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What is the Best Battery for Your Snowmobile?

Power - by Bryan Veldboom - updated on 11/24/2022

2 people riding snowmobiles in an open area

Snowmobile season is just around the corner. As you prepare your Yamaha, Polaris, Ski-Doo or Arctic Cat for another winter, you may find that you need to replace the battery. Just like with cars, your snowmobile is only as reliable as the battery that starts the engine. In this blog, we'll help you pick the best battery for your snowmobile, along with tips on how to properly maintain it.

How Long Should a Snowmobile Battery Last?

A typical snowmobile battery will last between three and five years, if properly maintained. If your battery is older than that, it's a good idea to have it tested. You can do this yourself using a multimeter, or bring your battery to your nearest Batteries Plus. The associates there will test your battery for free and let you know if it's healthy enough for another winter.

How Do I Know If My Snowmobile Battery is Bad?

Once your battery begins to die, you'll have a much harder time starting your engine. You may also notice that your battery has a hard time holding a charge. The battery's exterior casing can also indicate that a battery has gone bad. If you notice that the casing is swollen or cracked, you'll want to have it replaced as soon as possible.

What Size Battery Do I Need for a Snowmobile?

Snowmobiles rely on 12-volt powersport batteries. These are the same type of batteries used in motorcycles, ATVs and jet skis. Each powersport battery has its own size designation, which will appear as a series of letters and numbers, such as 20L-BS. You can typically find the correct size battery for your snowmobile by looking at your owner's manual.

Batteries Plus makes it easy to find the right size battery. Simply visit our snowmobile batteries page. Then, enter the brand, model and year of your snowmobile and you'll be given a list of compatible batteries.

What are Cold Cranking Amps?

Cold cranking amps (CCAs) measure how well your battery will perform in low temperatures. The higher the CCA rating, the more reliably your battery will work in cold weather. Since snowmobiles are used primarily in the cold, having an adequate number of CCAs is very important.

Snowmobile manufacturers provide a recommended CCA battery rating for each make and model they produce. You can find this information in your owner's manual or by checking the CCA rating listed on your current battery. If you plan on operating your snowmobile in extremely cold weather, you may want to consider purchasing a battery with a higher number of CCAs than your owner's manual recommends.

Are Snowmobile Batteries Lead Acid?

Once you know the battery size and CCA rating requirements of your snowmobile, you'll need to decide if you want a flooded lead acid or AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) battery. These two battery types differ in price, performance and internal chemistry.

Flooded Batteries

  • Most affordable battery upfront
  • Typically have lower CCAs
  • May require you to monitor and top off the liquid electrolyte inside with distilled water

AGM Batteries

  • Cost more upfront, however their longer lifespans typically allow you to save money in the long run
  • Lasts 2X longer than a flooded battery
  • Recharges faster than a flooded battery
  • Typically offers higher CCAs than flooded batteries for more reliable engine starting
  • Does not require that you maintain the electrolyte
  • More resistant to vibrations than flooded batteries

Can You Use a Lithium Battery In a Snowmobile?

Lithium batteries are used in a number of powersport applications, however, they are not ideal for snowmobiles due to their charging limitations. Lithium batteries cannot be charged in temperatures of 32℉ (0℃) or below. Because of this, lithium batteries are not recommended for use in snowmobiles.

How Do You Maintain a Snowmobile Battery?

Batteries need to be charged up regularly. When a battery sits for too long, it begins to discharge. If the battery charge gets too low, it will shorten the battery's overall lifespan. Fortunately, you can avoid all of that, by picking up a quality battery charger and using it to maintain your battery's charge.

Our blog entitled "When Should You Use a Battery Maintainer?" has plenty of useful information about what to look for when shopping for a battery charger. If you're looking for a quick suggestion, we recommend either the X2Power 0.8 Amp Charger or the X2Power 1.5 Amp Charger for your snowmobile needs. Both model chargers are compatible with flooded, AGM, gel and lithium batteries. Plus, they can be used to charge both 6-volt and 12-volt batteries.

Shop Batteries Plus for Your Snowmobile Needs

Batteries Plus offers more than just batteries. We also offer replacement headlight bulbs for snowmobiles and other useful essentials. Find out more in our blog entitled "Snowmobile Checklist: What to Pack on a Snowmobile Trip."

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