Will an ATV Run Without a Rectifier?

If you are a new owner of an ATV and are experiencing issues with it starting or running, checking the rectifier can be a good first step. The rectifier helps convert AC voltage to DC voltage to help the engine run. It is important to understand how the rectifier works, so you’ll know whether you need to replace it or if you can go without one. 

Will an ATV run without a rectifier? Yes, an ATV can run without a rectifier, but only if it is a kick start ATV and not battery operated.

The ability to run an ATV without a rectifier depends completely on what kind of ATV you have. A battery-operated ATV will need a rectifier to run. On the other hand, a kickstart ATV runs on voltage and can operate without a rectifier. A battery ATV can run with a bad rectifier for a short time, but you run the risk of blowing out lamps or fuses. You are better off staying on the cautious side and replacing the rectifier if needed. 

This article will go into detail about rectifiers as well as what impact they have on your ATV.  It is possible to run your ATV without a rectifier. There are just certain ways to go about it, as well as ways to replace it and when you should. It is important to understand how the rectifier works to make sure your ATV is running optimally. 

What Does a Rectifier Do?   

The rectifier has an important job for your ATV. It helps turn AC voltage into DC voltage, which will help your battery keep a charge. This will allow your ATV to run better for longer. While you can start your ATV without one, your battery will drain faster, and you’ll likely blow a fuse if you do it multiple times.  

The rectifier helps start your battery engine. A battery-operated ATV runs by the battery charge, but needs voltage to be converted between the battery and the engine. The rectifier is that converter that helps your ATV start and run smoothly. If you start experiencing issues with your ATV starting, your rectifier could be going bad. 

A rectifier protects your ATV from blowing fuses. While it’s important to protect your battery, blowing fuses can also impact your ATV. A blown fuse could also take out a hard-to-reach light, which is additional work for you that could have been avoided. Not to mention, it may become expensive depending on which light was blown. 

Additional damage could be done towards switches and sensors. Similar to blowing out lights, sensors and switches could also be short-circuited due to poorly ventilated voltages. This can cause expensive damage that could have easily been avoided with a repaired or replaced.

Can My ATV Run Without a Rectifier?

It depends on the ATV. A kickstart ATV would run on voltage rather than batteries, so it would have its own voltage regulator. As such, that ATV would not need a rectifier and could potentially run without it. You may just have some issues with lights working, but if that isn’t a concern, then you would be good without one. 

It is possible to run an ATV without a rectifier; you just need to be smart about it. If your rectifier is going bad and your ATV is having trouble starting but will start, then you can keep using it. Your ATV will continue to work; you just may be at a higher chance of blowing fuses. So, it’s important to replace the rectifier as soon as you can. If you need to ride it a bit before you can get the rectifier replaced, you will probably be okay, but don’t blame us if something goes wrong.

Your battery will not hold as good of a charge without it. The rectifier also helps your battery charge if your ATV is battery-run. A kick-start ATV won’t be affected as much, but one with a battery may not run as long or as well. Your battery will not charge without a rectifier, so your ATV will only work for a short time. 

A battery-operated ATV will have trouble starting without one. The battery-operated ATVs need the rectifier to convert the voltage to start the engine. Without it, the engine will have trouble starting. So, you will need a rectifier for that kind of ATV. A rectifier going bad will also make it hard for an ATV to start. 

Can I Replace an ATV’s Rectifier?

You can pick up a replacement rectifier at pretty much any ATV store. You can also probably find the rectifier you need on Amazon or other online stores. A rectifier replacement can cost anywhere from $50-$100. 

  • Replacing the rectifier will cost less than running your ATV without it. While dishing out $100 doesn’t sound like a great time, it isn’t bad when compared to purchasing a new light or battery. Those can be more expensive and won’t put off the need to replace your rectifier.
  • YouTube is your friend. If you want to install the replacement part yourself, there are multiple videos you can watch to do the labor. This can save on the cost of paying someone else to replace it for you. If you’d rather not tinker with your ATV, most shops can replace it for you for an additional labor fee. 
  • You should also test the rectifier before going out to buy a new one. Just because your ATV has trouble starting does not mean the rectifier is the only issue. You should check it before going out and spending unnecessary money. You can check it by measuring the voltage with a voltage meter. Check out the video below for more information. 

Some extra tips you will want to know! 

First and foremost, be mindful of all the running parts of your ATV. Similar to what was written earlier; it may not just be the rectifier that is not working properly. It is important to know all the moving parts of your ATV so you can make an accurate diagnosis of what you need to replace or fix. That will save you time and money in the long run. 

Touch base with other ATV owners often, especially if you are new to the community. It is likely that others have experienced issues and wear-and-tear of their ATVs. You could join a forum to ask questions or read threads that others have asked to get your questions answered. You can also connect with shop owners to get your questions answered.    

Make sure to stock up on maintenance parts and equipment. Your ATV will surely need some maintenance work along the way, so be sure to stock up on testers and equipment to fix it fast. This can help with diagnostics as well as cut labor costs. It can help to have extra lights, testers, tires, etc. so you can repair your ATV and get back to having fun! Check out our Recommended Gear for some great things to carry on your ATV or keep on hand.

More Helpful Links

If you are having ATV problems or just want some help, these are some other articles we have done that will be helpful.

Brent Huntley

Brent Huntley is the owner of ATV Man and is responsible for almost all the material on the website. He also runs photographyandtravel.com and loves to travel and ride ATVs with his family. When he isn't playing, his day job consists of owning Huntley Law.

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