I bought a used 2015 900 XC in Arizona with around 2000 miles on it. Shortly after owning it, it would not start with symptoms of a dead or weak battery. When the key was turned, the starter would either turn slowly, rattle the solenoid, or just go ‘click’. I charged the battery (good on voltage) and did load test on it. Checked out okay. I checked the ground, okay. I ran a jumper battery both to the existing battery, and then around the onboard battery. Same deal. I took a long 3/8″ extension and tapped on both ends of the starter motor, and it started right up normally. After a couple starts, right back to no start again.

I pulled the starter motor off the machine, and when I started to loosen the 2 screws that hold the case together, oil started to seep out. Then a lot of oil !!
The starter was full of oil. Inside was a black sticky mess of carbon dust from the brushes mixed with oil. I cleaned both end caps and all insides with kerosene, and blew it out with air. Put it back together, bench tested it, installed it, and it works perfectly.

The starter is sealed and not vented. There is an oil seal behind the drive gear that works in the wet side cover with the flywheel. So how did the starter get full of oil?? I talked to 2 Polaris dealers, both never heard of this. I talked to a starter rebuilder near where I live, and he says this is the 3rd one he has seen soaked in oil. My only thoughts are either a bad seal on the starter shaft (but how did that much oil get in there?) or, the side case somehow got pressurized (bad vent) although I didn’t find a problem.

Anybody seen this, or have any thoughts? I don’t want it to happen again.

Utah RZR Rentals