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Why You Need to Pay More Attention to Your Voltage Regulator

Harry Strick |

Are you afraid that the voltage regulator on your ATV may be malfunctioning? If you think this essential component of your bike is on its last legs, keep reading to learn about the most common signs of failure and how to fix the problem. You won't want to miss these valuable hints and a simple step-by-step approach to determining your voltage regulator's health.

What Does an ATV's Voltage Regulator Do?

A regulator is an electronic device that transforms the AC electrical current generated by the stator into DC electrical current before sending it to the battery. The regulator/rectifier unit's rectifier component is in charge of converting (or rectifying) the current from AC to DC. Meanwhile, the regulator section is in charge of limiting (or regulating)the amount of current supplied to the battery to avoid damaging it.

Know the Signs of a Failing ATV Voltage Regulator

The most typical reason for a voltage regulator failure is when the diode burns out, causing the battery to discharge. If the battery is the problem, you won't have any problems diagnosing the defective regulator. Poor starts, changing meter readings, and dimming headlights are all warning signals.

Early detection can help avoid the burnout of other electrical components, which will be more expensive to replace. So how can you make sure your ATV voltage regulator is in good working order before you go out and get a new one?

How To Test an ATV Voltage Regulator

Testing your voltage regulator is a straightforward operation. Here’s a list of simple steps you can do. 

  1. Do a Diode Check

Change the setting on your digital multimeter to diode testing. 

Determine if your ATV has a single-phase or three-phase regulator. There will only be one wire if it is a single-phase regulator while there will be three different colored wires if your ATV has a three-phase regulator. You can now remove the regulator from your ATV after ensuring that it has been switched off.

  1. Conduct a Forward Bias Test

A forward bias test on your regulator is required. Remove the leads from your digital multimeter and double-check that it is on the diode test. 

Connect your regulator to your leads. The negative lead is usually attached to the regulator's red-colored positive end.

Connect your positive lead to the largest line on the regulator. You will be able to test several connections on this line. This will reveal the location of the problem with your regulator. Your multimeter should read between.300 and.500 volts DC when you attach the positive wire to one of the connections.

  1. Check for the "Open Line" Indicator on Your Digital Multimeter

The OL symbol on your digital multimeter stands for "Open Line." The connection that provides this reading isn't receiving any power. That’s because unfiltered AC electricity is passing directly through it. This indicates that your regulator needs to be replaced.


Knowing how to spot the indications of a malfunctioning ATV voltage regulator may save you time, money, and aggravation. If you notice the problem in its early stages, you might be able to repair the component for a reasonable fee and avoid complete battery failure down the line.

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