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When Should I Replace My ATV Battery?

Power - by Bryan Veldboom - updated on 3/1/2022

man leaning against an atv with dog in a field

Spring is on the way and you know what that means; it's time to start prepping your ATV for another exciting season. When it comes to caring for your ATV, maintaining your battery is key. Today we'll be taking a look at the different types of ATV batteries. We'll share some tips to help you determine when your battery needs replacing and review a few ways to help you prolong your battery's life.

What Kind of Battery Does an ATV Use?

ATVs run on powersport batteries like those found in motorcycles, personal watercraft, snowmobiles and other recreational vehicles. There are three different types of powersport batteries available to ATV owners: flooded lead acid, AGM (short for Absorbed Glass Mat) and lithium iron phosphate. Here is a basic breakdown of the types of ATV batteries available at Batteries Plus.

Xtreme Flooded Battery

  • Least expensive of the 3 battery types
  • Shortest lifespan of the 3 battery types
  • Not completely sealed; requires you to top off the electrolyte with distilled or deionized water
  • High rate of self-discharge in storage
  • Comes with a 6-month warranty

Xtreme AGM Battery/Duracell AGM Battery

  • Slightly more expensive than a flooded battery
  • Lasts 2-3 times as long as a flooded battery
  • Completely sealed & maintenance free
  • Discharges slower than a flooded battery in storage
  • Charges faster than a flooded battery
  • Resistant to vibrations & extreme temperatures
  • Xtreme - 12-month warranty; Duracell - 24-month warranty

X2Power Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery

  • Most expensive of the 3 battery types
  • Lasts 3-4 times as long as a flooded battery, with lifespans up to 2000 cycles
  • Completely sealed & maintenance free
  • Lowest self-discharge rate of the 3 battery types
  • Fastest charging of the 3 battery types
  • Resistant to vibrations & extreme heat
  • Lightweight and constant discharge power
  • 36-month warranty

How Long Does an ATV Battery Last?

As you can see from the breakdown above, different types of ATV batteries have different lifespans. On average, a flooded lead acid ATV battery will last you between two and three years. An AGM battery averages out to between three and five years. Lithium iron phosphate batteries outperform the other two types and are capable of lasting as long as eight to ten years. Keep in mind that these are averages and there are a number of additional factors that affect the life expectancy of an ATV battery, including how the battery is stored, how well it is maintained and what climate the battery is used in.

How Do I Charge My ATV Battery?

ATVs have their own built-in charging systems, however the current they provide isn't very high. Because of this, you might have to rely on an additional battery charger. When selecting a battery charger for your ATV, make sure that the model you choose is compatible with both the voltage and chemistry of your battery. The other important thing to remember is that you want to avoid under and overcharging your battery, both of which will shorten its overall lifespan. Charging times will vary between batteries and will depend on the type of charger you have.

What Kind of Charger Do I Need for an ATV Battery?

There are several different types of battery chargers available for ATV owners. The key difference between them is how they apply current. Standard chargers apply a constant amount of current, while trickle chargers apply small amounts of current designed to charge your battery over a longer period of time. When using either of these options, it's important to monitor the charging process to avoid overcharging your battery.

If you're looking for something that won't overcharge your battery, you'll want to pick up a battery maintainer. Battery maintainers have built-in monitoring systems that will shut them off when your battery reaches its ideal voltage, then charge them back up again once the voltage drops.

What Factors Affect the Life Expectancy of an ATV Battery?

In addition to regularly charging your battery, you'll also want to pay attention to how you store it when it isn't being used. It is best to store your battery fully charged in a cool, dry place. If the battery will be in storage for some time, be sure that you charge it regularly to keep it from getting too low. Battery maintainers are ideal for this purpose. Not only will they maintain your battery's charge, you can keep them connected indefinitely without any fear of overcharging the battery. For additional storage tips, check out our blog entitled "How to Maintain Seasonal Vehicles During the Winter Months."

The other factor that will determine your battery's lifespan is climate. Excessive heat can cause the fluid inside your battery to evaporate, weakening the battery's charge and causing plate corrosion. Freezing temperatures cause your battery's energy capacity to drop, making it more difficult to turn over your engine and causing it to recharge much slower. Flooded batteries are particularly susceptible to severe temperatures, so if you live in a climate with extreme weather, you might want to invest in a better battery. Both AGM and lithium iron phosphate batteries perform well in high heat. Lithium batteries don't perform well in freezing temperatures though, so if you plan on riding your ATV in winter, an AGM battery is your best choice.

How Do I Know if My ATV Battery is Bad?

You can usually tell that your battery is dying based on its performance. If you notice that your battery doesn't last as long between charges, chances are your battery is going bad. A bad battery will also make it much harder to turn over your engine and may struggle to power your headlights, making them appear dimmer. You can also take a look at the exterior of the battery itself. Bulges, cracks and corrosion will all indicate a battery that is past its prime.

Batteries Plus Carries ATV Batteries, Chargers & More

Shop our selection of flooded, AGM and lithium ATV batteries online. You'll also find a variety of ATV chargers to help keep your battery maintained. Not sure if your battery needs replacing? Bring it to your nearest Batteries Plus location and have it tested for free. Our experts will perform a voltmeter reading and let you know if your battery is strong enough to make it through another season.

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