Sunday, January 18, 2015

Have You Tried Turning it Off and On Again?

Yesterday I discovered the solution to a problem I've been working on, and that solution left me feeling pretty stupid.

A few weeks ago I needed some light out at the shed, so pulled the four-wheeler into a good spot and used it's headlights for the task. When I was finished I tried restarting the four-wheeler so I could park it, but it would not start. I finally gave up and just pushed it back under the shed.

The next day I tried again, making sure it wasn't out of gas, etc. When it still wouldn't start I decided it was probably time to replace the spark plug. The next time I went to London I ran into the automotive supply store and picked one up. A few days ago I switched them out and found that they had given me the wrong plug. The wire would not attach because the terminal of the plug was too large. Yesterday I returned it to the store and they gave me a different one that had a screw off terminal, which would then allow it to work.

I replaced the plug, but the four-wheeler would still not start. I figured I'd need to ask my Dad for some advice when I next talked to him, so went to work on another project. As I was thinking over anything I might have missed that could cause the problem I thought of a potential cause.

I went back to the four-wheeler, made one small change, hit the starter and it fired right up. The problem, as much as I hate to admit it, was that it was turned off. My four-wheeler has both an on/off switch and a keyed ignition switch. I always turn it off with the ignition switch, and leave the on/off switch in the on position. That switch is next to the controls for the lights. Apparently, on the night I was using it to light the shed I accidentally hit the on/off switch while fumbling around for the light switch in the dark.

I'm glad that the issue was simply user error. A two pack of plugs only cost $4, so I'm not out much. The lesson I learned was well worth that cost. Plus I now have a new plug in the four-wheeler and a spare.

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