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Hi Rangers,

I need some help with my 2004 500 4x4. Started up the machine for the first time yesterday since early January (the machine is up at a hunting property in upstate NY). Ranger turned over and started immediately. Tried to drive it out of the shed too soon and it stalled (not warm enough). Restarted it fine, but as it was running, it sounded as it the starter was still turning. When I turned the ignition key to the left or off position, the engine shut, but the starter continued to turn. If I turned the key back to the right, it fired up the engine, but the starter continued to turn. The only way to get the starter to stop turning was to pull a battery lead.

In the confusion, I broke the negative battery terminal, so I was not able to experiment and try to see what else I could diagnose. It also seemed like the battery was drained, as I could not even see the gear selector lights when I tried holding the lead to the terminal.

Can anyone figure out what happened here? I tried tapping the starter to see if something was "sticking", but it made no difference as far as I could tell. I am very much NOT a mechanic, but I just cannot help thinking it is the actual key switch that may be the issue. I was thinking during the drive back home (the Ranger and the hunting camp are 3 hours away), that the key may not have been spring back from the "right" start position, but since the machine is back up at camp, I cannot check this. If it is worth getting a new key switch (if that is the part I am talking about), to bring up there next weekend, I will be happy to buy one. I can get the part and bring it up, but the nearest dealer once I am "up there" is over an hour away. If I need to bring it to the dealer, I have to borrow a trailer and get it there, etc, a big production, so I would prefer to try and fix the issue myself. My first problem is figuring out what my problem is!

Any help or advice would be appreciated! Thanks!
 

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It should have either a starter relay or solenoid. I don't know which was used for that model, but it has one or the other. It must have been hung up. I'm betting it's a solenoid, chase the big wire from the starter to the solenoid and check it for continuity across the big posts. If there's continuity then it's stuck. Thats the only reason I can think that starter would run with the key off or otherwise not in the start position.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Slacker! I will go through this next time I go up to the property. I am thinking I might just purchase a new solenoid and swap it out period.
 

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Thanks Slacker! I will go through this next time I go up to the property. I am thinking I might just purchase a new solenoid and swap it out period.
Yes, as Slacker said, most likely a sticking solenoid. Search "lainhartrd" to see my 3 comments about this very problem (2019-2020)
 

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have a 2020 polaris ranger 1000 11 hrs ignition switch went bad. same problem but burnt up my starter before i could disconnect battery.dealer replaced ignition switch starter and cable.mechanic says plastic ignition switch has problems.
 
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