12 Most Common Yamaha Grizzly 700 Problems

The Yamaha Grizzly 700 is a reliable and tough quad. With its durable frame, it can endure harsh conditions and aggressive riding styles. But it’s not all perfect. Many owners have come across issues with the quad. What are some common Yamaha Grizzly 700 Problems?

Here are the most common Yamaha Grizzly 700 problems:

  1. It feels unstable on hills and around corners.
  2. The engine is noisy and overheats.
  3. Dust and dirt get through the filter.
  4. The quad smokes on startup.
  5. It sometimes won’t start.
  6. The gas tank rollover valve is defective.
  7. The engine backfires then dies.
  8. It makes a clanking noise when in 2WD or 4WD.
  9. Rear brakes get spongy with new brake pads.
  10. The quad has poor acceleration.
  11. Cold-weather starting is difficult.
  12. It has steering control problems.

From engine noise to poor acceleration, these issues can be quite frustrating and might make an owner second-guess themselves for buying a Yamaha Grizzly 700. Thankfully, these can be resolved with parts adjustment, proper maintenance, or a call to your dealer.

These problems should not deter you from getting a Yamaha Grizzly 700. Overall, it’s a great machine that you’ll surely enjoy. But if you’re curious about the problems some owners have experienced, read on to find out more.

Yamaha Grizzly 700 Problems

Black Yamaha Grizzly 700

1. It feels unstable on hills and around corners.

Grizzly owners often comment on the stability of the quad. It can feel unstable while on hills or turning corners. This is due to it being lightweight as it is built this way for superior handling over any obstacle. Its compact size and high seating also add to the instability.

2. The engine is noisy and overheats.

The Yamaha Grizzly 700 only has one cylinder, which many consider a drawback. With less power, it creates more noise than two-cylinder quads. It may also lead to overheating problems. If you experience this, adding a radiator should solve the problem. You could also add another muffler to the rear rack to help with noise.

3. Dust and dirt get through the filter.

Some owners have reported that dirt, sand, and dust gets in the air filter. This can damage internal engine parts, such as valves, pistons, and cylinder walls, resulting in excessive oil consumption, poor engine performance, and engine failure. To fix, apply filter grease around the outer edges, and then securely place the filter in. This should help prevent debris from getting through. If you ride in very dusty conditions, check the airbox more frequently.

4. The quad smokes on startup.

This issue forms part of the 2016 Yamaha Grizzly 700 problems and is due to valve issues. The way to fix it is to bring it to a Yamaha dealer for proper diagnosis and resolution. Or you can do an engine valve clearance check to see if it needs adjustment.

5. It sometimes won’t start.

Starter problems are common across all Yamaha Grizzly 700 year models. This may be due to the spring on the compression, which needs to be put back in place. Also, valves may need to be adjusted if they are too tight.

At other times, the issue could be electrical, especially for Yamaha Grizzly 700s with auto EPS. If so, below are some of the tools you will need in case you will be fixing the Grizzly’s starting problems by yourself:

  • 10- and 12-mm sockets
  • 4 mm Allen
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Volt/OHM meter (capable of testing diodes)
  • Test lead kit

Depending on the tests you will be running on your Yamaha Grizzly 4wheeler, you may not need all of those tools. Refer to your owner’s manual for wiring diagrams.

6. The gas tank rollover valve is defective.

After removing the gas cap on your Yamaha Grizzly 700, you may notice a loud hiss. This is because your rollover valve is not venting properly and is defective. Supposedly, this was an issue seen in earlier models, which Yamaha corrected with an updated rollover valve. Contact your dealership to get it replaced.

7. The engine backfires then dies.

This issue occurs even for Yamaha 4 wheelers with less than 50 miles on them. You can easily determine this since the quad would die at idle (whether in gear or not) and backfire periodically. Your Grizzly would also have extreme pressure in the gas tank and have power problems under load. This problem may arise from several factors like contaminated fuel, worn-out spark plug, fuel-starved engine, or a bad fuel pump.

8. It makes a clanking noise when in 2WD or 4WD.

This problem usually happens after gassing on Yamaha quads hard. The initial speculation is that this is due to a snapped axle. Issues with bearings and axles may be the case for Yamaha ATVs that have been modded. But owners would, later on, trace it back to either a faulty transmission or differential. To pinpoint the exact cause, you will first need to disconnect the driveshaft.

9. Rear brakes get spongy with new brake pads.

There are very few to no problems reported with the braking system of Yamaha Grizzlys. However, spongy rear brakes can be due to not getting a full bleed in when installing new brake pads. Use a power bleeder or a turkey baster if you encounter this problem. Be sure to use DOT 4 fluid when bleeding.

10. The quad has poor acceleration.

The poor air filter design of the Yamaha Grizzly 700 leaves its engine feeling deprived and performing poorly during acceleration. This may be from a clogged air filter not allowing ample air into the engine’s intake or combustion chamber, making the air-fuel mixture overly rich. Additionally, an air filter with blockage leads to bad gas, which causes the engine to run erratically.

11. Cold-weather starting is difficult.

Owners of 2016 and more recent Yamaha Grizzly models complain that the engine is difficult to turn over and will not cold-start, despite the electrical starting system working correctly. This problem is caused by a broken decompression spring weakened during manufacturing. In July of 2016, Yamaha addressed this issue by ordering a recall of affected Grizzly and Kodiak units, advising owners to contact their Yamaha dealer to have the defective part replaced with a higher-quality decompression spring.

12. It has steering control problems.

Yamaha Grizzly power steering problems for their 2008, 2009, and 2010 models resulted in a recall of 20,000 units of 700- and 550-class Grizzlys and hundreds of rollover accident lawsuits. The steering problem was caused by a defect in the steering column support assembly that posed a crash hazard, potentially causing riders to lose control and suffer injuries. Thankfully, this was an anecdotal issue, specific only to those model years.

Yamaha Grizzly 700

Testing for Problems – What to Look out for

Apart from identifying common issues with the Grizzly, knowing their respective fixes is likewise vital. Below are some things you can do to prevent these problems:

  • Verify that the battery registers 12.5V or higher. This is a good first step, especially when troubleshooting 2008 Yamaha Grizzly 700 problems with startup. Anything below the said value is indicative of an unhealthy battery, which would mean a replacement. A Battery Tender (view on Amazon) is ideal in helping prolong your battery’s life, as it monitors and charges it when needed.
  • Check that the starter solenoid fires up. When doing this test, you will need a test lead kit to inspect if the starter solenoid responds after contact with its two terminals. If it does, you can exclude the starter motor as the cause of your starting problem. Otherwise, you will need to get a new one. You may need to test other areas of your quad to properly determine the cause of starting problems: the relay assembly, brake light relay, diode assembly, run switch connector, engine start switch, and reverse switch.
  • Check the oil for any signs of water. Water contamination is often the reason behind bearing wear and your engine oil becoming denatured. Both cause serious damage to your engine and its cooling system and is one of the leading causes of smoke during startup or Yamaha Grizzly 700 stalling problems.
  • Ensure the oil level is according to spec. Although uncommon, a low or incorrect oil level will cause the stator to overheat, which can sometimes be confused with a bad battery or with other overheating causes. The next time you encounter an overheating engine issue with your Grizzly 700, check on the oil level and stator condition before jumping into replacing your stock battery. If the problem comes from the stator, replace it and pair it with an updated stator cover.
  • Check bearings and tie rods for noticeable dents and cracks. This includes inspecting the wheel bearings and knuckle bushings for wear and tear, generally pointed at as the culprit for popping or clanking noises on the Grizzly. Greasing these parts more frequently helps slow down deterioration.
  • Check radiator for bent fins. Bent fins decrease the contact surface of the tubes to the air, decreasing the exchange efficiency. When this happens, your quad’s cooling system will not function optimally and may lead to engine overheating. This is very crucial if you are riding in ambient temperatures above 110°F. Keeping your radiator clean, especially after mud runs, is equally important.
  • Check the air filter. Older Grizzly models require regular air filter inspection to prevent poor engine performance and throttle response. On the other hand, 2015 and more recent models feature a high-flow air filter system and optimized intake joint, so air filter clogging will rarely happen. Its high placement under the seat makes the air intake better at preventing water, mud, and other particles from causing internal problems.
  • Check the power steering for any resistance. To test, fully turn your Yamaha Grizzly left and right. Any resistance would indicate a probable defect with the torque sensor, spline column, speed sensor, or EPS control unit.
  • Inspect nuts and bolts. Ensuring these are tight enough to allow parts of your wheeler to function correctly should be part of your quad’s maintenance (more so if you have an upgraded ATV). Bolts you should be touching, tightening, and torqueing regularly are as follows: lug nuts, pivot bolt, axle nut, wheel hubs, skid plate bolts, and sprocket bolts.
  • Ride in figure 8s and listen for popping from the CV shafts. Loud whining noises when you let off the throttle at higher RPM points to the one-way bearing being installed backward or incorrectly. The one-way connects the CVT to the engine crank on deceleration and should not make any noise. If it does, it would mean a problem with the said bearing, or the primary shaft support bearing in the shaft support cage running dry or being worn out.
  • Test the brakes. This step should be done after installing new brakes. Make sure that neither the front nor rear brakes are spongy. If they are, do a full bleed in to resolve the problem.

Conclusion – Yamaha Grizzly 700 Problems

In summary, here are the most common Yamaha Grizzly 700 problems:

  1. It feels unstable on hills and around corners.
  2. The engine is noisy and overheats.
  3. Dust and dirt get through the filter.
  4. The quad smokes on startup.
  5. It sometimes won’t start.
  6. The gas tank rollover valve is defective.
  7. The engine backfires then dies.
  8. It makes a clanking noise when in 2WD or 4WD.
  9. Rear brakes get spongy with new brake pads.
  10. The quad has poor acceleration.
  11. Cold-weather starting is difficult.
  12. It has steering control problems.

Grizzly owners more widely report the first eight issues. However, Yamaha veterans believe that most of these problems are caused by rider negligence or abuse and can be addressed by proper care for the quad and adherence to scheduled maintenance. Other concerns were only apparent on older model years of the Yamaha Grizzly 700 and have already been corrected in more recent releases. Some are considered one-offs and had been permanently addressed by Yamaha through product recalls.

With help online and support from Yamaha riding communities, resolving these minor problems is now a breeze. It can even be done by a beginning mechanic or a new owner. Yamaha Grizzly 700 problems do not taint the reliability of the vehicle and reputation of the manufacturer in any way.

This problem list should enable you to decide on your next ATV purchase. After all, you can never go wrong with a Yamaha!

Kris Peter

Adventure seeker and off-road enthusiast. I love the thrill of going off-road and taking on the elements.

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