ATV Batteries FAQ's: Complete Guide | Hunt or Shred

Riding an ATV and hitting the trails safely without understanding their batteries is impossible. This guide answers all the common FAQs ATV enthusiasts have.

The three ATV battery types are the lead-acid battery, AGM battery, and lithium iron phosphate battery. They will last 2-5 years, while lithium batteries can last up to 10 years. Any ATV enthusiast should also expect more maintenance and charging with the lead-acid battery.

With years of experience in the industry and riding ATVs, we have encountered nearly every problem with the ATV battery. We have compiled all those problems and common questions into this short guide to help readers avoid the same issues.

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ATV Batteries FAQs: Complete Guide

ATVs are speed-oriented vehicles that off-road enthusiasts use to explore and find adventure. But like all vehicles, an ATV needs a reliable battery to start and run properly, or it becomes difficult to do much.

Commonly asked questions include the best battery types, charging frequency, maintenance tips, troubleshooting methods, etc. We will cover it all below while we try to address ATV batteries FAQs in this complete guide.

What Are The Different Types Of ATV Batteries?

There are three primary types of ATV batteries worth considering. This includes a lead-acid, AGM, and lithium iron phosphate battery.

Lead Acid

Lead acid or conventional batteries are ATVs' cheapest and most commonly used battery type. They provide adequate performance and lifespan and come in a clear container with a black top.

This battery type is designed with multiple cells separated by lead plates and battery acid is used to charge the cells. This means ATV owners must adequately prepare the battery and keep the acid levels filled for the battery to function.

Because of this required maintenance, they cost less and are often avoided when possible by ATV riders because they prefer something easier and more reliable.

AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat)

The AGM ATV battery is also referred to as a maintenance-free battery. They have glass fibers in-between the lead plates, so the liquids remain in place, and there is no need to monitor and maintain acid levels.

When factoring in budget and maintenance, this is the best choice for most ATVs and off-road enthusiasts. They are still affordable and there is minimal maintenance needed to keep the battery functioning.

Lithium Iron Phosphate

Lithium batteries are less standard, but they can be used for ATVs. They are pre-sealed, and there is no liquid in the battery, so ATV riders don’t need to worry about maintenance and monitor fluid levels.

Because this battery lasts longer and requires minimal charging, it’s becoming more popular with frequent riders. But it’s still not the perfect choice for all ATVs and riders.

How To Choose The Right ATV Battery

When choosing an ATV battery, you first need to consider the ATV size and battery requirements. But most ATVs are similar, so there are three factors to remember when purchasing the correct battery.

Reserve Capacity

The reserve capacity is how long a new ATV battery will hold its charge. Typically, this is at least 30 days for conventional batteries and much longer for the more advanced options like AGM or lithium.

This varies based on the amps and battery size too. This can also be checked with the manufacturer when purchasing a new battery.

Cranking Amps

Cranking amps is the rating a battery gets based on its ability to start in cold temperatures. Every engine needs enough power to overcome freezing conditions; the cranking amps are how it's done.

Five hundred cold-cranking amps or more is the ideal starting point for every ATV battery. This is usually needed for the engine to start without any issues, but as the battery ages, it becomes more difficult.

Battery Size

The battery size is essential to ensure it fits appropriately in the ATV and provides the necessary power. ATVs typically use a six or 12-volt battery, and we recommend using a 12V for all adult-sized models.

It’s also possible to upgrade to a 24V for some of the larger machines, but be careful. Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations so no overload can damage the vehicle.

What Is The Average Life Of An ATV Battery?

The average life of an ATV battery is 2-5 years, depending on the type of battery and how well it is maintained. We can expect about 2-3 years of longevity from a conventional flooded lead-acid battery.

We can get about 3-5 years of lifespan from an AGM battery for a more durable choice. This is the ideal choice for the price because, with proper maintenance, they should always last about five years unless there is constant exposure to freezing temperatures.

Lastly, the lithium battery is the clear-cut winner when discussing longevity. They last between 8-10 years on average.

How Often Do You Need To Charge An ATV Battery?

The expected lifespan and charging frequency of an ATV battery depends on its usage and type of battery. For example, lead-acid batteries need to be recharged fully every 30 days.

This is one of the downsides to using a conventional ATV battery. More reliable options like AGM batteries will last longer and must only be charged every 90 days instead of monthly.

The same is true for a lithium battery. It does not need to be fully charged for each use and only should be charged after extended use and when the battery life has been disposed of past 80% DOD (20% SOC).

ATV Battery Maintenance Tips

ATVs have various maintenance requirements, which is also true for their batteries. Below we have listed three essential methods to ensure the battery remains charged and provides the absolute best lifespan.

Correct Charging Method

Check the battery’s charge level regularly. It’s wise to know how the battery is running to identify when another charge is needed. This can be done with a multimeter or a specific battery tester.

Also, be mindful of the charge level because overcharging is a common mistake. It’s okay for a phone or laptop, but when done with an ATV battery, it can lead to a much shorter lifespan.


One way to make sure a battery will last as long as it’s expected to is with proper storage. Allowing a battery to sit idle in freezing temperatures is a common mistake by ATV owners, and it will ensure the battery dies unexpectedly and needs replacing too soon.

We recommend storing your batteries above 32°F. They should also be removed from the vehicle when the ATV is in store for an extended period.

Proper Cleaning

Another maintenance tip is to keep the battery clean. They often die before we expect them to because the battery terminals get corroded, and the battery cannot perform as expected.

Always ensure the battery terminals are clean and corrosion-free. Clean the terminals with a wire brush and baking soda solution.

How To Troubleshoot Common ATV Battery Problems

Because ATVs are complex machines, things can go wrong when we least expect them to. The same is true for their batteries, so we will explain how to troubleshoot the most common ATV battery problems below.

Dead Battery

A dead ATV battery can happen because of various factors, including overcharging, cold temperatures, or simply an old battery that needs to be replaced. When a battery ages, it can die unexpectedly.

When the battery dies, try charging it. This shouldn't take long, and once it reaches a full charge, the ATV will run like new again. But watch for other warning signs to determine whether it's time to replace the battery.

Not Holding a Charge

If the ATV battery is not holding a charge, there are two possible concerns to check. First, the age of the battery. When a battery gets too old, it tends to lose its charge faster, and this causes it to die quickly.

The other cause is low fluid levels. If the fluid levels are properly maintained, and the battery still won’t hold a charge, it’s likely time for an upgrade.

Low Fluids or Leaking Battery

Not many people are aware, but lead-acid batteries also need distilled water. When the fluid or water levels get low, the battery will struggle to maintain a charge.

One common reason the fluids get low unexpectedly is a leak. Look around the battery area for any corrosion or leaking fluids so we can repair or replace the battery as soon as possible.

Loose Or Corroded Cables

Lastly, loose or corroded cables are standard and can be dangerous for ATV riders. This happens when the battery gets old, sulfated, or a leak occurs.

We recommend tightening the cables if possible. If not, it’s time to clean the battery and buy new cables.

Key Takeaways

  • There are three ATV battery types, including a lead-acid battery, AGM battery, and lithium iron phosphate battery.
  • An ATV battery should last between 2-5 years, and lithium batteries are even more durable, with a lifespan of up to 10 years.
  • On average, an ATV battery should maintain its charge for the first 30-90 days. Lead-acid batteries only last about 30 days, while AGM lasts up to 90.

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41 years old. I'm a freelance writer that specializes in informational blog posts. All my articles are detail oriented and well researched. I'm a huge Arizona Cardinals fan!

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