Why an ATV Backfiring: Causes and How to Fix it

An ATV standing still in the wide area in sand.

Have you ever heard a sudden loud bang or pop while driving an ATV and this loud bang ultimately caused you to jerk forward suddenly? If YES! There is no need to worry about it because this is the result of your ATV Backfiring. This issue is very common in most ATV models but people need to pay more attention to it.

The most common reason for an ATV backfiring is the improper amount of air and fuel mixture in the engine. When the engine of an ATV is running too rich or too lean, the backfiring occurs. In simple words, if the fuel quantity is less compared to the air intake or the fuel quantity is more compared to the air intake, ATV starts backfiring. It also occurs due to an issue with the vehicle’s carburetor, fuel pump, or ignition source.

This does not cause any harm to your vehicle if occurs once or twice a month, but if your ATV backfires often, it can ruin your vehicle’s life and it is surely a worrying thing about. There can be many reasons for backfiring and let us discuss those common reasons and how to resolve and fix them. 

What is Backfiring?

I know you are familiar with the word backfiring and if not, then you have absolutely heard this word from a driver driving any vehicle, and also you know what it sounds like.

Backfiring in any vehicle occurs during the intake or exhaust of any vehicle’s engine. It is just a little explosion that occurs in the combustion chamber of an ATV’s engine.

A little pop-like sound is heard during this little explosion and it interrupts the ATV operation for a very short interval of time. Often, this sound is bad and huge enough that it will shut down the engine’s power and your ATV stopped working. This pop sound is short but you have to start your engine again.

Backfiring does not cause any harm to the driver but it can be dangerous for both; the vehicle and the driver if it retains for a long time.

Why is my ATV Backfiring?

As I mentioned earlier, Backfiring is caused due to improper air and fuel ratio in the combustion chamber. Too little or too much fuel as compared to air in the engine cause ATV backfires. This will cause a small explosion in intake, and the spark plug starts malfunctioning due to this improper balance of the air-fuel mixture.

When ATV Backfires, the driver and others feel annoyed and frustrated. This is not a serious problem and can be solved easily. You must find the root cause which causes an ATV to backfire and take the necessary steps to fix this issue.

A driver driving an ATV very fast

Factors causing Backfiring

There are several factors that cause an imbalance air-fuel mixture ratio. These factors include carburetor issues, faults in the engine ignition system, dirty filters, exhaust leaks etc. Let’s explore in detail the factors which caused ATV Backfiring.

(1) Improper Air-Fuel Mixture Ratio

For an engine to run properly, a balanced air-to-fuel mixture ratio is necessary. If there is less air as compared to fuel and vice versa, it will definitely cause damage to the ATV engine. Due to an improper mixture ratio, the explosion is caused outside the combustion chamber. This poor and imbalanced air-to-fuel mixture causes an ATV backfires. 

(2) Carburetor Issues

The carburetor is one of the most important parts of any engine. It controls and mixes an equal amount of air and fuel to ignite and gives power to an ATV. The carburetor will not mix an equal amount of air-fuel mixture if it is clogged. The broken or clogged carburetor caused problem for an ATV and ultimately results in ATV backfiring.

(3) Ignition Problem

Any problem in the ignition of the engine causes an ATV backfires. Ignition helps the air-fuel mixture to burn with the help of a spark plug. Any malfunction in ignition results in the early burn of the air-fuel mixture which causes the engine to misbehave during riding an ATV. This malfunction also creates problems while starting the engine and hence caused the ATV to backfire.

(4) Malfunctioning of Fuel Pump

A fuel pump is an important component in any vehicle’s engine and its function is to transfer fuel from the fuel tank to the carburetor. When there is any fault in the fuel pump, the pressure becomes insufficient, and the required amount of fuel does not reach the carburetor. This creates an imbalanced air-to-fuel ratio and causes ATVs to backfire.

(5) Clogged Air-Fuel Filter

The purpose of an air-fuel filter is to remove the dust and rust particles from the fuel and not let them enter the engine combustion chamber. When the air filter gets clogged, it will cause an ATV to backfire. Sometimes, an overused and old air filter also caused problems so better to change the filters timely and also clean them regularly.

A person standing inside his ATV and looking for someone

Steps to Prevent ATV Backfiring

Regular maintenance of the engine is one of the best ways to keep away your vehicle from any type of problems. The engine which is properly and well-tuned runs more efficiently and smoothly, and ultimately reduces the risk of backfiring. 

Following are the key steps that a driver or an ATV owner can take to prevent his ATV backfires:

(1) Clean the Air-Fuel Filter

A dirty air and fuel filter cause damage to the engine and the engine works slowly which results in ATV backfiring. One of the most necessary steps you take is to clean the air and fuel filter regularly. If you think your filter is too old, replace it with a new air-fuel filter. 

You can replace it yourself otherwise you can take help from google or hire a mechanic. A new air-fuel filter will increase the lifespan of the ATV engines and ultimately solve the backfiring issue.

(2) Clean the Fuel Injector

A fuel injector is responsible for injecting fuel into the combustion chamber of the engine at a specified time. If this becomes clogged, it will not inject the fuel properly into the combustion chamber and ultimately ATV backfires.

You must clean the fuel injector timely and replace it with the new one if it becomes clogged or too old. This will save and increase the lifespan of your ATV engine.

(3) Use High-Quality Fuel

There are various fuels available for ATVs in the market such as diesel or gasoline etc. The performance of any vehicle will also depend upon the fuel type and fuel quality. If you are using low-quality fuel, then ultimately low-quality ATV performance is seen and ATV will backfire.

Be sure to choose high-quality fuel for your ATV which will help it perform better. The better quality fuel you used, the better performance you will get from your ATV.

(4) Check the Throttle Setting

The throttle is basically a valve that controls the flow of fuel to the engine. The proper throttle setting is very necessary for an ATV engine to perform better. If the throttle setting is not according to standards, your ATV backfires.

The throttle settings can be easily found on the manual of the vehicle or you can simply search it on google and then change its settings accordingly.

(5) Clean and Inspect the Carburetor

The carburetor mixes the fuel and air in a balanced proportion and then sends this mixture to the combustion chamber. If this gets clogged or too old, many problems can occur in the engine, and backfiring is one of them.

Remove and disassemble the carburetor carefully and clean the jets very carefully as it is a very sensitive job. To prevent ATV backfiring, this type of regular maintenance of the carburetor is highly recommended.

(6) Take the Vehicle to Mechanic

If you do not find any solution to backfiring, the last solution is to take your ATV to a mechanic who is an expert in his work. A mechanic can solve your problem easily as he faces the same problems on a daily basis so it is a tiny problem for him.

For this purpose, he will charge some money but if he solves your problem and increases the life of the ATV, then this small amount of money is not a big deal. ATV’s life is more important than this small amount.


The most frequent cause of an ATV backfiring is the improper air and fuel mixture in the engine. Also, this is due to either the fuel quantity is more or less than the air intake, or an issue with the carburetor, fuel pump, or ignition source. Taking the time to regularly inspect and maintain the ATV and its engine parts is the best way to ensure that no issues of ATV backfires arise and your ATV runs smoothly.

About Julia P. Charlotte

Julia P. Charlotte is a social media star with a Bachelor’s in Media Sciences. I am a blogger and affiliate marketer, and loves driving and exploring new vehicles specially ATVs and UTVs. I am an expert at creating content that engages and entertains my followers, and also has a huge following of loyal fans. If you’re looking for someone to follow who knows a thing or two about the social media world, Julia P. Charlotte is the perfect person for you.

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