Can Am DS 90 Problems

Powerfully Exposed: Can Am DS 90 Problems

When it comes to introducing the thrill of off-roading fun to the younger generation, Can-Am’s youth ATVs have undoubtedly paved the way. The DS 90 model, in particular, strikes a perfect balance between safety and excitement, making it an ideal choice for both parents and youngsters alike.

The Can-Am DS 90 offers youngsters their first taste of adventure on a reliable and powerful four-wheeler. It has been designed with safety as a top priority, ensuring that parents can rest assured while their children experience the joys of off-road exploration. The model’s thoughtful engineering and safety features have garnered positive owner feedback, attesting to its suitability for young riders.

As with any vehicle, even the well-crafted Can-Am DS 90 may encounter some common problems over time. However, it’s essential to understand that these issues are not inherently severe or pervasive enough to negatively affect the overall enjoyment of the ATV. With regular maintenance and proper care, these concerns can easily be addressed and mitigated.

Let’s start the discussion about Can Am DS 90 problems.

can am ds 90 problems

Can Am DS 90 Problems

Among the most frequently encountered issues with the Can-Am DS 90, five stand out as the most common. These include challenges with cold starts, problems with the carburetor, failures in the starter and starter gears, issues related to a lack of speed and power, and difficulties during the starting process.

Within this guide, we will delve into each of these problems, exploring their potential root causes, and presenting effective solutions that have been proven to overcome these challenges.

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Cold Starts Issues

When discussing the topic of Cold Start Issues related to the Can-Am DS 90, we encounter a range of challenges that riders may face, particularly in cold weather conditions. One prominent issue is the cold-blooded nature of the vehicle, making it tough to start when temperatures drop. This cold starting problem often stems from difficulties with the choke and throttle mechanisms, which can lead to stalling out.

One common culprit behind these cold start problems is the carburetor, specifically the stock carburetor, which tends to gum up and clog over time. When the pilot jets become plugged, the quad’s idle and transition to higher speeds can be adversely affected. To resolve such issues, a thorough cleaning of the carburetor is necessary. Riders are advised to disassemble the carburetor, removing it from the vehicle for inspection. To tackle clogs, a fine wire can be used to carefully unplug the affected areas. Additionally, Carb Cleaner spray proves beneficial in unclogging jets and cleaning other components.

With these measures, the cold start issues should be mitigated. However, it’s essential to be attentive to other potential problems that could arise in the process. Sometimes, certain parts may need replacement, but this depends on the extent of the issue and the carburetor’s condition.

Carburetor Issues

When it comes to discussing Carburetor Issues, especially pertaining to the Can-Am DS 90 model, owners may encounter various challenges such as rough idling, stalling, and poor acceleration. These problems often stem from malfunctioning carburetors, which are critical components responsible for fuel-air mixture regulation in the engine.

If you find your Can-Am DS 90 experiencing difficulties with cold starts, it could be a sign that the carburetor needs attention. Fortunately, a solution is readily available in the form of an upgraded unit. Many owners have recommended a replacement carburetor, such as the PZ19 ATV carburetor, which fits the model perfectly and can be purchased online.

One of the common culprits behind carburetor issues is clogging in the pilot jets, which can lead to improper fuel flow and cause rough idling. In such cases, a simple enough fix involves cleaning or replacing these jets.

For those considering a carburetor replacement, it’s essential to be aware of the costs involved, as prices may vary depending on the model and brand. However, investing in a quality carburetor can significantly improve the Can-Am DS 90’s performance and solve its stalling and acceleration problems.

As an owner facing carburetor issues, it’s crucial to assess the condition of your current carburetor and determine if a replacement is necessary. Upgrading to a reliable carburetor can provide a lasting solution and improve the overall performance of your Can-Am DS 90.

Starter and Starter Gears Failing

When it comes to the topic of Can-Am DS 90 Problems, one issue that has been observed is the tendency of the stock starter gears to fail. Owners of these vehicles have reported instances where the starter gears break, leading to a stop in engagement and preventing the motor from starting. This is a concerning problem that can cause significant inconvenience and frustration for the riders.

One common reason for the failure of the stock starter gears is the misalignment of the kick-out mechanism. When the alignment is off, the gears can experience excessive stress during starting, leading to broken teeth and eventual damage to the starter case cover. As a result, the motor may not crank as expected, leaving the vehicle inoperable.

To address this recurring issue, proactive measures are being taken by some owners. They are opting to upgrade their stock starters to high-quality alternatives. By doing so, they aim to prevent the cracking of the starter gears and avoid any potential harm to the motor. The use of a high-quality starter not only improves the overall reliability of the vehicle but also enhances its performance.

Lack of Speed and Power

The Can-Am DS 90, an all-terrain vehicle designed for younger riders, comes equipped with speed limiters as a safety precaution. These limiters ensure that the speeds of the ATV are capped at 20 to 25 mph, making it suitable for younger riders who may be new to trail riding. From both a physical and ability standpoint, these restrictions are crucial in providing a safer riding experience for this specific age group.

However, as riders grow older and gain more experience, they may find the restricted speeds of the Can-Am DS 90 to be limiting. Over the course of a couple of years, some riders may decide to explore modifications to enhance the machine’s performance. One popular modification includes installing a bigger front sprocket, which can improve acceleration and power delivery.

For those seeking more significant performance upgrades, a power-up kit may be employed. This kit typically includes various components such as an upgraded intake, exhaust, CDI (Capacitor Discharge Ignition), clutch system, and carburetor jets. By implementing these modifications, riders can unlock the full potential of their DS 90, allowing it to reach speeds of up to 40 mph.

It is important to note that while these modifications may provide a thrilling increase in speed and power, riders must exercise caution and adhere to proper safety measures. The Can-Am DS 90, with its modified performance capabilities, demands responsible and experienced handling, especially for older riders who may push the limits of their machine.

Starting Trouble

One common problem that keeps cropping up with this machine, particularly in older models, is starting issues. If you’re among the many owners who encounter a situation where your Can-Am DS 90 suddenly refuses to come to life, chances are it’s related to one of the following problems.

  1. Terminals/Wiring
  2. Battery
  3. Valves
  4. Spark Plugs


When it comes to the realm of terminals and wiring, there are various crucial elements to consider, each playing a pivotal role in ensuring smooth functionality and longevity. One fundamental aspect lies in the maintenance of battery terminals, as they are prone to accumulating debris and corrosion over time. Regular cleaning of these terminals is paramount to preserve their efficiency and extend their lifespan.

To combat corrosion and ensure optimal performance, experts recommend using dielectric grease or petroleum jelly as protective coatings. These substances create a barrier that shields the terminals from moisture and oxidation, thereby mitigating potential issues that might arise due to neglect.

Grounding wires also form an integral part of the wiring system, serving as a critical safety measure. Properly connected grounding wires help prevent electrical malfunctions, and they should be inspected periodically to ensure their effectiveness.

Despite taking necessary precautions, encountering a no-start issue can become a headache for anyone. However, addressing this problem often involves straightforward troubleshooting steps rather than complicated procedures. Many times, it might simply be a simple connection issue that requires attention and rectification.


When it comes to batteries, particularly the stock batteries used in machines like the Can-Am DS 90, there is a significant issue that some users have encountered. One of the main problems reported is the tendency of the stock battery to drain quickly, resulting in difficulty starting the machine. However, this issue can be easily addressed through regular testing and maintenance of the battery.

To test the battery’s health, users can measure its voltage. Ensuring that the battery maintains the appropriate voltage level is crucial for optimal performance. In case of a drop in voltage, recharging the battery promptly is essential to avoid any further complications.

To prolong the life of the stock battery, users can consider employing a battery tender. Connecting the battery to a tender when the machine is not in use helps maintain its charge and prevents unnecessary drainage. This simple practice can significantly extend the battery’s lifespan and improve overall performance.


The Can-Am DS 90 is a reliable and robust machine designed to deliver an exceptional riding experience. Among its essential components, the intake and exhaust valves play a crucial role in the engine’s performance. Ensuring the proper functioning of these valves is a common occurrence that every owner should be well-versed in.

One significant aspect of maintaining optimal valve performance is to regularly check and adjust the valve clearances. Over time, due to engine operation and temperature changes, valves may tighten or loosen, affecting their clearance. This can lead to various issues, such as reduced engine power, poor starting, or even engine damage if not promptly addressed.

To prevent such problems, the owner’s manual provides comprehensive instructions on how to carry out valve adjustments correctly. Following these guidelines is crucial to achieve the recommended valve clearance settings for the DS 90. Adequate valve clearance ensures smooth airflow, combustion efficiency, and overall engine health.

For those unfamiliar with valve adjustments, it is essential to understand the process thoroughly. While it may seem daunting at first, once mastered, it becomes a routine part of maintenance. Regularly inspecting and adjusting the valves can greatly extend the machine’s lifespan and optimize its performance.

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Spark Plugs

When discussing the critical component of an internal combustion engine, the spark plug stands as a vital element responsible for igniting the fuel-air mixture. A spark plug is a small yet mighty device that plays a significant role in the overall performance and efficiency of an engine. It is designed to produce an electric spark that ignites the compressed fuel-air mixture within the combustion chamber.

To ensure optimal engine performance, it is crucial to inspect the spark plug regularly. During these inspections, one must pay attention to its appearance, looking for any signs of abnormalities. The tip of the spark plug, often coated with high-quality iridium, plays a crucial role in determining the spark plug’s longevity and effectiveness.

In some cases, spark plugs may encounter issues due to foreign substances, such as dirt or debris, infiltrating the combustion chamber. These foreign substances can negatively impact the spark plug’s ability to generate a spark, leading to reduced engine performance and efficiency. Therefore, it is essential to check and clean the spark plug periodically, ensuring it is free from any fouling or foreign substances that may hinder its functionality.

Moreover, monitoring the color of the spark plug’s electrode can provide valuable insights into the engine’s condition. A normal spark plug should have a tan or light brown color, indicating an appropriate level of combustion. However, if the spark plug appears burnt or discolored, it may be an indication of potential issues with the engine’s fuel mixture or ignition system.

To mitigate any problems related to the spark plug’s performance, it is recommended to replace the spark plug at regular intervals as per the manufacturer’s guidelines. A high-quality iridium spark plug, well-maintained and replaced when necessary, can significantly enhance the engine’s efficiency and overall performance.


In conclusion, the Can-Am DS 90, a popular all-terrain vehicle, has demonstrated its capabilities in various terrains and environments. However, like any mechanical system, it is not without its challenges. Cold start issues and carburetor problems have been identified as common concerns faced by some owners. Nevertheless, it is important to note that these issues can often be resolved with proper maintenance and regular care.

One key aspect that can significantly impact the performance of the Can-Am DS 90 is its starter and starter gears. Ensuring these components are in good condition can mitigate starting trouble and provide a smoother experience for riders. Additionally, lack of speed and power have been reported by a few users, which could be addressed through slight modifications or mechanical repairs, depending on the specific case.

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