ATVs use batteries to function and give a long life. But only a few people know about the differences between lithium, AGM, and lead-acid batteries.
Lead acid batteries are the conventional option used in most ATVs. Lithium batteries are a premium option with no liquid, so it’s lighter, more durable, and longer lasting but more expensive. AGM batteries have better vibration control for solid battery life and are maintenance-free.
We have used each of these battery types in the past with our ATVs, so we understand the key differences and which works best. Below we give a complete breakdown, including how each battery works along with the pros and cons of each.
ATV Battery Guide: Lithium vs. AGM vs. Lead Acid
One way to ensure an ATV runs confidently and efficiently is by upgrading the battery. This can help riders avoid breaking down or unexpected issues while on the trails.
A few different types of batteries can be used in all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), including lithium, AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat), and lead-acid batteries.
Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to consider your specific needs and preferences when choosing a battery for your ATV.
Lithium batteries are becoming increasingly popular in ATVs due to their high energy density and long lifespan. They are also much lighter than other batteries, which can be a significant advantage in increasing ATV speed.
However, they are generally more expensive than other types of batteries, and they may only be suitable for some ATV applications. If budget is not the primary concern, we prefer a compatible lithium battery with our ATV.
They hold a charge longer while in storage, so you rarely need to charge them before using the ATV. This is true even after keeping an ATV stored away for a while.
Another fantastic benefit lithium batteries can offer is their reaction to voltage, current, and temperature changes. There are no performance changes in extreme temperatures, which is crucial for winter ATV riders.
AGM batteries are more similar to lead acid batteries in that they use lead-based chemistry, but they have a different construction that makes them more resistant to damage and easier to maintain.
AGM batteries are sealed, so they are resistant to leaks and spills and can be mounted in any position. They are also relatively lightweight and have a good lifespan, but they may not be as powerful as other types of batteries.
The great thing about this battery type is the minimal maintenance required when using one. Because they have an absorbent layer, they will discharge slower, requiring less charging and no front-end work.
They are prepacked when purchased, so there is typically no need to fill the battery casing with acid. This is one reason why many beginners opt to use these batteries instead.
Lead Acid Battery
Lead acid batteries are the most common type of battery used in ATVs and are generally the least expensive option. This is usually the standard battery in many ATV models at purchase.
They are relatively heavy and may not last as long as lithium or AGM batteries, but they are reliable and can provide the power you need for your ATV. However, they do also require maintenance which is a concern for some.
The lead-acid battery requires consistent maintenance to function properly. This includes checking and refilling the acid levels, so there is enough acid between the lead plates to run efficiently.
They also don’t come ready to install, which is a major concern for ATV riders with little experience handling batteries. If you plan to use this conventional battery, consult a professional before installing it.
How Long Does An ATV Battery Last?
The lifespan of an ATV battery depends on several factors, including the type of battery, how it is used, and how well it is maintained. Lithium batteries have the longest lifespan, followed by AGM and lead-acid batteries.
Lithium batteries can last for many years, depending on how they are used and how well they are maintained.
They are generally considered to be the most durable and long-lasting options compared to other types of batteries, and they can go for several seasons or more without needing to be replaced.
AGM batteries also have a good lifespan and can generally last for several seasons or more before needing to be replaced. They are sealed and require minimal maintenance, which can help to extend their lifespan.
Lead Acid Battery
Lead acid batteries may last less time than lithium or AGM batteries and may need to be replaced more frequently. Typically, it will last for 1-2 years unless kept safe in storage during the cold.
The lifespan of a lead acid battery can vary depending on how it is used and how well it is maintained, but it is generally shorter than the lifespan of a lithium or AGM battery.
Lithium ATV Battery Pros & Cons
Lithium ATV batteries have several advantages and disadvantages that you should consider when deciding whether they are the right choice for your ATV.
Some of the main pros and cons of lithium batteries include the following:
- High energy density: Lithium batteries can store more energy in a smaller space, making them a good choice if you need a lot of power in a compact package.
- Lightweight: Lithium batteries are much lighter than other types of batteries, which can be a significant advantage if you need to carry your battery with you or if weight is an important factor for your ATV.
- Long lifespan: Lithium batteries can last for many years, depending on how you use them. They are generally more durable and longer-lasting than other types of batteries.
- Low maintenance: Lithium batteries are sealed and do not require any maintenance, such as adding water or checking the electrolyte level.
- High cost: Lithium batteries are generally more expensive than other types of batteries, so they may not be the best choice if you are looking for the most cost-effective option.
- Not compatible with all ATVs: Lithium batteries may only be suitable for some ATV models.
- Can be damaged by overcharging: Lithium batteries can be damaged if they are overcharged, so it's important to use a good quality charger that is designed for lithium batteries.
Lithium batteries are a good choice for ATVs if you want a lightweight, long-lasting, low-maintenance battery. However, there may be better choices if you look for the most cost-effective option.
AGM ATV Battery Pros & Cons
AGM batteries are a type of battery that can be used in ATVs, and they have many advantages and disadvantages that you should consider when deciding whether they are the right choice for your ATV.
Some of the main pros and cons of AGM batteries include the following:
- Sealed design: AGM batteries are sealed and resistant to leaks and spills. This makes them easy to maintain and means they can be mounted in any position.
- Low maintenance: AGM batteries require minimal maintenance, such as adding water or checking the electrolyte level. This makes them a good choice if you want a low-maintenance battery.
- Relatively lightweight: AGM batteries are relatively lightweight compared to other types of batteries, which can be a significant advantage if you need to carry your battery with you or if weight is an important factor for your ATV.
- Good lifespan: AGM batteries can generally last for several seasons or more before needing to be replaced, depending on how they are used and how well they are maintained.
- Higher cost: AGM batteries are generally more expensive than lead-acid batteries, so they may not be the best choice if you are looking for the most cost-effective option.
- Unique charger compatibility: To charge an AGM battery, you need to find a compatible charger, and it’s not easy. They are not as widely available compared to other battery types.
- Sensitive to overcharging: AGM batteries are much more sensitive to overcharging, which can shorten the battery's lifespan.
AGM batteries are a good choice for ATVs if you are looking for a sealed, low-maintenance, and relatively lightweight battery with a good lifespan.
However, there may be better choices if you are looking for the most cost-effective option or if you need a lot of power for your ATV.
Lead Acid ATV Battery Pros & Cons
Lead acid batteries are the most common type of battery used in ATVs. You should consider several advantages and disadvantages when deciding whether they are the right choice for your ATV.
Some of the main pros and cons of lead-acid batteries include the following:
- Affordable: Lead acid batteries are generally the least expensive type of battery, so they may be a good choice if you are looking for a cost-effective option.
- Widely available: Lead acid batteries are widely available and can be found at many auto parts stores and online retailers.
- Reliable: Lead-acid batteries are generally reliable and can provide the power you need for your ATV.
- Heavy: Lead-acid batteries are relatively heavy, which can be a disadvantage because they lead to slower speeds and add unnecessary weight to the ATV.
- Short lifespan: Lead acid batteries may only last as short as other types of batteries, depending on how you use them. They may need to be replaced more frequently than other types of batteries.
- Require maintenance: Lead acid batteries require periodic maintenance, such as adding water and checking the electrolyte level. They also require initial maintenance, like adding acid to the battery casing.
Overall, lead-acid batteries are a good choice for ATVs if you are looking for a reliable and affordable battery. However, there may be better choices if you look for a long-lasting, lightweight, or low-maintenance battery.
Which Battery Type Works Best For ATVs?
The lithium battery is the best battery type for an ATV because it can provide unmatched durability and performance. Because of the higher cost, it’s not used as often by ATV riders.
To save a little money, using an AGM battery will provide solid results too. This eliminates maintenance while keeping the budget lower and performance high. This battery is an excellent choice for ATV riders too.
There is nothing wrong with a lead-acid battery, but the savings cost results in much more battery maintenance, and the lifespan is much shorter. This is something worth considering before making a final decision.
- Lithium batteries are the best overall ATV battery because they are lightweight, have a longer lifespan, and have high energy density with minimal maintenance. But they do come at a higher cost.
- AGM batteries are less durable than lithium ones but still have an excellent lifespan, minimal maintenance, and a sealed design.
- Lead-acid acid batteries are the most common option used in ATVs because they are the cheapest. However, they require a lot of upfront maintenance with a shorter lifespan.
About THE AUTHOR
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!Read More About Michael