Buying an ATV battery is similar to buying a battery for your vehicle, but there are slight differences. When looking to purchase the best ATV battery for yourself, you’ll need to pay close attention to the brand, model and year of your ATV. While this is important when looking for vehicle batteries, it is a lot more important when buying an ATV battery.
We have been buying up ATV batteries for a while, and to be honest, basically any American made battery will do you just fine. American made is known to be tough and durable – exactly what you want. An ATV with a dead battery is one that won’t be easily started. And if you can’t get it started, you aren’t going anywhere. Never a good situation.
Throughout this article you will see different ideas and ATV battery types being thrown around. It is important that you take note of all of them, but in the end choose the battery that is best for you. Who knows, maybe you’ve been using the same make and model battery for the last 10 years and it is time for a change. Or if this is your first time, then you will want to make the best educated decision possible. With our article, you should have no problem doing so.
Remember, take your time. The refund process for any battery, not just ATV batteries can be tedious and annoying. To avoid that, double check everything. Let’s get started.
Difference between vehicle & ATV batteries?
Both these batteries are for starting whatever machine you are operating. They are not like RV batteries where they are meant to power electronics and other luxuries on board. Rain, snow or shine – these ATV batteries are meant to get you off and going to your destination.
These batteries are obviously going to be a bit smaller most of the time. You might be able to fit a small vehicle battery inside of a UTV (side by side) but chances are you won’t be able to do that for your ATV.
Conventional ATV batteries use a voltage range of 12.6 volts – 13.1 volts. This is almost a whole volt lower than the conventional car battery. If you are testing your quad battery and it is any lower than this, you other have sulfated battery or a dead cell. Either of which warrant a replacement. There is a low of ATV batteries out there on the cheap. And with your quad probably being over $5000, there is no need to play games with the battery.
Different kinds of ATV batteries
One thing we really will continue to stress throughout this article is that you absolutely must check the make and model the battery you are thinking buying is meant for your ATV. Failure to do so can result in you buying a battery that doesn’t fit or is not compatible with your ATV. This can be a major letdown and some battery companies might not honor the refund.
The market is flooded with hundreds, maybe even thousands of different batteries for your quad. However, there are only two different types of batteries for your ATV that you will see pop up. We go over the difference between the two in the following.
Conventional ATV batteries
The conventional battery first came to prominence in the early 1980’s. Honda was the first to come to market with these units, and they have been the most popular ever since. Every single quad out on the market right now probably has a conventional build battery that built for it.
They are often cheaper, but not always more reliable. Due to their dry plates becoming easily damaged, they must be topped off with distilled water to prevent this. Still, they are cheap and easy to install. Great for people on a budget.
AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) ATV Batteries
These are a step up from the conventional quad battery due to their lack of maintenance required. AGM batteries, otherwise known as “Absorbed Glass Mat” batteries, are built so that the electrolyte from the battery is absorbed into fiberglass pads. The fiberglass pads are placed between the battery plates.
That being said, these batteries are best known for the no extra or loose acid seen in conventional quad batteries. They do not dry out which means no distilled water is needed. Great for people looking to avoid heavy duty maintenance. However, it does come with a cost as they are more expensive usually. Also, failure to properly charge these batteries will wreak havoc on their performance.
Battery Tender BTL35A480C Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery
This batter from Deltran Battery Tender is a great for not only ATV’s, but other machines like lawnmowers, watercraft and snowmobiles. It is designed to replace Flooded, AGM and Gel cell lead acid batteries
Compared to any of its lead acid battery equivalents, this BTL35A480C Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery is up to 80% lighter and has up to 5x the life span. There is foam spacers included to allow this unit to be able to fit into different sized battery boxes.
The specifications are 12 volts and 480 Cold Cranking Amps. The operating temperature is 0 – 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This means unless you’re very far up North, you will be able to start it almost anywhere. It is important to note that the quad terminal configuration allows the battery to be mounted in any position. Allowing maximum versatility and making installation a breeze.
The dimensions are as follows:
- 5 inches (Length)
- 4 inches (Width)
- 1 inches (Height)
The Battery Tender BTL35A480C Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery weighs only 1 pound. Shipping will be cheap and quick.
New Yuasa Maintenance Free ATV/UTV Battery
Whenever you’re looking for a Honda ATV battery, it is a great idea to go with the Yuasa brand. American made and American tough.
The battery in question is built for the Honda TRX500FM. Have no fear, though, as they make models for almost every quad you can imagine. Just simply click the link and find the model you need.
The maintenance free aspect of this battery is crucial for anyone who does not like tinkering around in the garage. While it is important to keep this 12-volt battery charged at all times, you will never have to refill it with acid or distilled water. The spill proofing once it has been sealed is great for preventing acid burns and keeping the battery from malfunctioning.
With additional plates included in the unit, there is up to 30% more power than conventional batteries.
Battery Tender BTL14A240C Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery (charger included)
Another battery from Battery Tender. This time the battery in question comes with a charger. Making life a lot easier for you as there is no need to chase down the proper sized charger. This is the definition of plug and play.
Lasting 5 times longer than any other lead acid battery, the foam blocks allow this unit to fit into any battery box. There will be no spills while the BTL14A240C Battery is in use because there is no liquid.
The charging process for the battery is great and will maintain the battery’s performance for many, many years. It is approved for all California and Oregon application. The 5 step charging process for the battery goes as follows:
- Float @ 13.6 volts
The battery itself has a 3-year warranty. The charger comes with a 5-year warranty. Weighing in at 1.76 pounds, it is almost double the weight of our other listed Battery Tender.
Renegade RG30L-WS 12 Volt
Renegade is one of our favorite brands. While we have used many good batteries over the years, we really appreciate the analysis report that is included with the delivery of everyone of Renegade’s batteries. This is how we know for a fact that the battery is fully charged before it leaves their warehouse.
This AGM battery is great for a lot of different machines. This one in particular is good for Polaris Sportsmen, but it also fits into motorcycles like the Harley Davidsons.
Due to it being AGM, there is increased service life over the conventional batteries. Always good for people looking to get the most bang for their buck. The impact resistance on both the case and cover allows for heavy impacts when you’re out in the bush.
It comes with a one-year warranty. This is somewhat short compared to other batteries, but is long enough for you to get a feel on whether or not it is worth the money. 12 volts is the output on this unit.
The product dimensions are as follows:
- 6 inches (Length)
- 5 inches (Width)
- 9 inches (Height)
Weighing in at 23 pounds, it is one of the heavier batteries on this list.
Big Crank ETX30L Battery
Big Cranks builds batteries for all different kinds of applications. Motorcycles, quads, snowmobiles and side by sides. The Big Crank ETX30L Battery is the battery in question today. It should fit in most quads. Although, as said earlier, make sure you double check so that you don’t end up with a battery that doesn’t fit.
The battery is a 12 volt and 365 Cold Cranking Amps. Standard for most quad batteries. It is built using the AGM technology. This means that the battery completely spills and leak-proof. Shipping fully charged from the warehouse, it is essentially plug and play.
Big Crank also claims that the battery is environmentally friendly. It is 100% recyclable. Great for the men and women that want to leave as little environmental footprint as possible.
The dimensions for this battery are as followers:
- 6 inches (Length)
- 2 inches (Width)
- 9 inches (Height)
The battery weighs in at 23 pounds. It comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Inga LTM-4 Lithium Ion Polymer Powersports Battery
The LTM-4 is a good fit for someone with a bigger battery budget. It prices in at around $200 and there is no doubt that it is well worth the money. Lithium batteries on average weigh 1/3 third the weight of lead acid batteries with 4 – 6 times the service life.
This battery comes with a built in tester to easily see what it’s charge level is at. 290 Cold Crank Amps. Built with lithium ion polymer cells that are designed for specific applications like ATVs and UTVs.
The Inga LTM-4 is compatible with any almost any charger that has a maximum voltage of 14.6 volts. This is great if you already have a charger lying around waiting to be used. Just make sure it is compatible.
The dimensions are as follows:
- 91 inches (Length)
- 43 inches (Width)
- 66 inches (Height)
Weighing in at 1 pound, this is another extremely light battery included on this list.
Factors to consider when purchasing
With different quads comes different responsibilities for everything regarding driving it, maintaining it, and of course, buying the right battery for it. Should you not buy the best ATV battery you can find, then you are going to have a bad time. Saving $10 is not worth it if it means it will hinder the performance of your quad.
Whether you’re buying a new quad or just looking to replace its battery; properly activating the battery is well known to maintain the performance and give it a longer lasting life. Thus a better bang for your buck.
In order to do a proper activation, you must “trickle charge” your new ATV battery with a charger that is designed specifically for AGM power sports batteries. No car battery chargers – they won’t cut it. Failure to do so will wreak on the performance. The performance that you will desperately need on those cold, December and January mornings.
Low story short, the electrolyte must be soaked thoroughly into the fiberglass matting before any kind of charging voltage is applied. You need proper voltage and current for this to happen correctly. It is usually 8 – 10 hours at between 1 – 3 amps. Depending on the charger size.
Difference between sulfation and de-sulfation?
Sulfation is essentially a permanent, hard coat of lead sulfate on the battery plates. When the plates get these hard coats of lead sulfate, those areas become useless. Similar to your arteries becoming clogged. As the sulfation builds up, the capacity for the battery to output a proper charge becomes less and less. Once the hard coat of lead sulfate has covered enough of the battery, the whole unit becomes useless.
De-sulfation is not something that should be attempted at home. There are chargers specifically built for this cause and are usually only available at dealerships. Essentially what the chargers do is output a higher than normal voltage to break down the coat of sulfate. As the process does its intended work, the battery comes back to life. Allowing it to gradually output a stronger charge.
Sealed does not mean maintenance free!
Anyone who says ATV batteries are maintenance free have never worked with one. Yes, there are maintenance free car batteries, but ATV batteries should be maintained regularly.
Due to ATV batteries having a weaker charge combined with a lot of them sitting for months at a time, they can start to mess up. Performing regular maintenance on them will prevent this.
Best ATV battery brands
Everyone has their favorite ATV brand. Most people who have a favorite brand have some kind of joke about all the other brands. It is well known how heated a discussion can get over which quad brand is better.
A discussion that is not as heated is the one about the best ATV battery brand. So which one is it? Well, much like ATV brands, the best ATV battery brand is completely in your hands to decide. Let’s take a look at some of the different ones.
Deltran Battery Tender
Started in 1965, this family owned business has made huge strides in the battery industry. Well known for their fast charging and fairly priced batteries. Deltran Battery Tender is a personal favorite of ours.
Yuasa Batteries are well known for being great for so many different kinds of quads. Any Honda ATV battery made by a different company is rivaled heavily by the Yuasa brand. Also, almost every Yamaha ATV battery is rivaled by Yuasa as well.
Started in 1979, this American company based in Laureldale, Pennsylvania, is well known for their state-of-the-art products.
Worldwide known for their quads and snowmobiles, Polaris also makes batteries. Founded in 1954 and currently headquarter in Medina, Minnesota. These guys make solid batteries and many different models.
What you should avoid
With a great battery planted in your quad comes a good bit of responsibility. You never want your $100 – $200+ investment to go down the drain because of your carelessness. Check out the following things that you should avoid when buying and owning the best ATV battery.
Parking the ATV without fully charging the battery
This is a mistake that you should never make. Especially if you have an AGM battery installed. Without properly charging the battery, damage (sulfation) can happen in as little as one week. As said above, sulfation is nothing but a slippery slope.
If you have had the lights running, or you were plowing the snow or anything else. The battery has probably been put to work and is not fully charge. Take care of this by simply plugging it in. You don’t want to wake up one morning to a quad that won’t start.
Storing the ATV with the battery installed
This is a bad idea because every modern ATV has a constant draw of power. Meaning if you park it for long enough it will run the battery dry without you even realizing it. It only takes a matter of months to do. So, if you’re parking it for the Winter, you may very well come back to a dead battery in the Spring.
Remember to not zap yourself while removing the battery. Short circuiting is very possible. Disconnect the negative battery cable first. And if the quad is going to be off for months, completely remove it and store it in a cool, dark place.
Using tap water when filling your conventional battery
Bad idea. Right off the start, bad idea. Tap water has minerals in it that will wreak havoc on your battery. These minerals, if present in the electrolytes will build up to form an iron stalagmite. One that you find in a cave. Once it is big enough to short a positive and negative plate, you can kiss that battery good bye.
Avoid this by buying properly distilled water. You can find it on Amazon, or at your local dealership.
As you can see, finding the best ATV battery for yourself isn’t a complicated process. You just need to make sure that you understand any and all of the risks that can come with not properly doing your research. The last thing you want is to buy a battery that hinders the performance of your quad, or even worse, one that you need to return.
Take your time looking through this article and the charts we have made. We recommend Amazon simply because of their site’s ability to tell you whether or not your brand, model and year of your quad is compatible with the battery you are looking at.
We recommend that once you have found a brand that works with your ATV, then you should definitely stick to it. Get to know the battery inside and out, so that you are always ready for whatever may be thrown your way. Stay consistent with your purchases. It will help you save money, time and prevent frustration in the future.
And of course, once you have found the best ATV battery for your own personal quad, life is good. A quad that is running at maximum performance is a beautiful thing to behold.