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I took my 2016 Mule 4010 Trans 4x4 in for 500 hour service last week.
The unit was running fine, except it would often stall at idle when I got off
to open a gate or something. When running at half to full throttle, it was fine,
but would surge and run unevenly when at low RPMs.

In addition to regular service items, including spark plugs, the invoice has this
notification:

-DIAG ROUGH IDLE

Removed and cleaned throttle body
Advise customer that this is a common occurrence with the Mules and that problem
might arise again in the future.


Also, when I went to pay, the lady (seemed very knowledgeable) remarked that some
Mule owners had returned almost immediately with the same problem. She indicated
that Kawasaki would possibly issue a recall because the problem is so common.

Has anyone had this problem?
My Mule has been OK for the couple of hours I have used it since I got it home.
 

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Yup common issue and it's causes are multi-faceted.

Most common cause is too much oil in crankcase. It in itself can cause idling issues among other things. The oil level rises by itself if they're used at low speeds and idling a lot (which is 95% of the Mules). Why? The engine was originally an industrial engine. Industrial engines are, well, generator, lawn mower engines. What do we know about those? They run full throttle, full load, and 3500 RPM all the time. Well in those instances, the engine oil gets hot and stays hot. In the Mule application, the engine oil never gets hot because they idle and putt around their entire lives, thousands of hours. The engine (no engine) is completely efficient in burning ALL of the fuel/air mixture that enters the cylinder(s). Some of that mixture naturally and normally enters the crankcase through the rings. Over time that mixture can build up. If the engine oil can't get up to about 180° or above for any length of time, it can't boil those byproducts off. So they keep building up (in the mule applications) until the oil level is so high that it pukes the oil mixture back up through the PCV system and into the air intake, which then fouls the throttle plates (there are two on the 4010 Mules, one on most all of the rest of them), fouls the intake pressure sensor, the intake air temp sensor, and everything else from the air filter to the pistons. So the most common complaint ends up being "won't idle". In extreme cases, the throttle sensors get so fouled up that the ECU senses faults and shuts the spark off to the front cylinder. When that happens, replace the throttle body assembly.

Valve clearance also has a big role. When the intake valves tighten up (which is normal), the intake pressure kind of pulses abnormally, and the ECU picks it up and tries to adjust, but the engine doesn't react nearly as quickly as the ECU wants it to, so it idles poorly, runs poorly at all speeds (especially low speeds part throttle).

Really the proper way to "fix" them is to replace the throttle body, but it's real expensive and sometimes people don't want to (or can't) fork over almost $800 (current price) for a new one, and that's entirely understandable, IMO. In cases like those, all you can do is change the oil, clean it up, and hope for the best. Educate your customer that the engine is an industrial engine and that if they use it at idle/low speed all the time, it's advisable to throw it in low gear (on the 4x4's) and run the engine against the governor for a while about once a week. This will prolong the same thing happening. It won't hurt the engine either since that's what it was designed for from the get-go.

There's more that can be done to it as well, but I won't tell anyone that. It's sorta EPA emissions sensitive and I can't accept any liability for your wrongdoings.

I can, however, also say that adjusting the throttle stop screw usually ruins the throttle body. Kawasaki does not give specific sensor values and throttle opening angles that are to be followed when/if the screw is adjusted. Thus, it's easy to "turn up the idle", but then the sensors are out of range, and it's anyone's guess as to where they "should" be. Kawasaki designs them at the factory, and they're not adjustable. Why? Because they measure the airflow going through the TB when they test run the engines, and adjust everything accordingly. When the throttle stop screw is adjusted at all after the fact, there's no reference where to set it back to, thus the throttle body is basically ruined. The Mule does not have an airflow sensor, it's a very crude EFI which is adjusted at factory and the ECU doesnt' have very much adaptation built into it if airflow changes outside a very narrow pre-programmed parameter.

Post #1. Hi.
 

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I took my 2016 Mule 4010 Trans 4x4 in for 500 hour service last week.
The unit was running fine, except it would often stall at idle when I got off
to open a gate or something. When running at half to full throttle, it was fine,
but would surge and run unevenly when at low RPMs.

In addition to regular service items, including spark plugs, the invoice has this
notification:

-DIAG ROUGH IDLE

Removed and cleaned throttle body
Advise customer that this is a common occurrence with the Mules and that problem
might arise again in the future.


Also, when I went to pay, the lady (seemed very knowledgeable) remarked that some
Mule owners had returned almost immediately with the same problem. She indicated
that Kawasaki would possibly issue a recall because the problem is so common.

Has anyone had this problem?
My Mule has been OK for the couple of hours I have used it since I got it home.
I took my 2016 Mule 4010 Trans 4x4 in for 500 hour service last week.
The unit was running fine, except it would often stall at idle when I got off
to open a gate or something. When running at half to full throttle, it was fine,
but would surge and run unevenly when at low RPMs.

In addition to regular service items, including spark plugs, the invoice has this
notification:

-DIAG ROUGH IDLE

Removed and cleaned throttle body
Advise customer that this is a common occurrence with the Mules and that problem
might arise again in the future.


Also, when I went to pay, the lady (seemed very knowledgeable) remarked that some
Mule owners had returned almost immediately with the same problem. She indicated
that Kawasaki would possibly issue a recall because the problem is so common.

Has anyone had this problem?
My Mule has been OK for the couple of hours I have used it since I got it home.
 

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I’ve done it all. Vented crankcase to atmosphere, non ethanol gas always , sea foam injector cleaner in every tank of gas, emptied entire can of throttle body cleaner thru TB , oiled butterflies with wd40, ran mule full throttle in low gear for 20 min or so many times, had a Catholic priest perform an exorcism. 2019 mule 4010. 4x4 ES . Still rough idle and surging at low RPM. Dealership skeptical , not aware of this problem, bring mule and leave it, always 2 to 3 weeks behind, will call if diagnosed with a problem and correct it ASAP. Was told that Kawasaki corporate says admit nothing and deny everything. Does anyone have a thermite grenade ?
 

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Here's what fixed mine. 2012 mule 4010 (1750hrs). I have had the surging several times over the years. Cleaned throttle body originally fixed it until 50-75 hours ago so that is when I got serious about fixing it . Like most this one is just putting around most of the time. I have changed the fuel pump , strainer and complete module. I keep extra strainers on hand. Valves have been adjusted, vented crankcase to atmosphere , plugs,etc. Still same surge at very low throttle. I did not have the dying problem after the fuel pump was replaced in the beginning . I broke down and got out the manual. I am not going to go over the entire throttle body testing but 1 of the 2 TPS sensors were bad and it did not matter if it was on the main or secondary side. I switched the main and secondary with no change. All the tests were good except for the ohm test (2700 and 1200 is normal and my bad one was 2450 and 145) so at that point I just ordered both of them. They were about $49 each on Amazon, Kaw wants a pretty penny for them and the ones I got even say made in Japan and Mikuni part number from Kaw is 21176-2112. It's also a lot easier to test them if you have the test lead from Kaw part#57001-1719. I bought it on Ebay for about $34. You will need a multimeter too. From what I have seen most people don't get relief unless they put a new throttle body on for $800 but if a $50 tps will fix it why not. Yes if you are still venting crankcase into throttle body it will gum up over time but the actuator motor usually works when cleaned. Hope this helps someone. I also used non ethanol fuel and seafoam with no change. I normally just run regular 10% ethanol fuel.
 

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I’ve done it all. Vented crankcase to atmosphere, non ethanol gas always , sea foam injector cleaner in every tank of gas, emptied entire can of throttle body cleaner thru TB , oiled butterflies with wd40, ran mule full throttle in low gear for 20 min or so many times, had a Catholic priest perform an exorcism. 2019 mule 4010. 4x4 ES . Still rough idle and surging at low RPM. Dealership skeptical , not aware of this problem, bring mule and leave it, always 2 to 3 weeks behind, will call if diagnosed with a problem and correct it ASAP. Was told that Kawasaki corporate says admit nothing and deny everything. Does anyone have a thermite grenade ?
Here's what fixed mine. 2012 mule 4010 (1750hrs). I have had the surging several times over the years. Cleaned throttle body originally fixed it until 50-75 hours ago so that is when I got serious about fixing it . Like most this one is just putting around most of the time. I have changed the fuel pump , strainer and complete module. I keep extra strainers on hand. Valves have been adjusted, vented crankcase to atmosphere , plugs,etc. Still same surge at very low throttle. I did not have the dying problem after the fuel pump was replaced in the beginning . I broke down and got out the manual. I am not going to go over the entire throttle body testing but 1 of the 2 TPS sensors were bad and it did not matter if it was on the main or secondary side. I switched the main and secondary with no change. All the tests were good except for the ohm test (2700 and 1200 is normal and my bad one was 2450 and 145) so at that point I just ordered both of them. They were about $49 each on Amazon, Kaw wants a pretty penny for them and the ones I got even say made in Japan and Mikuni part number from Kaw is 21176-2112. It's also a lot easier to test them if you have the test lead from Kaw part#57001-1719. I bought it on Ebay for about $34. You will need a multimeter too. From what I have seen most people don't get relief unless they put a new throttle body on for $800 but if a $50 tps will fix it why not. Yes if you are still venting crankcase into throttle body it will gum up over time but the actuator motor usually works when cleaned. Hope this helps someone. I also used non ethanol fuel and seafoam with no change. I normally just run regular 10% ethanol fuel.
Thank you. I ordered 2 this morning. A little pricey @ 75.00 each but cheep if it fixes the problem. If Kawasaki corporate had addressed this chronic and widespread issue we would not be having this conversation. Thank you again and Kawasaki can KMA!!!
 

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Thank you. I ordered 2 this morning. A little pricey @ 75.00 each but cheep if it fixes the problem. If Kawasaki corporate had addressed this chronic and widespread issue we would not be having this conversation. Thank you again and Kawasaki can KMA!!!
You will have to follow the setting procedure in the manual to make sure they are set correctly. I ordered 2 as well but only 1 of mine was bad so I have a spare now. If you don't have the manual then set them at center and that should get you fairly close. The secondary TPS will affect idle. There are a lot of moving parts that all have to work correctly. Hopefully you have the manual as it makes it easier to understand . I would like to know if yours ohm out like mine did or what their readings were.
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Pay no attention to service code 11, most of these don't throw a code 11. Throttle sensor resistance is what I am interested in . They should both be the same, primary and secondary tps
 

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Thanks i fixed mine the exhaust gases no longer go into the throtle body.....enough said
If this procedure has been posted previously, sorry I missed it. Can you tell me how you did this? I saw a youtube video that showed it but it was a different configuration. I have a 2010 Mule 4010 fuel injected. Thanks in advance
 

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Pay no attention to service code 11, most of these don't throw a code 11. Throttle sensor resistance is what I am interested in . They should both be the same, primary and secondary tps
Have sensors and adapter cable . Received service manual today. I have a lot of experience with variable resistors but I need to get the particulars from the manual. There is a fine line between fixing something and tearing it all to hell.
 
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