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Mule 550 Starting Problem only after running

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Hello All, thanks for looking at my situation. I am new to the UTV world, but not small engines. Hoping you can help and I thank you in advance for your support / suggestions. My neighbor gave me his old 550 mule, which needed some TLC.

It is a late model 2003 or earlier Kawasaki Mule 550, not sure of the VIN as I cannot locate it, and then did re-paint / powder-coat it. However I was able to get the right new parts as they matched the old ones.

  • I have replaced the entire electrical chassis wire harness (headlights to tail light)
  • Brand new battery
  • new starter relay
  • same voltage regulator - not sure if this has failed - may need to test resistance
  • battery reads 12.8 volts
  • start and solenoid work
  • note sure about the Neutral Safety Switch - I pulled it, (light green wire from harness attached) - what appears to be drop of oil on tip.

After I take the battery tender off the Mule, turn the key it starts up just fine and runs well. After using it for sometime or letting it run, after I shut it off, it will not start again via the key. I turn the key and nothing, no clicking, dimming of lights, nothing. It is as something i is blocking the starter trigger wire. If I remove the starter relay and test for voltages I get 12 volts on 1 prong and about 1 volt or so from the starter trigger wire (red / black) - if I turn the key, that wire registers 12v. If I jump the blades and turn the key - it starts no problem / every time.

This also works, with the starter relay plugged in, if I turn the key and touch the metal top of the relay on the chassis , you will here the starter clicking and engage and eventually it will start. I find this odd as it started this morning, cold with no issue.

  • Is it a bad brand new relay?
  • a bad regulator?
  • the NSS?

I am drawing a blank, I called a few guys I know over at the local power sports service center and they could not think of anything.

Thanks for your help


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In case anyone stumbles across this thread, apparently the "new" starter relay I got from Autozone wasn't compatible or it was defective. So I found a exact match, 056700-5260 Denso Heavy Duty Relay for $7.13. Note: the same relay found from other parts places on the internet, sells for $37+ so shop around first. Hope this helps someone who may have the same issue.


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