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Most Common Problems With Can-Am Defender HD8

Most Common Problems With Can-Am Defender HD8

Can-Am Defender HD8 is one of the most sought-after utility vehicles in North America.

Most people who purchase this vehicle are extremely happy with their decision to buy it, but there are some common problems that owners have experienced.

In this blog post, we will discuss the most common complaints about Can-Am Defenders and what causes them!

Despite being one of the best UTVs for off-road capabilities, the Can-Am Defender HD8 has several problems. Most of them are due to improper vehicle maintenance and engine problems, such as the engine won’t start, overheating, or grinding noise in the gear. All of these problems happen due to several reasons which we should be aware of.

Most Common Problems WIth Can-Am Defender HD8

Being a utility vehicle, the Most Common Problems WIth Can-Am Defender HD include complaints about its engine.

Most of these complaints are from owners who have been using their vehicles for a long time and use them every day to haul heavy loads up steep hills and over rough terrain.

Let’s have a look at some of them-

Overheating Engine

Overheating is one of the most common problems with anything that has an engine, be it a utility vehicle or lawnmower. Can-Am Defenders are no different!

Your Can-Am Defender HD8 engine may get overheated due to many reasons, such as not enough airflow, a malfunctioning cooling fan, a faulty thermostat, or a stuck water pump.

The overheating engine may lead to blown head gaskets, which can be very expensive to repair.

So make sure you do a thorough check on your vehicle if you face this problem.

Grinding Noise When Shifting Gears

Another Most Common Problem WIth Can-Am Defender HD is a grinding noise when shifting gears.

This happens because of worn-out pawls in the transfer case which engage one gear to another.

If you have been facing this problem, it’s best to get it fixed as soon as possible before your vehicle damages itself further!

Vehicle Won’t Take A Turn

Can-Am Defenders are well known for their off-road capabilities.

Most owners use them to go on long journeys across rough terrain, so they expect their vehicles to take sharp turns without any problem.

If your Can-Am Defender HD doesn’t turn too sharply, you might be facing a lack of power steering fluid or even an issue with the racks and pinion.

If not solved, this may lead to a breakdown of the vehicle.

Poor Fuel Economy

Many owners complain about poor fuel economy in their Can-Am Defenders, especially when they are used for long journeys.

Most of the time this is because of improper vehicle maintenance or faulty sensors sending wrong signals to the engine.

This may lead to reduced acceleration and power output from your vehicle which will only worsen as time passes.

Worn-Out Tires

Tire wear is also a common problem with Can-Am Defender HD8 which owners complain about regularly!

Most of the tire problems are due to incorrect inflation pressure and overloading your vehicle with too much weight, but it can be anything from a faulty speed sensor to bad wheel bearings or even a worn-out axle.

Engine Won’t Start

To me, the most frustrating problem with a Can-Am Defender HD8 is when your vehicle’s engine won’t start!

Most of the time, this happens because of a faulty ignition switch or starter motor.

There might be many other causes for this to happen, but most of them are due to insufficient maintenance.

A dysfunctional engine can also be caused by faulty fuel pumps, clogged filters, or even bad crankshaft sensors.

Inspecting your Can-Am Defender regularly can help you get rid of this incident.

General Pros & Cons Of Can-Am Defender HD8

Although there are some annoying problems with the Can-Am Defenders HD, there are many good things about them too!

Have a look at some of its pros & cons so that you can decide if it’s the right vehicle for you or not-


  • High durability, can last up to 15 years.
  • Strong frame for handling rugged terrains
  • Powerful engine with great acceleration and power.
  • High ground clearance
  • A low center of gravity for off-road capabilities.


  • High fuel consumption, needs a lot of gas.
  • Uncomfortable seating position for the driver and passengers.
  • Heavyweight which makes it hard to drive on roads without enough power.

Customer Reviews On Can-Am Defender HD8:

The Can-Am HD8 has received mixed reviews from customers. Most of the complaints have been about its poor fuel economy, high maintenance costs and lack of comfort for long journeys.

Even though, most of the customers are happy with its strong and durable performance. Here are some of the most common customer reviews-

“The vehicle is extremely capable in challenging terrain, but I would NOT recommend this for a daily driver.

If you’re looking to do more highway cruising than off-roading then it’s probably best to look elsewhere.”

“Performance wise, Can-Am HD8 can’t be beaten in its price range!! It has great power and acceleration which makes driving on tough terrains a breeze!

The most common problem with these vehicles is cheap parts that need frequent replacement!!”

“I have taken my Can-Am Defender HD8 to many off-road trails and it has never let me down. I am looking forward to buying another one soon!”

Bottom Line

So, should you buy a Can-Am Defender HD8? Well, it all depends on what your priorities are.

If you want a vehicle for regular daily use, then this is not the one for you! But if you’re looking to go off-roading with a UTV that can put up with most terrain types and last several years, then it’s perfect for you!

I hope this article has helped you with your decision. Happy hustling!

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