Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000 Problems and Their Quick Fixes

The Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000 is a powerful UTV cherished for its remarkable power and adaptability that ensures exceptional performance across diverse terrains. It boasts impressive off-road performance and power, which makes it a go-to machine for adventure seekers. The utility vehicle is designed with a sturdy suspension system that provides a smooth ride on rough landscapes.

Even though it promises exciting adventures and durability, the vehicle, like every other machine, has its problems. Below, we explore some popular Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000 problems and their quick fixes. But first, let’s peek at its top specs and features.

Specs and Features of Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000

Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000 details the following features:


Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000 has a V-Twin SOHC 4-stroke, 4-valve w/EFI HO engine that generates about 90 – 95 horsepower.


The UTV has a total dimension of 120 inches in length, 64 inches in width and 592kg in weight.


The ground clearance of the 2012 Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000 is approximately 13 inches (33 cm), which enables the vehicle to navigate a variety of tough terrains easily.


This Arctic Cat Wildcat features a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) system. With this, you get an automatic transmission that provides seamless gear ratio changes without manual shifting.


The top speed of the 2012 Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000 is estimated at 70 to 75 miles per hour (113 to 121 kilometers per hour).


The UTV features a high-performance suspension system that provides a smooth and controlled ride, especially in challenging off-road conditions. The suspension system provides ample suspension travel, typically offering around 17 inches (43.2 cm) of travel at both the front and rear

The front suspension features double A-arms with unequal-length arms and adjustable shocks. This setup allows for improved wheel articulation and control over rough terrain. On the other hand, the rear suspension utilizes a trailing arm suspension with adjustable shocks. This helps maintain stability and traction, even in rugged off-road environments.


The Wildcat 1000 comes with a factory-installed Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) system which helps injects fuel directly into an engine’s manifold. The machine also has a fuel capacity of 8.8 gallons, which allows for extended rides without excess refueling.


The Wildcat 1000 comes fitted with dual hydraulic disc brakes on the front and rear. This brake system is known for its high-response performance, which provides reliable stopping power in various riding conditions.

The UTV also comes equipped with high-performance, off-road-specific tires designed to handle various terrains encountered during off-road adventures. They are approximately 27 inches in diameter and have a width ranging from 9 to 10 inches.

The Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000 wheels are made of durable aluminum alloy, providing a balance of strength and lightweight performance. Both the front and rear wheels are fitted with 14-inch diameter rims. The width of the wheels often ranges from 6 to 7 inches.

Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000 Problems

Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000 Problems and Their Quick Fixes

Below are 5 Wildcat 1000 problems and their solutions:

1. Starter Problems

Starter problems are associated with a continuous refusal of a vehicle to kick start. Several factors may lead to a starter problem – however, the commonest culprit is prolonged periods of inactivity. If you leave your machine unused for long, it is just a matter of time before it develops starter issues,

Loose or corroded plugs and valves can also quickly disrupt electrical flow and cause starter problems. Whatever the cause, here’s how you can fix starter problems in Wildcat 1000.


  • Confirm that your battery hasn’t expired. If it has, consider getting a replacement.
  • Inspect your battery terminals for disconnections and corrosion.
  • Tighten the battery if it is loose, and scrape off any rust from the terminal connection.
  • Inspect the spark plugs for dirt and rust.
  • Clean out dirt from the valves and replace rusted plugs with new ones.
  • Try kickstarting your engine.

Since many starter problems are rust-related, we advise you to mind your vehicle’s exposure to moisture and cold weather conditions. Shielding your machine from rain and other sources of moisture can help control how often it develops starter issues

2. Transmission Problems

Eight out of ten times, transmission issues in Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000 UTVs result from improper maintenance, wear/tear in the transmission system and electronic control malfunctions. Sometimes, they can also occur due to low fluid and improper gear synchronization.

Transmission problems are not difficult to diagnose. Some of the telltale signs include refusal to switch gears, shift delay or an erratic shift pattern, burning smell, and noises when in neutral. Others include slipping gear, dragging clutch, leaking fluid, unusual sounds, and grinding and shaking while off-roading.


  • Suppose the fluid is fine. You may have a blocked transmission line inhibiting the circulation of the fluid. You can resolve this issue by replacing the transmission cooler lines.
  • For clutch-related transmission problems, consider readjusting or replacing the clutch. You may also need to adjust the gear for better alignment and synchronization.
  • If the problem persists after implementing these ideas, consult a professional for a proper diagnosis.
  • To prevent transmission problems, ensure regular maintenance and servicing of your UTV as recommended by the manufacturer’s manual. This should include fluid checks, filter replacements, and oil changes.

3. Belt Problems

Belt problems can occur from excessive heat production during prolonged or aggressive riding. The usual outcome of this is overheating. Other likely causes are excess exposure of the transmission to dirt and debris. Over time, this can cause friction and eventual belt damage.

Improper tension is another factor that may cause your UTV belt to wear faster. Besides rapid belt damage, improper tension can lead to issues like reduced power and slow acceleration.


  • Inspect the cooling system. Check the cooling fan and coolant levels. Also, examine the radiator and cooling fans for leakage.
  • Top up the coolant level if low. Repair or replace leaking transmission lines and radiator.
  • Inspect the CVT housing for debris, dust, and water. Clean off any foreign element.
  • Avoid riding on rough terrains to prevent frequent wear and tear.
  • Maintain the proper belt tension as recommended by the manual to prevent slippage.
  • Practice smooth acceleration while riding to minimize the stress on the belt.
  • Regularly inspect the CVT system, especially after riding in challenging weather conditions.

Keep a spare belt with you at all times for emergency purposes and ensure to schedule regular maintenance for the CVT system.

4. Clutch Problems

Clutch problems are another problem you may experience with your Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000. They may appear in various forms, like poor acceleration or difficulty engaging gears. Continuous exposure to high temperatures, especially during prolonged and aggressive riding, can cause the clutch components to overheat and degrade, leading to performance problems.

Poor alignment of the primary and secondary clutches can also lead to inefficient power transfer between the clutch components and cause performance issues. Sometimes, inadequate lubrication of the clutch springs can also lead to clutch problems in Wildcat 1000 UTVs.


  • Inspect the clutch springs and other components for signs of weakness, wear, or damage.
  • Replace any worn or damaged parts to maintain proper clutch function.
  • Correct clutch alignment.
  • Clean the clutch housing if clogged.
  • Use only the recommended lubricants for the clutch components and adhere to the manual’s guidelines for clutch lubrication.

5. Electrical Problems

Electrical issues are perhaps the most complicated Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000 problem. But you can easily find your way around them if you master their triggers. Most electrical problems reported by Wildcat 1000 users are related to weak batteries and malfunctioning Electronic Control Units.

A weak battery will struggle to provide the necessary power for starting the vehicle or running its electrical components. Similarly, a malfunctioning ECU will affect a vehicle’s overall electrical performance. The Electronic Control Unit, as the name suggests, controls all electrical functions. When it develops faults like programming issues, it can quickly lead to starter issues and poor current flow to the electrical components.


  • Conduct battery health checks and replace them if expired or damaged.
  • Check the battery connection for disconnections. Clean and secure battery connections at the terminals.
  • Replace or reprogram the ECU if necessary.

Unlike other Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000 problems highlighted above, electrical issues are delicate and best handled by a licensed mechanic. Rather than doing trial and error with your UTV electrical connections, consult a UTV electrical specialist for proper diagnosis and remedy.


While the Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000 has magnificent features, like its robust engine, that delivers excellent speed and agility, it still has some downsides. Some are clutch-related, while others are associated with the clutch, transmission, electrical operation, belt tension, and the starter.

With the tips above, you can avoid and fix these issues yourself or by engaging an expert. That said, remember to incorporate good maintenance practices. Check fluid levels regularly. Inspect battery connections, avoid forceful gear shifting, and adhere to the manufacturer’s maintenance routine.

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