Dear Sarge,

I have a 2012 Polaris RZR 800 S and lately it has started to run rough. I got stuck running thru a deep, watery mud hole, and had to be winched out. Since then, the power has dropped off noticeably. When I got it home I checked the engine oil for water. There was none. Also the air filter was clean. It doesn’t skip. There is just the absence of the snap it used to have. I am not sure just what to check at this point. Sarge, do you have any wisdom to impart to this poor recruit?

Jason Barrows

Kirbyville, Texas

Boot, I ALWAYS have wisdom to impart to my recruits! Your problem, assuming you are still using the factory exhaust, is your spark arrester. It is plugged with baked on mud, clay and exhaust carbon. If the spark arrester screen has never been out before it may prove difficult to remove. I use a slide hammer bearing puller from Harbor Freight (P/N60327) and PB Blaster. Once out, you should see the screen is most likely plugged. Aerosol carburetor cleaner and a wire brush sometimes can work. Other times a propane torch is necessary to heat it up red hot, then bang it and the crud should drop away as dust. With your exhaust flowing again, the “snap” you referred to should return. With this wisdom comes a price, Boot. Since you love the mud so much, pick your favorite mud hole and practice “low crawling” thru the mud and water at night, and you better not be heard from 10 feet away, Boot! Dismissed! — SARGE McCOY

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