When you’re looking for a stout work vehicle that can handle difficult terrain, but also knows how to have a good time, you might look at the Tracker 800 SX. This UTV (Utility Terrain Vehicle) or Side-by-Side (SXS) as they are also known can do it all. Like all UTVs, the Tracker 800 SX is known to have a few problems.
The leading problems faced by the Tracker 800 SX include transmission problems, battery issues, and trouble with the starter. Starters have been known to burn out and only make buzzing noises. The transmission can overheat and be unable to shift, and the battery often has problems holding a charge, if it charges at all.
When looking to purchase a Side-by-Side, it’s a large investment that needs to be researched. We have done that research for you here. So keep reading as we go over the most common problems the Tracker 800 SX may encounter, and how to troubleshoot them.
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What is the Tracker 800 SX?
The Tracker 800 SX is a Side-by-Side or Utility Terrain Vehicle. These vehicles are much like ATVs except they are made for both work and play. They can also carry passengers, whereas most ATVs only have room for one, and occasionally two people max.
The Tracker 800 SX can carry two to four passengers depending on the model. They also have towing capabilities and a bed for storage and hauling.
This nimble vehicle makes quick, fun, easy work of nearly any task. And when the work gloves come off the Tracker 800 SX shines as a playful, exciting ride to take where you wouldn’t dare take your car or truck.
It’s powered by a beefy 50 HP, 812CC, 3-cylinder engine that is much quieter than its competition. You can have a conversation without yelling at each other while tackling the toughest terrain.
Tracker 800 SX SPECS
|Engine Displacement||812 cc|
|Drive System||2/4WD with Electronic Locking Rear Differential|
|Engine Type||Liquid-Cooled 4-Stroke, 3 Cylinder, Dual Overhead Cam, Gas Engine|
|Front Tires||26 x 9.00-14|
|Rear Tires||26 x 11.00-14|
|Front Suspension||Double A-Arm with 10 in (25.4 cm) Travel|
|Rear Suspension||Double A-Arm with 9.5 in (24.1 cm) Travel|
|Cargo Box Capacity||1000 lbs.|
|Payload Capacity||1500 lbs.|
|Towing Capacity||2000 lbs.|
|Overall Weight||1585 lbs.|
The Tracker 800 SX has specific problems often related to this UTV. These problems include starter failure. When you turn the key, instead of the starter engaging and turning the motor over you may hear strange noises instead.
The battery for these models also tends to have problems. From charging issues to not producing enough voltage, batteries are often a source of headaches for Tracker SXS owners.
You could also end up with a Tracker that has transmission problems. Though many transmission issues are due to overly heavy loads, improper maintenance, and abuse of the vehicle.
With proper maintenance of your vehicle, most times you can avoid many of these issues. But there are still times when malfunctions happen no matter what. Here are what most of these problems look like, and what you can do to fix them.
Common Tracker 800SX Problems
1. Battery Problems
It seems that the technology for batteries has not kept up with the UTV technology used now. Battery failure is one of the biggest issues UTV owners seem to experience. Either the battery doesn’t last long, can’t hold a charge, or doesn’t fully charge.
It could be because these vehicles—especially when used recreationally—can sit for long periods before being used. Maybe it’s because owners routinely over, or undercharge the battery which ends up weakening them. Either way, here are some of the most common battery problems related to the Tracker 800 SX.
Different Types of Battery Problems
- Battery Draining Too Quickly. Properly functioning batteries shouldn’t get weak while driving the vehicle. They should recharge as the motor revs up and the vehicle is driven.
- Battery Not Holding a Charge. If your battery was fully charged when you last parked it, it should start without a problem after only a few days. If you have to constantly charge your battery just to get it to start, it could have internal issues.
- Battery Not Charging. When you put a charger on the battery, you expect it to be full after a cycle. A battery that won’t hold a charge may have sulfated. When batteries heat up too much, sulfate crystals can build up inside, leading to battery failure and the inability to hold a charge.
- Battery Instability. When you’re out driving in the desert, across acres of pastures, or through mountainous terrain you might see your gauges light up and then get weak. Another symptom of battery instability is pulsating gauges. Do they brighten when the vehicle is revved, and darken as it idles?
Your battery could be weakening, or there could be an issue with belts or electrical connections.
- Battery Draining Too Quickly. Check to make sure the engine belts are tight. If the serpentine belt is loose, the alternator may not be charging the battery. You may need to replace or tighten the belt. The battery could be losing water, or it could be overheating. Check for cracks or leaks and replace it if you see any. Also, check the connections for corrosion, or if they’re loose.
- Battery Not Holding a Charge. When charging your battery, make sure it isn’t overcharged or undercharged. Many battery chargers now automatically shut off when the battery is full, but older models may not have this safety feature.
- Battery Not Charging. You can use a voltmeter, or multimeter to check if the battery is able to hold a charge or not. It may be that there’s a dead cell inside. Either get the battery checked or replace it if it can’t hold a charge.
- Battery Instability. Most times this problem is related to the alternator or is a wiring issue. While driving across uneven terrain like fallen trees, rocks, or heavy brush, wires and cables can get knocked loose. Check to make sure the battery and all wires are connected and tight.
Check the alternator belt as well. If it’s loose, it may not be charging the battery while the engine is running. You may also want to have the alternator checked to make sure it isn’t failing either.
2. Starter Problems
You hear a strange noise when you turn the key instead of the engine turning over. Often this is caused by the starter, or other components related to it. You may hear a loud buzz, a click or series of clicks, or a whirring.
Different Types of Starter Problems
- Whirring, Buzzing, or Grinding Sound. When you turn the key and you hear any of these sounds, it may be the sound of a failed starter. Starters have a gear that turns the motor, and they can get ground off. No teeth means the vehicle can’t start.
- Weak Start. Usually caused by a weak battery or loose connection.
- Clicking or No Sound. Many times other components are to blame for clicking or the absence of any noise at all. You could have a bad starter relay, failing ignition contacts, or other defective internal components. It could also signal a starter that has frozen up.
- Whirring, Buzzing, or Grinding Sound. You’ll probably have to take your Tracker UTV into the dealership to get this fixed. When a starter makes these noises it usually needs to be replaced.
If it ground off any teeth, there could be damage to other internal components as well. These will need to be checked and fixed if they were damaged.
- Weak Start. Follow the steps above concerning the battery. You’ll want to make sure the battery is fully charged. Also, check any other connections or issues that may be related to the battery.
- Clicking or No Sound. You may need to replace the starter relay or replace the starter as either of these could have gone bad. It could also signal a dead battery, so check that first to make sure.
Assuming there is no issue with the battery, you’ll have to take the UTV into the shop to get other components ruled out and possibly replaced.
3. Transmission Problems
Some Tracker 800 SX owners have reported problems with the transmission when it shifts between first and second gear. Others have noticed leaking fluid from the automatic transmission. Here’s what you should look out for.
Different Types of Transmission Problems
- Hard Shifting. When the transmission gets hot, the Tracker 800 can experience problems shifting between first and second gears. It may not shift at all.
- Transmission Fluid Leaks. Gaskets and seals can fail over time. Especially when they are put under tremendous heat and pressure. If something hard hits the transmission while driving it, this could cause a leak as well.
- Hard Shifting. Make sure to check the transmission fluid and other fluids often. Refill with proper, manufacturer recommended fluids only. Have your vehicle serviced and maintained when recommended. If you have this problem often, you may want to think about installing a heavy-duty transmission that can handle extreme driving conditions.
- Transmission Fluid Leaks. Get fluid leaks fixed as soon as possible. Driving the vehicle while it’s leaking fluid could burn out the transmission, leaving you having to get it replaced completely.
People who own Tracker 800 SX UTVs remark on how strong, how reliable, and how quiet it is compared to competitors. Most owners don’t experience many problems with this SXS and only have good things to say about it.
Any vehicle can have potential problems arise. The most common problems with Tracker UTVs are battery issues, starter troubles, and transmission problems, often related to overheating.
Knowing what to expect before buying a UTV can be helpful in deciding which one is right for you. We hope this article has not only given you valuable information but helped you out in some way.
I’m William Guzenski, ASE certified master automobile technician & automotive expert. I love to attend race events and car shows throughout the country. I also loves to travel 40-foot motorhome, exploring abandoned mines and ghost towns. I’m currently building another car for Bonneville Salt Flats and will be campaigning a drag car at several events.