'll have to take it in again. Thank you all for your advice

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You are definately going to want to figure out how to get that air cleaner off. Replace the screws if you have to, but it will have to be cleaned sometime. You also might want to try taking the carb apart and cleaning it, it sounds like you have other problems too, but a carb cleaning may help out, especially if the machine has ever sat without being run for an exteded period.

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I'm going to take it in sometime soon, I'll ask them to remove the screws and check the air filter out for me. If this isn't something that's going to be fixable, what kind (brand) of atv do you recommend. I know not all arctic cats are like mine, it's just that mine was abused before I got it. I see a lot Hondas for sale, and that makes me wonder if they have more problems than Yamaha or other brands. Thanks again

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The 250 Cat is a nice ATV. Let us know what you find out with the carb. Mine would bog down and it was a stuck float. I think the engine noise may be valve lash, you can also try runing a synthetic oil.

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DirtDemon said it might be a stuck float or the valve lash. Hopefully it is something fixable, it is a nice ride. I use 10w40, wouldn't a synthetic oil damage the engine since I've never used it before? If not, I'm willing to give a shot if you think it will help.

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Synthetic oil won't damage your engine, nor will it solve your problems. It will provide superior protection though.

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You didn't specifically say but the oil you use should be for ATVs, motorcycles, etc because there is additives in those for your clutch.

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I've been using the 10w40 from walmart, it's probably not the right thing. There's an atv store across from where I work, from now on I guess I'll get my oil from there. Is there an oil filter on my atv? I haven't seen anything like it but that doesn't mean that it's not there. I'm sorry I've been asking so many questions, I'll quit.

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You can get the ATV/Motorcycle oil from Autozone, Oreilly's, etc.

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Ask as many questions as you like. That’s how we all learned. As mentioned above the Wal-Mart oil if fine as long as it is wet clutch safe. There is an oil filter there somewhere try looking under the front fenders near the front of the engine. The ATV shop across the way should be able to cross reference a filter for you. You do not need to run the AC brand.

To clarify my statement above synthetic oil will not solve mechanical problems. However I do notice it helps the machine to run quieter and sometimes cooler. You can switch to synthetic but it is not good to switch back and forth, mixing of the two is also not recommended even though there are some products out there that do just that.

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"You can switch to synthetic but it is not good to switch back and forth, mixing of the two is also not recommended even though there are some products out there that do just that." Okay, so in that respect it's like a car. I have a different question altogether now, if the bike checks out and it's fixable, I want to put new front tires on it. I don't have to remove the brakes or anything to do that right? Just remove the bolts and put it on like a car tire. I want to do it myself so that's why I'm asking.

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The wheels are the only thing that will have to come off, just like changing a car tire like you said, only smaller.

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We did a compression test, bad news. Looks like it's going back to the shop. I've learned my lesson now, if it makes noise, stop!

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It is definately a good idea to stop riding when your machine starts making strange noises. It is unfortunate that you had to learn that the hard way. How are you with a wrench? It would save you alot of money and could be a good learning experience to do it yourself. Maybe you have a friend or relative that is good with machines who could help you out. With a manual, the right tools, and some help if needed most engine work is not that hard to do. Most machine work would still need to be done at a shop, but if you could disassemble and reassemble the machine yourself you would save a ton of $$$. You can always turn to us for advice as well, like Swampcat said, ask as many questions as you like, that is why we hang out in this forum, to talk ATV's and help people like yourself who have questions that need answers.

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Ooooh, I wasn't allowed to take it apart the first time it had problems, and seeing how this time I broke it, I doubt those feelings have changed. I don't have a manual either, which is a bummer. I could probably take it apart, but no one would get it back together again. I'm not a mechanically savvy person. Saving money would be nice, especially since I had this all done 3 months ago. It's all been very unfortunate, being my first atv and all, but it hasn't turned me off from them. I'll just do what I need to do and get it fixed and pray that I make another huge mistake like this again. Thank you for being supportive about this, it helps.

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Well good luck to you, I hope you can get that thing up and running again sooner than later. Let us know if you need anything.

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I've been using the 10w40 from walmart, it's probably not the right thing. There's an atv store across from where I work, from now on I guess I'll get my oil from there. Is there an oil filter on my atv? I haven't seen anything like it but that doesn't mean that it's not there. I'm sorry I've been asking so many questions, I'll quit.

My book covers 250 and 300 so I assume their the same. My oil filter is on the right side rear in behind tire area. It is not a screw off kind like a car. you remove a cap and it comes out. Mine calls for 10w30. I think 10w40 is to heavey a weight.

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Thanks! I'll have to look for the oil filter next time I'm down at the garage. It says 10w40 on the screw cap, otherwise I'd have never known what to put in it.

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Thanks! I'll have to look for the oil filter next time I'm down at the garage. It says 10w40 on the screw cap, otherwise I'd have never known what to put in it.

Ouch, I feel really stupid.:eek: I looked in my book, and your right, it says clear as day 10w40. I will check twice from now on before I post specifications. Sorry about that. If you need anything else out of the book, let me know and I can copy pages and email them to you. Just pm me your email address...

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Don't worry, I'm glad for your help. If any questions come up about my cat I'll be sure to ask you. Tomorrow I'm going to try and take it in to get fixed. I really miss riding, but I guess I broke it at a good time. Can't ride it in this weather. Have a Happy New Year and thanks!

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