How to Charge an ATV Battery with a Battery Charger

Last Updated on November 18, 2023 by ATVNotes

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If you own an ATV, you know that one of the most important parts of maintaining your vehicle is keeping the battery charged. Your ATV might have the battery featured with the most sophisticated technology and manufactured by one of the best ATV battery manufacturers. But a dead battery can mean being stranded in the middle of nowhere, which is certainly not a fun experience. There are a few different ways to charge an ATV battery, but the most common and convenient method is to use a battery charger.

When charging an ATV battery with a battery charger, it is important to first confirm that the charger and the battery are compatible. Make sure that the charger’s amperage rating is safe and sufficient for the original ATV battery. This will ensure that your ATV battery will be charged in time fully, safely and efficiently. Additionally, make sure to connect both positive (red) and negative (black) terminals correctly; connecting them in reverse can cause damage to both the charger and the battery. 

In this blog post, we will go in-depth about how to charge an ATV battery with a battery charger and car battery charger. Properly charging battery is crucial to prolong your ATV battery life span. Read on.

Different ATV battery charger

Why You Should Prefer a Battery Charger?

A charger specifically designed for particular ATV batteries can help you do this easily and effectively without any side effects. Alternative charging options come with side effects that can tell upon the battery’s health and thus longevity. Here you find a number of benefits of using an automatic smart battery charger to charge your ATV battery:

  1. Charging your ATV battery with a battery charger helps to maintain the longevity of your battery.
  2. You can avoid overcharging your battery, which can lead to damage.
  3. A charger can help you charge your battery more quickly and efficiently than inferior alternatives like a solar panel, inverter, and the like.
  4. Charging with a battery charger is much safer than other methods like a car charger and car.
  5. You can use a timer with the most automatic chargers to ensure that your battery is charged for the optimal amount of time.

Charging an ATV Battery with a Battery Charger

Here you find the process broken into several easy-to-follow steps.

Step-I: Preparations

Assuming you have a 12-volt ATV battery, you will need the following materials to charge it with a battery charger:

  • One 12-volt battery charger (with 1-3 amps of current output)
  • Eye protection
  • Heavy-duty gloves

Step-II: Ensure Charger and Battery Compatibility

First, make sure you have a 12-volt ATV battery and the corresponding charger. Do not attempt to use a charger with a different voltage rating, as this could damage your battery or cause a fire.

Step-III: Take Adequate Safety

 Next, put on eye protection and gloves to protect yourself from sparks and acid.

Step-IV: Connect the Leads and Terminals Right

Then, connect the positive (red) lead from the charger to the positive terminal of the battery. Connect the negative (black) lead from the charger to the negative terminal of the battery. If your charger has a built-in fan, make sure it is facing away from the battery to avoid blowing acid fumes into your face.

use smart battery charger

Step-V: Turn on the Charger

Now, setting the charger to 1-3 amps current output, turn the charger on. Monitor the charging progress and set the charging mode to “trickle charging” at the charge level reaching 80%. This setting will slowly charge your battery to fully charge it. While charging with a manual charger is a precautionary step to avoid overcharging and prevent unexpected battery damage.

As a smart, safe, and sophisticated alternative, the automatic battery charger is a plug-and-charge device. You need not worry about overcharging and so changing the charging mode is needless.

Step-VI: Wait Until the Full Charge

Let the charger run for the charging duration required for the battery to get fully charged- until the indicator light says it is fully charged.

Step-VII: Disconnect the Charger Leads from the Battery Terminals

Once the indicator light shows that your battery is fully charged, disconnect the leads in reverse order (negative first, then positive). Be careful not to touch the leads together while they are still connected to the power source, as this could cause an electrical shock.

Warning: While not using an automatic battery charger, monitor the charging progress so that it doesn’t overcharge and put the battery at risk of damage. To be on the safe side, use a voltammeter to measure the battery charge without only depending on the charger indicator.

How to Charge an ATV battery with a car charger?

Assuming you don’t have a battery charger at present, you can charge your ATV battery with a car battery. This process is pretty simple and only requires a few materials that you likely already have to lie around the house.

Car’s batteries need more current input (10amps) than the current input (1-3amps) right for ATV batteries. So, it is likely the chargers used for charging car batteries would be of higher current output than that of the ATV battery chargers. So, you cannot use the car battery to recharge your ATV battery unless it has a setting to control the current output. Otherwise, you will run the risk of damaging your ATV batteries and more. So, make sure you set the current outage to 1-3 amps before you start the process.

Having ensured that all you need now are some jumper cables and another car with a working battery. Once you have all of that, simply follow these steps:

  1. Park your vehicle next to the ATV and set the parking brake.
  2. Turn off all accessories in your vehicle, including the radio, air conditioner, and lights.
  3. Connect the positive (red) lead from the car charger to the positive terminal of the ATV battery.
  4. Connect the negative (black) lead from the car charger to a clean, metal surface on the ATV frame. This will serve as a ground connection.
  5. Plug in the car charger and turn it on. The charging process will begin automatically. The charger will typically have an indicator light that will let you know when it’s working.
  6. Monitor the charge level indicator on the car charger to see when charging is complete. Let the charger run until the indicator light turns green or off, indicating that the battery is fully charged. Once charging is complete, unplug the charger and disconnect the leads from the battery terminals.
Warning: Monitor the Charging progress so that it doesn’t overcharge and put the battery at risk of damage. To be on the safe side, use a voltammeter to measure the battery charge without only depending on the charger indicator.
Charging ATV battery with charger

What to Do If Your Battery Won’t Hold a Charge

If you find that your ATV battery won’t hold a charge, there are a few things you can do to try and fix the issue. First, check the battery for any signs of damage. If the battery is damaged beyond repair, you need to replace it with a new one. If the battery isn’t damaged, there may be corrosion on the terminals or connections. If there is corrosion, clean it off with a wire brush or sandpaper.

Once the terminals and connections are clean, you’ll need to check the charging system. Make sure that all of the wires are connected properly and that there is no damage to the system. If everything looks good, then you should try charging the battery again.

If your ATV battery still won’t hold a charge after following these steps, then you may need to replace it. Remember, you must consider several factors while choosing ATV batteries.

Types of ATV Battery Chargers

ATV battery chargers come in a few different varieties. The most common type is the trickle charger, which slowly and steadily adds charge to your battery over time. These are great for maintaining a full charge on your battery but can take a long time to recharge a dead battery. A faster option is a pulse charger, which sends quick bursts of electricity to the battery to recharge it more quickly. However, these can be harder on your battery and should only be used if necessary. Finally, there are solar chargers that use the power of the sun to slowly recharge your ATV battery. These are great for long-term maintenance but won’t work well if you need a quick boost of power.

Bottom Line

By now, you have learned how to charge your ATV battery with a battery charger and car battery charger. Let’s walk you through the process again but in brief this time.

Before charging, check for any corrosion on the terminals of your ATV’s battery. If there is corrosion present, use a solution such as baking soda mixed with some water and scrub away all visible buildup before attempting to charge. 

Then, attach one terminal at a time by using clamps or special connectors designed for this purpose; if you’re using clamps, make sure they’re tightly secured to avoid sparking during charging. 

Finally, set your safe charging rate— one-tenth of the total amps of the battery – and wait while it charges; once it has finished charging completely remove the clamps in reverse order of how they were attached.

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