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Common check engine light errors with the Can-Am Maverick, Defender and Commander

Jan 3rd 2022

The Can-Am UTV is universally loved, and revered. Whether you’re the proud owner of the Maverick, Defender, Commander, or trying to decide which one to buy (This blog can help you decide), you’re surely as in love with yours as we are.

As much as we all love the reliability of our Can-Am UTV’s, it's safe to say there is one thing we all fear: the dreaded Check Engine Light.

You know the one, a tiny little outline of an engine, lit up with the harshest colored red or amber light known to mankind. A beacon of anxiety and disappointment.

Can-Am Commander Check Engine Light

But what exactly does it mean?

Is your Can-Am Maverick dead on site? Has your Defender finally blazed its last trail? Could it be that your Commander has completed its final overlanding trip?

When it comes to the check engine light illuminating for the first time, there are many variables that could have led to that point. Today we will cover some of the most common check engine light errors and codes, and hopefully put your mind at ease.

What causes a Can-Am Commander Check Engine Light?

Interestingly enough, there are a multitude of issues that can trigger your Check Engine Light (CEL) to turn on.

Some issues are simple enough, such as a loose hose clamp that needs to be tightened before resetting the error code. Another simple issue can be that the battery terminals have somehow come loose. Whether from a poor battery installation at the factory or dealer level, or you bought a Can-Am Commander replacement battery yourself and did not tighten the terminals properly, this simple hiccup can cause the CEL to turn on. 

Can-Am Maverick Check Engine Light

Issues can also stem from some common modifications that you may have made, such as a Can-Am Maverick Dual Battery Kit or replacement Can-Am Commander Air Intake Kit being installed incorrectly. Even a poorly installed Can-Am Maverick aftermarket stereo kit can cause an electrical issue that may lead to a CEL error code.

Just like with our regular cars and trucks, however, sometimes a check engine light can be an indicator of a much more serious issue.

Can-Am Commander Engine Misfires 

Good vs. Bad Spark Plug

Misfires have become an increasingly common issue that triggers the check engine light to illuminate.

So what can cause your Can-Am Maverick, Defender or Commander engine to misfire?

A lot, as it turns out.

Simple fixes such as faulty spark plugs and spark plug cables can instantly cause a CEL error code to be thrown. A damaged Can-Am Maverick spark plug cap will create an error, as well as a misfire. When it comes to the electrical aspects of your side-by-side, a simple short in the system can lead to a triggered check engine light. Diagnosing and fixing your electrical system really can be an infuriating process, which we covered in this blog a while back.

More serious issues can arise, however, such as faulty fuel injectors, Can-Am Maverick fuel pumps and damaged Can-Am Commander fuel line connectors that lead to an engine misfiring. In some cases, one or more cylinders will seize to function, leaving your side-by-side with less than optimal power and can lead to further damage to your engine if left unattended to.

A quick glance through a Can-Am handbook will uncover many potential causes of a misfire in the engine, but all of these causes lead to a check engine light occurrence.

Needless to say, whether your CEL has come on due to bad spark plug cables, fuel injectors, fuel pump or even a combination of these, you’re going to need a plan of action to ensure you don’t do further damage.

So what do you do next?

Can-Am Maverick Check Engine Light Error Codes

With most CEL error situations, there is usually an error code that the system will provide that corresponds to a page in a handbook somewhere. Sound helpful? I didn’t think so…

This is where check engine light errors get tricky, as dealerships and manufacturers alike do not make CEL error codes and their definitions readily available to the buyer. Although I always try to assume positive intent, I do tend to agree with the suggestion of most dealerships and manufacturers:

When a CEL comes on, the best course of action may be to have your Can-AM Maverick, Defender or Commander seen by a mechanic.

Mechanics, whether those employed by the dealership, manufacturer or a private shop all have one thing in common: they possess the skills, knowledge and necessary tools to diagnose and fix your issue.

Will a quick Google search of the code your CEL is throwing get you an answer as to what has gone wrong? Probably. 

Will that answer be correct?Thats a huge maybe. 

Not only can that code have multiple reasons as to why it was thrown in the first place, but the internet can be a scary place when trying to diagnose and repair a problem with your Can-Am UTV.

To make a long story short, if you pursue the wrong resolution of your CEL error code, you can end up creating an even bigger and more expensive problem than you already had.

Sometimes it really is best to leave things to the professionals. Whats more, if your Can-Am side-by-side is still under warranty, than you most likely have nothing to worry about and should definitely let the dealership and their trained mechanics take care of the issue for you!