6 x Most Common Can-Am Defender 6×6 Problems!

Can Am defender 6x6 problems

The Can-am Defender 6×6 is a heavy duty UTV. You can assume that this UTV always does its job and has no problems. The opposite is true! The Can-Am Defender 6×6 also has issues just like any other UTV from any brand. In this blog we discuss the 6 most common problems of the Ca-Am Defender 6×6. So read on quickly.

Although there are some issues with the Defender 6×6, It doesn’t mean it’s a bad vehicle. Many drivers are very satisfied with their Can-Am Defender 6×6 and have driven many miles without any problems. It is absolutely reliable.

Picture: Can-am.brp.com

can-am defender 6x6 problems

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1. Differential Heating

This is a common problem on the Can-am Defender 6×6. There are several causes for it, one being bad oil, in which case it will just be a simple oil change. Or it could be a leaking vent pipe which will take a bit of your time till you find out the source of the leak, but after you patch it up, you should do fine.

“Middle diff problems since day one. After a ride, I realized the fill plug was gone. It’s a 2019, so they changed the diff for the beefier version. Had the vent breather tube changed because it was spitting oil under the dash. Even after this recall, it is still spitting oil out of the vent tube. 3400 km, and I blew a seal. Now diff gets smoking hot after riding, can’t keep my hand on it. I am pissed and fed up”

If it isn’t one of the above ones, it could be the other problem. Which means you are going to have to get your hands dirty. First, you have to get your hands on a temp gun and then proceed to jack up the rear end.

Get your RPMs to the range where it starts getting hot, and then you should use the temperature gun to isolate where the heat is coming from. In most cases, you just have to switch out the ball bearings. Even if it isn’t that, it should be pretty easy once you figure out which part is giving you trouble.

Also read: Are Can-Ams Reliable, Check Your Model Here!

2. Transmission Not Engaging

Another common problem with the Can-am Defender 6×6 is with the transmission. Although Can-am gearboxes are very durable and built to take a lot of beating sometimes, they tend to bend and malfunction. If you have a problem where there is no power to the wheels when you shift gears, the first thing you have to do is check if all your differentials are locked, and if there are no broken or damaged axles, chances are the problem is with the transmission.

The first thing you should do, if you are to fix it yourself, is getting the gearbox out of the 6×6. To do this, you may need the assistance of a few special Can-am tools. It would do you good to first check the primary and secondary belts by spinning them manually.

If you see the primary or the secondary belt wobbling or wiggling, it is probably the source of the problem. If that’s not it and the shaft turns both in neutral and in gear, the problem is the gearbox. This doesn’t mean you can’t fix it yourself. You can do it if you are experienced and willing to put some time and effort into it, but otherwise, you would be better off going to your local dealer for help.

3. Rattling Pressure Release Valve

If you hear a sound like pebbles are bouncing around inside when you move at around a few thousand RPMs, then there is a pretty good chance that it could be a problem with the release valve. This is pretty normal for even a straight-out-of-the-factory Defender 6×6. You should also be able to hear the sound when you let off the gas and slow down. There are two possible problems.

It is either a positive pressure buildup, which you can confirm by riding the 6×6 until you start hearing the rattling sound, and then you should reach down and unscrew the gas cap. If you hear the pressure release, everything is all right. You can either leave it open, which will work but is not recommended, or you can simply just replace the gas cap, which is about $30.

The second problem that could happen is a buildup of negative pressure, which can be caused by exposure to extreme altitudes or weather conditions. If this happens, your best bet is to take it to your nearest dealer.

When you are in the market for an Defender 6×6, check out the next video!

4. Muffler Heating Up

This is a very common issue in the Can-am Defender 6×6. You should be wary and take care of it as soon as possible, since if the muffler continues to heat up, it could melt the plastic parts near it and the muffler itself. There are simple fixes for it, though unfortunately not very DIY-friendly. A driver said:

“I have an 6×6 and I have a problem with the muffler heating up. The muffler got so hot that it melted the cardo box.”

This is because the Can-am Defender engine runs too lean. So, your first option would be to get a fuel controller and change the amount of fuel supplied to the combustion chamber, which, if calibrated properly, should help you lose a lot of heat. You can also get your fuel computer calibrated or reflashed by a professional.

If you don’t want to lose any power while reducing the heat emitted, the next best choice is to use heat paneling, which you can attach to the areas surrounding the muffler to keep them from melting. You could either opt for the many heat shields out there and isolate the heat to the muffler.

Also read: 6 x Most Common Can-Am Defender Problems!

5. Faulty Speed Sensor

It is quite common that your speedometer glitches out and shows ‘Low gear’ warnings once you have ridden about 2000 miles on your 6×6. It is quite obvious that once you do quite a number on your Defender 6×6 that it will start getting dirty, and this is a very common problem caused by exactly that. If you don’t clean your Defender 6×6 regularly, dirt can coat the sensors and give incorrect readings.

If your Can-am all of a sudden shows that the speed has dropped to 0 mph and starts showing ‘Low gear’ warnings, it is quite possible it’s caused by a dirty speed sensor. As the manual suggests, you should give all the electronics of the vehicle a good clean-up every 2000 miles. If it happens, you should proceed to pop out the speed gauge and connected electronics, clean it up and then pop it back in, and it should work just fine.

6. U-Joint Failure

In Can-Ams one of the pieces of its skeleton which are prone to damage and failure is the U joint, and it is pretty common for you to get a U joint failure. If you do tow any heavy cargo in brutal conditions such as ice, steep slopes, or both together, it’s one of the parts that can break.

“I had just pulled my trailer up Monument Mountain and went back down to pull my nephew’s trailer up when about halfway up (in the steepest part) the u-joint had a catastrophic failure. My brother, who has a 6×6, also came back and helped me maneuver back down to a pullout on the trail.”

Once the U joint breaks, you shouldn’t try moving the vehicle since moving it could damage the differentials or the gearbox, both of which are very important parts of the vehicle. Given that you have a replacement U joint, replacing it should not be too difficult. You must pull off all the plastics, remove the broken U joint, and attach the replacement.

To do this, you should also use a specific U joint removal tool to make the process much easier. Keep in mind to do this with extreme care, since improper removal could damage your diffs or your gearbox. And not to forget, after you have replaced it, you should also check for other problems that could have occurred by the U joint breaking, which would include checking for any grinding noises and/or oil leaks.


As a child, I used to convert mopeds into dirt bikes. By converting mopeds into dirt bikes, you automatically end up with an ATV or UTV. Nowadays, I use my knowledge and passion for these vehicles to write on this blog.

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