You asked the questions; here are the answers to the most common ATV battery-related questions.
Are ATV Batteries Deep Cycle?
Deep cycle batteries are specifically designed to deeply discharge to where it has used most of their energy without being damaged. A conventional battery will begin to degrade and lose some of its capacity if the voltage drops below a certain level; a deep-cycle battery will not, at least not to the same extent.
The term was initially used for flooded lead-acid batteries that had the same shape as an automotive-style starter battery but with deep cycle capabilities.
More modern deep-cycle technologies, such as deep-cycle lithium-ion and GEL batteries, have arisen in later years.
ATVs typically do not come with a deep cycle battery but a conventional lead-acid or AGM battery. ATVs don’t come with deep-cycle batteries primarily to minimize vehicle costs. Deep-cycle batteries are more expensive than both conventional lead-acid batteries and AGM batteries.
The downside of using a conventional lead-acid or AGM battery in an ATV is that they are designed as starter batteries but not for deep cycling. They can deliver substantial power briefly but not for extended durations.
An ATV with power-hungry accessories, such as an electric winch, will draw more power than the ATV charging system can keep up with, potentially causing the battery voltage to drop to levels where it may damage the battery.
Various aftermarket alternatives are available for those willing to spend the cash and looking to upgrade.
Odyssey Batteries is one of the leading deep-cycle battery brands and offers a range of Powersports and ATV batteries.
MightyMaxBattery is another established brand that offers true deep-cycle lithium-ion and GEL batteries and lead-acid batteries featuring what they describe as deep discharge recovery.
Are ATV Batteries AGM?
Today, most ATVs come with an AGM (absorbed glass mat) battery or an SLA (sealed lead-acid) battery. SLA batteries are cheaper and typically used in budget-friendly ATV models.
What Is the Best Battery for an ATV?
What kind of battery does an ATV use? There are various types of ATV batteries available. Some of the most common are:
- Conventional flooded lead acid (non-sealed)
- SLA – sealed lead-acid
- AGM – absorbed glass mat
- GEL batteries
Out of the various types available, AGM batteries are considered the best alternative for ATVs. AGM batteries are a lead-acid battery style where instead of using liquid electrolytes, the electrolyte is absorbed into fiberglass pads placed between the battery plates.
Some of the benefits of using an AGM battery in ATVs:
- AGM batteries are sealed with no need to add electrolytes as conventional lead-acid batteries do.
- AGM batteries are considered maintenance-free. The only maintenance required is charging whenever the charge is low or when the battery sits for long periods and cleaning if the battery poles corrode.
- AGM batteries do not dry out as quickly with regular use.
- An AGM battery will last longer than an SLA battery with regular use.
- AGM batteries typically provide better capacity with a higher Ah rating than a conventional lead-acid battery.
AGM batteries cost slightly more than SLA batteries but less than Lithium-Ion batteries. A lithium-ion battery will outperform AGM batteries in many areas, such as deep cycle capabilities and weight. Still, for the average ATV owner, these benefits do not justify the higher price.
Are ATV Batteries 6V or 12V?
Some toy electric ATVs use 6V batteries, but most, if not all, gasoline-powered use 12V starter batteries.
It’s crucial to use the correct type of battery. Putting a 12V battery in a 6V toy ATV may fry the vehicle’s electronics, potentially causing it to catch on fire.
Refer to the user manual or look at the old battery to learn your vehicle’s correct nominal voltage.
How Many Amps Is an ATV Battery?
Battery capacity is rated in Ah – Amperage Hours. Larger ATVs with larger engines and more electrical accessories generally require batteries with higher Ah ratings.
ATV batteries are typically around 20Ah, ranging from 12Ah to 40Ah.
Are ATV Batteries Universal?
ATV batteries are not universal, and all ATV batteries are not the same.
- Size: ATV batteries come in a wide range of physical formats. It can not be too big as it will not fit the battery compartment of your ATV. It also can not be too small as the battery fasteners will likely not be able to hold the battery properly in place. A smaller battery will also probably be underpowered for your machine.
- Ah-rating and CCA: Your specific ATV will require a battery with a given Ah-rating and CCA rating for it to be able to power the starter motor of your bike.
- Connectors: Various ATVs use various styles of battery connectors. It would be best if you found a battery that uses the same style as the one on your bike, or you will need to replace the vehicle’s connectors with the corresponding style.
Your user manual will tell you what battery to use. Many battery brands and dealers offer compatibility charts that tell you which batteries are compatible with different ATV models. I like the one at Battery Mart as it is usually up to date and gives you various battery models in different price ranges.
How Much Are ATV Batteries?
- Conventional lead-acid ATV batteries usually cost $25 to $45
- SLA (sealed lead-acid) ATV batteries usually cost $30 to $55
- AGM (absorbed glass mat) ATV batteries usually cost $80 to $140
- Lithium-Ion ATV batteries usually cost $100 to $400
Are Walmart ATV Batteries Any Good?
Walmart offers a range of ATV batteries, often at affordable prices. Like most battery brands, they do not make their batteries themselves but buy them from major battery manufacturers and add their branding and labels.
The low price can be tempting, but some issues users report might get you to consider other alternatives.
Note that I have not performed any extended testing on the quality of Walmart batteries. The issues listed below are the essence of various user experiences on forums and user reviews online.
- Fitment issues: The battery compliance charts are not always correct, leaving you with a battery that does not fit.
- Troublesome connectors: Some users report having problems connecting the connectors properly using the supplied nuts.
- Inferior internals: The internal metal plates are thinner than on more expensive models. More lightweight plates do not handle sulfation, as well as thicker plates. Instead of recovering, they may break apart. Thicker plates also hold up better to the impacts they may get from active ATV riding.
- They do not last as long: Users tell about batteries that go dead and will not take charge after only three months of use. Others could get one to two years of service life from their battery.
All the negative user reviews do not necessarily mean that all Walmart batteries are bad. For some, a cheap Walmart battery is just what they need. You can score a great deal on a quality battery at a discount if you are lucky.
However, due to the high number of negative reviews, I would generally recommend that you spend the extra money to get a battery from a reputable dealer and a well-known brand, such as Yousa Batteries or similar.