Generally, ATV batteries last for almost 3 years in normal conditions. But you know that ATVs are not made for normal roads or conditions. There’s no fun without using an ATV off-road. So, proper maintenance is required for ATVs as well as ATV batteries.
An ATV could be one of your most favorite possessions. You can use it regularly or can ride it on weekends to spend some quality time enjoying nature.
To acquire an ATV, providing comfort and well-rounded performance, you must need a battery that you can rely on to last. Improved battery technologies are coming every year. But ATV batteries are still expensive; maybe that’s why you don’t want to buy ATV batteries every year.
Properly maintained batteries can be used for more than 5 years. Quality batteries with proper & careful using give you a sound experience all year long. We will discuss here how long does ATV battery lasts and what you need to do for maintenance.
Types of ATV batteries
In the current state of the world, variation is life. Nowadays, you will find variations in almost everything. So, why not in ATV battery? ATV batteries also have variations to choose from. Different types of batteries work better in different conditions. Before knowing about the ATV battery’s lifetime, at first, we have to know about the types of ATV batteries.
Usually, three types of batteries are available in the market. You can choose the best one for your ATV. Before choosing, let’s have a look at these types.
1. Lead-acid Battery:
The lead-acid battery is also known as a conventional battery. It is widely used because of its cheap price tag. The inner structure of these batteries is consists of many cells that are divided by into lead plates and acid which helps in charging the battery.
As these batteries are often installed in car servicing centers, people often confuse them with car batteries. But, car conventional batteries and ATV conventional batteries are different things though having the same base structure and principle.
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Lead-acid batteries are affordable and available almost everywhere but they have a high maintenance cost. Moreover, these batteries don’t come as ready to install which costs extra.
2. Absorbent Glass Mat or AGM battery:
The absorbed glass mat battery or AGM ATV battery is often considered a maintenance-free battery. Though AGM ATV batteries are not completely maintenance-free, they require less maintenance than conventional lead-acid batteries. The inner layers are made of glass fiber which goes in between the lead plates in a sealed AGM battery.
The purpose of the glass fiber is to help the overall system to absorb the electrolytes and keep the liquid in place. As a result, you don’t need to change or refill the battery acid regularly. But still, AGM batteries need to be maintained and charged regularly.
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Additional to all these, the battery size is smaller than the conventional ones. This type has low maintenance having a slower discharge rate. With all these features, AGM batteries are slightly costly in the traditional ATV battery market.
3. Lithium Battery:
This type of battery is the most recent among the ATV batteries. The inner structure is quite different from the other two types as it does not have any liquid.
As it’s liquid-free, these are lighter and smaller in size. As a result, it is ready to charge and install. Lithium batteries are suitable for everyday use.
As an ATV battery, it’s also very expensive as it’s the most expensive of all three types. It can last from 4 to 12 years depending on usage and maintenance.
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Reasons which affect the battery life expectancy
In ATV, a battery can last up to 5-12 years. But it can differ. The difference lies in two things. They are maintenance and the factors that affect battery life.
Without knowing about them, you can do battery harm without even realizing that. So, you should learn about the factors that affect the lifetime of the battery.
The most preferable temperature for any battery is room temperature. The standard room temperature is around 20-22 ⁰C (68-72 ⁰F). Anything reasonably higher or lower than that can affect your battery. No matter the case of the temperature, at the end of the day it will decrease life expectancy.
A temperature higher than 30⁰C is considered a higher temperature for ATV batteries. High temperature causes harm to the battery tender by making the electrochemical reaction of a lead-acid battery faster than normal time.
Because of this reason, the battery discharges quickly decreasing the life expectancy of a battery. High temperature also dries out the battery and increases the cell’s internal corrosion, resulting in a reduction of the overall life of a battery.
To refer to low temperature, we take the temperature below 0⁰C. At this temperature, the battery will not be damaged if the battery is fully charged and is not being used.
Moreover, using the ATV battery in cold weather will cause excessive stress results in decaying the battery lifespan. The electrochemical reaction of lead-acid batteries is also slowed down in cold temperatures causing harm to the ATV battery.
In many cases, people tend to not use their ATV in cold temperatures in winter. If anyone does that without fully charging the ATV battery, it can be a reason for the battery’s low life expectancy.
Freezing electrolytes inside the batteries is another reason for low lasting life because of low temperature.
People often thought that ATV batteries last long when their usage is relatively low. But our perception is that it’s a misconception.
ATV batteries last more when it is used frequently. This usage also varies within the different types of batteries but all the batteries almost hold the same motto.
Moreover, frequent usage of the battery drains the battery and provides it with a fresh charge. If you want to use your ATV occasionally, you should provide it with proper maintenance and charge for a healthy battery.
3. Charging System:
This does not include mainly as an element of battery lasting life as all ATVs have a charging system built-in. It only applies in case the charging system has some problem. If the charging system does not provide the battery a good output and proper charge the battery can’t last as expected.
4. Battery Level:
The battery level indicates the amount of charge left before the battery is drained out. An ATV battery must have a bare minimum battery level all the time and must not be drained out fully.
Without assuming the route and the amount of charge left, keeping the ATV on without any reason may cause the full drainage of charge. In case of full drainage, the battery will take damage as long as it is fully depleted.
Like full battery depletion, overcharging is also harmful to your ATV battery. It causes the evaporation of acid in the battery and lowers the number of electrolytes.
If this level drops too low, the lead plates will be exposed to the air, resulting in corrosion of the lead plates. Finally, the battery will become useless because of this reason.
Chargers to use for ATV battery
Charging is very important for any kind of battery as well as ATV batteries. A good method of charging and a better charger can help you to improve your ATV battery life.
Nowadays, smart chargers are being almost everywhere. A smart charger can prevent overcharging as it can automatically turn itself on and off.
Having many smart features, smart chargers are better than regular battery chargers. You can use the regular ones if you wish but those will not be as beneficial as smart ones.
How often should you charge your ATV battery?
Any kind of battery should not be left in a very uncharged condition. You must either charge your battery every thirty days regularly or think about obtaining a smart charger to take care of your battery all the time.
Smart chargers can hold the voltage at its prime voltage, whereas reducing the present to nearly zero, therefore preventing overcharge even once left on for months at a time.
ATV battery can self-discharge over time, even whenever it’s not in use or connected to something, therefore it’s a good thing about a continuing maintenance charger.
How to know if the ATV battery is bad?
If you are having battery problems or any kind of issues, you can check your ATV battery in few steps. These steps are really easy and you can determine whether your battery is bad or good.
You can examine your ATV battery simply by an inspection. To examine the battery, look at some points carefully. If you see any kind of broken terminal, bulge, or bump in the case, crack or rupture of the plastic, excessive leaking, maybe your ATV battery is bad.
If you find any of these problems even in any intact ATV battery, you should never buy or install that battery in your ATV. It will be best to buy a new battery.
You can also check by taking voltage rating. You will find the exact voltage reading chart for your ATV battery online. Load testing of the battery can be another way to determine the right condition of your battery.
If your ATV battery experiences any of those bad signs, then maybe it’s time to grab a new battery.
When should I replace my ATV battery?
With proper care and maintenance, the battery will probably last for a maximum amount of six years. You can check your battery in the described way in this article or you may notice some more issues.
The battery isn’t charging at all or completely dead – this is a prime indicator to get your battery replaced. If the battery isn’t charging, it might be that the charger may be an unhealthy one, so try to grab a new one or a smart one.
Strange noises from your side-by-side’s engine might be another big sign that your battery wants immediate replacement. The lights don’t work, and your ATV doesn’t start, this is usually the only way to telling that your battery wants substitution with a new one.
Tips to make an ATV battery last longer
We have already mentioned proper maintenance several times. Now, some important tips for you.
- Charge the battery properly.
- In case of high temperature, do not put your ATV under the direct sun.
- Keep your ATV in a comfortable place in winter to save the battery from low temperature.
- Check the acid levels of a battery and fill it if the acid is vaporized because of heat.
- Fully charge the battery if you will not use it for a long time.
- If you are not a frequent user of your ATV, put your battery on a maintenance routine.
- Try not to fully drain your battery. If you do, charge it as soon as possible.
- If any doubt arises about your charging system not charging properly, do not use it until it has been checked and certified to be working properly.
- Choose a battery type that suits your ATV usage. Like – an occasional ride can buy a quality AGM battery. On the other hand, a heavy user can use a lithium battery.
Your ATV is an expensive vehicle as well as its battery. An ATV battery needs proper maintenance as other parts of the vehicle. Well maintained battery can support you in long term. So, try to find the best battery for your ATV.
A proper charger and a routine for charging are almost enough for any ATV battery to extend its service life. Make a proper maintenance routine on basis of this article to ensure a long-lasting heavy-duty battery. Wish you happy rides and happy life from us.