9 Common Kawasaki Mule Pro FXT Problems & Fixes

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Durable.  Dependable.  Workhorse.

If you read a review of Kawasaki Mules in general, you’ll find those terms to be the most common descriptions of these vehicles.

Then in 2015, the introduction of the Mule Pro FXT combined these same characteristics with an added focus on comfort and recreation making it one of the more well-rounded UTVs on the market.

But even though Mules makes for some of the best UTVs for the money, “nobody’s perfect” as the old saying goes.

And a full review of the Mule Pro FXT will give you an idea of some of the drawbacks of these models.

But like most utility vehicles out there, this model suffers from a number of common problems that may be more than just a simple drawback that annoys owners, including:

  • Excessive Heat Issues
  • Steering Issues
  • Oil Filler Cap Shooting Off
  • Oil Leaks
  • Design of the Air Intake Causing Issues
  • Roof Leaking Water On Riders
  • Clutch Problems
  • Loss of Power
  • Rough Idling & Stalling

This guide will detail each problem along with several proven fixes for overcoming them.

Mule Pro FXT Heat Problem

One of the more common complaints about the Mule Pro FXT is the heat from the radiator blowing into the cabin. 

This heat issue can affect the entire cab area if you have a windshield installed, but it mostly affects the legs and feet of drivers. 

This happens as the radiator vents under the dash, which blows the warm/hot air out through the driver side footwell and directly onto the feet and legs. 

This can be especially inconvenient, and sometimes even painful, on warmer days.

Although this issue has been brought to Kawasaki’s attention, unfortunately it seems to have never been properly addressed.  And it’s one of the common problems with the Kawasaki Mule Pro MX model as well.

That said, there are a few potential solutions to ensuring your feet don’t melt as a result of this heat.


Install A Hood Scoop

If you check out the eleven most popular Kawasaki Mule Pro FXT accessories, you’ll see that the top option is installing a Mule hood scoop to overcome this issue.

A hood scoop essentially raises your hood enough to force air under the hood and down into your cab to offset the hot air. 

This also helps your radiator to stay cooler and give off less hot air. 

You can buy an aftermarket hood scoop already pre-fitted and created specifically for your Mule for around $100. 

You may also be able to craft one up yourself using a combination of pegs and bungee cords if you’re handy.

The hood scoop is secured to your hood using mounting points and heavy-duty brackets. 

Your stock hood panel attaches to the hood scoop using turn latches. 

Don’t let the mention of brackets and latches intimidate you as it’s generally a very easy install. 

Hood scoops not only increase air flow and cool you down, but they can add some extra flash to the appearance of the front of your Mule.

You can check out Dirt Trail Customs for a hood scoop like the one pictured above.

Remove The Doors 

Removing the doors on each side of your Mule Pro FXT can help to resolve this issue as well. 

This may not be ideal for most owners, but it will make a noticeable difference as the additional airflow helps to dissipate the heat in the cabin area faster.

Remove The Hood Cover

Simply removing your hood cover altogether can have much of the same effect as a hood scoop, but it won’t look as natural.

Mule Pro FXT Steering Problems

In March of 2020, there was a recall of 2015-2020 Mule Pro FXT models due to a steering defect caused by excessive wear on the steering shaft. 

This excessive wear gradually led to a loss of steering control which posed a crash hazard and resulted in a number of incidents.


Per the recall, Kawasaki committed to making free repairs to all of these Mules. 

Owners and/or potential buyers should ensure this repair has been made to any 2015 – 2020 Mule Pro FXT to avoid the danger this issue presents.

Mule Pro FXT Oil Filler Cap Shooting Off

There was another recall in 2020 on 2015-2020 FX, FXR, and FXT models as well as 2016 – 2020 DX and DXT models due to the propensity for the oil filler cap to shoot off.

Essentially, the oil filler cap, which is located on the top of the engine valve cover, is prone to shooting off. 

Hot oil will then spew out across the engine resulting in a fire hazard as well as a major mess to clean up for owners. 

This happens as the breather tube can fill with moisture created by exhaust gas, which can then freeze and block the tube, leading to a build up of pressure which ultimately results in the oil fill cap shooting off.


The fix for this was to install an oil catch can on all recalls, as well as new models. 

If your Mule Pro FXT has not been serviced for this issue with an oil catch can installed, you should have one installed to prevent it from occurring. 

Any 2015-2020 Pro FXT should be covered under the recall.

Mule Pro FXT Oil Leaks

Due to the recall with the oil filler cap issue mentioned above, oil catch cans were installed as a remedy. 

Each oil catch can is fitted with a drain plug underneath it. 

This drain plug can fill with oil and then start to overflow, leaking out oil under your Mule causing quite the mess on the floor where you store it.


This potential issue, and its fix, is referenced in many of the newer owner’s manuals. 

It states that there is a transparent drain plug at the bottom of the catch can, and that if you start to see any oil and/or water accumulating in that drain plug, you need to remove the plug and empty it.

You can lay on the ground and locate this clear drain plug under your Mule pretty easily. 

Checking on this regularly to ensure there is no potential accumulation of oil that may overflow will help to prevent it from happening.

Bad Design Of The Air Intake

The air intake design is one of the biggest complaints with this model, and with that of the Kawasaki Mule Pro MX model as well.

The air intake is located lower than on most other side-by-sides, on the right side of the machine near the flooring when you open the rear passenger door.

The location results in dust kicked up by the tires being very prone to getting sucked into the air filter.

As such, the air filter and airbox in these models tends to get very dusty very quickly.  Especially if you ride often on dirt roads or dusty trails.

The location also leaves the airbox prone to being splashed with water even when riding through shallow puddles.


The only real fix for this issue to-date is to snorkel your air intake to a higher position on the vehicle, which will cut down drastically on the amount of dust and debris that gets into the filter and airbox.

If you’re like me and you don’t want to go through the trouble of snorkeling, you just need to be aware of the issue and clean out your air filter and airbox frequently.

When I say frequently, no less than every 200 miles and I am blowing mine out real good to ensure it stays clear of too much dust buildup.  

And after pretty much any long, dusty ride you’ll want to blow out your airbox and clean the air filter as well.

There’s not much to do about the water issue, except steer clear of deep puddles as best you can and take them very slowly to avoid much splashing.

Plastic Roof Dumps Water On You

The plastic roof of the Mule Pro FXT is there to shield you from the elements.

But the channels built into the stock plastic roof end up doing the complete opposite as they are known to pool water when it rains, with the pooled water then dumping down onto riders when accelerating.

This happens mostly at the point where the roof and windshield overlap in the front, but happens in the back some as well.


I’d highly recommend checking out this list of the most popular Kawasaki Mule accessories for a list of aftermarket roofs that won’t cause this issue.

But there are two solutions to this problem for those with a Kawasaki roof.  The first involves purchasing an upgraded windshield for your Mule.

The second, much cheaper option involves installing a pool noodle…yes, a pool noodle.

You can cut a pool noodle in half and install a half just over top of the roll cage bar in front, and then zip tie it in place.

You’ll hardly be able to see it between the roof and windshield once installed, and it will serve to plug the space where the water would drip through where the roof and windshield overlap.

It almost sounds too silly and simple to be true, but it works.

Mule Pro FXT Clutch Problems

The transmission is also a source of frustration among some Mule Pro FXT owners.

The gear shift tends to stick sometimes, making it really tough to shift gears when coming to a stop, especially on an incline.


When this happens while the engine is running, you should apply slight pressure to the gas pedal to bring the RPMs up to around the 100 level.

Giving the Mule some gas should engage the clutch and turn the drive pulley, which should slightly shift the transmission into place properly where the collars and gears are aligned correctly.

Once at the lower RPM level, attempt to gear shift and you should be good to go.

If you have powered off your Mule while not in neutral and experience a stuck gear shift, hold down the brake to start your Mule while in gear and then make the gear shift.

Mule Pro FXT Loss of Power

Mule FXT owners may experience an overall lack of speed, power, and acceleration with machines that have fairly significant total hours of use on them. 

This often happens when climbing hills or carrying heavier loads.

The most likely culprit in this scenario is the fuel pump.  You can test it to ensure it’s working, and replace it if not.


When replacing the fuel pump, ensure that it fits and stays firmly in place once installed so there is no fuel delivery issue moving forward.

You should also inspect the fuel filter and go ahead and replace it along with the fuel pump as a slightly clogged filter will negatively affect engine performance.

Checking and replacing the spark plugs if necessary may also alleviate this issue.  

Lastly, flush the lines of your Mule by adding Sea Foam Motor Treatment to your fuel tank.

Sea Foam works wonders in cleaning harmful fuel gum and varnish residues that cause dirty fuel systems, as well as lubricating your engine and stabilizing fuel while your Mule is not in use.

Mule Pro FXT Idling Issues

If your FXT runs like new when giving it some gas but not when at idle, you’re not alone.

Over time, a number of Mule Pro FXT owners report constant sputtering and even the engine dying at idle.

These issues are usually attributed to a buildup of carbon deposits within your Mule’s throttle body.


If experiencing these issues, the throttle body is one of the first places to check, and you can alleviate them by cleaning the throttle body and its parts following these steps:

  • Remove your Mule’s throttle body.
  • Spray it down using WD-40 Carb & Throttle Body Cleaner, and then use a toothbrush or scrub pad to scrub it clean.
  • Use your finger to open the throttle blade and spray the shaft bearing area with the cleaner as well.
  • Open the throttle blade back and forth while cleaning it to ensure you remove all build-up.
  • Hook the electrical connections back up to your throttle body to test it before fully reinstalling.
  • Turn the key to the idle position and watch for the throttle blade slightly opening. If it does, you’re good to go.


While some of these issues are completely out of the owners’ control, others can be addressed by following the suggested maintenance schedule and ensuring ongoing proper preventative care for your Mule Pro FXT.

For additional support and insight into these issues and others, there are Kawasaki forums where the riding community shares added experience, expertise, and advice in resolving such problems.

Even taking these common issues into consideration, the Kawasaki Mule FXT is still a highly dependable and well-rounded UTV that excels in both work-related and recreational activities. 

If you’re considering an Kawasaki Mule Pro FXT, check out this comparison of each Kawasaki Mule’s top speed before you go to see how it stacks up.