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Guide To Fixing 7 Common Warn Winch Issues

The brand Warn is the most popular among all manufacturers offering top-notch winches to the market.

They are well-known for providing best quality winches. And in most cases, you will be getting a lot for the money you would need to spend. However, that does not mean you will not face any issues with the best warn winches you own.

Just like any other winches, you might face some issues while using the unit. But the good news is that most of the problems are easy to solve.

Finding that hard to believe? If that is the case, you should stick with us till the end and see how easy it is to solve Warn winch issues you may have faced.

One of the good things about the Warn winches is that you will not face any significant issues if you follow the right operational processes. And when it comes to the minor problems, you will just need to carry out some simple troubleshooting steps. Let us explain!

1. Wicked Contractor

The contractor frequently getting wicked is one of the most common problems. It is the reason why many wonders to fixing their winch. But the thing is, the problem is not as major as many think it is.

Basically, the controller of the winch is a small size black box. It will usually hold the relay switches that are controlling the power. And generally, you will notice the controller box on the back side of the wich. There will be terminals or wires on it. But in most of the Warn winches, you will see the contractor being sealed.

Why? Well, Warn did not want water to get inside the contractor. But later, Warn found out that the sealing was not appropriate. So, they had to recall all of the winches that came with the seal. But not everyone sent their unit back.


Mud and grim frequently getting into the contractor will result in a dead contractor. And instead of thinking that the Warn winch wont work and you should get another winch, you should get the contractor replaced.

2. Spooling Problems

Another common problem with the Warn winches is the spooling issue. In this case, the spooling cable for the winch will get back into the wrong place. And it is a problem that many Warn winch users have complained about throughout the years.

When your winch has this issue, you will notice that the spooling will not wind up that easily. Also, you might see that the spool will not free up normally when you turn the switch on.

Warn Winch Spooling Problems


As of yet, the spooling issue is not something Warn acknowledged. For that reason, you will see a lot of the new winches coming with a steel cable. The simple fix would be to replace the steel cable with the synthetic rope. It will make the winding process much smoother and simpler.

3. Stuck in Free Spool

Is the winch free-spool not engaging? No! You will not need to go through the hassle of taking the winch to the repair shop. It is yet another common problem for Warn winches. The problem is mainly because the spring is not working correctly. And the solution is pretty easy!

Warn Winch Stuck in Free Spool


You will need to take the side cover of the winch off. There should be a ramp or spring mechanism under the side cover. Grease the mechanism and put things back in place. Turn the winch on and check the free spool again.

4. Remote not Working

Sometimes, the remote control of the Warn winches will tend not to work. And without the remote control, the winch will be pretty much useless for you. However, you should not worry about the matter one bit. Warn offers pretty much replacement for every part. So, even with a dead remote, you should not throw the winch away.


You should take the winch to a mechanic. The professional will then proceed to check the parts that need replacement. And in most cases, the replacement cost will not be that high.

5. Motor Stops Working

Winch motor not working correctly is pretty standard. So, it is not a Warn-specific issue.

However, the motor might not work for multiple reasons. For example, there might be bad ground contact, the entrance might be full of dirt, or the gears might be stuck.


Dealing with the motor problem is pretty easy. First of all, you should get the motor gear free. For doing so, get a hammer and tap the housing with it. Secondly, see if the ground connection is solid or not. For this, you will need to use a multimeter or check the ground terminal thoroughly.

Finally, take the winch apart and clean all of the entrances. Get the dirt and debris accumulated on the motor's gears and put things back in place.

6. Frayed Cable

Whether you are using synthetic cable or steel cable, the line can get frayed at one point. It basically happens due to using the same cable for a prolonged amount of time. And when the cable gets frayed up, it can get snapped pretty easily. The reason for that is continuous friction with the metal framework.


For the frayed cable issue, you will need to ensure that you are using some sort of wrap. Always use the wrap when you are using the cable around sharp objects. That will lower the chances of the cable snapping. But do get the cable replaced as fast as possible if the fraying issue is too much.

7. Low Power

Last but not least, you might notice that the winch's pulling capacity is not how it was. It might be much lower than the time you got the winch out of the box. The reason behind this might be the wrong electrical grounding wire attachment. Also, the motor overheating might be causing the issue to occur.

Furthermore, there might be issues with the battery. And if the battery is not providing adequate power to the motor, it will not offer you the correct pulling force.


For low power issues, you should first try to charge the battery up entirely and see if the issue still persists or not. If the problem is still there, work with the motor. Clean the brushes and check if it is operating optimally or not. Also, check if the wire and battery terminals are clean or not.

If everything fails and the motor still offers low power, you should get the motor replaced. Again, Warn should have a proper replacement for your winch. So, getting access to a replacement motor should not be an issue.

Final Words

It is pretty easy to work with the common Warn winch issues, just as we stated in the very beginning. And in extreme cases, you will need to put in a couple of hours and a little bit of money to get the particular problem fixed.

So, instead of planning to buy a new winch, you should follow the solutions stated above properly.

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