ATV batteries’ life span can be 2 to12 years depending on the battery types and manufacturers. Among them cheap batteries usually last 2-3 years what is 4-6 years for good quality batteries and the premium ones may last up to 8-12 years when used in normal conditions and properly maintained.
As ships are not meant to be in dockyards, ATVs are also not for resting for long. So, ATVs are most fun when used in off-road trails, the normal conditions for ATV and its batteries. And when it is not the ATV season in your state, your ATV will rest. But so long that hibernation is on, the battery must remain charged to avoid or risking the worst or at least the hassle of fixing dead battery.
Today, this comprehensive guide will discuss mainly the factors affecting the shelf-life of an ATV battery, pointing out how long an ATV battery usually lasts, symptoms that batteries going bad and how to maintain it so it lasts longer.
Jump To Contents
- How long do Different ATV batteries last?
- Flooded lead-acid
- Factors affecting the shelf-life of an ATV battery
- How to maintain your ATV battery and Extend Its Life?
- What Are the bad ATV battery symptoms?
- Why does my ATV battery keep dying?
- Quality & Proper Maintenance for Extended Battery Life
How long do Different ATV batteries last?
Yes, types of ATV batteries have a strong say in their life span as all batteries do not survive or sustain the abuse and tear of beaten tracks for the same duration. The difference in materials and battery technologies contribute to this variation in battery service life. So, make an informed decision while selecting ATV battery. Now, let’s examine the difference in brief.
Traditional flooded lead-acid batteries usually last for 2 to 2 ½ years. They can easily last up to 3 to 5 years if properly maintained. They have a high discharge rate and lose about 13 percent of their charge in one month.
An AGM battery usually lasts up to 3-5 years, and if maintained properly, it may last up to 6-8 years. AGM batteries gradually lose their capacity and need more charging. When this happens, get a new one. They discharge very slowly and lose only 1 to 2 percent of their monthly charge.
Lithium-ion batteries usually last for 8 to 12 years and at least twice as long as Lead-acid batteries. It usually loses only 1 percent of its charge in a month, hence more life expectancy.
Factors affecting the shelf-life of an ATV battery
By now, we have learnt how long different ATV batteries can survive. Now it’s time to know what are the crucial factors that make battery life cut short prematurely and what contribute to extending it. You can manipulate some factors to increase the shelf-life of ATV batteries.
Some can’t be manipulated, and you have to cooperate with them. Conventional Lead-acid batteries are more affected by these factors than other fully packed batteries, such as Lithium-Ion phosphate batteries.
Most batteries work well at room temperature (20 degrees Celsius or 66 degrees Fahrenheit) or a little below. Traditional Lead-acid batteries perform worst in extreme cold and hot temperatures. Both extreme temperatures affect the rate of the battery’s electrochemical reaction and decrease the battery’s life expectancy.
AGM or Lithium batteries remain less affected by the extremes of temperature because of their superior chemistry and completely packed structure.
Using a battery when cold at or below zero temperature will deteriorate the battery life. The more CCA rating your battery has, the better it will perform in extreme cold conditions. Lead-acid batteries offer only 50 percent of their capacity at 18 degrees Celsius. Lithium batteries work best in cold conditions due to their compact and closed structure and superior chemistry.
While extreme heat Speeds up the battery’s chemical reaction and makes it discharge quicker by evaporation, it also accelerates the corrosion process.
Compatible charging system
ATVs run on built-in charging systems but all are not equally efficient and compatible with third-party components especially while charging without charger. New ATV models have better charging systems able to charge the battery full in the assigned charging time. So, read instructions properly while charging a new ATV for the first time how long to charge it and what is the safe charging rate to avoid damage. If your charging system fails to charge your ATV battery properly, it will tell upon the battery health cutting short its life earlier than expected.
Remember, even charging with battery charger may not charge the battery the proper way if the battery capacity is too high or low for the charging rate. That requires you to know well how many amps the battery has and the charger should be of to charge it.
Frequency battery is used
If used frequently, it lasts longer. If you use your ATV occasionally and are not being charged while at rest, your battery health might be negatively affected. Keep charging ATV battery periodically to ensure greater battery life.
Not to get confused, if you frequently go for ATV rides, your battery will drain out to get recharged anew. Thus, the battery will never remain discharged or drained for long. But when not in sue in off season, chances are that you miss to keep it charged.
Battery level refers to the amount of charge left out before you get it recharging again. If the battery is drained out or discharged to the zero level without having the minimum battery level, it will severely damage the battery health. So, the way out in this regard is to assume the amount of charge left before bound for a ride.
Given the ATV tracks are off-road and stranded terrain, you cannot halt on the move assuming that your battery is close to draining out. Instead, assume the level of charge to fathom how far you can ride without discharging it to zero level.
Overcharging the battery
Overcharging the battery can be too dangerous for your battery’s lifespan. It lowers the number of electrolytes and leads to acid evaporation in the battery. The best way out here is to use a battery maintainer that will shut off the system when the battery is fully charged.
The best practice is to start charging when the battery is nearing to the minimum level and stop charging when it closes to full but not full. Unless, you risk the lead plates getting exposed to the air leading to lead plate corrosion. As a consequence, the battery will die out prematurely.
Low liquid (Electrolyte) level
If you charge the lead-acid battery more than needed, then evaporation of battery liquid will happen. And when the level drops below a certain limit, the plate gets corroded because of its exposure to air.
Ensure to maintain the electrolyte level of batteries if you use traditional lead-acid batteries. AGM or Lithium batteries have no issues with evaporation because of their close structure.
It’s important to understand what causes internal sulfation and its effects. Internal sulfation can cause an ATV battery to lose its ability to hold a charge and eventually stop working altogether. To ensure that your ATV battery continues to perform optimally, it is essential to recognize the causes and effects of internal sulfation so that you can take precautionary measures to prevent it.
The main cause of internal sulfation in an ATV battery is overcharging or undercharging the lead-acid cells. Overcharging occurs when a charger applies too high a voltage for too long, causing lead crystals to form on the lead plates inside the cell. This reduces the surface area available for chemical reactants and leads to a decrease in capacity and decreased performance of the ATV battery.
How to maintain your ATV battery and Extend Its Life?
If proper care is taken, the shelf-life of the battery will increase. Take care of your battery, especially during the off-season. Follow these simple tips to get the maximum life possible out of your battery.
Always keep it charged
Maintain the charge of your ATV battery during the off-season or long time of inactivity using a battery charger. Lithium iron phosphate batteries have a very low shelf-discharge rate and need less attention during the off-season than other battery types. Keep the charge at 50 percent when storing it for off-season or extended period.
Invest in the right charger
Get the appropriate charger for your ATV battery that matches the chemistry and voltage of your ATV battery. Like 12-volt AGM battery works best with a 12-volt AGM charger. Powerful chargers can easily ruin them by using more powerful chargers.
Overcharging your ATV battery can shorten its life. Use a battery maintainer with an automatic shut-off to keep your battery life longer.
Keep water in check
Periodically check and change the electrolyte inside with deionized or distilled water if you have a flooded battery. AGM and lithium-ion phosphate batteries do not require any change as they are completely sealed.
Protect terminals from corrosion
Use a mixture of baking soda, water and a battery terminal brush to clean the corrosion from the battery terminals. You can also use anti-corrosion spray for an easier way. Protecting the terminals from corrosion significantly increases the life of the battery.
What Are the bad ATV battery symptoms?
ATVs having a fully functional battery is crucial for their performance. An ATV battery that’s not up to par can cause a lot of trouble and even damage parts of the vehicle. Here are some bad ATV battery symptoms to watch out for.
One sign your battery may be failing is if you notice the engine cranking slowly or struggling to start. Another symptom is if the headlights appear dimmer than usual when turned on, indicating insufficient power flowing through the system. You may also find yourself frequently jump-starting your ATV or experiencing sudden shutdowns while driving, both of which could point toward a weak or dying battery.
Any of these signs means the bell tolls for your battery and you better be mentally prepared to part with the bulk worth the best ATV battery.
If you suspect an issue with your ATV’s battery, it’s important to have it checked immediately by a professional mechanic. Unless damage may spread throughout other parts of the vehicle or before getting stranded in inconvenient places. But you should know that It’s a good idea to replace a bad battery as soon as possible.
Why does my ATV battery keep dying?
There may be several reasons why the battery of your ATV or other powersports vehicles is dying. Here you know the common reasons for your ATV battery’s life cutting short.
Worn Out /Low Capacity Battery: The first reason your ATV battery might keep dying is that it’s old and worn out. Over time, the battery will lose its ability to hold a charge and eventually need to be replaced. If you’ve had your ATV for several years or have been using it heavily, the battery is likely due for replacement. But no way it should be overdue.
For ATV batteries, you must take batteries capable of delivering 200-600 amps power outage sufficient to back the ATV winch. Amp support lower than that would cause your batteries to drain earlier than anticipation.
Issues with Charging System: Another reason your ATV battery may keep dying is a problem with the charging system. The charging system includes the stator, rectifier/regulator, and wiring harness that work together to keep the battery charged while you ride.
If one of these components fails or malfunctions, it can prevent the battery from getting charged properly and cause it to die quickly.
Electric Issue with Vehicle: A third possible reason why your ATV battery keeps dying because of an underlying electrical issue in your vehicle. This can include problems with connections or wiring that are causing a drain on the battery even when you’re not using it.
In some cases, faulty switches or controls can also create an electrical draw on the system and drain power from the battery over time.
In fine, if you find yourself dealing with frequent dead batteries in your ATV, it’s important to address the issue promptly so you can get back out on the trails without interruption.
Quality & Proper Maintenance for Extended Battery Life
By now, you have known everything about the shelf-life of an ATV battery and why different types of ATV batteries have different life expectancies. Undoubtedly, Lead-acid batteries have the least life expectancy, while Lithium-Ion batteries last longer, 8 to 10 years.
You can choose according to your needs and budget. Quality brand batteries also last longer than cheap ones. in your quest for how long ATV batteries last, you have learnt that top quality batteries last longer. So, invest in the high-end and exclusive products, which will cost you less in the long run and keep you moving in the trails.