The Seasoned Wrench

5 Tell Tale Signs of a Harley No Power Ignition Problem

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Like Ducati Motorcycles, Harley Davidson motorcycles are known for their powerful engines and distinct design. However, like any other vehicle, they can encounter issues from time to time. One common problem that riders may face is a no spark condition and a failing ignition switch. Here are some signs that your Harley Davidson ignition switch might be on the fritz:

  • No power to accessories: When you turn the key in the ignition, you should see the motorcycle’s accessories, such as the headlights, turn on. If this doesn’t happen, the ignition switch might be to blame.
  • Intermittent starting issues: If your bike sometimes starts and sometimes won’t start, it could be due to a faulty ignition switch. This can be particularly frustrating when you’re left stranded on the side of the road.
  • Stalling while riding: A failing ignition switch can cause your Harley to stall abruptly. As you know, a stalling motorcycle can be dangerous while riding. If you notice this happening, it’s best to get your ignition switch checked out. Sometimes, this will present itself early as sputtering when the motorcycle is accelerating.
  • Difficulty turning the key: If it’s hard to turn the key in the ignition, it could be a sign that the ignition switch is starting to fail.
  • Bike won’t start at all: In some cases, a completely dead ignition switch will prevent your motorcycle from starting altogether.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to address the issue immediately. Ignoring a failing ignition switch can lead to more significant problems down the line.

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[Related: Harley Charging System Diagnostics Guide]

Why Does my Harley Davidson Ignition Switch Go Bad?

Ah, the age-old question of why Harley Davidson ignition switches go bad. The bad news, it’s a mystery that has plagued mankind since, well, the invention of the Harley. But fear not, intrepid rider, for I have delved into the depths of Harley lore and emerged with answers!

The culprit? Loose wires! Yes, those pesky little connectors can wreak havoc on your dash lights, side stand, and grounds, straining your electrical system, leaving you stranded with a sputtering engine and a bruised ego.

So next time you’re cursing your beloved bike’s faulty ignition switch, remember: it’s not the bike’s fault. It’s those dastardly loose wires.

[Harley Switchback Problems You Should Know]

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Do Harley Davidson Motorcycles Have Other Common Electrical Issues?

While Harley Davidson motorcycles are known for their reliability, they can still encounter electrical issues. Some common electrical problems, aside from a bad ignition switch, include:

  • Blown fuses: A blown fuse can cause your motorcycle’s electrical system to malfunction. Always check for blown fuses when troubleshooting electrical problems.
  • Faulty wiring: Damaged or corroded wiring can lead to various electrical issues, including flickering lights and intermittent power loss.
  • Dead battery: A dead battery can cause your bike to be completely unresponsive. If your battery is relatively new and still won’t hold a charge, there could be an underlying issue with your bike’s charging system.
  • Faulty circuit breakers: Circuit breakers protect your bike’s electrical system by interrupting the flow of electricity when there’s an overload. A malfunctioning circuit breaker can cause electrical problems.
  • Malfunctioning sensors: Modern Harley Davidson motorcycles rely on various sensors to monitor and control different aspects of the bike’s performance. A faulty sensor can lead to performance issues and warning lights on your dashboard.
  • Faulty clutch switch: Harley Davidson motorcycles are prone to having a faulty clutch switch. When this happens, the bike’s clutch switch tells the computer that it is never engaged, this will mean that the motorcycle will not start when the starter button is pressed.

Regular routine maintenance can help prevent many electrical issues. However, if you’re experiencing persistent problems, it’s best to consult a professional mechanic.

Related article: Harley Evo Cranks but Won’t Start? Here’s What To Do

Hey you! Keep your Harley Davidson running in tip top shape with these suggestions:

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Why Do Harley Davidson Motorcycles Lose Electrical Power?

There are several reasons why your Harley Davidson motorcycle might lose electrical power:

  • Dead battery: A bad battery is a common cause of power loss. If you’ve recently installed a new battery and still experience power loss, there may be an issue with your bike’s charging system. Check the voltage reading when off, and on if the motorcycle will start. This can be accomplished with a standalone, or bike mounted, digital voltmeter. If the battery is good, proceed to the next steps.
  • Blown fuse: A blown fuse can cut off power to specific parts of your motorcycle, such as the lights or ignition system. Be sure to check your fuses if you’re experiencing power loss.
  • Faulty ignition switch: As mentioned earlier, a failing ignition switch can cause your bike to lose power. If you suspect this is the issue, you may need to replace the ignition switch.
  • Worn-out spark plugs: Spark plugs are crucial for igniting the fuel in your engine. Worn-out spark plugs can cause your bike to lose power and may need replacement. This is what’s known as a no spark condition.
  • Malfunctioning kill switch: The kill switch is designed to cut off power to the engine in case of an emergency. If your kill switch is malfunctioning, it could cause power loss.

[Most Common Harley Davidson Fuel Injection Problems]

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What To Do When My Harley Loses All Power?

If your Harley loses all power, follow these troubleshooting steps:

  1. Check the battery: Ensure that your battery is charged and in good condition. If you have a multimeter, check the voltage to make sure it’s sufficient.
  2. Inspect fuses: Look for any blown fuses in your bike’s fuse box and replace them as needed.
  3. Examine the ignition switch: If you suspect a faulty ignition switch, test it to confirm your suspicions. You may need to replace the ignition switch if it’s causing the power loss.
  4. Check the kill switch: Ensure that the kill switch is in the correct position and functioning correctly.
  5. Inspect the fuel valve: Make sure the fuel valve is open and allowing fuel to flow to the engine.
  6. Test the starter: If your bike still won’t start, test the starter to ensure it’s working correctly.
  7. Consult a professional: If you’re unable to determine the cause of the power loss, it’s best to consult a professional mechanic for further assistance.

[Recommended Read: Saving Yourself From A Motorcycle Speed Wobble]

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Other Failure Points In The Electrical System

In addition to the issues mentioned above, there are other potential failure points in your Harley Davidson’s electrical system:

  • Voltage regulator: The voltage regulator ensures that your bike’s electrical system receives the correct voltage. A faulty voltage regulator can cause various electrical issues.
  • Alternator: The alternator is responsible for charging your battery and providing power to your bike’s electrical system. A malfunctioning alternator can cause your battery to drain and lead to a loss of power. Another common word here is the stator, which functions in a similar manner to the alternator.
  • Starter relay: The starter relay controls the flow of electricity to the starter motor. A faulty starter relay can prevent your bike from starting.
  • Wiring harness: The wiring harness connects various electrical components throughout your bike. Damage or wear to the wiring harness can lead to electrical issues.

Regular maintenance and inspections can help you identify and address these potential failure points before they become significant problems.

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Other Reasons for A Motorcycle Not Starting

Apart from electrical issues, there are other reasons why your motorcycle might not start:

  • Bad fuel: Old or contaminated fuel can cause your engine to struggle or not start at all. If you suspect bad fuel is the issue, the first step is to drain your tank and fill it with fresh gasoline.
  • Clogged fuel filter: A clogged fuel filter can prevent fuel from reaching your engine, making it difficult or impossible to start your bike. On earlier models, check to ensure the fuel control valve is functioning adequately.
  • Dirty air filter: A dirty air filter can restrict airflow to your engine, causing it to struggle or not start. Regularly clean or replace your air filter to ensure proper airflow.
  • Malfunctioning fuel pump: A faulty fuel pump can prevent your engine from getting the fuel it needs to start. If you suspect a malfunctioning fuel pump, consult a professional mechanic.

By considering all these potential issues and performing routine maintenance, you can help ensure that your Harley Davidson remains in top-notch condition and avoid any unexpected surprises on the road.