Polaris Secondary Clutch Problems: A Comprehensive Guide and Solutions

As an enthusiast or owner of an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or utility task vehicle (UTV), you may be familiar with the Polaris brand. Offering unmatched efficiency and power, Polaris ATVs and UTVs are high-performance off-road vehicles designed for an exceptional riding experience. A major component of these vehicles’ drive systems is the secondary clutch, a mechanism that significantly contributes to the speed and handling of the vehicle. However, like any mechanical component, the Polaris secondary clutch is not exempt from its share of problems. In this blog post, we will delve deeply into the topic, presenting some potential issues with Polaris secondary clutches and providing detailed solutions.

Common Issues with Polaris Secondary Clutches

The secondary clutch on the Polaris ATV or UTV serves to distribute proper power to the vehicle’s wheels. Problems with this component can lead to varying difficulties, including unexpected changes in speed or lack of power.

1. Failure to Shift or Engage

One of the most common problems with the Polaris secondary clutch is the failure to engage, preventing the vehicle from shifting. When the clutch does not engage, it becomes impossible for the engine’s power to be effectively transferred to the rear wheels.


The solution requires a detailed inspection of the secondary clutch to identify any signs of wear or damage. If you come across any worn or broken parts, they should be promptly replaced. Furthermore, lubricating the clutch bearings can help minimize friction, ensuring smooth operation.

2. Excessive Noise and Vibration

Noise and vibration can surface when there’s an issue with the clutch mechanism. Such distractions can create an uncomfortable riding experience and may point to a deeper problem with the secondary clutch.


A noisy or vibrating clutch can be a sign of broken or damaged parts within the system. As such, a thorough investigation of the clutch is essential, and any faulty components should be replaced immediately.

3. Slipping Secondary Clutch

A slipping secondary clutch is another potential problem. If you notice that your Polaris vehicle isn’t accelerating properly despite revving the engine, it could be a sign of a slipping clutch.


Addressing a slipping clutch mainly involves adequately adjusting the tension in the mechanism. If this proves ineffective, the worn out clutch plates may need replacing.

Preventing Polaris Secondary Clutch Problems

While solving problems as they arise is essential, taking steps to prevent these issues in the first place can save you a lot of time, money, and stress. Indeed, preventive maintenance is the key to avoiding many Polaris secondary clutch problems.

1. Regular Inspection

Conducting routine inspections is the first step to catching and addressing problems early on. Look for any signs of wear, damage, or incorrect alignment. Replace any broken or worn parts as soon as possible to avoid exacerbating the problem.

2. Proper Lubrication

Ensuring proper lubrication can alleviate many issues associated with the secondary clutch. Lubricate the system regularly with an appropriate lubricant to reduce friction and smooth out the operation.

3. Correct Adjustments

Correct tuning and adjustments are integral in preventing problems. Ensure the tension within the clutch is ideal. If necessary, consider having the secondary clutch professionally adjusted to ensure optimal performance.

Replacing a Secondary Clutch

In some instances, the problems might be beyond repair, and a complete clutch replacement might be required. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

Step 1:

Start by removing the clutch cover to gain access to the secondary clutch.

Step 2:

Using a clutch puller tool, remove the old secondary clutch.

Step 3:

Install the new clutch, ensuring to align it correctly.

Step 4:

Tighten the bolts securely. It’s crucial to follow the recommended torque specifications.

Step 5:

Replace the clutch cover, ensuring it’s properly secured.

Remember, these interventions may require a certain level of mechanical knowledge. If you are not comfortable performing these tasks, we highly recommend consulting a professional mechanic.

The problems highlighted above comprise some of the most common issues experienced with Polaris secondary clutches. However, being aware of these problems will allow you to identify and act on the issues promptly, ensuring you get to enjoy trouble-free rides with your Polaris ATV or UTV.

Frequently Asked Questions: Polaris Secondary Clutch Problems

1. How do you know if your secondary clutch is bad?

There are a few signs that indicate a faulty secondary clutch. One of the most common signs is a loss of power or acceleration. If your Polaris vehicle is not performing as it should, and you notice a decrease in speed or difficulty climbing hills, it could be due to a bad secondary clutch. Additionally, if you hear unusual noises, such as grinding or squealing, coming from the clutch area, it could indicate a problem. Lastly, if you experience difficulty shifting gears or notice excessive belt wear, it may be time to inspect or replace the secondary clutch.

2. Should my secondary clutch spin in park?

No, the secondary clutch should not spin while the vehicle is in park. When the vehicle is at rest, the secondary clutch should not engage or spin freely. If you notice that the secondary clutch is spinning while the vehicle is in park, there is likely an issue with the clutch or the clutch engagement mechanism. It is recommended to have it inspected by a qualified technician to diagnose and resolve the problem.

3. How does the secondary clutch work on a Polaris?

The secondary clutch in a Polaris vehicle is a key component of the driven clutch system. It is responsible for transferring power from the primary clutch to the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) system. When the primary clutch engages and starts rotating, the secondary clutch engages and begins to rotate accordingly. This transfer of power allows the vehicle to accelerate and maintain speed. The secondary clutch also aids in shifting gears smoothly by controlling the tension on the drive belt.

4. How do you open the secondary clutch on a Polaris?

Opening the secondary clutch on a Polaris typically requires specific tools and knowledge. It is recommended to consult the vehicle’s service manual or a qualified technician for proper instruction. However, in general, the process involves removing the secondary clutch cover, releasing the tension on the clutch, and removing the clutch assembly from the vehicle. It is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use caution to avoid damaging any components during disassembly or reassembly.

Note: Please consult a professional or refer to the vehicle’s service manual for accurate information and proper procedures related to your specific Polaris model.

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