Dear Polaris Customer Service:
I purchased a new 2016 Polaris XPT4 Turbo Razor on 12/31/2015, VIN 3NSVFE924GF464957. I chose a turbocharged model, primarily because I knew we would be operating the vehicle at high elevation in Colorado. Recently, my wife and I were on vacation in Colorado with our Razor in the vicinity of Silverton. During our stay, we experienced overheating on numerous occasions.
I was aware of this issue, and as a resident of Arizona, I was concerned that this would be a problem for us, in that we live in a very hot state. I had heard that the overheating issue is of particular concern when running in the dunes above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Since we have not yet had our Razor in the dunes, I had not experienced this issue. The last place I expected to have an overheating issue was in Colorado when the ambient temperatures were between 50 and 60 degrees.
While in Colorado we were climbing over high mountain passes. After climbing on dirt roads at a speed of approximately 15 miles per hour for a period of about 15 to 20 minutes, the red overheat light would come on at around 235 degrees. I pulled over and left the engine idling. The temp would continue to rise, up to around 240 degrees and then start dropping. I let the engine continue to cool until the fan shut off at 192 degrees, then pull away. At this point, I am only good for another 5 minutes or so of driving before the overheat light would come on again and the cycle would repeated. After the first time this occurred, I checked the coolant level, which I had already done before leaving on this trip. Coolant level was fine.
It never threw a code and it never went into limp mode. But I believe that the only reason it did not is because I promptly pulled the vehicle over to allow cooling. The overheat light came on approximately 6-7 times during our one week visit to Colorado. It would have come on much more often had I not been watching the temp gauge. At no time during our stay was the vehicle loaded with anyone other that my wife and myself, a total of 275 pounds. The temps during the times the overheating was occurring, was between 50 -60 degrees, far cooler than I ever expected to be having this issue.
I tried adjusting my driving style during the climbs. I tried low gear, high gear, four wheel drive, no four wheel drive, higher speed for ram air cooling, and lower speed. No matter what, temps would rise to the point of overheat, except for low speed. As long as I kept the speed down to 5-7 mph, I was fine. Anything more and I would need to pull over and allow the vehicle to cool. The problem is that this is not what I had expected when purchasing a turbocharged, more expensive version of this vehicle. As you might imagine, the anger that I felt as I either slowed or pulled the Razor over, and watching all the normally aspirated Razors (and there were many) go by. Not to mention every other manner of vehicle. All I could think about was that I wanted a full refund from Polaris for this vehicle that does not have an adequate cooling system.
If you are familiar with this area in Colorado, then you know that these roads require your full attention. The drop offs are 1000’s of feet. Yet, rather than focusing my attention on the road, my attention was on the coolant temp on a gauge that is at best very difficult to read, in all but the best lighting conditions.
When we got home from this trip, I called the Polaris dealer that I use for maintenance, Four Season Motorsports, with whom I a high regard. I described my overheating issue to the service manager. He told me to check that the cooling system does not have any air in it. I own a Polaris 2016 XPT4 Service Manual, and I was familiar with the procedure. I followed the manual precisely and bled the coolant system as well as the charge-air system. There was no air in either.
I feel that this vehicle was designed and manufactured with an inadequate cooling system. I paid more for the turbocharged version and got a less capable vehicle. I am asking that Polaris do one of two things:
1) Refund the entire cost of the vehicle including tax, license, and the cost of all accessories, or
2) Repair the vehicle in a manner that is to my satisfaction. That is, change the cooling system so that it does not affect the vehicles’ use in such a restrictive way. I expect the vehicle to perform at least as well as the normally aspirated version if not better.