The battery of an ATV can be susceptible to failure if it is abused or left unused for long times. However, there are significant differences in how each kind of battery will die. The length of the usable life of your battery will mainly depend on how you use it and how you store your ATV over long periods.
ATV batteries that are taken care of will last several years, while unused batteries will die after only a year.
The challenge with batteries is that they do not like being discharged and left to give power when there is no power coming into it. This is why ATVs that are used daily will seldom need a new battery in the first 4 to 6 years, whereas ATVs that are only used once or twice a year will need new batteries every year.
This is how you can ensure your battery, no matter the type, stays usable for years, saving your pocket the cost of a new one every year.
Types of batteries for ATVs
There are two types of batteries that ATVs use, lead-acid and lithium. There are a few others like deep cycle batteries, but these are specialized and only used by mechanics that already know exactly what they need. Each of these batteries has its advantages and can be saved from going dead in different ways.
Because these batteries have less overall strength and amps that lithium batteries if they are left connected to a system for a long time without being recharged, they will inevitably die. This can be because of low water levels or the chemical reaction inside the battery, no longer being able to react efficiently.
The reaction in lead-acid batteries requires that there be constant movement between the electrodes through the water. However, when the battery is left connected to the ATV, simple things like keeping the ATV slightly ready to be started will eventually drain the battery completely. Lead-acid batteries require a lot of maintenance to be kept alive.
If your ATV continually needs a new lead-acid battery, it may be time to think of how to save your pocket by not underusing your ATV. Riding it around once a week for a few minutes or just starting it up could save the battery, or just checking that the water inside the battery stays at the right level will mean your battery will work when you need it.
Unlike lead-acid batteries that need constant maintenance and water levels to be checked, lithium batteries can go a while without being charged up through using the ATV. However, after about two months, the battery may be completely drained, causing damage to the overall charge the battery may be able to hold in the future.
As time goes on, you will find that the lithium battery will be completely useless at the end of a year, meaning you will have to replace it. Unfortunately, this can be an expensive affair as lithium batteries are quite a lot more expensive than lead-acid batteries. Combined with not always finding lithium batteries, you will face a challenge if they continuously go flat.
However, unlike lead-acid batteries, it is easier to maintain a lithium battery, and with the right precautions, they can last a lot longer. They can also be used for a lot more than lead-acid batteries. A lot of modern UPS systems, cars, bikes, and other battery-operated systems can be used to keep your lithium battery charged and ready.
Battery Maintenance for ATVs
There are several things you will need to do when you need to park your ATV for extensive periods, and each type of battery can be saved in several different ways, so it is important to know what should be done to each of them.
The tips and tricks for keeping your battery alive and going for long periods is luckily something that you can easily do with just a few clicks.
- Disconnecting it: When your ATVs is parked at home, and you know that it is either the end of the season or that you may not use it for a long time, you can disconnect the battery terminals to ensure that nothing in the ATV draws power from it.
- Regular running: The same as any other vehicle, if your ATVs are standing for long periods of time, taking the time every second week to start the ATV for more than 20 minutes will mean that the battery is recharged and not damaged.
- Using the battery: If you have other vehicles that may be used when the ATV is not being used, you can easily use the same battery for several of them. Some people use their ATV batteries in their jet-ski’s, bikes, or other small vehicles. This keeps the battery charged and ready for when you want to use your ATV.
- Constant charging: If you are willing to get an extra kit, you can easily connect and an external charger that is connected to your house power to the battery. These chargers are made specially to keep batteries charged, constantly monitoring the amperage and voltage levels, and never letting the battery get damaged.
Each of these methods allows your battery to last significantly longer, not just keeping them charged and ready for when you want to use your ATV but increasing their overall battery life. This means that a battery that would usually die after only a year will continue to work for years to come.
Using your battery in the right conditions and not abusing it or letting it reach completely empty will mean your battery won’t be damaged. By not damaging your battery, you can easily have it working for several years. This means fewer and fewer batteries that will die, going from an expensive part that you need to replace every year to a part that barely ever needs to be replaced.
Your ATV battery is a unique part of your vehicle that requires maintenance, just like every other part of the vehicle. Finding out what kind of battery your ATV has will be the first part in ensuring that it lasts for a long time. Once you have ensured that all the right precautions have been taken, you can rest easy knowing that your ATV won’t be left on the side of the road without a charge.
In the end, the lifetime of your battery is much more dependent on how you use and abuse it than the actual battery itself. If you take proper care of it, you will be able to have fun for years to come.
So go out, take good care of your battery and be sure that it is ready to face the uphill, downhill, or mud that you and your ATV will be facing in the coming seasons!