How to Charge & Maintain ATV/UTV Batteries

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Keeping your ATV battery properly charged and in good condition is key to having your quad ready to go when you are, and to keep it running at peak performance. 

This page will provide you with some tips on how to properly charge your ATV battery, what type of battery you’ll need, and how to ensure that your battery remains in good condition for longer. 

Need more information about powersports batteries and charging systems? Check out some of our related topics, including:

How to Charge an ATV Battery

Charging your ATV battery when you’re not riding your quad is a great way to extend the battery’s life and to ensure that it will be ready to ride the next time you want to go. 

The best way to charge an ATV battery is with an automatic trickle charger. 

Be sure to select a charger that:

  • Matches the voltage of your battery. 
  • Can automatically control and shut off the charge. 

These types of chargers will charge the battery slowly and safely, and ensure it doesn’t get overcharged, which can do damage to the battery and your electrical components. 

Once you have your battery charger, here’s how to charge an ATV battery:

  1. Remove the battery cover so that you can access the terminals. 
  2. Unhook the terminal connections from the battery and remove it from the ATV, if necessary. 
  3. Attach the positive connection from the charger to the positive terminal on the battery (red cable).
  4. Attach the negative connection from the charger to a grounded point on the ATV’s frame.
  5. Ensure that the charger is in the correct setting for your battery.
  6. Plug the charger into an outlet and turn it on. 
  7. Keep an eye on the battery and the charger throughout the charging process. 
  8. Once the battery is fully charged, unplug the charger from the outlet and disconnect the charging cables. 

Be sure to refer to the specific instructions for your battery charger before you begin. 

How Long Should You Charge an ATV Battery?

How long you need to charge your ATV battery will depend on how depleted it is and what type of charger you’re using. 

Most automatic chargers make it easy. 

For standard maintenance, most ATV batteries that are in good condition will take a few hours to recharge. 

A fully dead battery or a brand new battery may need to charge overnight. 

Be sure to follow the instructions on your battery charger and use one that matches the type of battery as well as the voltage and amp settings. 

How Many Volts is an ATV Battery

The most common size for an ATV or UTV battery is 12 volts, with an actual voltage reading of 12.6 to 12.8v.

Smaller ATVs may run 6 volt batteries.

When charging or replacing your ATV battery, it is important to choose the correct type and the correct voltage. 

Why does my ATV battery keep dying?

If your ATV’s battery won’t hold a charge or dies constantly, it may be time to replace it. 

A battery that won’t hold a charge is generally degraded past the point of fixing. 

Common reasons why your battery keeps dying include:

  • Sitting for too long without being used or charged. 
  • Getting too hot or too cold for long periods of time. 
  • Low fluid levels in a lead-acid battery.
  • Naturally degrading over time.
  • Loose or corroded wiring. 
  • Faulty charging system.  

If the battery is old or damaged, your best option is to replace it with a new one. 

However, if you determine the battery to be O.K., it will be worth looking into your electrical connections, electrical components, and charging system for any issues. 

How Long Do ATV Batteries Last

Most ATV batteries are designed to last for about 3 to 5 years under normal conditions. 

With regular maintenance and keeping the battery properly charged, you may be able to increase its lifespan. 

There are a few things you can do to help increase the length of your ATV battery’s life. These include:

  • Using the right type and voltage of battery for your quad. 
  • Keeping your battery terminals and electrical connections clean and in good condition. 
  • Keeping the battery charged by riding regularly or using a battery maintainer. 
  • Winterizing and preparing your battery for cold weather storage or cold weather riding. 

ATV batteries will degrade faster if they are not stored properly or are left sitting for long periods of time without being ridden or charged.

In general, sealed batteries and AGM batteries will have a longer life than conventional lead-acid batteries. 

Batteries will also degrade faster in extreme cold or hot temperatures.