The Polaris Ranger is a very popular utility vehicle used for outdoor recreational activities, farming, hunting, and more. This versatile vehicle has been a popular choice for off-road enthusiasts since its introduction in the early 1990s.
However, not all Polaris Ranger models are created equal. Some model years are prone to issues and may be best to avoid. It’s crucial to know which Polaris Ranger years to avoid before making a purchase.
Knowing which years to avoid can save you money, time, and a lot of headaches. It’s essential to be aware of the common problems and safety concerns that may arise in specific model years.
The last thing you want is to be stranded in the middle of nowhere with a broken-down vehicle or worse, suffer an injury due to a design flaw.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the Polaris Ranger model years to avoid and why. We’ll go over the common Polaris problems that arise in specific model years, the safety concerns associated with certain years, and how to research before purchasing a Polaris Ranger.
With this knowledge, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and choose a Polaris Ranger that will meet your needs and budget while keeping you safe.
So, whether you’re a seasoned off-road enthusiast or a farmer looking for a reliable workhorse, keep reading to learn which Polaris Ranger models to avoid and why. Let’s dive in!
Polaris Ranger Years to Avoid
The Polaris Ranger is a versatile vehicle available in various models, including the Ranger Crew, Ranger XP, and Ranger EV. While many Polaris Ranger models are known for their reliability, there are some years that are prone to issues and may be best to avoid.
I will discuss the Polaris Ranger model years to avoid and why.
1. 2009 Polaris Ranger XP
The 2009 Polaris Ranger XP is one model year to avoid due to a known defect in the throttle pedal. The throttle pedal can break, causing the vehicle to accelerate suddenly, which can lead to a loss of control and potentially result in an accident.
The other major problems reported by users is related to the engine and transmission systems. Many owners have complained about the engine overheating and failing to start, especially in cold weather conditions.
This issue is caused by a faulty thermostat and a poor cooling system design that cannot handle high temperatures and heavy loads.
Moreover, the transmission system is prone to failure due to a defective clutch and weak drive belts. This can result in poor acceleration, reduced top speed, and gear slippage. The clutch is also known to wear out quickly, causing premature failure of the transmission system.
Another critical issue with the 2009 Polaris Ranger XP is related to the suspension and steering systems. Many users have reported problems with the front suspension and steering components, including loose bolts, worn ball joints, and damaged tie rods. This can cause instability and poor handling, especially at high speeds and rough terrains.
Furthermore, the electrical system of the 2009 Polaris Ranger XP is also prone to failure due to a weak battery and a faulty charging system. Many users have reported issues with the headlights, turn signals, and other electrical components, which can lead to reduced visibility and safety risks.
Lastly, the 2009 Polaris Ranger XP has several design flaws that make it difficult to maintain and repair. For instance, the engine and transmission systems are located in a tight space, making it hard to access and replace components.
Additionally, the air filter is poorly located, which can result in clogged filters and reduced engine performance.
Therefore, the 2009 Polaris Ranger XP is a year to avoid due to several technical issues and design flaws that affect its performance, reliability, and safety. If you are looking for a Polaris Ranger, it is recommended to choose a different model year or consider other alternatives that offer better performance and quality.
2. 2010-2011 Polaris Ranger 800
The 2010 Polaris Ranger 800 is another model year to avoid due to issues with the engine. The engine is prone to overheating, which can cause serious damage and potentially result in engine failure.
The 2011 Polaris Ranger 800 is similar to the 2010 model in that it is prone to engine overheating. Additionally, the 2011 model has had issues with the fuel system, causing it to run poorly and potentially stall.
These problems have been reported by many owners and experts in the industry, and they can affect the performance, reliability, and safety of the vehicle.
One of the most significant problems with the 2010 Polaris Ranger 800 is related to the engine and transmission systems. Many owners have reported issues with the engine overheating and stalling, especially when driving at high speeds or towing heavy loads.
The transmission system is also prone to failure, with many owners reporting problems with the clutch, drive belt, and gear shift.
The suspension and steering systems of the 2010 Polaris Ranger 800 are also known to have issues. Many owners have reported problems with the front suspension, including worn ball joints and damaged tie rods.
The steering system is also prone to problems, with many owners reporting issues with the steering rack and pinion, which can cause poor handling and steering control.
In addition to these mechanical issues, the 2010 Polaris Ranger 800 also has problems with the electrical system. Many owners have reported issues with the battery and charging system, which can cause the vehicle to fail to start or stall while driving.
Other electrical problems include issues with the lights, horn, and other components.
Finally, the 2010 Polaris Ranger 800 has several design flaws that can make it difficult to maintain and repair. The engine and transmission systems are located in a tight space, making it challenging to access and replace components.
Additionally, the air filter is poorly located, which can result in clogged filters and reduced engine performance.
3. 2014 Polaris Ranger XP 900
The 2014 Polaris Ranger XP 900 is a model year to avoid due to issues with the transmission. The transmission is known to fail prematurely, which can cause the vehicle to stop moving suddenly, potentially resulting in an accident.
The 2014 Polaris Ranger XP 900 is also considered a year to avoid due to a major recall that was issued by Polaris Industries. The recall affected approximately 42,500 Ranger 900 vehicles, which were sold in various colors and configurations, including the Ranger XP 900, Ranger XP 900 EPS, and Ranger Crew 900 models.
The recall was issued after it was discovered that the heat shield on the vehicles could fall off, posing a fire and burn hazard to riders. Polaris received 36 reports of the recalled vehicles overheating and catching on fire, resulting in three minor burns and one sprained wrist.
All 2014 Ranger 900 models and Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) were included in the recall. Polaris advised consumers to immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact the company to schedule a free repair. Polaris also contacted all known purchasers directly.
The affected vehicles were sold at Polaris dealers nationwide from April 2013 through June 2014 for between $13,200 and $16,200. The recall was issued by Polaris Industries Inc., which is based in Medina, Minnesota, and the vehicles were manufactured in the United States and Mexico.
Nevertheless, the 2014 Polaris Ranger XP 900 is a year to avoid due to the major recall issued by Polaris Industries, which affected over 42,500 vehicles and posed a fire and burn hazard to riders.
Buyers should carefully research any vehicle they are considering purchasing and check for any recalls or safety issues before making a purchase.
4. 2015 – 2016 Polaris Ranger 570
The 2015 Polaris Ranger 570 is another model year to avoid due to issues with the transmission and overheating. The transmission is prone to slipping, causing the vehicle to lose power and potentially stall.
In 2015 and 2016, Polaris released the Ranger 570 vehicles. Unfortunately, these two model years are associated with a recall of approximately 43,000 units.
The recall was announced after it was discovered that the vehicles could overheat during heavy engine loading, slow-speed intermittent use, and/or high outdoor temperatures, posing a potential fire hazard.
The problem is linked to a range of model variations for the two model years.
The recalled Ranger 570 recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs) are available in two or four seats with a rear box. “Ranger” is printed on the rear box and “570” on the hood, and “Polaris” is stamped onto the front grill.
The ROVs come in several colors, and various models are included in the recall, such as Ranger 570, Ranger Crew 570, and Ranger Crew 570 EPS HD.
While no injuries have been reported due to this problem, Polaris received seven reports of the recalled ROVs overheating and catching on fire. Therefore, the company advised consumers to stop using the recalled ROVs immediately and contact Polaris to schedule a free repair.
The recalled vehicles were sold at Polaris dealers nationwide from August 2014 through June 2016, with prices ranging between $10,000 and $12,500. Polaris Industries Inc., of Medina, Minn., was responsible for importing and distributing the vehicles. They were manufactured in Mexico.
5. 2013- 2018 Polaris RZR
The Polaris RZR from 2013 to 2018 is a year to avoid due to its high risk of fire. Polaris Industries issued 10 RZR recalls during this period, citing fire hazards, which is more than any other competing product.
Over 180 RZR fires have been reported, which have resulted in the death of four people and severe burns to at least 30 others, mostly young individuals. The victims have often been left with little more than a skeletal metal frame and scorched earth.
Despite Polaris Industries’ repeated assurances to customers that the RZR is safe, videos on YouTube showing RZRs on fire continue to surface.
A wave of litigation, including wrongful-death and personal-injury claims, shareholder suits, and a lawsuit seeking class-action status, has alleged that the company tried to cover up its knowledge of faulty products.
The RZR, which is pronounced “razor,” was introduced in 2007 as the first off-road vehicle designed for recreational driving, unlike its predecessors, which were primarily used for farm and maintenance work.
It is known as a side-by-side, with occupants seated beside each other. The RZR provides an exhilarating driving experience and comes in two- and four-seat versions, priced between $5,300 to $28,200.
Potential buyers should take note of the high fire hazard risk associated with the 2013 to 2018 Polaris RZR and conduct thorough research before purchasing.
It is crucial to check for recalls and safety issues, even if the manufacturer assures buyers that their product is safe. Safety should always be a top priority when purchasing any vehicle.
Importance of Researching Before Purchasing
When it comes to purchasing a Polaris Ranger, it’s essential to do your research before making a decision. While many models are reliable and well-designed, certain years have known issues that can lead to safety concerns and costly repairs.
To ensure you’re purchasing a Polaris Ranger that meets your needs and budget while keeping you safe, take the time to research the different models and model years available.
Check online reviews and forums, speak with other Polaris Ranger owners, and consult with a reputable dealer to learn more about the specific model you’re interested in.
By doing your research, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and choose a Polaris Ranger that will provide you with years of reliable use while keeping you safe on the road and off.
Polaris Ranger Safety Concerns
While the Polaris Ranger is designed with safety in mind, certain model years have known safety concerns that potential buyers should be aware of. The following are some of the most common safety concerns associated with certain Polaris Ranger model years:
- Roll-over accidents: The Polaris Ranger has been associated with roll-over accidents, which can cause serious injury or death. Certain model years, such as the 2010 and 2011 Ranger 800, have been linked to a higher risk of roll-over accidents.
- Throttle pedal defects: As mentioned earlier, the 2009 Polaris Ranger XP is prone to a known defect in the throttle pedal, which can cause sudden acceleration and loss of control.
- Brake failures: Certain model years of the Polaris Ranger have had issues with the brakes, including the 2014 Ranger XP 900. Brake failures can cause the vehicle to be difficult to stop, potentially resulting in an accident.
- Engine overheating: Overheating engines can cause serious damage to the vehicle and potentially result in engine failure. Certain model years, such as the 2010 and 2011 Ranger 800, are prone to engine overheating.
The Polaris Ranger is a versatile and popular utility vehicle that can be used for work or play. While many models are well-designed and reliable, certain model years have known issues that potential buyers should be aware of.
Common Problems in Polaris Rangers
In addition to safety concerns, there are several common mechanical and technical issues that have been reported in various Polaris Ranger models. Knowing these issues can help you anticipate potential problems and address them early on, saving you time, money, and frustration. Here are some of the most common problems that Polaris Ranger owners have reported:
- Electrical Issues: Many Polaris Ranger models have had problems with electrical components, such as the battery, charging system, and starter. These issues can result in the vehicle not starting, failing to charge, or stalling out while in use. It’s important to regularly check and maintain the electrical system in your Polaris Ranger to avoid these problems.
- Suspension Problems: Some Polaris Ranger models have had issues with the suspension, including failing shock absorbers and worn-out bushings. These problems can cause a bumpy and uncomfortable ride, as well as affect the handling and stability of the vehicle.
- Transmission Issues: Transmission problems are common in some Polaris Ranger models, with issues ranging from difficulty shifting gears to complete transmission failure. Regular maintenance and proper use can help prevent transmission problems, but it’s important to address any issues as soon as they arise to avoid more costly repairs.
- Fuel System Issues: The fuel system in some Polaris Ranger models has been known to develop issues, including fuel pump failures, clogged fuel filters, and fuel leaks. These issues can cause the vehicle to stall or fail to start, as well as pose a fire hazard if fuel leaks are not addressed promptly.
- Cooling System Issues: Some Polaris Ranger models have had problems with their cooling systems, including overheating engines and leaking radiators. Overheating engines can cause serious damage to the vehicle and potentially result in engine failure, while leaking radiators can cause the vehicle to lose coolant and overheat.
- Belt Problems: Some Polaris Ranger models have had issues with the drive belt, including premature wear and failure. This can cause reduced performance and potentially leave you stranded if the belt fails completely.
- Braking System Issues: In addition to the safety concerns mentioned earlier, some Polaris Ranger models have had problems with their braking systems. Issues can include worn brake pads, damaged rotors, and brake fluid leaks, all of which can affect the vehicle’s ability to stop safely.
It’s important to keep in mind that not all Polaris Ranger models will experience these issues, and regular maintenance and proper use can help prevent many of these problems. However, being aware of the common problems can help you identify potential issues early on and take steps to address them before they become more serious and costly to repair.
Polaris Rangers have been a popular choice for off-road enthusiasts and utility work for many years. However, like any vehicle, they come with their own set of potential problems and safety concerns.
It’s essential to be aware of these issues and take necessary steps to address them to ensure the safe and efficient operation of your Polaris Ranger.
From experience and other user reviews, some of the Polaris Ranger years to avoid include; 2009 Polaris Ranger XP, 2014 Polaris Ranger XP 900, 2015 Polaris Ranger 570 and 2013 to 2018 Polaris RZR.
When choosing a Polaris Ranger, it’s important to do your research and choose a model that is known for reliability and durability. Additionally, regular maintenance, proper use, and addressing any issues as soon as they arise can help prevent many of the common problems and safety concerns associated with Polaris Rangers.
If you do experience any issues with your Polaris Ranger, it’s important to work with a reputable and experienced mechanic or dealership to identify and address the problem as soon as possible.
Ignoring potential problems can lead to more serious issues down the road and compromise the safety and reliability of your vehicle.
In summary, while Polaris Rangers can be a great choice for off-road adventures and work purposes, it’s essential to be aware of their potential problems and safety concerns. By staying informed and taking proper precautions, you can enjoy the benefits of your Polaris Ranger for years to come.