Avoiding Common Issues
Aside from taking the usual common sense measures to protect your vehicle, there are two unusual ways you can damage the electrical system:
While you can use a jumper pack or cables to jump-start the engine, it’s possible that this can damage the ignition system. If you must jump-start the engine, connect the negative terminal last when hooking up the jumper cables.
Do not weld on your vehicle. The electricity from the welding arc can damage your vehicle’s electrical system.
Checking the Battery Fluid Level
Unless you’ve fitted your Argo with a sealed battery or it came with an Optima battery from the factory, the electrolyte level will need to be checked every 50 hours of operation.
To check the level, remove the covers on the top of the battery and look into each cell. If the electrolyte level is below the fluid level mark, add distilled water. Do not overfill: when the battery gets hot, the electrolyte can spill out of the top, corroding nearby metal components.
Charging Exide Batteries
Remove the battery from your XTV and connect it to a 12-volt battery charger. Limit the current to 10-12 amps. Use a hygrometer to measure the battery charge: a fully-charged battery will measure 1.265. If you don’t have a hygrometer, connect a multimeter to the battery terminals to check the open current voltage (OCV.) A fully-charged battery will have a reading of 12.5-12.6 volts. If the charged battery won’t start the engine, it should be tested by a battery dealer.
Charging Optima Batteries
Check the battery for damage, holes, missing flame arrester disks or missing valves. If any of these are found, replace the battery.
Check the OCV of the battery to determine its charge. A fully charged battery will read around 12.6 volts, a 50% charged battery will read around 12-12.2 volts, and a fully discharged battery will read under 11.7 volts. However, unlike standard car batteries, this unit can handle being discharged below 10.5 volts using the right charging method.
To charge a battery with an OCV under 10.5 volts, connect it in parallel with a good battery and the charger. To make this connection, connect the positive terminals of both batteries to the positive charger lead and the negative terminals to the negative charger lead. If the battery doesn’t have an OCV above 10.5 volts after one hour of charging, it should be replaced. If the Optima battery is above 10.5 volts, disconnect the good battery and then connect the Optima directly to the charger.
To charge a battery with an OCV of 10.5 volts or higher, whether it was that way originally or brought up to that voltage through charging, connect it to a battery charger. If you’re using a constant current charger, limit the charge to 5 amps. If you’re using a constant voltage charger, it can be used at a range of 5-10 amps. A fully charged battery will have an OCV of 12.55 volts. If the battery won’t accept the charge after 5 minutes, it should be replaced.
Every 250 hours, remove the battery from the XTV, ensure the vent covers are installed if you have a serviceable battery and clean the top with a mixture of baking soda and water. This mix will foam as it reacts with vented electrolyte. Once the foaming stops, rinse the battery with water and dry it off with a clean cloth.
The fuse block is located inside the engine compartment next to the steering system. Replace blown fuses as needed. If a fuse blows repeatedly, have the related component checked by a dealer.
Spark Plugs (Gas Engines)
Inspect the spark plugs every 100 hours. Clean and gap the plugs as specified in the engine manual. Torque the plugs to 10-15 lb-ft.
Get the Parts and Service You Need for Your Argo
As one of the East’s largest Argo dealers, Shank’s Argo has the knowledge and support to help you get the most from your XTV. We have technicians who can service your vehicle as well as the OEM parts you need to service it yourself. Visit us at our showroom, located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. To get here from Interstate 80, take Exit 10 to Marion and drive one mile East. Visit us online at www.shanksargo.com.