Hisun UTVs are a mixed bag when it comes to their reputation among owners and members of the off-roading community.
Reviews of Hisun’s side-by-sides show that many seem to have had an overwhelmingly positive experience with the Hisun machine they were able to get at a bargain price compared to many other bigger name models on the UTV market.
But for a number of other owners whose experience with their Hisun machine has been negative, the old saying “you get what you pay for” seems to ring true.
There are eight common Hisun UTV problems that tend to recur in these machines:
- Excessive engine noise
- Rattling when driving
- Rough idling and stalling
- Clutch issues
- Gear shift sticking
- Starting problems
- Lack of support and service
This guide will detail these problems, along with proven fixes for each.
Excessive Engine Noise
If you’ve taken an extended ride in a Hisun UTV, you may have walked away with a slight ring in your ear.
One of the most commonly complained about issues with Hisun’s line of utility vehicles is that the engines are loud, and the engine noise is amplified in the cab area since it’s enclosed by a windshield, plastic roof, and side doors.
Every Hisun UTV makes use of a single-cylinder engine, and these single-cylinders are known to produce even more noise than many bigger V-Twins in similar models like Massimo’s line of side-by-sides.
If riding in a Hisun, plan on having a heck of a time hearing your passenger any time you’re not accelerating.
That fix is to install sound deadening mats in areas under and behind the seats, as well as on the undersides of the engine compartment, center console, roof, doors and other areas that echo this engine noise.
Doing so will minimize the engine noise and make it much more bearable on your ears while riding.
Rattling Noise When Driving
Some bad news about Hisun UTVs is that you tend to hear some rattling when driving from various parts. The good news is that you can hardly hear this rattling over the excessive engine noise.
In all seriousness, the rattling can be super annoying and usually comes from the roof or windshield.
Installing adhesive weather stripping between the roll bars and everything plastic will greatly reduce this rattling issue.
For an even cheaper solution, you can cut pool noodles in half and install them on the roll bars to fill the space between the plastic hard top roof, which will do the trick as well.
Rough Idling & Stalling
It’s pretty common as a Hisun UTV owner to experience the engine running rough, sputtering, and even stalling out while at idle.
There are a couple of triggers for these symptoms:
- Fuel injector has gone bad
- Throttle body is clogged
Fuel Injector Gone Bad
Some Hisun models are only equipped with a screen and not an actual in-line fuel filter, though that has changed for the most part in newer models.
Without an actual filter, the fuel injector is much more prone to becoming clogged up from dirt and debris in the fuel tank.
If your model doesn’t have an in-line fuel filter in your gas line, installing one in place of the screen will greatly reduce this issue.
Additionally, the stock fuel injectors are simply not of the highest quality in Hisun UTVs. So installing an upgraded aftermarket part is recommended as well.
Throttle Body Clogged
The throttle bodies are known to become clogged with a buildup of soot, dirt, and grime from riding over time.
It can be a bit of a task, but you’ll need to remove your throttle body in this case and give it a thorough cleaning using WD-40 Throttle Body Cleaner.
Be sure and open the throttle blade and spray down and clean inside of that area as well to make sure you get any hidden build-up.
Tip: To save yourself some trouble, before reinstalling the throttle body you can hook it up the electrical and test it by turning the key to the on position to ensure it is working as it should.
Overheating issues seem to be a frequent problem in all Hisun UTV models, including Hisun’s most popular UTV model. This overheating can occur due to a handful of different reasons.
- Temperature Sensor
- Air Blockage in Coolant System
- Blown Head Gasket
One of the few real flaws with Hisun engines is they’re factory-set within the ECU for the temperature sensor on the radiator to not engage the fan switch until reaching a temperature of around 220 degrees.
The engines aren’t capable of withstanding these high temps for extended periods, and they tend to overheat before the temperature sensor triggers the fan in time to prevent the engine temps from rising too high.
If you live in a warm area or at a higher elevation, this will affect you even more. But there are a couple of fixes for this.
Having the ECU tuned is probably your best bet, albeit the more expensive option.
Depending on where you get the tune from, it will usually come with the benefit of lowering the temperature at which the fan switch is engaged to around 190 degrees, which is much more realistic to keep the engine from overheating.
You can also install a toggle switch on the dash that will bypass the temperature sensor and give you the ability to turn on the fan whenever you need to.
Air Blockage In Coolant System
An air pocket blockage in the coolant system is another main cause of overheating in Hisun UTVs.
When the engine overheats, air can enter into the system. When this happens, the air eventually finds its way to the water pump.
This essentially blocks the full flow of coolant, which results in the radiator staying cool and the engine overheating.
If you’ve got an air blockage, you’ll need to bleed it out to prevent continue overheating. Be sure that the engine is cold and the front end of your UTV is raised about a foot off the ground when doing this.
And if you don’t see the bubbling from the radiator fill are stop as it should when bleeding the system, you’ve probably blown a head gasket.
Blown Head Gasket
Any overheating the engine experiences puts your head gaskets at risk of blowing. And blown head gaskets will lead to recurring overheating. Fun cycle, huh?
Test your head gasket using a head gasket tester kit and replace if necessary.
Most Hisun utility vehicles are equipped with a wet clutch which is lubricated and cooled with engine oil.
The stock clutches used in the Hisun UTVs are fine, but they’re prone to being damaged over the time. This is usually more a result of operator error than that fault of the clutch itself.
Clutch slippage is the main indicator of a damaged clutch, and will result in what seems like delayed throttle response in your UTV. You’ll apply the gas, but there will be a delay in acceleration, and it may be jerky.
When this happens, you’ll probably need to replace your clutch shoes or the clutch system itself, which ain’t cheap.
It’s important to understand the correct gears to drive in for certain types of driving to avoid wearing out your clutch components.
You don’t want to be driving in High gear at prolonged low speeds. Trail riding should mostly be done in Low gear.
And when hauling heavy loads, you almost always want to be in Low gear.
It is also essential to use a wet-clutch approved oil and not just a regular motor oil. Be sure that your oil is labeled as “JASO” and is meant for UTVs or ATVs.
Gear Shift Sticking
The gear shift sticking is another common problem in Hisun UTVs, sometimes requiring owners to put lots of force behind moving the gear shift into High, Low, or Reverse.
This issue is more common when shifting on an incline, but can occur anytime. You may also experience a grinding noise from the gears after making a gear shift.
Both of these indicate an issue with your shift linkage transferring to an incorrect position, which usually happens due to the locking nuts that hold it in place vibrating loose allowing it to turn out of place.
To fix this, you’ll need to remove the seats and center console to expose the engine bay and locate the shift linkage on the passenger side.
Take an 8mm wrench and hold the shift linkage turnbuckle in place, while loosening the locking nuts (if not already loose) using a 14mm wrench.
You’ll need to then rotate the turnbuckle back into place, using the gear lights on the dash as a guide to let you know when it’s in the correct position.
You’ll know when you’re good, as you’ll be able to shift gears easily as intended and there won’t be any grinding noise.
If your Hisun UTV shows no signs of life, or turns over but won’t fire up, it’s likely due to an issue with one of the following:
- Spark Plugs
- Degraded Fuel
Valve Clearance Causing Compression Loss
The intake and exhaust valves in Hisun UTVs are prone to tightening or loosening too much over time, which will affect the valve clearance and lead to a loss of compression.
A loss of compression will lead to no-start issues, so you’ll want to locate the proper valve clearances and ensure that your valves are adjusted to these.
The proper valve clearances are listed in the manual but can also usually be found on a tab under the driver’s side fender of Hisun UTVs.
Faulty Battery Or Battery Connections
Hisun batteries are one of the weak spots of these machines, and are known to drain when the machine is not in use or if supporting added electronics like a light bar.
To combat this, you should be hooking your Hisun UTV battery up to a Battery Tender Plus when not in use to ensure your engine fires right up every time.
The battery connections are also known to cause no-start issues in Hisuns, so check for any corrosion in the battery terminals and ensure the connections to the battery are all tightly secured in place.
Another culprit of no-start issues in Hisuns is the stock spark plugs, which are prone to fouling. Check the tips to ensure they aren’t burnt-looking, which would indicate the cause of your no-start issue.
If so, replace them with a high quality iridium spark plug for the best performance.
If your Hisun has been sitting for a prolonged period of two or more months, the fuel in the tank may have degraded and caused a no-start issue.
You can replace the fuel, and add some Sea Foam Motor Treatment that will help flush the remnants from and clean your fuel lines.
Lack of Support and Service
As a Hisun owner, you won’t get that much help from the customer support department relative to troubleshooting and overcoming issues with your UTV.
To add to that, the warranty process is inefficient, time-consuming, and frustrating as evidenced in this review of common problems with the Hisun Sector electric vehicle.
And to add a third whammy here, the number of dealers and service centers to choose from when making warranty claims and repairs is lacking to say the least – so you won’t find many options to choose from.
One of the most important considerations to make when looking at a Hisun UTV is how mechanically inclined you are, and how willing you are to put in some repair-time on your own when the need arises.
Because even for those no longer under warranty, it can be hard to find mechanics who will even work on these models due to unfamiliarity.
Many of the common Hisun UTV problems can be addressed by ensuring ongoing proper maintenance and preventative care. However, some are completely out of the owners’ control.
These issues considered, Hisun UTVs do offer much of the same ability as some of the more familiar and expensive UTV brands on the market today. But owners should take into account their need for strict upkeep and maintenance schedules, as well as the fact that they will likely need to be self reliant in overcoming any of these common problems they may face.