Can Am Commander Problems: Identifying and Resolving Common Issues

With its high performance, versatile abilities, and solid construction, the Can-am Commander has gained popularity as one of the most preferred utility task vehicles (UTV). However, like any other mechanical device, the Commander is also susceptible to certain common issues that can cause inconvenient interruptions during your ride.

This blog post aims to discuss and provide solutions for the common issues faced by Can-am Commander users. By understanding these issues, owners will better identify potential problems early and perhaps even fix them on their own.

Common Issues With Can-Am Commander


Overheating is one of the most commonly reported issues. Despite its heavy-duty cooling system, the Commander often overheats, especially during high-speed runs or when operated for extended periods.

To solve this, make sure the radiator is clear from any buildup. Weekly maintenance checks should include verifying that the coolant levels are optimum. In case of frequent overheating, it may be beneficial to consider installing a high-capacity, aftermarket radiator.

Clutch Problems

A lot of users reported clutch malfunctions. These symptoms range from erratic functioning to complete failure where the vehicle refuses to move.

To address this issue, check to see if there is a worn-out secondary clutch or a hazardous control arm bushing. Replacements might be necessary in these scenarios. Consider regular maintenance checks as it can aid in early detection and rectification of the clutch performance.

Power Steering Failure

Another reported problem with the Can-am Commander is the power steering failure which mainly affects the handling of the vehicle.

When facing such an issue, firstly, check your fuse box. A blown fuse could be the culprit. If the problem persists, consider calling an expert or take the UTV to the nearest service center.

Problem With Brakes

A few users have highlighted issues with the brakes becoming hard to press or not working at all. This issue is a safety hazard and needs immediate attention.

Inspect your brake pads for wear and tear, and ensure the brake fluid is at the right level. For more serious problems, take the vehicle to an expert.

Table of Common Problems & Solutions

Problem Solution

  • Radiator buildup
  • Low coolant levels
  • Clean the radiator
  • Check and refill coolant levels
  • Consider aftermarket radiator if issue persists
Clutch problems

  • Erratic functioning
  • Complete failure
  • Check secondary clutch
  • Check control arm bushings
  • Regular maintenance
Power steering failure

  • Difficult handling
  • Check fuse box
  • Consult an expert
Brake Issues

  • Hard to press
  • Not working
  • Inspect brake pads
  • Check brake fluid
  • Consult an expert

Can-Am Commander: Common Fixes and Preventions

Regular Maintenance

Maintenance is key to avoiding problems. Regular maintenance checks such as examining the operating fluid levels, inspecting the brake and clutch systems, and cleaning the radiator should be part of your Can-am Commander’s routine care.

Use of Genuine Parts

When it comes to replacement parts, always opt for genuine Can-am Commander parts. They are specifically designed to fit your UTV perfectly, unlike the generic ones. Genuine parts will provide optimal performance and will last longer, saving you money and headache in the long run.

Expert Consultation

In cases where the problem persists despite your best efforts, it may be beneficial to seek expert consultation. It ensures that your UTV is handled by qualified professionals and also helps in identifying and fixing the issue more efficiently.

While the Can-am Commander indeed faces certain challenges, most are preventable with regular maintenance and diligent care. Being well-informed about the common problems will help you in better maintaining your cherished UTV and making it last longer.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How fast does the Can-Am Commander go?

The top speed of a Can-Am Commander can vary depending on the model and modifications. Generally, the standard Can-Am Commander has a top speed of around 65 mph (104 km/h). However, with specialized modifications, you can increase the top speed to approximately 70-75 mph (113-120 km/h).

2. What is my 2012 Can-Am Commander worth?

The value of a 2012 Can-Am Commander can differ based on several factors, including its overall condition, mileage, optional extras, and market demand. To determine the exact worth of your vehicle, it is recommended to consult reputable sources such as Kelly Blue Book or NADA Guides. These platforms consider various parameters to provide an estimate of the current market value.

3. Is a 2013 Can-Am Commander any good?

The 2013 Can-Am Commander is generally considered a reliable and well-performing side-by-side vehicle. It offers a powerful engine, excellent handling, and a comfortable cabin. However, like any vehicle, proper maintenance and care are essential to ensure its longevity and performance. It is advisable to read reviews, seek advice from professionals, and test drive the vehicle before making a purchase.

4. Which is better, Can-Am Commander or Polaris General?

The choice between the Can-Am Commander and Polaris General depends on individual preferences and specific needs. Both vehicles have their own advantages. The Can-Am Commander is known for its powerful performance, reliability, and superior suspension system. On the other hand, the Polaris General offers a more comfortable and spacious cabin, as well as a smoother ride. It is recommended to compare specifications, read reviews, and consider your intended usage to determine which vehicle suits you best.

5. What are some common problems with the Can-Am Commander?

While the Can-Am Commander is generally a robust and well-built vehicle, there are a few common issues that owners have encountered. Some potential problems include overheating, belt slipping, electrical system malfunctions, and suspension component failures. Regular maintenance, proper cleaning, and following the manufacturer’s recommendations can help prevent these problems. It is advisable to consult with Can-Am authorized dealers or experienced mechanics for proper diagnosis and assistance.

6. How often should I change the oil in my Can-Am Commander?

The frequency of oil changes in a Can-Am Commander depends on various factors, such as the model year, engine size, and usage conditions. As a general guideline, Can-Am recommends changing the engine oil and filter every 50 hours of operation or at least once a year. However, if you frequently ride in extreme conditions, such as dusty or muddy environments, more frequent oil changes may be necessary to maintain optimal performance and protect the engine.

7. Can I install aftermarket accessories on my Can-Am Commander?

Yes, you can install aftermarket accessories on your Can-Am Commander to enhance its functionality, performance, and appearance. However, it is important to ensure that the accessories you choose are compatible with your specific model and comply with safety regulations. Additionally, improper installation or low-quality accessories can potentially void your warranty or cause damage to the vehicle. For best results, it is recommended to consult with authorized Can-Am dealers or reputable aftermarket suppliers.

8. How many seats does the Can-Am Commander have?

The Can-Am Commander is available in various configurations, including two-seater and four-seater models. The two-seater model typically has two seats, while the four-seater model has two rows of seats, accommodating up to four passengers. The specific seating capacity may vary depending on the selected model and optional accessories.

9. What is the towing capacity of the Can-Am Commander?

The towing capacity of a Can-Am Commander depends on the model and optional equipment. Generally, the Can-Am Commander has a towing capacity ranging from 1,500 lbs (680 kg) to 2,000 lbs (907 kg). However, it is essential to refer to the owner’s manual or contact a Can-Am dealer to determine the exact towing capacity for your particular model.

10. How does the Can-Am Commander handle off-road terrain?

The Can-Am Commander is designed to handle a variety of off-road terrains with ease. Its wide stance, long-travel suspension, and durable components allow for exceptional traction, stability, and maneuverability. Whether you are traversing rocky trails, tackling sand dunes, or navigating through mud, the Can-Am Commander’s off-road capabilities deliver an exhilarating experience. It is crucial to adjust the vehicle’s settings according to the terrain and always prioritize safety while off-roading.

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