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Understanding ATV Batteries

Nothing can be more frustrating than getting ready to take off on your ATV (or other powersports vehicle) only to find it won’t start.

Proper understanding and subsequent maintenance of your ATV battery will go a long way in helping you enjoy the recreational use of your unit or having it reliably available for utility purposes.

Perhaps the first question asked about batteries is how long will they last? The answer: when maintained properly, about 3-5 years. It probably is a good idea to go ahead and replace any battery that reaches the four-year mark.

If you try to start your ATV and the battery is not working, it likely is due to not keeping it properly charged. Batteries go dead after sitting idle for significant lengths of time.

You should never jump start your ATV with a car or truck in the usual manner, but some experts say it is okay to try it if you don’t turn on the car or truck engine. The car should have enough charge within its battery to start your ATV. If you have a second ATV available, using jumper cables to kick off the dead battery should be a snap.

Another proven method is to use a battery pack designed specifically for this purpose. This is similar to using jumper cables connected to a car except that in this case they are connected to a pre-charged battery pack. This is a great item to have available if you use your ATV a lot out on trails and need a reliable charging source when you have battery problems.

Of course, you virtually can eliminate these types of situations if you keep your ATV battery properly charged. You can use a plug-in charger (keep it to 5 watts or less) or, if an outlet is not readily available, a solar charger. It is a good idea to charge your ATV battery regularly, especially if you go 30 days or more without riding your unit. It is important to properly follow the instructions on the charger to protect your battery and to avoid injury.

If your battery is dead, it is best to use a 12-volt trickle charger to get you back in business.

ATVs, unlike cars or trucks, do not have an alternator -- but they do have a stator which helps charge the battery while in use.

When shopping for a battery when you need a new one, there are two general types – conventional (wet cell) or dry (Absorbent Glass Mat). The wet cell battery requires occasional filling with distilled water, so the AGM type (which may be more expensive) requires less maintenance. The AGM also is more reliable in freezing temperatures.

In short, understanding proper battery maintenance will reduce any headaches you might encounter in enjoying your ATV experience. At we have experienced technicians available to help answer any concerns you have concerning battery maintenance or other technical issues.

We have been delivering family fun since 1990 and look forward to serving any of your outdoor recreational and powersports needs. We make customer satisfaction a top priority and, as a result, have earned the 5 Star Friendly Customer Service award. 

Check out our extensive inventory of affordable ATVs and other powersports vehicles at or give us a call at 800-250-5502 or 320-696-2899. You call always will be answered by a Live Person during regular business hours. We also feature a complete line of parts, provide free delivery and offer convenient financing. And we take pride in following the great Midwestern tradition of friendly and honest service.