13 Common Can am Defender HD8 Problems

Can am Defender HD8 Problems

The Can-am Defender HD8 is a high-performance brand that offers superior performance compared to many other average defenders. It boasts a fast and powerful engine, making it a top choice for many riders. The manufacturer claims that the HD8 is the best model with its 82 horsepower engine and 69 lb-ft of torque, while also remaining quiet for a comfortable and smooth riding experience.

However, reviews of the HD8 have revealed some issues that may negatively impact the user’s experience. This article will explore some common problems reported by drivers of the Can-am Defender HD8.

A-List of can am defender hd8 problems:

Here is the list of common problems with can-am defender that can make your experience bad.

  • Poor combustion & fuel system
  • Extreme heat
  • Inefficient brake system
  • Frequent maintenance
  • Problem In engine startup
  • Battery kit issues
  • Headlights issues
  • Ignition system problem
  • Improper dashboard
  • No availability of separate space for utility items
  • Inconsistent accelerator
  • Leakage issue
  • Specification issues

A detailed discussion: can-am defender hd8 problems

1. Poor combustions and fuel system

Can-am defender hd8 is a powerful defender that ensures the best ride. It offers you a sufficient fuel storage tank, but the fuel system frequently reports fuel leakage, making it difficult for you to frequent maintenance.

A fuel combustion system is essential that makes a vehicle efficient and economical for the rider, but many of the riders look dissatisfied with the basic functionality of the fuel combustion.

It provides very low performance and covers lower distances when compared with other competitors. The mileage of can-am defender hd8 is not satisfactory.


You may also experience poor performance, but with a little maintenance like using the synthetic lubricants can help the engine by reducing friction and make the engine long lasting.

When you properly do its lubrication then overall performance of all parts increases that also improves the efficiency. Synthetic oils make the engines to has great consistency in performances at low and high temperature and also protect the parts from crusion.

2. Extreme heat

It is not tough and challenging; if the overheating is limited, vehicles need more power when riding off-road. But the Can-am Defender engine becomes too hot, and even it turns off, and you need to wait for some time to start your journey again.

The riders feel very frustrated when they are riding off-road in distant areas due to the engine’s extreme heat; their riding experience spoils. There is a cooling system in the vehicle to protect the engine from extreme heat, but it does not work most of the time.

When you are riding with more speed or continuous slow speed or heavytowing, it causes excessive heating up of the engine, and most of the time, you will need to switch off the engine to start your journey again.

Excessive heating of the engine and other parts causes engine parts’ damage, or the clutch system becomes jammed.

Such an expensive product but with a poor cooling system makes your experience worse. The manufacturer needs to install a good quality cooling system to make your traveling experience smoother.


You can protect your can am defender hd8 from overheating through use of transmission oil, it will protect your defender engine cooler.

There is another solution that will really help you is that when your defender becomes hotter then turn on the heater. It will reduce the engine heat and will transfer heat to the interior of your defender.

3. Inefficient brake system

No one affords compromise on safety during the ride; if you are the driver, you know the brake system’s importance. For a better riding experience, you need a high-quality brake system.d

But unfortunately, after the 2021 can-am defender changes still, the brake system gives poor performance. It suddenly loses its control which can cause serious accidents when you are riding on rough roads.

The inefficient brake system is the major 2021 can-am defender problem, brakes do not work quickly when needed, and we cannot compromise on the quality of brake application, especially when riding at a fast speed.

Another problem also found that can-am defender dust problems also heavily affect its brake system, because the brake system is not adequately covered with quick contact with dust and needs replacement and lubrication. It becomes ridiculous when you need to repeat this again and again.

Indeed the manufacturer needs to improve the brake system, one of the major contributors to vehicle performance.


Brake system has great importance regarding your safety. You can improve your can am defender hd8 brake system by increasing the size of brake rotor.

It can easily update without spending anything, even a little increase in brake system rotor will show greater difference in performance.

4. Frequent maintenance

Every vehicle needs some maintenance depending on its quality, but it is also acceptable when you have an off-road vehicle; it needs more cleaning and maintenance.

But when we compare the can-am defender with its competitor, it needs more repair and maintenance. We have seen many of the can-am defender riders who say that they have spent hundreds of dollars on repair and maintenance in its first year, and we want to get rid of such a junk machine.

Its specification system is not proper, making it hard to protect the vehicle from outside effects such as dust, water, or other items that damage its brakes, clutches, and needs replacement of many parts.


You can reduce vehicle maintenance by adopting good driving rules. When you are going for the journey make a check that the vehicle is okay.

After you clean your vehicle exterior and interior parts as much as possible, it will reduce your efforts and you can extend its maintenance period with little more care.

5. Problems with engine startup

When we looked at the common problems with a can-am defender, we found that the engine startup issue is common. It makes riders frustrated many times when they are in a hurry.

While you turn the key, the engine produces sound, but it cannot rotate the engine, and the engine cannot start. Sometimes it becomes challenging, and you need to hire a professional mechanic to remove the problem.

Its low-quality engine combustion and china parts make it a junk and frustrating vehicle, and many drivers look annoyed with its engine performance.


Engine startup problems are common, you can improve the ignition system performance by proper and timely lubrication.

Most people face that problem in winter, in winter park your defender in your garage and keep the garage door closed.

6. Battery Kit issue

The battery kit of the can-am defender is not found appropriately installed. Many of the riders comment that they get the battery kit installation from the manufacturer, but it is not correct.

Can-am defender transmission problems are common; most of the time, current not properly flowing from battery to engine creates problems to start the engine. Most of the time, riders think that the battery is of poor quality, so it cannot provide the exact amount of current to start the engine.

But after getting repair of the battery kit from local vendors, they get rid of such problems. Manufacturers of can-am defender hd8 should pay attention to that problem and ensure the proper battery kit installation.


It is not a costly expense, you can do its first analysis from the local mechanic and can set the battery kit as your requirement.

For the future also give importance to battery and give proper care to your battery like testing its acid, its voltage etc can improve the battery and kit performance of your can am defender hd8.

7. Headlights issues

Another problem that makes the ride problematic at night is its poor-quality headlights. The driver comments that the battery does not provide sufficient voltage to the headlights.

Headlight material is also not found to be of better quality because it frequently happens that lights burn and need replacement.

It is a high-quality vehicle, and for off-road riding, headlights must be the best. But the low quality and frequent problems with headlights make the users dissatisfied with its performance.


Problem of headlights happens due to poor performance of the battery. You can improve the headlights performance by proper maintenance of your defender battery.

If the battery is not okay then you can also replace it with a better battery. It will positively affect the headlights performance.

8. Ignition system problem

Ignition problem also found in can-am defender hd8; when you need to start the vehicle, it creates a problem to start the vehicle.

Even after turning the keys, you cannot start the vehicle. The problem in the ignition circuit may cause that problem or maybe a weak battery that cannot provide enough voltage.

The manufacturer should improve the ignition system; for starting that defender, 12v is necessary to ensure that the voltage should be 12V to start the vehicle.


Ignition system issues can be resolved with proper lubrication. Oil will keep the ignition system maintained and also improve its response time.

When you park your defender in the vehicle, clean it properly especially ignition areas and insert synthetic oil.

9. Improper dashboard

Can-am defender hd8 review also reveals that its dashboard also needs some changes. It is installed at a high height, making it hard to see the road when you are riding the off-road defender.

Many of the drivers claimed that they face severe accidents due to too high a dashboard which makes it hard to get a clear view of the path to make your riding experience smoother.


It is not a big issue for the people who are long-heighted, but if you are short heighted less than 5 feet and 4 inches then you can find some DIY solution like you can make your seat adjustments.

You can raise your seat adjustment higher than the actual or at height where you feel better. It can easily be adjusted with little mechanical work.

10. No separate place for utility items

Surely you need to keep some necessary handy items like cigarettes, knives, or some other handy items when you go for long-ride.

But unfortunately, there is no proper place to keep such handy items; even this problem also exists in advanced defender models and highlights many customers in can-am defender hd10 issues.

Indeed the manufacturer should install some proper boxes or keep such handy items to store small handy items you will need during your journey.


You can install the boxes and containers with your defender side walls with little welding work or can hang the boxes with the wall through use of glue or clips.

11. Inconsistent accelerator performance

Consistent speed performance is also necessary for the better performance of a vehicle. But can-am defender hd8 also shows the problem of inconsistent performance of the accelerator.

It does not properly support the accelerator. You experience a sudden increase and decrease in the speed; even at the high pressing of the accelerator, it does not increase speed, and sometimes it suddenly increases the speed even when you push a little to the accelerator.

Such inconsistent accelerator behaviour can cause severe accidents, and the manufacturer needs to get it to resolve the issue to make it a safe vehicle to ride.


Inconsistency of the accelerator occurs due to dust and debris, but if you do the proper lubrication with synthetic or any recommended oil it will remain okay. Make your habit for proper lubrication and feel free from accelerator issues.

12. Leakage Issues

Leakage issues are also common in can-am defender hd8. Leakage of the fuel tank and other parts is common, and you need frequent repair and maintenance for the leakage issues.

Such leakage issues can spoil your riding experience and make you frustrated while you need frequent maintenance.


You can easily repair the leakages with use of hard glue or recommended glue for the engines. This problem is reported by some of the clients but most of the clients did not experience that issue. But if you face it, you can repair it yourself.

13. Specifications Issues

Overall the can-am defender hd8 is a good vehicle that comes with better specifications. But still, much improvement is needed; many of the items installed in the vehicle are low quality and need replacement.

Many of the users look dissatisfied, and they said that the vehicle loses its comfort features too early after one or two thousand kilometres of ride. Such low-quality specification makes it hard for the riders to enjoy riding off-road or on-road.

The manufacturer needs to resolve it immediately to make their vehicle the best one for the riders and favorite off-road vehicle.


Specification of the defender is improving with every new model, if you are not satisfied with the defender hd8 model then you should try the defender hd10 model. Surely you will be satisfied with its specifications.

Frequently Asked Questions: can am defender hd8 problems

Question no.1: What is the top speed of can-am defender hd8?

Answer: Can-am defender is a good quality off-road vehicle that offers you faster speed than many average off-road vehicles. You can get quick and fast speeds up to 55 miles per hour. You can get the top speed in just 2 to 3 minutes, which is a satisfying speed performance for an off-road vehicle.

Question no. 2: Which is better to purchase: Polaris ranger or can-am defender hd8?

Answer: Both are good off-road vehicles and have many exceptional features. They are powerful, fast, and better vehicles to ride, but some features like the fast speed, power, and easy-to-ride can-am defender hd8 are the best choice.

Question no.3: What is the function of Eco mode on can-am defender hd8?

Answer: Eco mode was introduced in 2020 that helps the riders to enjoy smoother operations. It limits the torque and high range of speed to make your driving experience moderate.

It keeps the speed and torque at a moderate level to better ride with low fatigue on long riding.

Question no. 4: How much horsepower does a can-am defender hd8 should have?

Answer: Can-am defender hd8 comes with a single-engine that is a powerful engine and produces up to 50 horsepower for the defender. Can-am defender hd8 needs 50 horsepower for proper functioning and riding.

Question no. 5: Does can-am defender hd8 a good vehicle to buy?

Answer: Overall, the vehicle’s performance as per the manufacturer’s claims is good, but in actuality, we have seen many of the users who are not satisfied with the performance.

There are many issues such as too frequent maintenance, inconsistent brake system and accelerator performance, leakage of fuel tanks, and many other issues that make it worse to buy.

But still, some features like fast speed, high torque, better specifications, and comfortability make it a good off-road vehicle.


There are many common issues we have found in can-am defender hd8 that make it a low-quality vehicle.

  • Poor combustion & fuel system
  • Extreme heat
  • Inefficient brake system
  • Frequent maintenance
  • Problem In engine startup
  • Battery kit issues
  • Headlights issues
  • Ignition system problem
  • Improper dashboard
  • No availability of separate space for utility items
  • Inconsistent accelerator
  • Leakage issue
  • Specification issues

If you are new to that, you are lucky to have visited our platform and have known many of the problems you may face when buying the can-am defender.

Now it becomes easier for you to decide; if you can compromise with such issues, you can buy this vehicle.

Our highlighted issues will also make it easier for you to know about the problems and find their solutions.

Problems are common and almost all of the vehicles, especially off-road vehicles, face such issues. We have also given you simple solutions to these problems which do not take much effort or cost.

Can defender hd8 has some issues but it does not mean it is a junk vehicle because we have seen many satisfied and dissatisfied users of the can-am defender. Some people are satisfied and recommend it as the best vehicle to buy due to certain features while others have a horrible experience.

But overall, it is a good vehicle for off-road riding; you can manage that vehicle properly. It is best for fast and powerful riding experiences, and it can be a good worth of your money.


I'm Jason and in my blog, I nearly talk about everything about UTVs. Working as a Mechanic love to test out UTVs and all their accessories. Love enjoying my work and my blog.

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