Honda Foreman 500 Gear Indicator Flashing [Solved]

Honda Foreman 500 is an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) specially designed to tackle trails that would otherwise be impossible using an ordinary four-wheel vehicle. With the Foreman 500, you no longer need to trek to your favorite camping site or when going hunting.

However, like any other investment, you may want to plan ahead for general maintenance and possible repairs. The purpose of regular maintenance is to keep your ATV in tip-top shape and in the perfect operating condition possible.

The level of maintenance range from simple requirements such as oil changes and topping up liquids to complex maintenance practices such as servicing the engine. One of the most common problems that Honda Foreman 500 owners face is gear indicator flashing. So, what does it mean when your Honda Foreman gear indicator is flashing?

Honda Foreman 500 Gear Indicator Flashing

Reasons for Honda ATV 500 Foreman Gear Indicator Flashing

Honda Foreman 500 gear indicator flashing 5 times or more is an indication of a serious mechanical issue. The problem is often rooted in the transmission fluid pressure of the ECU (Engine Control Unit). The ECU is responsible for the optimal operation of actuators of the internal combustion engine, thereby ensuring flawless engine performance.

Ideally, the transmission fluid sensor sends a signal to the ECU, indicating the amount of fluid pressure currently available. If the sensor detects that the fluid is not sufficient, the ECU will send signals to the gear. One of the tell-tale signs of low fluid transmission is gear indicator flashing/ blinking. The low fluid level may also make your Foreman run into problems such as;

  • Noise as shift the gear
  • Foul burning smell
  • Slipping gears
  • Challenging gear engagement
  • Poor acceleration

Lack of enough fluid pressure will not only make the gear malfunction but can also cause serious damage to the internal transmission system. The good thing is that the issue is fairly easy to fix, but often you may need to get a trained mechanic to reset the transmission system.

Apart from transmission issues, other reasons that may make the gear indicator start blinking include;

1. Dirty transmission fluid

A good transmission fluid should be clear or slightly pink-tinged. If you start to notice browning or any other color change, the fluid is probably dirty and worn out. You may also want to check for any visible particles as this can also affect the transmission. To avoid causing further damage to your transmission, you’ll need to replace the dirtied fluid as soon as possible.

2. Faulty transmission pump

It is a no-brainer that a faulty pump will interfere with the transmission and the ability of the fluid to circulate. Consequently, the transmission system might break down, which may be evidenced by gears making a whining noise or gear indicator blinking now and then. As such, you should always ensure to check the transmission pump as part of the vehicle maintenance routine.

3. Faulty wiring / damaged connectors

Electrical problems such as faulty wiring are bound to interfere with your transmission system. This is especially true when the transmission interferes with gear shifting or results in a late shift. Faulty wiring can also make your transmission enter a ‘fail-safe’ mode, thereby making some of your car’s features as the gear and speed to become limited.

4. Leakage in the transmission system

Generally, the most common culprit of transmission leakage is faulty installation. If the transmission fluid is leaking, your Foreman may experience transmission-related issues due to low fluid level. Apart from the gear indicator flashing, you might also notice other challenges such as grinding in between gears or some form of resistance while trying to shift the gear.

5. Engine/transmission overheating

If your transmission happens to be running hotter than usual, it might cause some serious problems. Failure to fix transmission overheating can cause transmission slipping, delayed gear shifting, and extensive damage to your internal components.

Troubleshooting Honda Foreman 500 Gear Indicator Flashing

In order to fix the issue of the Honda Foreman 500 gear indicator flashing 3 times or now and then, you’ll need to establish the exact problem before you embark on fixing the gear indicator. For instance, if the issue is being caused by dirty transmission fluid, then you’ll have no other choice but to replace it with a clean one. To be on the safe side, always ensure to replace the transmission fluid regularly.

On the other hand, if the fluid level is lower than the recommended level, you’re bound to experience some problems with your gear. Ideally, transmission fluid helps make the process of shifting less taxing by reducing friction between the moving parts.

It is also helpful in other operations such as brake band friction, transmission cooling, clutch friction, among others. As such it is important to regularly check the transmission fluid level using a dipstick and have it refilled if necessary.

In addition, the transmission fluid is crucial in ensuring that the transmission and your ATV engine remain functioning at their best. As a result, Honda recommends that you flush and have the fluid replaced on a need basis.

Fluid servicing or/ and replacement is recommended after every 30000 to 60000 miles, although this is going to be affected by factors such as weather conditions, driving style, etc. Besides, flushing your transmission will help inspect your car for other potential problems.

If the flashing is as a result of overheating, then you’ll need to have the cooling system examined and repaired if needed. You may also want to check for fluid leaking, and if you notice any signs of leaks, you should make an effort to visit a mechanic as soon as possible.


When your Honda Foreman 500 indicator starts to blink on your dashboard, it is always a good idea to have it investigated by an experienced car servicing personnel. There are many possible reasons for this kind of problem, but the common one has to do with the transmission system.

By following the above troubleshooting tips, you should be in a position to prevent Foreman 500 gear from flashing as well as avoid costly repairs. Always remember to refer to your Honda service manual for specs and guidance. If you’re unable to do the mechanical repairs by yourself, consider sending your ATV to an authorized shop.

Also Read: How to Turn Off ABS Light on Jeep Wrangler– The Ultimate Guide

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