Intermittent Scout Starting Issue

Discussion in 'Indian Scout' started by knucky, Aug 26, 2016.

  1. knucky

    knucky Well-Known Member
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    Ok, need your help - sorry but this is going to be a bit long winded - bear with me. My girlfriends 2016 Scout 69 just clocked over 5000 miles. During the last 500 or so, it has started to develop an intermittent starting issue where it occasionally cranks but does not fire. It has never got to the point where it wont start at all, and at worst it takes a few tries to get it going but it's becoming more frequent and making us hesitant to take it out for longer trips for fear that it'll finally die. Here's the facts:

    1. She is waiting for the fuel pump to prime.
    2. She is not holding down the start button.
    3. We have tried many different gas stations.
    4. Voltage reads 13.2 or so key on, 14+ when running.
    5. I have replaced the battery anyway - no difference.
    6. All cables and connectors are good and very tight.
    7. The dealer claims they looked at the sparkplugs and they were fine.
    8. The dealer claims that the bike has not thrown any codes and we have not seen any come up either.
    9. The problem occurs when the bike is dead cold, hot, or anywhere in-between..
    10. A set of Aeromach slip-on mufflers were installed on the bike at around 750 miles and have been on since - no other modifications, no stage one flash, and no decel pop or otherwise poor performance.​

    Since none of the above seemed to work, we took it into the dealer for diagnosis this week. At first they could not reproduce the issue, but they finally did. Then they said they wanted to file an "Ask Polaris" case and asked if we could bring them the stock mufflers because they didn't want Polaris to give us any grief over them. Then they told us that they reproduced the issue with the stock mufflers too. All is going in the correct direction right?

    Well, today they tell us that they flashed the bike with the I-16-01 ECM CAL update and reset the adaptive tables and with the stock mufflers on it, the bike is now starting perfectly and we can pick it up. They explain that the pipes were "way too aggressive" and that by clearing the adaptive tables and putting the stock pipes back on, the bike returned to a "better calibration" and cleared the hard starting issue. Oh and because there was no warranty work actually performed, they billed her $208.00 for shop labor. So she fires up the bike in front of the service tech about 10 times and the problem seems like it's resolved.

    I on the other hand was extremely skeptical of their explanation and called the service manager to tell him that I guarantee that the issue will reoccur and made the following points to him in email:

    1. The bike should always start regardless of what pipes are on it. You can take the mufflers or even headers off of just about any bike and it will at least start - maybe not run well but at least start.
    2. Those pipes have been on the bike for 4000+ miles, and there has never been an issue until the last 500. I have never seen adaptives take 3500+ miles to adjust. Usually it’s 30 miles at the most.
    3. Many other people are running those exact mufflers without any issues or even a stage 1 flash.
    4. Personally, I think we have a lazy starter relay, bad starter or solenoid, or a faulty crank position sensor or something.
    5. They should have at least tried a new starter & solenoid.​

    And after I fire off that email to him, I go out and try to start the bike. On the 3rd try, I reproduce the issue again. Because I fear that they won't believe me I take a timestamped video of issue while I reproduce it AGAIN and send that to him as well.

    Now, I'm sure they will take the bike back again and do some more of the "Ask Polaris" shuffle while it sits there during prime riding season, but after the gaping holes in their logic and lack of willingness to seriously troubleshoot the issue during this go around with them I have zero confidence that this dealer or Polaris actually wants to get to the root cause of what's going on. I have scoured the forums for answers and while this case shares some similarities with other threads, there are either differences or the threads do not result in any answer that I haven't already tried, or the supposed resolution does not work, or there is no answer at all.

    So I'm hoping that a very clear and accurate write up on here might net some additional suggestions or possibly prompt someone else who had a competent dealership fix this issue for them fill me in on what they did.

    Thanks in advance and if you want to see the video of the issue it's available here:

     
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  2. Alpal

    Alpal Gold Member
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    Sounds so much like an issue I had with my Scout. It turned out to be a faulty regulator/rectifier. Have them check this and tell them you believe the correct test takes a while as the bike has to be off for some time before the test is done. If it is this great. If its not that, great, because it is one more thing of the list of causes.
    Alpal
     
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  3. SouthernProducer

    SouthernProducer Well-Known Member

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    It seems that many tech's (NOT all) depend too much on the digital wrenches to troubleshoot a problem. Sometimes you just have to take a few minutes to "noodle" out the problem...like knucky is doing. Without being there with the bike, it sure sounds like all the usual causes have been checked out, but I think the crank position sensor idea is a good one. That sensor can be intermittent with respect to its accuracy or it might actually point to a bad ECU. Sounds like the hard starting issue might be related to a timing issue which is controlled by the ECU and crank sensor. As long as the battery is up to snuff and the starter motor are doing there job, there just isn't any more in the system (except wiring connectors and fuses) to influence staring and running. I know you don't want to start chasing down the problem with replacing expensive parts on your own, and I hope you can get your dealer and Polaris to agree to take another look at the Scout. Keep us posted on how it goes. BTW...you did a great job on your write-up knucky.
     
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  4. knucky

    knucky Well-Known Member
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    Update:

    We brought the bike back to them about an hour ago, they pulled it in, hooked up a couple of multimeters to check battery voltage and starter current draw and started the bike about 20 times, the issue occurred twice and they concluded that the starter wasn't the problem. They are going to upload all of the info to polaris and we are bringing the bike back Tuesday - they felt that the next issue they will be checking is fuel pressure. I did ask them to consider the rectifier/regulator but the tech (who BTW has a severe attitude problem) did not think it would be the cause - regardless, I asked them to test it anyway next week.

    As for the refund, they refused it on the grounds that they have no concrete problem to bill warranty work against at this point. I reminded the service manager that we are in fact seeing a problem that is outside the scope of normal operation and that if he did not refund the money, that we would be walking away as unhappy customers. He said that there was nothing he could do about it and so we left. My girlfriend is going to dispute the charge on her credit card at this point instead.

    I am starting to become really pissed off. We are damned good customers at this dealership and have bought 3 bikes and countless accessories from them. This is not the first time their service department has failed us, but it may be the last. In my book, today's little session counts as attempt #2 of 3 to fix the problem under the lemon law. If they don't fix it this week, I will start that course of action.
     
  5. SouthernProducer

    SouthernProducer Well-Known Member

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    Too bad the tech copped an attitude and might explain the lengthy troubleshooting episode. Sounds like its time for the dealership owner to step in before they lose a good customer (if it's not already too late). Don't blame you for using your states Lemon Law and hope you can get a quick resolution. I used Ohio's Lemon Law years ago to get a replacement automobile and the process was pretty smooth. I did find out that the dealer had to ante up some of the cost for the new car, and not sure if your dealership would face the same with Polaris? If so, your dealer might be a little more understanding of your position in the matter. Does Polaris or your dealer know you are at the end of your rope and ready to pull the Lemon Law trigger?
     
  6. knucky

    knucky Well-Known Member
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    Contacting the owner of the dealership and Polaris are my next steps. I have not yet informed the dealership about the lemon law course of action - will do that upon drop-off on Tuesday.
     
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  7. NickJ

    NickJ Administrator
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    I know that you stated that the connections were "very tight," but make sure that the connections to the battery terminals are "balls tight." I mean seriously tight. I had a similar issue with the Scarlett bike when I first put her together. The bike sounded like it didn't have enough juice to turn the starter, but there was no way that it didn't as I had left it on the trickle charger for days and showed fully charged.

    I spoke to a Corp Tech and he said that it sounds strange, but the Scout demonstrates really odd symptoms when the terminals aren't wicked tight. Give it a shot and hopefully it works for you.
     
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  8. knucky

    knucky Well-Known Member
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    First thing I did. M10 socket to both terminals and the ground strap to frame until they they were tight enough to be concerned about stripping them if I went any tighter. Thank you for the advice though.
     
  9. Alpal

    Alpal Gold Member
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    Knucky,........your dog is drowning,........just thought I should let you know,.........
    Concerned Alpal,......

    Well, not concerned really,........just finished a six pack session with my Stephanie,.....
     
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  10. Cindy T

    Cindy T Member
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    Had to use the AZ lemon law for my 2015 Scout. It was one of the first at my dealer with the bad throttle surge. After waiting almost a month and they still couldn't figure it out we were in contact with Polaris. My husband calmly explained to the CS advisor that in AZ the lemon law is 3 times for the same issue or 30 days consecutive in the shop which this was. He said let me get back to you and in 3 days we were getting a call that it was approved and I would be getting a new bike. I would like to think that my Lil Red helped get the re-flash in place as it went back to Polaris to be torn apart and analyzed. I would be contacting Polaris CS and see if you can get them to push on the local shop to get this fixed or make it right. Especially with a refund on what should have been a warranty claim. Best of luck.
     
  11. 1RSCOUT

    1RSCOUT Well-Known Member

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    Although not as immediate as consumers like, it is good to know that "service recovery" is practiced by Polaris (with a nudge from you and the law).
     
  12. Alpal

    Alpal Gold Member
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    Hey Buddy! Welcome to the club and I like your choice of colour! Red! ...just like mine,......(You knew red ones are faster,...yeah?,... Yeah, of course you did,.....Heh, heh,....)
    Alpal.
     
  13. knucky

    knucky Well-Known Member
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    I called Indian CS this morning, opened my own case and reviewed the dealership case notes/progress with them. They were not happy that we'd been charged for diagnostics on an open issue. I also sent an e-mail to the owner of the dealership explaining the situation and asking for a refund on the grounds that the case was still open. I also informed both that they have used 2 of 3 attempts to fix the same issue and that we would be pursuing a lemon law claim if this doesn't get fixed during the next attempt which is scheduled for drop off tomorrow. Meanwhile, the problem still persists and happened a bunch while out riding yesterday. Fingers crossed that putting all interested parties on alert gets things moving in the right direction. It shouldn't have to be this way!
     
  14. Cindy T

    Cindy T Member
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    Sorry it had to come to this but hopefully now one way or another the issue will be solved. Best of luck and keep us posted.
     
  15. JayFL459

    JayFL459 Silver Member
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    When my Dealership was Brushing off Repairing my Scout got in touch the Right One from Ma Polaris and The ball started rolling when finally called Polaris back about the amount of time they taking to do the work .. Got a Call from the Dealership treating me like Royalty and even threw the Stage 1 Pipes and Flash for Free to go with it .. 3,500 miles since got it back without a hiccup .. Hope goes the same for you ..
     
  16. knucky

    knucky Well-Known Member
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    Bike was brought back to the dealer yesterday AM. The first thing they were going to do is check the fuel pressure while replicating the problem. They provided no status update at the end of the day as requested. Hopefully today I will hear something.
     
  17. JayFL459

    JayFL459 Silver Member
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    Keep Us Posted .. By Now Polaris may be watching here as well as the other Forum .. Believe I found out they were watching when they showed me Pics of my Stage 1 Tuned Dyno on the Scout when had it in for Warranty Rebuild .. :)
     
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  18. knucky

    knucky Well-Known Member
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    Update: Not much to report despite the bike is now on day 3 in the shop. Dealer provided a brief email devoid of any detail stating that they had done some testing and sent results to Indian and that they are waiting on a response from them. I called Indian this AM and was told that the dealer reported to Indian that they could not reproduce the issue and wanted to know next steps. We put about 250 miles on the bike this weekend and the problem occurred numerous times so I know that it still happens. I also know that troubleshooting an intermittent issue can be difficult but I get the feeling that the dealer just isn't trying very hard to reproduce the problem. I did not get to talk with the CS specialist that has been assigned since he was in a meeting but will call back a little later to find out what the next steps are.
     
  19. knucky

    knucky Well-Known Member
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    Another update: Called Indian CS again and finally spoke to the assigned specialist. Dealer stated that they were able to replicate issue one time and that fuel pressure was normal during the event. Indian corporate tech who reviewed case notes commented in the notes that next steps should be to have the dealer go out for a ride with the owner to make sure it's not user error and to watch for things like applying throttle during start, etc. The CS specialist immediately noted that the video I recorded clearly shows that an incorrect starting procedure was not used while the issue occurred so he is going to talk to that corporate tech again tomorrow since he felt that he must not have reviewed the video before making that comment. I also asked if it makes sense to bring the bike to another dealer perhaps with a better service level certification - the CS specialist looked up my dealers level as well as the other two in MA - all 3 are at the same level, silver. So it's still unclear what the next steps are going to be at this point. Supposedly, I am going to get a call back tomorrow from corporate to discuss.
     
  20. Hatt

    Hatt Well-Known Member
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    Hope it all works out cap'n!
     

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