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One of the most important components of your ATV is the battery, and you should bear in mind that they are not all the same. Selecting the right one has such an impact on the performance of your vehicle. There are plenty of variances involved in the specifications, build quality, maintenance, and a host of other factors.
When you first start looking at the range of best ATV batteries available to you, things can start to feel overwhelming, but our guide is here to narrow down your choices, as well as providing you with some of the key features of each. By the end, you will hopefully feel much readier to make your choice.
The Best ATV Battery
Made with durability firmly in mind, the rugged construction of this lead acid battery gives it a strong resistance to factors such as shock, vibrations, chemicals, and heat. Also, it features a spill-proof design, which ensures safe operation in any orientation that you choose.
When it comes to installing the battery, you should find that you can get it up and running in no time. The charge time of this highly-rated device is around four hours, giving you plenty of fun on your ATV before recharging is required.
Convenient small size
Long shelf life
Uses Absorbent Glass Mat Technology to deliver high currents on demand
Extended service life
- Weight3.3 pounds
This maintenance-free battery from popular brand Yuasa is sealed and spill-proof for safety and longevity. All of the battery acid is absorbed in special plates and absorbed glass mat separators. And its ‘maintenance-free’ promise means that there is no need to ever add water!
As for the advanced lead-calcium technology, it is designed to hold its specific gravity for three times longer than conventional models.
12 Volt, 18 amp-hour, 270 cold cranking amps
Entirely sealed and spill-proof
No need to add water
- Weight14.85 pounds
Between three and 10 years of service life are expected from this Odyssey battery, saving you the time and effort of having to replace your ATV’s battery on a regular basis. Compared to conventional deep cycle batteries, it has a 70 percent longer cycle life.
One of the other great features is its quick recharge time of between four and six hours. Thanks to its non-spillable design, you have flexibility with the way that you mount it. Its rugged construction is designed to protect against shock and vibrations.
Non-spillable AGM design
Twice the power and three times the life of conventional batteries
Suitable for range of powersport applications
Fast recharge time
- Weight11.4 pounds
A rechargeable and maintenance-free battery, it promises a long service life and a deep discharge recover. Bear in mind that no wire harnesses or mounting accessories are included. Also, you should make sure that this battery is compatible with your vehicle.
If you have the mounting accessories, you can easily put it in your desired position as it is designed to resist vibrations and shocks. Whether you are using the battery in low or high temperatures, it maintains its high-performance levels.
Spill-proof battery with high discharge rate
Long service life
Resists shocks and vibrations
- BrandMighty Max Battery
- Weight4.96 Lbs
As soon as you buy this maintenance-free battery, it is easy to install and ready to go. One of the major problems with ATV batteries is sulfation, but this one is designed to resist this issue, as well as offering an increased starting power.
You can rest assured that this battery has an extended life and very low discharge rate. A 30-day money-back guarantee and 12-month free replacement warranty is also included.
Maintenance-free and ready to install
Increased starting power
Resistance to sulfation
- BrandThrottleX Batteries
When you first get this battery, the first thing that you may notice is its reduced volume and weight. In fact, it is around a third of a standard lead-acid battery. Its cycle life is excellent and there should be no maintenance required for almost a year.
Since it does not contain acid and heavy metals, it is safe for the environment. The recharge rate is also very quick.
Less volume and weight than standard battery
Rapid recharge rate
- Weight4.14 pounds
Using absorbed glass mat technology (AGM), this battery is suitable for ATVs, alongside a whole host of other functions including motorcycles, wheelchairs, and snowmobile batteries.
When you are installing the battery and once it is up and running, you can be sure that it is both spill-proof and leak-proof – both facts which should set your mind at ease.
12 lbs weight
Uses AGM technology
Spill-proof and leak-proof
- BrandUniversal Power Group
- Weight11.52 pounds
Built with a versatile design to suit various applications, the top technology inside keeps this battery low-maintenance and spill-proof.
Since it already comes fully charged, you simply need to connect the battery to your quad ATV for it to be ready to go. It has been rigorously tested to ensure a high level of performance.
Low-maintenance and spill-proof
Comes fully charged
- BrandZPC Battery
- Weight9.92 pounds
Using the absorbed glass mat technology that we have discussed in other models, it is low-maintenance and spill-proof as you would expect. Again, all you need to do is connect it up and it is ready to go.
It can be recharged up to 2,000 times and is durable enough to withstand the tough shocks, vibrations and heat which can accompany a 12 volt 4-wheeler session.
Low-maintenance and spill-proof
Up to 2,000 recharges
Withstands tough conditions
- BrandChrome Battery
- Weight9.7 pounds
Finally, we have this maintenance-free battery which is ready to go straight out of the box. If you need to prolong its life, you can do so by adding extra electrolytes.
Since it can be mounted in any position, resists shocks and vibrations. A long-lasting high level of performance is provided in all weather condition.
No acid pack needed
Mountable in any position
Long-lasting high performance
- BrandMighty Max Battery
Best ATV Battery Buying Guide & FAQ
What to Consider When Buying an ATV Battery
Now that you have some more information about the different makes and models of 4-wheeler batteries available, it is time to go into more detail about some specific considerations to make.
- Type of Battery
Conventional and Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries tend to be your two main choices. The one which is right for you depends on the manufacturer specifications and your budget. We will go into some more detail about the different types and their advantages in the next section.
The last thing that you want is an quad battery which is not compatible with your vehicle. So, you need to consider some important technical factors like voltage and capacity. Avoid going for a battery which exceeds the manufacturer recommended specifications, which can put pressure on your charging system and lead to electrical failure. Also, the battery enclosure is another important factor. The ATV enclosure usually has a fixed shape which not all batteries will fit. Again, refer back to the manufacturing specs if you feel unsure on this issue.
The battery capacity is a big part of the issue of compatibility. Choose an ATV battery which has a higher capacity than your ATV charging system and you will be left with a perpetually undercharged battery. On the other hand, if you choose an ATV gel battery with a lower capacity, your charging system will overcharge the battery, which can result in a rise in temperature and a decrease in lifespan.
- Cold Cranking Amps
Cold cranking amps (CCA) is the metric used by ATV batteries to explain how effectively they operate in cold temperatures. As a rule of thumb, the higher the CCA value, the better they operate in winter and chilly weather conditions. Generally, a cold cranking amp which ranks higher then 500 CCA should mean that you have no issues starting your engine – even if the temperature is below zero.
For many modern shoppers, brand is an important issue that shouldn’t be overlooked. Since this is such an important concern, you don’t want to go for a product which is an unknown quantity. Branded batteries tend to have better lifespans and are made from materials of a higher grade. Also, many brands also give you some sort of warranty, which should be an important factor in your decision-making process.
- Cycle Life
Cycle life refers to the number of times which your 12v ATV battery can be recharged. Obviously, you should look for a high number of cycles to help ensure that it will stand the test of time. If it is greater than 3,000, this is generally a good indication that you are getting a high-quality ATV battery.
While price shouldn’t be your sole concern when buying an ATV battery, it will inevitably play a role in your decision-making process. Work out your budget and stick to it. But don’t simply go for the cheapest one available if it doesn’t tick some of the other boxes above.
Types of ATV Batteries
As discussed above, the two main types of ATV batteries out there are conventional and AGM. Conventional ATV batteries are usually lead-acid. They are both popular and affordable. Also, they need distilled water to maintain them properly. AGM batteries tend to be more heavy-duty and come in at a higher price point.
So, you may well be asking what you will get for your money. Firstly, they provide more power to the electrical components, and can supplement your charging system with increased power. ATVs are vehicles which tend to be used on rough terrains, and AGM batteries are better at dealing with vibrations and shocks. The fiberglass sheets are close together, which helps to reduce the risk of the sheets moving inside the battery, even when significant vibrations are happening outside. Since they are sealed against leaks and spills, they can be mounted in any orientation.
But essentially, both can be used interchangeably, and in terms of charge and function, neither has a significantly increased performance. The main advantages of the AGM models are durability, reduced maintenance, and the option of upright mounting.
How to Install an ATV Battery?
Unlike the battery in your car, your ATV battery may go for extended periods without the alternator pumping it back up. Before you take on the expense of a new battery, make sure that your current battery is dead and not just discharged. If you conclude that a replacement is in order, here are some of the steps that you can take.
While different brands have varying locations for their battery, many are found underneath the seat. Your owner’s manual should tell you the precise location of yours. If it is under the seat, you will have to start by removing it. There should be a latch to release the back and a dual set of tabs or prongs to secure the front. Once you have removed the seat, you need to check if the battery cables are bolted to the terminals. If so, you will need to use a socket to remove the negative cable first, followed by the positive one. There should also be a retaining bar which is securing the battery to its compartment. This will need to be unbolted and removed.
If you notice that there is battery acid on the terminals or the ends of the cables, you should either use a solution of vinegar and water, or one of baking soda and water to wash it off. Remove the old battery and set it to one side. Now, place the new battery in the compartment. Take the new battery and connect the positive cable to the positive post, taking care to tighten up the connection. Next, do the same with the negative cable to the negative post. Finish off by reinstalling the retaining bar, followed by the seat.
How to Charge Your ATV Battery?
There are three main methods of charging your ATV battery, depending on what equipment you have readily available. Let’s run through each of them in turn.
- Use a Standalone Battery Charger
There are plenty of standalone battery chargers readily available. Often, they are multipurpose and can be used on cars as well. You need to begin by turning off the charger before connecting it. Remove the jumper cable from the battery – first the negative and then the positive. Connect the positive wire to the positive terminal, and then do the same with the negative wire to the negative terminal. If you have a multipurpose charger, select the correct setting as you don’t want to run too much current through it. After the allotted number of hours have passed and the battery is fully charged, remover the jumper cables, this time positive first.
- Jump Start with an ATV
If you have jumper cables and another ATV ready to go, this is a possible method of recharging your battery if it is completely dead. You will need to remove the seats of both to expose their batteries. You should connect the cables up to the good battery, and then the dead one. Ground the cables by putting them on the frame of the battery to prevent an electrical current from rushing through and causing damage. One the batteries are connected, start up the ‘good’ ATV and leave it to idle for a couple of minutes. Now, you can try to start the other ATV, and if it ignites successfully, disconnect the positive cable from the good battery and then the dead one. You can then do the same with the negative one.
- Jump Start with a Car
Your other option if the battery has gone dead is to jump start it using a car. The main difference is that a car has a different battery and stronger charging system. Always remember that your car should not be started during the jump start process as it has enough power to start an ATV without needing to be turned on.
Start by removing the jumper cables from the negative and positive terminals of the car battery in order. Next, connect the positive terminal of the ATV battery to the positive terminal of the car battery. Do the same with the negative terminals. After a few minutes of charging, you should then turn on the bike to see if it has worked. Finally, disconnect the cables. As a word of caution, the person carrying out the process should be wearing thick rubber soled shoes. Also, the red terminal of the batter should not be touched as it can electrocute you.
Things to Avoid While Using ATV Batteries
While it is useful to know the things that you should do when using ATV batteries, it is also a good idea to know what NOT to do too.
- Choosing the Wrong Capacity
The capacity of the battery that you select depends on the number of electrical devices which you have on your ATV, while the current is usually dependent on the charging system. If you have an ATV with many electrical devices, this could result in a heavy load, which means that the entire system will underperform when charging the battery. As we have already mentioned a couple of times, you should look at the manufacturing specifications when selecting a battery as the manufacturer will have calculated the capacity carefully.
- Adding Water to Wet Cell Batteries
Some of the batteries currently available on the market are equipped with wet cell technology, which uses diluted water for the electrolyte in the battery. If you have this type of battery, regular maintenance is essential to maintain its good condition. The main issue is that people often replace the distilled water with regular tap water, which contains all sorts of different minerals and heavy metals. These can end up diluting the electrolyte and damaging the battery electrodes.
- Undercharging the Battery
You need to make sure that you are charging the battery to the correct level. Undercharging often occurs when you have not given yourself enough time to charge your vehicle and you want to use it as soon as possible. Regular undercharging can cause the electrodes to sulfate, so make sure to plan your time better so that you are not tempted to do this.
- Overcharging the Battery
Don’t leave your ATV on charge for too long! Usually, this will result in a temperature rise, which can result in a host of issues for the battery. At worst, this can end up causing your battery to expand the casing, which will, in turn, cause battery acid to leak over your ATV – a dangerous and damaging situation which you will want to avoid at all costs.
- Not Charging Your Battery Efficiently
Another one to add to your list of battery no-no’s, you should avoid letting the battery run flat, before charging it fully once again. Instead, you should aim to charge it back up when it is around 20% charged. This way, you will help to expand the lifespan of your battery, which saves you the time and effort of having to replace it on a more regular basis.
Best ATV Battery FAQ:
Q: How long should a battery last?
A: On average, ATV batteries will last between three to four years, but this depends on how much your ride your vehicle and how well you maintain the battery. With proper care and maintenance, the battery can last for as much as five years.
Q: How should I maintain my ATV battery?
A: Making sure that your ATV battery is properly maintained and charged will help to ensure that you can enjoy riding your vehicle whenever you like. If you have a conventional battery, you should check the electrolyte level and add distilled water if needed. Use a voltmeter to check the voltage every three months from the activation date. To clean the battery, you can use a soft brush and grease-cutting soap or just some baking soda otherwise. Before doing this, tighten up the plugs. Otherwise, the cleaning materials can get into the cells and neutralize the acid. While you are cleaning, you can also polish the terminals and clamps with a wire brush to remove corrosion.
When you are inspecting the battery, you can check the case, cables, and clamps for loose connections and/or damage. Also, you should ensure that the tube has no kinks or clogs. Keep your battery well charged and recharge it when the lights dim, the starter sounds weak or you haven’t used it in more than two weeks.
Q: What is sulfation?
A: When a deposit of lead sulfate forms on your battery’s active material and lead plates, this is known as sulfation. If it becomes too excessive, forming large crystals on the plates, your battery will not function at its optimal level – and may not work at all. Typically, this occurs due to continuous discharging or low electrolyte levels, reducing the amount of time that a battery can hold charge. To prevent sulfation from taking place, you should keep up the electrolyte levels and maintain the battery’s charge.
Q: What is the battery exhaust vent tube?
A: The battery vent tube is designed to disperse the hydrogen gas which is created when the battery is being charged. Also, it should allow any excess acid to drain away, stopping it from contacting the frame and causing corrosion.
Q: Should I disconnect my ATV battery during storage?
A: If you decide to leave your ATV battery in the vehicle during storage, you should get a battery tender which will turn on and off automatically to maintain the fully charged state of your battery. However, if you are putting your ATV away for the winter where it will be exposed to cold temperatures, you are better off removing the battery from the vehicle entirely. Also, some experts recommend that this is the best option if the ATV will be parked for a period of 120 days or more.
If you do plan on removing the battery, you should store it on some plastic, wood or other insulating material which will help to prevent accidental discharge. Also, you should choose a cool and dark location. The least that you should do is disconnect the battery leads before storage. Otherwise, the vehicle may continually draw some current. When you come back to your vehicle, you may find that it is significantly weakened, or the battery is entirely dead.
Our Top Pick
ExpertPower 12V 7 Amp EXP1270 Rechargeable Lead Acid Battery
Our pick of the bunch is this one from ExpertPower. Highly trusted and well-reviewed, the case is made from non-conductive ABS plastic, which gives it resistance to shock, vibrations, chemicals, and heat.
Its spill-proof design reduces your troubles, and it will operate safely in any orientation. Simply charge it up and you are ready to go.