Polaris Ranger Rear Differential Problems

The Polaris Ranger is one of the best utility vehicles available on the market however, it has a few problems of its own. In this article we are going to be discussing about the rear differential problem of a Polaris Ranger and what you can do to fix it.

Table of Contents

What Is A Polaris Ranger?

A Polaris Ranger is a utility vehicle manufactured by the company known as Polaris Inc. There are different types or models of Polaris rangers some of which include the Ranger 800 XP, 800 HD, 400 and XP 900. All Polaris Ranger vehicles are designed for recreational activities and most of them can travel through rough terrains.

What Is A Rear Differential?

A rear differential is a component that is found on a Polaris Ranger that connects to the driver shaft and directs power to each wheel. The differential plays an important role in ensuring that the car moves in the correct direction. It also plays an integral part in ensuring that wheels gain enough traction when going uphill or on top of obstacles.

Causes Of Polaris Ranger Rear Differential Problems

NB: All brand new Polaris Rangers that are sold on the market do not have rear differential problems. This problem is usually influenced by wear and tear of the vehicle.


One of the main causes of rear differential problems in a Polaris Ranger is excessive speeding. Although Polaris utility vehicles can travel at high speeds, it is not always recommended. This is because the differential will start to overheat and overtime it will get damaged. Therefore, it is advisable to travel at low or average speeds wen driving a Polaris Ranger so that you avoid rear differential problems.

Towing Or Hauling Large Objects

The rear differential of a Polaris Ranger may also experience problems when you are always towing or hauling other objects. Therefore, it is advisable never to use the Polaris Ranger to tow any objects.

Driving Through Rough Terrains

Although Polaris Rangers are designed to be driven in rough terrains, you should try and limit this practice. This is because driving in rough terrains causes the rear differential to overheat and slowly breakdown. Therefore, try by all means to limit your vehicle from driving in such road conditions.

Signs Of Rear Differential Problem In Polaris Ranger

If you suspect that your Polaris Ranger has developed a rear differential problem, it is very important that you look out for any of the following signs;

  • Unfamiliar noises or vibrations on the vehicle.
  • Unexplainable wear and tear of tires.
  • Unbalanced driveshaft.
  • Difficulty in steering or controlling the vehicle.
  • Excessive consumption of oil by the vehicle or oil will be leaking.

How To Troubleshoot Polaris Ranger Rear Differential Problems

If the rear differential of your Polaris Ranger is damaged, you will have to replace it with a new one. Unfortunately, it can be quiet expensive to replace a rear deferential however, you might need to make sacrifices in order to get your vehicle up and running again. If you do not have the knowledge of how to replace a rear differential, it is always important to contact a reputable dealer to help you out.

Other Polaris Ranger Problems

Drive Belt Issues

Polaris Ranger utility vehicles usually face drive belt problems. These issues are usually influenced by poor riding techniques, extreme use and lack of maintenance. Therefore, it’s important that you ride your Polaris Ranger the correct way, for example the belt usually gets damaged if you drive at a high speed with the brakes on. Therefore, you should always release the brakes when driving at high speeds. You should also ensure that you replace the belt if you realize that it’s worn out.

Starting Problems

Another challenge that you may face with the Polaris Ranger is that the engine may refuse to start. This problem occurs when the battery is low or when the battery terminals are loose or when the solenoid is damaged. In order to troubleshoot this problem, you need to start by checking whether your battery has enough power. Also check the battery connections and solenoid.

Engine Loses Power

Polaris Ranger utility vehicles have a tendency of losing power.  This usually happens when the fuel inside the tank is contaminated or old, or when the air filter is clogged. Overheating of the engine may also cause the engine to lose power. In order to resolve this problem, it is very important that, you always drain out old fuel and replace it with clean fuel. You should also clean the air filter on a regular basis to prevent the engine from overheating and ultimately losing power.

Engine Backfires

Another problem that you may experience with Polaris Ranger utility vehicles is that their engines tend to backfire. This usually happens when there is a weak spark from a spark plug and in most cases you might need to fix the spark plug and replace it with a new one. If the ignition connections are lose your engine will also backfire, so always make sure they are tightened.

Engine Knocks

The engine of a Polaris Ranger may sometimes knock. This happens when you use poor quality or old fuel in your vehicle. In order to troubleshoot the problem always use quality fuel in your vehicles.  If the ignition timing of your vehicle is wrong, the engine will always knock. Therefore, you will need to have it adjusted.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Failing Rear Differential?

If your rear differential is failing, you will hear noises whilst the vehicle is moving. You will also experience excessive consumption of oil on your vehicle and it will start vibrating excessively.

Can You Repair A Differential?

Yes, you can definitely repair a differential however, it can be quite a challenging and expensive task. You can also take the vehicle to a reputable mechanic to have the differential repaired.


While Polaris Rangers are prone to developing differential problems overtime, it is important to know that they can be avoided. So if you are planning on purchasing or already have a Polaris Ranger, it is important that you regularly service it so that it can always remain in good condition.