Why Your Polaris Ranger, RZR, or Sportsman OEM Fuel Pump Fails Prematurely

Why Your Polaris Ranger, RZR, or Sportsman OEM Fuel Pump Fails Prematurely

Polaris is a household name in the Powersports industry with its complete range of snowmobile, ATV, and side-by-side/UTV products. Whether you’re an off-road enthusiast using your sport SxS or ATV for recreation or utilizing one of the brand’s many UTV models on the job, the Polaris lineup is incredibly robust and offers something for nearly everyone. 

As much as Quantum Fuel Systems customers and staff enjoy Polaris vehicles, we’ve noticed that several Polaris Ranger, RZR, and Sportsman models use an OEM fuel pump prone to premature failure. We’re going to explain some of the causes and outline helpful solutions.

Impacted Polaris ATVs and UTVs

  • 2011-2012 Ranger 800 
  • 2013-2017 Ranger 800 
  • 2013-2019 Ranger 900
  • 2014-2022 Ranger 570
  • 2012-2016 RZR 570
  • 2011-2014 RZR 800
  • 2014 RZR 900
  • 2011-2013 RZR XP 900
  • 2011-2014 Sportsman 550
  • 2011-2014 Sportsman 850

Fuel pump problems on these common Polaris models can happen at any time. Polaris riders and drivers often have difficulty restarting their machines in hot climates, forcing them to let the vehicle cool off for roughly 30 minutes and hoping it will fire up again.

The original Bosch manufactured stock fuel pump is prone to these symptoms in particular models. Riders need a dependable fuel pump that excels in these rugged conditions.

Quantum Fuel Systems offers cost-effective fuel pump and fuel management components that are built to meet and exceed OEM performance. All QFS replacement components are designed to match dimensional and functional specifications.

You won’t need to modify your original assembly — our drop-in replacement parts will work for your specific application and feature an industry-leading lifetime warranty. If you need Polaris replacement components, refer to our catalog to find an exact match for your year, make, and model.

Over the years, our expert team of QFS technicians has pinpointed the cause of these issues. Whether it’s a total fuel pump failure or an intermittent problem, properly identifying the cause of these problems can save you a headache down the road.

O-Ring Wear Leads to Fuel Pump Failure

O-rings are the unsung heroes of our fuel system, creating effective seals and ensuring that our entire fuel system can maintain proper pressure. Unfortunately, the OEM fuel pump o-ring is constructed out of an inferior rubber and is prone to early deterioration, deformation, or cracking.

We find that this o-ring is often the leading cause of fuel pump failures with Polaris vehicles.

Once that seal begins to fail, fuel pressure can bleed back into the tank, creating engine performance issues, hard starting conditions, or failing to start at all. However, the more detrimental problem with a fuel system that fails to maintain proper pressure is that is overworks the fuel pump, generating excess heat and eventually leading to premature fuel pump failure.

Often, this total failure occurs without warning and can leave you stranded. 

QFS fuel pump installation kits come with every replacement component you’ll need to get up and running again, including our extremely durable Viton ethanol-safe fuel pump o-rings. One of the most common fuel pump o-rings for Polaris models is HFP-OR-396.

Please take extra care when installing new o-rings, properly lubricating the o-ring and assembly cavity. This procedure will prevent the o-ring from becoming pinched or torn and create an effective seal. 

We strongly suggest completely servicing your entire fuel system while installing this upgraded o-ring. Check that your filters are clear and gaskets are in proper working order.

Vapor Lock

Vapor lock was a common problem on engines that utilized carburetors, and it has become less of an issue with the advent of Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI). While somewhat rare with modern EFI vehicles, it can still happen, specifically when operating in extreme temperatures. 

Vapor lock occurs when fuel begins to vaporize in the fuel system, elevating the pressure within the fuel system and creating difficulties for pumps designed to transport liquid fuel, not vapor. Fuel pumps attempting to operate in a system with vapor lock are subject to excessive wear and lead to early failure.

Symptoms riders and drives might observe include: Hard starting, stalling, or sputtering when running their machines in hot conditions.

A reoccurring vapor locking issue was documented on 2011-2012 Polaris Ranger 800 UTV models due to an underrated 40 psi (300kPa) pressure regulator. 2013 Polaris Ranger 800 models solved this issue with an upgraded 58 psi (400kPa) pressure regulator to overcome hot fuel tank issues that raised internal pressure.

In the case of the 2011-2017 Ranger 800 UTVs, our HFP-396 fuel pump is the correct replacement, but kits for specific years will differ in their choice of the pressure regulator.

There are a handful of solutions for the 2011-2012 Ranger 800. Unfortunately, you will need to work with your authorized Polaris dealer or a trusted performance mechanic as you will need to reflash the ECU to remedy vapor lock problems completely. 

The first solution assumes that you will retain the 40 psi (300kPa) pressure regulator. This is typically used when owners experience difficulty restarting their Ranger 800 when hot. If that is the case, you will need to reflash your Ranger 800 with a map that holds the fuel injectors open longer, prior to a hot start, in order to bleed excess fuel vapor from the system. 

2011-2012 Ranger 800 owners can choose to upgrade to a 58 psi (400kPa) regulator. This option is effective for owners that experience random stalling, or shut offs while coming to a stop. Once again, this will require an ECU reflash to compensate for higher psi limits.

Ultimately, vapor locking seen on 2011-2012 Polaris Ranger 800 models can only be remedied with a modified fuel map. However, it highlights the importance of using fuel system components built to withstand high temperatures and extreme environments.

Have More Questions? Reach Out to Our QFS Staff!

Quantum Fuel Systems is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT. You can speak to any of our qualified staff on the phone or browse our extensive catalog. Be sure to contact use our support page for any detailed technical questions.

SUMMARY

  • Some OEM fuel pump prone to premature failure
  • Reference the above list of years / models to determine if your vehicle is prone to premature failure
  • You won’t need to modify your original assembly — QFS drop-in replacement parts will work for your specific application
  • O-rings create effective seals and ensure fuel systems can maintain proper pressure
  • While somewhat rare with modern EFI vehicles vapor lock can still happen, specifically when operating in extreme temperatures

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