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How To Maintain ATV Batteries And Get Optimum Performance

Updated on August 7, 2012

ATV batteries require a bit of maintenance and some special care to get quality performance. Plus, proper maintenance will make your ATV battery last much longer.

ATV batteries are used to power quads (four-wheelers) and trikes (three-wheelers). The vehicle's engine is what powers the movement of the vehicle. Everything else, from the headlights to the starter, is powered by the battery.

Incidentally, the engine doesn't need electricity to run. It won't start, however, if there is no electrical charge to the starter. Battery power, therefore, is crucial. A dead one can result in a driver/rider being stranded.

How to charge ATV batteries: ATV batteries such as Motobatt quad batteries need to be charged regularly. ATV batteries are self-charging, to the degree that they are used regularly. They will automatically charge whenever the vehicle is being driven.

Of course, most people don't drive their all-terrain vehicles to work or school. More often than not, an all-terrain vehicle sits in a garage most weekdays. They tend to get used only for a day or two each weekend. Sometimes (particularly during the winter) they may sit unused for weeks or months.

The longer an all-terrain vehicle sits without running, the more of its charge it loses. An ATV that sits from Monday to Friday without being run may need to be charged. It most certainly will need charging if it sits longer than that.

Charging requires a charger designed specifically for ATV batteries such as those at Never use a charger designed for motorcycle batteries or NY other type as you may cause damage.

Charging is relatively simple. However, it takes a bit of time, so be sure to factor that into your plans for the day. Here's how to do it:

1) Get as close as you can to an electrical outlet. Most ATV batteries are located under the driver's seat. Remove the seat's bolts. Access the battery by sliding the seat back and lifting it up.

2) Take off the mount covers. Hook the charger's clamps to the corresponding mounts. Plug in the charger.

3) Let the charger run for the recommended amount of time (usually 45-60 minutes).

4) When finished charging, unplug the charger. Take off the clamps and put the covers back on the mounts. Return the seat to its proper position and put the bolts back in.

These are general steps for charging. You should refer to your owner's manual or the battery operating manual for instructions specific to your model.

Caring for and maintaining ATV batteries: It's also important to charge at the right times. All models/brands have ideal conditions under which they should be charged.

They should not be allowed to discharge too much before recharging. Neither should they be recharged if there is more than a certain percentage of charge left. Refer to your battery's manual for advice that is specific to your brand.

ATV batteries may be sealed or unsealed. "Unsealed" generally refers to conventional lead acid batteries. These are similar to the ones in many cars.

All batteries contain lead acid. Unsealed models have an opening on the top. They must sometimes have water added to them. This is why they are not "sealed."

The unsealed variety can be dangerous. Lead acid is toxic and caustic. These types must be handled very carefully.

It's crucial that you add water to them when it's needed. This will make your battery last much longer. If you are uncomfortable with this task, take it to an experienced mechanic.

"Sealed" varieties do not need to have water added to them. Therefore, the tops are sealed. This prevents leakage of lead acid and eliminates the possibility of contact with the toxic contents.

Sealed ATV batteries are often referred to as "maintenance free." They do cost more than conventional ones. However, many owners find that they're worth the extra money.


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