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Most Common Problems With Can AM Defender HD5

Most Common Problems With Can AM Defender HD5

The Can AM Defender HD5 is one big UTV.  It is great for hills or mountain rides for providing extraordinary handling. Nowadays, people are more interested in buying the Can AM Defender HD8, which is the superior version of the HD5.

Both HD8 and HD5 are pretty similar in terms of features and comfort. Both are three-seater three-seater 62-inch wide UTVs. However, HD8 comes with some updates as it produces 50 horsepower whereas HD5 only offers 38 horsepower. And it has a bigger 799cc V-twin.

That being said, the Can AM Defender HD5 can show some problems sometimes. We will discuss the most common problems with Can AM Defender HD5 in this article.          

The Most Common Issues of Can AM Defender HD5 That You Won’t Like:

Okay! We will now discuss some of the most common issues of Can AM Defender HD5 that you won’t probably like.

Fuel Issue

If your Can AM Defender HD5 is having a fuel issue, you will hear a lot of noises as soon as you turn it on. Even worse, this type of problem occurs suddenly. It’s like you are riding fine one day, but the other day you are dealing with this issue.

Unfortunately, your Defender HD5 may show a fuel issue for many reasons. It’s hard to blame it on a particular reason. Most of the time, pulling out the fuel pump filter and installing a new one solves this issue.

This guy named Dave was having a fuel issue with his Defender. He fixed the problem and showed how he did it in the following video –

Setup And Maintenance Issue

A Can AM Defender HD5 can make you exhausted for its constant maintenance. Yes, you are fully responsible for maintaining this off-road quad. And setting it up is another trouble, especially when you have bought a Defender from a local dealer. If you ask “Why?”, then we should say the chances of getting a user manual is very low when you are buying a defender from a dealer.

As a consequence, it can lead to other problems. Sometimes, it is not possible to buy a Defender HD5 online due to financing or credit card complications. We do not know the exact reason why there is such a system. In that case, you need to have enough cash to buy it directly from a dealer.

Issue With Chain

Till now, this is another significant problem of Can AM Defender HD5. This UTV comes with a cheap chain and the chain expands after a few hours of operation, this type of comment made by many users. No matter how hard you try, it will be almost impossible to keep the chain tight if it keeps popping off.

There is a solution to this problem. But it will cost both money and labor. There are many aftermarket chains in the market for Defender HD5 some of which are of better quality than the default chain. All you have to do is find the right fit for your Defender HD5 and spend some money.

Don’t Have Power Steering

Hence, this is more like a weakness of the Can AM Defender HD5, rather than a problem. But we like to consider it as a problem anyway. Because most modern UTVs are equipped with power steering. Thereafter, many would not go for a Can AM Defender HD5. Instead, they will choose something that comes with power steering at a similar price range.

For not having power steering, the Defender HD5 is better for utility use than for trail rides. If you desperately want power steering in your UTV, you can select either a Can AM Defender HD8 or an HD10.      

It Overheats

One of the critical issues of the Can AM Defender HD5 is overheating. Trust us, finding the exact reason for this issue can be tricky. You may take your Defender HD5 to a mechanic, but it is not guaranteed that he will fix the issue or detect the reason at least.

Luckily, there is a cheap fix for this issue that works most of the time. You may think it’s a fan issue as the fan may not work when your defender is facing an overheating issue. But if you take a look at the battery under the backseat of the rear passenger, you will find a fan relay that might get loose.

As soon as you put back the relay, the fan will start to work and the overheating issue will be eliminated after some time. The relay can also fall off, then you will have to find it first or attach another one if you have spares.

Watch this video to know more –

General Pros and Cons of Can AM Defender HD5:

Great! We assume you have learned some of the problems with the Can AM Defender HD5 that commonly occur. Now, it’s time to look at the advantages and disadvantages of the Defender HD5.


  • The V-twin configuration ensures a perfect primary balance.
  • This particular UTV offers smooth riding on any track.
  • Easy to dismantle for its single crankpin.
  • It can serve for a longer time for its excellent durability.
  • Features automatic Visco-Lok QE differential front locks.
  • The HD5 has a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds.
  • The 10.4 gallon of fuel capacity is more than enough.
  • Offers excellent suspension with 10-inch front and rear Dual A-arms. 


  • Its maintenance can be expensive.
  • The ones who are looking for more power say the HD5 has a smaller engine.
  • Only 11 inches of ground clearance may not be enough.
  • It offers minimum traction control.
  • It can be vulnerable to overloads and under-inflation.

Quote Reviews:

As usual, just like most off-road utility quads; the Can AM Defender HD5 has its own. One particular user bought a Defender HD5 and he has been running it for quite some time. Although the gearbox makes clunk noise, he is satisfied with its error-free service. He said –

“I have two HD5s. They are really solid machines other than the Visco-Lok and the gearbox seems a little more clunky than I would like, but I have never had a problem with the gearbox. As in clunky I mean if you come to a stop and then take off again it makes a clunk noise.”

One user bought a Defender HD5 recently. He rode it for like a couple of weeks. He gave us a neutral comment, neither positive nor negative –

“I just bought a new defender HD5 a couple of weeks ago. Pretty slick all around. The rear end clunks coming in and out of the rear diff lock that’s annoying, but I’ve been told it’s normal.”

Another user has both a Kawasaki Mule Pro FXT and Can AM HD5. He likes both of them equally. When we particularly asked about the HD5, he did mention some positive like below –

“Its tailgate has a single handle in the center, floor of the box is 3″ lower than Mule, the box can be unlatched to dump from either side, better seat, more foot room, easier to get into and out of”

However, he also mentioned some dislikes about his defender HD5. As for dislikes, he said –

“Dislikes – nets, front bumper lighter than Kawasaki, no rear bumper, no parking brake, the roof looked flimsy, tires looked like they would not last long.”

Final Words

Yes, we may have highlighted some of the problems of the Can AM Defender HD5 UTV. Well, that was the purpose of this article. That doesn’t entirely mean this is a bad off-road utility vehicle. For a decent price, getting a Can AM Defender HD5 is a win-win deal. The UTV can be used for casual work at the same time, and offers immense joy when you are hitting the trail hard.

We just mentioned the common problems of the HD5 just for awareness, it is not like these issues will occur for sure. Above all, it’s a machine, and all machines do have some issues no matter how good they are. The rest is up to you to decide.

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