If you read a review of the SSR Bison 500, you’ll understand why this all-new model and its two rare features have overtaken the Bison 400 as SSR’s most popular UTV.
Regardless, the SSR Bison 400 still makes for one of the least expensive UTV options out there. But is it really worth saving a buck for this model?
A review of the SSR Bison 400 will highlight the good and bad with this model, but there are some common issues that do affect it you’ll want to be aware of as well.
This guide will examine a few of the common SSR Bison 400 problems you may encounter as an owner so that you can be the judge.
The most common issues found with this Bison 400 are:
- Gears sticking and grinding
- Annoying beeping when using turn signals or Reverse
- Loud engine noise in the cab
- Excessive heat in the cab
- Wide turning radius
Gears Sticking & Grinding
The most common issue with the Bison 400 is trouble shifting gears. Owners find that when shifting, many times the shifter will completely skip gears.
It can also be almost impossible to get the gear shift to go into the Park setting. You can apply as much force as you want, but many times it simply won’t settle into Park.
Many owners are forced to leave their vehicle in gear while it is off, which can lead to it rolling if not parking on a flat surface.
Additionally, a grinding noise occasionally occurs when shifting gears. While this may be a normal occurrence in this machine, it can lead to damage to the drivetrain over time.
The sticking and grinding of gears is most likely due to the shift cable needing an adjustment.
Owners should locate the shift cable and ensure the nut that holds it in place has not vibrated loose. If it has, this is likely your issue and it should be tightened.
Annoying Beeping When Using Turn Signals or Reverse
The prize for the most annoying issue with the SSR Bison 400 goes to the beeping noise it makes when using either of the turn signals or when putting it in the Reverse setting.
This beeping noise is more of a loud ringing than just a beeping sound, and sounds like when a big truck such as a dump truck goes into reverse and beeps loudly.
Though not a big deal, it can be pretty uneasy on the ears over time. Luckily, there’s a simple fix for those who don’t want to listen to it when driving.
The beeper can be unplugged from under the hood of the vehicle, which will disable it for both the turn signals and Reverse.
Loud Engine Noise In Cab
Another of the more common complaints with the SSR Bison 400 is excessive noise from the engine while driving.
This noise is worse in the cab area than outside of the vehicle, and makes it hard to hold a conversation with your passenger when at higher speeds.
The engine noise is amplified as it reverberates off the many plastic parts that exist in and around the cab area.
While some engine noise is expected in a utility vehicle, this model seems to be much louder than many others powered by a single cylinder engine.
Owners who are bothered by this should consider installing sound deadening mats under and between the seats and around the engine compartment. This should help to muffle the engine noise in the cab.
Excessive Heat in Cab
Another of the more common complaints with the SSR Bison 400 is with the tendency for the cab to become overly hot while driving.
This excessive heat is a result of hot air from the radiator and engine compartment finding its way into the cab of the vehicle.
While the fact that the Bison 400 doesn’t come with side doors helps with the air circulation, it’s factory-installed windshield does contribute to the heat issue.
This warming of the cabin can make it especially uncomfortable to drive for extended periods of time during the warm months.
But there are several ways to alleviate this heat in the cab.
The most effective way to beat the heat during the warmer months is to install a heat shield.
You can find various heat shields online, which usually fit under and behind the seats to help minimize the heat.
Owners can also make a heat shield on their own out of materials like roofing rubber or a windshield sun deflector, which should have much of the same effect.
These heat shields make a big difference and are said to minimize the heat in the cab area by around 75%.
Fan Under The Seats
Another option is to install an automotive fan under the seats of the Bison. A fan will increase the air circulation in the cab and help to dissipate the heat.
Adjust The Windshield
The Bison 400 comes equipped with a two-piece fold-out windshield.
To help decrease the heat in the cab, owners can fold out the windshield and secure it in place so that it is more open while driving.
Wide Turning Radius
As a two-seater, the Bison 400 is not a big utility vehicle from a dimensional perspective.
But it is long enough that its turning radius is not very good for that of a two-seat model.
This wide turning radius makes it tough to turn around on trails, potentially requiring a six-point turn depending on the trail.
This is not that big of a deal, but something to keep in mind depending on where you plan to drive it.
While there are a number of common SSR Bison 400 problems, most of them are fairly minor and can be overcome with some slight modifications or mechanical work.
But it is important to consider that as an owner of one of these less-familiar utility vehicles, you may find yourself needing to be mechanically inclined as many repair services are simply not familiar with them and may not be willing to work on them.
If considering a budget utility vehicle, check out the following guides before you go: