What kind of problems does a Polaris Slingshot normally have? In this blog, we’ve outlined all the most important things you should watch for when you’re in the market for a Polaris Slingshot. In the rest of the article, we’ll discuss every single problem in detail. Furthermore, we’ll tell you how to identify it, fix it and how much it costs to fix. Read on!
The Slingshot is federally classified as a three-wheel motorcycle, according to the Polaris website. There are some issues with the Slingshot, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad vehicle. Many drivers are very satisfied with their Slingshot and have driven many miles without any problems. It is absolutely reliable.
1. Brake Issues
Brake failures on Slingshots with less than 100 miles under the hood are not unheard of. Polaris made a bold move with the Slingshot by adding ABS brakes to it. When they invest in a Polaris Slingshot, this is one of the features that customers desire.
The problem with the brakes is all over the place. Different owners encounter different issues regarding the brakes on the Polaris Slingshot. And Polaris doesn’t have a solution for these problems.
One owner had the brakes repaired 3 times at the Polaris dealership. Only to have the brakes busted again after a couple of miles. This particular Slingshot only had 78 miles on the engine.
On the other hand, another owner had an entirely different issue with his brakes. He had an issue with the brake failure light. Though the brake failure light was illuminated, the brakes worked just fine. He had it checked at the dealership, yet they found no reason for the emergency light to illuminate.
These are just a few problems regarding the ABS brakes in the Polaris Slingshot. Similar to these, many owners have been facing various issues with their brakes.
2. Bad Speakers
The Slingshot is not exactly a car, but it has far more features compared to a motorcycle. One of the features that distinguish it from a motorcycle is its sound system. The speakers are placed right behind your head, and they allow you to listen to music with superb quality.
There is not a lot to complain about these speakers, except their durability. According to Polaris, they are built to take the worst the weather could throw at them. Though this is true, some Polaris Slingshots seem to roll out of the factory with a defective speaker.
According to the reviews, owners have encountered burnt speakers less than a week after purchasing a new Polaris Slingshot.
3. Loose 3rd Wheel
The Polaris has one more wheel compared to a traditional motorcycle. But with the recent model has an issue with the rear wheel, which threatens to turn the three-wheeler into a two-wheeler. Since the Polaris Slingshot has only one wheel in the rear, losing it mid-drive could mean a major safety hazard.
The issue only affects a certain subset of Slingshots. After finding the root cause of the problem and a suitable solution, Polaris offered a recall for the defective Slingshots.
According to Polaris, the issue was with the assembly at the supplier. The rear axle/stud assemblies have a high likelihood of being improperly installed. The equipment used at the assembly was poorly maintained, causing this problem.
The damaged or faulty equipment used, resulted in studs that aren’t fully pressed or lug nuts that haven’t been tightened properly. With time, these lug nuts can loosen, subtracting a wheel from your Slingshot.
Due to this issue, 4744 vehicles were recalled.
4. Stability Indicator Issues
This is one of the most common issues with the Polaris Slingshot. This is indicated by the car symbol with the wavy lines on your dashboard. This warning light indicates the stability of the car.
Just like any other warning light, this light indicates a problem with the car as well. In the Polaris, this is a warning light that you’ll come to see regularly.
So, how do you turn off this light? Usually, restarting the car removes the light. Switch off the Slingshot, leave it for about 10 seconds, and restart it. If the light doesn’t disappear after the first time, repeat the process a few times.
If the stability of the car is off, then restarting the car will not solve the problem. The stability light illuminates when the steering angle sensor is off. Even if it is off by the slightest angle, the warning light will illuminate.
The best way to deal with it is by taking your Slingshot to the dealership. Here they’d attach a digital wrench to confirm the angle and restart the computer to compensate. If the issue affects the driving, Polaris will realign the system so that the light switches off.
5. Steering Assist Disabled
Power assist is a huge part of modern automobiles. The number of vehicles rolling out of the factory floor without power assist is almost zero. Since we are now used to power steering, driving without it is unsafe.
A ton of customers complain that their power steering doesn’t work after stopping the car for a while. This problem seems to happen when the key is ‘ON’ and the car isn’t moved for a while. Actually, this is not a problem, but rather a feature in the Slingshot to conserve its battery.
This is a normal condition where the power assist will become inoperative if the key is left on too long before starting the engine. A light in the dash will illuminate, notifying the driver that the steering assist is inactive.
The solution for this issue is pretty simple. Just turn your Slingshot off and on again. This should power up the steering assist again. This should also eradicate the light in your dash.
Next time, when you refuel your Slingshot and suddenly the steering assist doesn’t work, do not panic.
Apart from this issue, there is another known problem that caused the power steering assist to fail. This issue was seen in Polaris models between 2015 and 2019.
The issue causing this problem was excess electricity traveling through the batteries fuse box. This could damage certain electrical components in your Polaris Slingshot, including your power steering assist. If this happens during a drive, it could increase the risk of a crash.
Since then, Polaris addressed this problem by issuing a recall for the affected Slingshots.
Also read: 6 x Most Common Polaris Steering Problems!
6. Bad Bearings
If you ask long-term Polaris Slingshot owners about the first thing that fails on a Slingshot, the answer would undoubtedly be the bearings. This is especially true if you haven’t maintained it properly. You should inspect the bearings as per the maintenance intervals suggested by Polaris. If you notice any wear on those bearings, you should consider replacing them before it breaks.
There are a few symptoms of bad bearings you need to be on the lookout for.
- Grinding or humming noises
- Wobbly wheels
- Steering wheel vibrations
- Uneven tire wear
These are a few symptoms that indicate that you need to get your bearing replaced.
Usually, the problems start when you hear a humming noise. This indicates that the bearings are slightly worn. If you hear a grinding noise, it is an indicator that your bearings are about to fail, and you have to get them replaced ASAP.
Bearings are meant to outlast the Polaris Slingshot. So, with proper maintenance and care, you can avoid running into trouble regarding your bearings.
The simplest thing you can do to avoid premature wear is lubrication. Make sure there is enough grease in there to lubricate the bearings. With enough lubrication, you can reduce the wear and get the most out of your bearings.
Other than lubrication, you should also think about storage. Depending on where you live, a Polaris might not be suitable for the road throughout the year. So, when the climate isn’t friendly, try to store your Slingshot where it cannot be affected.