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Fixing and Modifying the Electrical System in Your Honda Side-by-Side!

Apr 10th 2022

With our UTV’s being the focal point of many days off and well-earned vacations, the last thing we want is to experience electrical issues while out on the trail.

This is why we are here today, to discuss some common Honda Pioneer and Honda Talon electrical issues, how to fix them, and even a few mods to improve the electrical system as a whole!

Let’s get started!

Dead Honda Side-By-Side Batteries

While a dead battery can sometimes be caused by extreme weather conditions, there can also be some more… nefarious causes at hand.

One such cause is a shorted wire somewhere in your electrical system -- be it along the wiring or inside a wire harness. Shorts can have myriad causes, such as a wire or lead becoming loose, touching a hot area like the engine or exhaust, and melting. After the rubber casing around the electrical component melts off, the metal underneath then arcs off to other wires, metal components, or the chassis / frame itself.

We have even heard of owners that had a branch or other piece of debris find its way up and through the skid plates and undercarriage to sever the lead of a wire a harness. Point is, you’ll never know until its too late, so preparing for the worst with replacement Honda Pioneer / Talon wires, wire harnesses, and other electrical parts is critical!

Finding the short in your Honda Pioneer electrical system will be extremely important if there is one, so take your time and be on the lookout for any imperfections along the way. And always remember to disconnect your battery while working on the wiring in your UTV.

Replacement Honda UTV Batteries

Once any shorts or faulty wires are ruled out, it is time to consider that your battery might be dead, because, well, it just isn’t good enough.

The stock Honda Pioneer battery is certainly nothing to write home about. Replacing it with one of the Honda Pioneer PS Series - PSX14 by XS Power Batteries will ensure you have the peace of mind out on the trails from now on.

And when it comes to powering your Honda Pioneer winches, audio systems and light bars, you’ll really want to look into installing a Honda Pioneer Dual Battery by TrueAm.

What does a dual battery kit do?

Well, whether you run the audio system all day, or end up having to winch out of multiple tough situations in one trip, you’ll have all the battery life you need. A dual battery kit allows you to run all of your extra electronic accessories off of a dedicated secondary battery. This ensures that your primary battery isn’t drained, and is available to reliably start your UTV every time. Sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it?

And to keep both batteries charged while storing the UTV, the Honda Pioneer and Talon TecMate 3 X2 Battery Charger by Optimate, a Honda Talon battery trickle charger, or a Honda Pioneer battery tender will take care of everything for you!

Blown Honda Talon Fuses

Blown fuses can stem from numerous causes.

Shorts in the Honda Talon wiring harness can easily lead to a blown fuse. And we have read many a report of Talon owners saying that they accidentally let a hot lead from the battery touch the UTV chassis -- causing an arc that blew a fuse.

In one such instance, the Talon would no longer turn on until the owner went through the process of hard-resetting the ECU, even after replacing the blown fuse. The point here, is to be extremely cautious with messing with your buggy's wiring. You never know what the smallest mistake can cause, or cost!

Honda Talon Cooling Fan Wiring

Believe it or not, on some older models, there was a fairly widespread issue involving the Honda Talon cooling fans.

This issue, unlike others, was in no way caused by the owners themselves. What happened was that the wires connecting the fans to the electric system were mixed up from the factory. So although they looked to be installed correctly, the factory Honda Talon radiator fans ended up running in reverse.

And what happens when a cooling fan runs in reverse?

Bad things. Bad things happen when a cooling fan runs in reverse.

While the fix was as simple as cutting and flipping the wires to the correct spots on a harness, many people did not realize wiring was the issue until it was too late. Most of the time it led to engines overheating, as the fans weren't able to do their job correctly and keep the system cooled. Thankfully, the issue has since been remedied on all newer models. But if you run into a weird overheating issue on older Talon models, be sure to check your cooling fan and to see if it's blowing air towards the radiator and not away from it!

Honda UTV Wiring Woes

The final issue we would like to point out to you, we do so in the hopes that you'll be proactive.

You see, rodents seem to love the engine bays of our UTVs. Snuggling up inside a Honda Pioneer after it has run on a cold winter day seems to be paradise for furry critters like rats, squirrels and chipmunks. Sounds harmless, and perhaps even cute, right?

Unfortunately, those same critters also love to make the inside of your side-by-side their home. And this means clearing out any wiring that might be in their way, and using wires and other pieces of rubber they find to make nests. They’ll chew threw wiring, partially or completely, with no remorse at all. This is responsible for more issues than can be counted, and it leaves riders bewildered, wondering what in the world could be causing them.

So if your Honda Pioneer or Talon suddenly won’t start after storing it for extended periods of time, you may want to crack it open and check all of your wiring for shorts, abrasion, and other forms of damage. And while you’re at it, you may also want to look into pest control for your garage, so that this doesn’t happen again in the future.