Picking the right battery for your ATV or UTV is a bigger deal than you may think. Because of that, we got you a battery expert to explain all the details for you. If you need a quick primer before you get started, you can review this basic guide. Otherwise, jump right into the article below from Tim Miller.
ATV/UTV Battery Guide (Guest Post)
You’ve just driven for three hours to get to the sand dunes that everyone has been talking about. You have an ATV or two loaded up and a car full of anxious riders that are about to burst with excitement at the prospect of getting to spend the day pushing their skills and their machines to the limits. You get out of your vehicle and walk around back to begin unloading your ATV when you notice a big issue with your ATV.
Though ATV reliability has vastly improved since the early days, there are a million things that can (and do) go wrong in this scenario. You could have a flat tire, forget to bring sufficient fuel or even have left the keys to your machines on the counter in your kitchen. After just one of these tragic events, even the most amateur ATV enthusiast is ready to do everything in their power to ensure that the next time they spend the time to get everything ready and travel out to where they want to ride, they will be totally without trip ruining disturbances.
Usually, this means that you double, triple and quadruple check every aspect of your ATVs. Tire pressure checked again and again. Oil checked, fuel topped off with extra cans ready to go. Registration is checked, often found expired and ignored (don’t be one of those guys!). All this work to make sure you are ready to go, but there’s all too often one thing that gets overlooked: the battery.
But how do you buy the best ATV battery? Read on below for tips on finding and choosing the right battery for your vehicle.
What type of battery do ATVs use?
There are actually a few different types of ATV battery. The good news is, you can break them down into two broad categories: conventional and absorbed glass mat (or AGM).
Conventional batteries have been around since the early ‘80s. For a long time, they were the only option out there for ATVs. These are also called flooded batteries because they require water to maintain a charge. In fact, these batteries need to be periodically refilled with distilled water to continue working.
AGM batteries are conceptually similar but have some key functional differences. The biggest one is that they don’t require maintenance or refilling. This allows them to be sealed too, which means they won’t spill if they’re tipped.
You can find high-performance options in both of these categories. The first advantage of an AGM battery is convenience. Not only are they maintenance-free, you can tilt them or even lay them sideways without spilling.They also tend to give you better overall performance, with a higher capacity and power rating.
The primary advantage of conventional batteries is the cost. They’re a lot cheaper on the whole than AGM batteries. While this makes them appealing for permanent installations like power grids, they’re not the best battery for ATV uses.
There are other options out there, of course, including gel and lithium batteries. For an ATV, though, you’ll be looking at one of the two above types 99% of the time.
What are the important features to consider?
There are a lot of numbers and specs on a battery, and it can all be a bit overwhelming for a novice. Of all these numbers, there are two you should focus the most on:
Cold Cranking Amps (CCA): You can think of this as the power the battery can put out when it starts an engine. It indicates how many amps it produces when the battery is at 0°F. While this is especially important for people who live in colder climates, it’s a good number to compare to find the most powerful ATV battery.
Amp Hour (AH): This is a measure of how many amps the battery can supply in an hour. The higher the amp hours, the more powerful the battery is in long-term use. It’s a better indicator than the cranking amps for sustained power.
Don’t forget to also think about your specific ATV. Measure the battery compartment and look at the mounting system. You’ll save yourself a lot of hassle if you buy a replacement ATV battery that fits without modifications.
If you’re not sure exactly what your vehicle needs, remove the old battery and look at its capacity and power rating. This information is usually printed right on the side of the battery. You can use that as a guide when you’re shopping for a replacement.
What are good brands to look at?
Now that you know what you’re looking for in a battery, let’s talk about brands. There are a lot of different names in the battery game, and even some of the top companies aren’t ideal for ATVs. Sifting the good from the bad means knowing which ones you can trust.
There are 5 brands that you’ll want to keep your eye on when you’re shopping for an ATV battery:
This is a company that takes care of everything battery-related. Their product line includes chargers and accessories along with the batteries themselves. Reliability and portability are the big selling points for Battery Tender products, and they focus mainly on AGM batteries. You can find Battery Tender batteries on Amazon.
The tagline for ExpertPower is “power you can trust,” and that’s what you get with this brand’s batteries. They sell both deep cycle and AGM batteries, all of which meet the same exacting quality standards. The only potential downside is that their batteries can be a bit pricey. It’s worth it for what you get, but they’re not the cheapest options out there. ExpertPower batteries are available on Amazon.
At Mighty Max, the focus is on the customer experience from start to finish. This includes thinking about the value for the customer. It’s true—if you’re looking for performance and power at a great price, Mighty Max is your brand. Their catalog includes many styles of battery, including AGM and gel models. Check out the great prices on Mighty Max batteries at Amazon.
This international company provides energy solutions for manufacturing plants, factories, and military outposts, as well as for the home consumer. If you need a heavy-duty battery, they’ve got you covered. These are the perfect batteries for extreme off-roaders and those who live in cold climates. See all the Odyssey batteries on Amazon.
This American company has been quietly making some of the best batteries for recreational vehicles since the 1970s. They’re the industry standard for powersport vehicles and an excellent choice for off-roaders of all stripes. Find Yuasa batteries on Amazon.
Once you’ve made the decision about which style of battery you want to use, it all comes down to power and price. The CCA rating will be an especially important thing to look at for those who live in colder weather. For all-year use, the amp hour rating is a good one to check.
Remember to verify that the battery will fit into your ATV before you pull the trigger. With so many great companies and options out there, you’ll find one that’s perfect for your needs. Best of luck in your search for a new ATV battery!
Hello! My name is Tim Miller, an automotive mechanic and blogger from Denver,
Colorado. I’m the founder of https://www.batteryfocus.com, an automotive battery blog. I have deep knowledge in cars and have had over 10 years’ experience in car repair and batteries. Some of my review articles about car batteries can be found on my own website.