Last Updated: August 15th, 2023

How To Start A Polaris ATV Without A Key?

How To Start A Polaris Atv Without A Key?

In some rare scenarios, you might lose the key to your ATV somewhere and try to figure out a way to start your quad without it.

Further trouble comes along when you lose your key somewhere on a trail or camping site. Not finding the key would mean you won’t be able to ride the ATV.

If you don’t have enough supplies and a tent, then you would have to wait until a ride comes along who can give you a lift. Many riders are often incredulous about giving someone a lift in the middle of a barren trail.

You can get your ATV started even without the key in certain ways. You will learn about it in detail here.

Experts do suggest not applying the tricks unless it’s absolutely necessary, as it’s not a healthy way for your ATV to function.

If you are stuck in the middle of a desolate terrain, you will have no choice but to start your ATV with the help of a bypassing trick.

Ending up with an ATV that doesn’t work in the middle of a wood, rocky trail, or dunes can be quite intimidating and make you severely anxious.

But you won’t have much to worry about if you know one or two tricks by which the Polaris or any other ATV can be started. The ways to get the Polaris back to life are as follows.

Solenoid jumping method

By this method, you can start your Polaris without using the key. But this method only works with an electric start option in your Polaris of the model.

First, you need to locate the solenoid, which you can find near the battery parallel to the harness of the wiring.

There will be many wires reaching out of the solenoid, but the biggest two wires need to be located only.

Between these wires, you need to establish a connection through any metal object.

Most commonly, a wrench or a metal stick can be used. In this method, you must be very careful about the metal object.

Make sure you don’t do it after one end has been connected. Use a wooden piece or something insulating to shift the position.

Check if the metal object is touching other essential parts of metal or not, as it can short them out.

Also, keep the self-circuit you made away from the other electrical components around the engine. All Polaris models would not have the same solenoid position, so look around the engine to find it.

Do not tamper with the component until you are sure that the component is the solenoid.

How To Start A Polaris Atv Without A Key?

Ignition switch replacement and screwdriver placement

This method will only work if you keep an extra ignition switch in your ATV accessories box. This replacement method can also be applied if you lose your key while the all-terrain vehicle still waits in your garage. An ignition switch is very cheap and can be easily installed on your own.

The specific ignition switch suitable for your ATV model will work the best.

You need to first remove the previous switch by loosening the ignition switch.

You can also cut the two main wires reaching the switch head to pull out the old ignition switch from the place. You can also make the ATV start even if you have a screwdriver.

You need to force the screwdriver down the ignition point and rotate it as you would have down with a key. What the screwdriver does is that the pins in the lock get broken, which lets the ATV get started.

The screwdriver would remain in the ignition spot and will be stuck in there, so you need to let it be like that until you get out of trouble and take the all-terrain vehicle to a professional mechanic.

The ignition bypass method and hot wiring

Some ATV ignition switches will have more than two wires connecting them, but most Polaris models have only two wires distinctly connected to them.

One wire among these is responsible for sending in power to the electrical box. You need to cut these two wires by leaving sufficient proportions for the future placement of a new switch.

You need to connect these two large wires to the ignition switch, and you should notice a spark.

If, after the initial connection, the ATV doesn’t start, then connect the wires again. Always be sure to connect the wires in the direction which leads to the engine direction.

If you connect the side which leads to ignition, then there won’t be much of a spark or electrical connection, and the ATV wouldn’t start.

Leave the connection between the wires for the time you ride and then after you reach the garage or home, be sure to disconnect the wires again; otherwise, the ATV wouldn’t shut down, and your vehicle’s battery will get completely exhausted.

When you witness more than two wires in your ignition switch, you should focus only on the red and black wires.

How To Start A Polaris Atv Without A Key?

Always keep black tape with your ATV, which would be essential in times like this when you might need to cut two wires and tape them together to get the ATV started for going back home.

In some Polaris models, there might be an additional black wire with white stripes. You would also give to cut this wire off the connection and tape it towards the end. This would start your Polaris if the red and black wire remained connected.


Why might someone need to start a Polaris ATV without a key?

There are scenarios where an individual might lose the key to their ATV, especially during trail rides or camping trips. Being stranded without a key in desolate terrains can be challenging, and knowing how to start the ATV without it can be crucial in such situations.

What is the solenoid jumping method to start a Polaris ATV?

The solenoid jumping method involves locating the solenoid near the battery and identifying the two largest wires connected to it. The ATV can be started by establishing a connection between these wires using a metal object, like a wrench. However, care must be taken to avoid shorting out other components and to ensure safety.

How can an ignition switch replacement help in starting the ATV without a key?

If one has an extra ignition switch in their ATV accessories box, they can replace the old one by loosening it or cutting the main wires. Once the old switch is removed, the new one can be installed. Alternatively, forcing a screwdriver down the ignition point and rotating it can also start the ATV, though this method breaks the pins in the lock.

How does the ignition bypass method work?

For Polaris models with only two distinct wires connected to the ignition switch, one can cut these wires, leaving enough length for future switch placement. By connecting these wires, a spark should be noticed, and the ATV might start. If there are more than two wires, focus on connecting the red and black wires. In some Polaris models, an additional black wire with white stripes might need to be cut and taped to start the ATV.

What basic tools should one keep handy to start their Polaris ATV without a key in emergencies?

Keeping basic tools like a screwdriver, black tape, wrench, or wire cutter can be beneficial. These tools can assist in various methods, such as the solenoid jumping method or ignition bypass method, to start the ATV without its key.


Losing your key to your ATV is a complicated scenario. Even more difficult problems arise when the key gets lost on a difficult trail ride.

The key should remain in the vehicle, but if you had pulled it out to inspect a portion of the trail on foot or check out a camping site, then being reluctant can lead to losing the key in the dark, where you might not be able to retrieve it for hours.

This would create an anxious and overwhelming situation. If you know more than one trick to get your ATV or Polaris started, then there is a great probability that you will not have to wait in the middle of a dark trail for a long time.

Just keep some basic tools like a screwdriver, black tape, wrench, or a wire cutter, and you can start your vehicle without finding the key.

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