5 Common Honda Pioneer 520 Problems and Their Solutions

Many owners of the Pioneer 520 find it to be a reliable, comfortable, and versatile vehicle that is well-suited for a variety of tasks. The Pioneer 520 is powered by a 518cc liquid-cooled, fuel-injected engine that provides plenty of power and torque.

The vehicle also has a smooth and responsive transmission, which makes the driving experience more enjoyable. The Pioneer 520 also has a well-designed cabin that provides a good amount of space and visibility. Equally important, the vehicle has a solid and stable handling that makes it easy to maneuver in tight spaces and over rough terrain.

However, as with any utility vehicle, the Pioneer 520 is not perfect, and some owners have experienced a couple of problems. As such, it is critical to research the most common Honda Pioneer 520 issues and consider the pros and cons before purchasing to ensure that it will meet your needs and expectations.

Honda Pioneer 520 Specs

EngineType- 518cc single-cylinder four-stroke
Cooling- Liquid
Bore and Stroke- 96.0mm x 71.5mm
Compression Ratio- 9.5:1
Induction- Electronic fuel injection
Drive TrainClutch- Automatic
Transmission – Five-speed including AT/MT modes with paddle shifting and reverse
Drive Modes- 2WD /4WD
Driveline- Direct front/ Rear driveshafts
BrakesFront Brakes- Dual 200mm hydraulic disc
Rear Brakes – 170mm hydraulic disc
TiresFront Tires- 24 x 8-12
Rear Tires- 24 x 10-12
SuspensionFront Suspension- Independent double-wishbone/ 5.8 inches travel
Rear Suspension- Independent double-wishbone/ 5.9 inches of travel
DimensionsL x W x H- 105 x50 x 71.2 inches
Wheelbase- 73 inches
Bed Capacity- 450 lbs.
Towing Capacity- 1000 lbs.
Ground Clearance- 8.5 inches
Turning Radius- 12.8 feet
Fuel Capacity- 4.1 gallons, including 1.1-gallon reserve
Curb Weight- 1058 lbs.
PrecautionRecommended Age- 16 years and above

Honda Pioneer 520 Reviews

Overall, the Honda Pioneer 520 is a well-rounded utility vehicle that offers a great balance of reliability, versatility, and comfort. The vehicle has received many positive reviews for its compact size, reliability, and versatility. Its engine is also known for its durability and fuel efficiency, making the vehicle a reliable choice for those who need a workhorse that can handle tough conditions.

One of the strengths of the Pioneer 520 is its ability to handle various terrains and tasks, making it a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts, farmers, and hunters. In addition, the vehicle’s compact size makes it easier to maneuver in tight spaces, while its sturdy construction allows it to handle heavy loads.

Furthermore, the Pioneer 520 comfortable cabin with a smooth, quiet ride has been praised by many users. Additionally, its comfortable interior and smooth ride have many positive reviews, making it a great option for longer trips.

In terms of drawbacks, some users have noted that the Pioneer 520 has limited storage space and a relatively low towing capacity. However, these limitations are to be expected, given its horsepower and compact size.

In addition, the negative reviews are relatively few compared to the positive reviews and are based on individual experiences and preferences. Overall, the Honda Pioneer 520 is still a highly rated and popular utility vehicle.

Honda Pioneer 520 Top Speed

The top speed of the Honda Pioneer 520 is typically around 37-38 miles per hour. Keep in mind that the actual top speed of your Pioneer 520 may vary depending on several factors, such as the weight of the vehicle and any additional accessories or equipment. Additionally, it’s important to always operate your vehicle safely and responsibly and to follow all local traffic laws and regulations.

Honda Pioneer 520 Problems

Honda Pioneer 520 Problems

Honda Pioneer 520 shifting problems

Shifting issues on a Honda Pioneer 520 often occur when the vehicle is unable to shift gears easily and smoothly. This can manifest as difficulties when trying to change gears, such as gears grinding or not engaging properly.

Difficulty shifting can be caused by a variety of issues, such as low transmission fluid levels, dirty transmission fluid, a clogged transmission filter, a worn clutch, damaged shift forks, a misaligned shift linkage, among other causes.


If your machine is experiencing shifting issues, here are some steps you can take to troubleshoot and fix the problem;

  • Check the transmission fluid levels- As we mentioned, low transmission fluid levels can cause shifting problems. As such, make sure the fluid levels are within the recommended range and top off if needed.
  • Inspect the shifter cable- If the shifter cable is loose or damaged, it can cause difficulty shifting. Check the cable for any signs of wear or damage and replace it if necessary.
  • Check the clutch –The clutch is responsible for engaging and disengaging the transmission. If the clutch is worn or damaged, it could potentially cause shifting issues. Have a mechanic inspect the clutch and replace it if necessary.
  • Check the shifter mechanism- Make sure the shifter mechanism is not damaged or stuck. If you find any problems with the mechanism, have it repaired or replaced.
  • Check the gear selector- Make sure the gear selector is not damaged or broken. If you find any problems with the selector, it is always a good idea to have it repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
  • Have the UTV serviced- If the above steps do not resolve the shifting problems, it is recommended that you have your UTV serviced by a professional mechanic.

Power loss problems

A loss of power on the Pioneer 520 often occurs when accelerating, and it can be caused by several reasons, including a dirty air filter, low oil levels, a failing ignition system, and a clogged muffler/ catalytic converter. Similarly, a worn drive belt or clutch can cause a loss of power.

In addition, always take precautions while riding and get your UTV examined if you notice any drop in power. That said, here are some common causes of power loss and suggestions on how you can resolve them;

  • Dirty air filter- A dirty air filter can restrict the flow of air into the engine, causing a loss of power. To solve the problem, clean or replace the air filter to see if it will resolve the issue.
  • Fuel system problems- Issues with the fuel system, such as clogged fuel filters or a weak fuel pump, can also cause a loss of power. As such, check the fuel system and replace any faulty parts if necessary.
  • Ignition system problems- If the spark plugs are worn out or the ignition system is not functioning properly, it can also cause a loss of power. Check the spark plugs and ignition system, and replace any faulty parts.
  • Clogged exhaust system- If the exhaust system is clogged, it can restrict the flow of exhaust gases, thereby making the vehicle lose power. That said, ensure to clean or replace the exhaust system regularly or when needed.
  • Engine compression issues-If there is a problem with the engine compression, it can cause a loss of power. Check the engine compression and repair any issues as necessary.
  • Throttle cable or throttle body issues- Loss of power can also be caused by a worn or dirty throttle cable. As such, ensure to check the throttle cable and throttle body, and replace or clean them as necessary.

Lack of power steering

Lack of power steering in a utility vehicle can be an issue for some riders, especially if they are riding on difficult terrain where more effort is required to steer the vehicle. Power steering makes it easier to turn the wheels and can reduce driver fatigue, especially during long trips.

The Pioneer 520 does not come with power steering, which can make it more difficult to maneuver in tight spaces or for those who have difficulty with manual steering. However, some riders still prefer riding without power steering as it provides a more direct and tactile connection with the trails.


Ultimately, whether the lack of power steering is an issue depends on personal preference and driving conditions. However, if you are not used to manual steering, there are several things you can do to improve your riding experience. These include;

  • Adding an aftermarket power steering kit- There are several aftermarket power steering kits available for the Pioneer 520. These kits typically use hydraulic or electric systems to assist in steering, but they require to be installed by a professional mechanic.
  • Adjust tire pressure- Decreasing tire pressure can make the vehicle easier to steer, especially in difficult terrains. This can be done temporarily as a workaround until a more permanent solution is found.
  • Ride slowly- Riding slower than usual can also help reduce the effort required to steer the UTV.
  • Use a steering damper- Installing a steering damper can also help reduce the effort required to steer the UTV, especially when riding at high speeds.

Suspension problems

The Pioneer 520 has a suspension system that is designed to handle rough terrain, but some owners have reported problems with the suspension, such as sagging or uneven wear. Over time, suspension components such as shocks, springs, and bushings can wear out and become less effective, leading to a rough ride and reduced handling.

Hitting obstacles or rough terrain can cause damage to the suspension components, leading to problems. Equally important, neglecting regular maintenance, such as checking and adjusting tire pressure, can also contribute to suspension problems.


If you are experiencing suspension problems with your Honda Pioneer 520, it is recommended that you have it inspected by a professional mechanic to diagnose the issue and determine the best solution. In most cases, suspension components may need to be replaced, while in others, simple adjustments or repairs may be sufficient. To fix suspension issues ensure to;

  • Inspect the suspension components- You can start by thoroughly inspecting the suspension components for any signs of damage, such as leaks, cracks, or worn-out parts. Check the shocks, springs, bushings, and any other suspension components for wear and tear.
  • Check tire pressure- Make sure the tire pressure is set to the recommended level, as incorrect tire pressure can affect the ride and handling of the Pioneer 520.
  • Adjust suspension settings- In addition, make sure the suspension is set up properly for your weight and driving conditions. Improper suspension settings can cause handling and comfort issues.
  • Replace worn parts- If any suspension components are worn out or damaged, they should be replaced. It is recommended that you use genuine Honda replacement parts for the best results.

Electrical issues

Like any utility vehicle, the Honda Pioneer 520 can experience electrical issues. However, the frequency and severity of these issues can vary based on factors such as maintenance, usage, and environment. Some of the common electrical issues that can arise while using this utility vehicle include issues with the alternator, a dead battery, starting problems, and wiring issues. Some owners have also reported minor electrical problems, such as flickering lights and issues with the instrument panel.


When dealing with any electrical problem, it is critical to diagnose the issue correctly before attempting any repairs. If you are unsure about what is causing the problem or how to fix it, it is best to seek professional assistance. That said, here are some solutions for the common electrical issues with the Honda Pioneer 520;

  • Troubleshooting the battery- If you have a dead battery, you can try jumping it from another vehicle or using a portable jump starter. If this doesn’t work, you may need to replace the battery.
  • Inspect the alternator- If you suspect a faulty alternator is the culprit, you can have it tested by a mechanic or an authorized dealer. If it is found to be faulty, it will need to be replaced.
  • Inspect the wiring- If you have frayed or damaged wires, they will need to be repaired or replaced. However, this job should always be done by a qualified mechanic or dealer.
  • Troubleshooting fuse issues- If a fuse has blown, you can replace it with a new one with the same amperage rating. Make sure to find the root cause of the blown fuse before replacing it- this will help prevent it from happening again.
  • Starter problems- If you have a faulty starter, the best solution is to get a replacement.

Parting Shot!

Honda has a reputation for producing reliable vehicles, and not all Pioneer 520 owners have experienced these problems. However, it is important to keep in mind that these are just some of the common problems that owners of the Honda Pioneer 520 have reported, and there may be other problems that are not listed here.

Also Read: Top 6 Tracker SVX1000 Problems and Fixes

The frequency of problems with the Honda Pioneer 520 will depend on various factors such as how it is used, how well it is maintained, and how severe the conditions it operates in are. Regular maintenance, such as oil changes, checking the battery and cables, and cleaning the air filter, can help reduce the likelihood of problems and ensure that the vehicle operates reliably.

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