5 Reasons Why Your ATV Battery dies

The million dollar question is: why does the ATV battery die in the first place? To understand the answer, you ought to know how a battery is constructed. ATVs mostly have Lead Acid batteries. These batteries have two plates which are parallel to each other. One plate is made of lead & the other is made of lead dioxide. These are constantly in contact with the H2SO4 (Sulfuric acid). When the battery gets discharged, and that is because it is getting used, crystals of lead sulfate are left in the form of residue on the battery plates. This whole procedure is known as sulfation. Most of the batteries die because of this.

To get the battery up & running again, desulfation is required. The easiest way of doing that is to charge the dead battery. But there is a problem with that. The battery starts charging slowly every single time. If you stop charging the battery in the middle of a complete charge period, sulfation will occur to such an extent that you will no longer be able to get the battery running again.

Another thing which makes your battery die out is the lack of usage. A battery never remains completely charged as it slowly loses charge over time. This means that if you are not using a battery, and even if you left it completely charged, it will die if left too long without using it.

There is nothing more annoying & irritating than an ATV which doesn't start as a result of a dead battery. If you are on a trail or a camping ground, it is going to be even harder. There are quite a few reasons for a battery ending up dead. We briefly discussed these reasons below so you would know what causes your ATV battery to stop working.

Things which cause your battery to die

The general concept & idea people have about a battery's lifetime is that it ought to last for 2 years approximately. But with proper care, you can keep your battery running for even longer. Likewise, if you neglect your battery, it may not even last for more than a couple of months. A few things which cause a battery to die out before its time are briefly discussed below.

1. Not charging your battery properly

If you leave your battery uncharged for even one week, your battery can get permanently damaged. If you let a battery stay untended for a while, sulfation occurs. Until and unless your battery is charged again, sulfates cause immense a lot of damage to your battery. If this keeps happening for some time, one day your battery will be beyond repair and die out completely.

If you keep the lights of the ATV on for quite some time, and that too while the engine wasn't running, your battery gets damaged a bit. If you park your ATV and keep the key power on, you get the same results.

2. Not removing the battery when in storage

If you are going to keep your ATV in storage or park it somewhere for a long time, you need to remove the battery. Due to quiescent current, your battery is going to die out in a few weeks if it is still connected to your ATV. If the insulation on the battery wires is broken, this process gets even faster. So if you store your ATV and the battery is still connected, your battery will longer work upon retrieval from the storage.

3. Tap water instead of distilled water

If you use tap water to maintain the electrolyte level of your battery, you are not doing it a favor. Rather you are paving a path towards the destruction of the battery. The tap water contains minerals.  When you add tap water to the battery, those minerals get inside the electrolyte. As the current flows inside the battery, the minerals from the tap water start building up on the battery plates. It creates a build-up inside the battery. Once this build-up gets big enough to short the negative & positive terminals of the battery, the battery will die out on you.

So using tap water, instead of distilled water is one of the reasons an ATV battery dies out earlier than expected.

4. Using a car battery charger to charge an AGM battery

When it comes to the weight & size of the battery, they don't matter a lot when it comes to cars. But when it comes to ATVs, size, and weight is very crucial. Therefore AGM technology isn't used as much in cars as it is in ATVs. Using the battery charger designed for your car on the AGM battery of your ATV is the most damaging decision you can make with regards to your battery. Car battery chargers don't have the trickle-down technology that ATV batteries require. As a result, the electrolyte inside the battery of the ATV gets lost via the safety valve. As water shouldn't be added to the AG batteries, this electrolyte is lost forever.

5. Confusing sealed batteries with Maintenance free batteries

Some batteries are maintenance-free. Most of the car batteries are. You cannot consider a sealed battery on an ATV to be maintenance free. Since the charging systems of the ATVs are relatively weaker as compared to those of cars, you need to ensure that some kind of maintenance charging is done.

No matter what your purpose for using an ATV is, you cannot deny the importance of having a perfectly functioning battery. In this article, we have briefly discussed reasons due to which a battery dies and ways to ensure that your battery doesn't die out on you. By making sure you follow the rules mentioned above, you are increasing the life of your ATV battery.

If your battery is dead, it can be a nuisance. Knowing why a battery dies, and how to prevent that is pretty essential knowledge, we hope that after reading this article you know the answer to the question: why the ATV battery dies. Once you know the answer to that, you can easily prevent it from ever happening to you.

Happy Riding Folks!

Jose Wagner
 

I am Jose Wagner, a mechanic who loves exploring & writing about new tools and contraptions which make everyone’s lives a whole lot easier. I have been in the manufacturing industry for several years and possess sound mechanical knowledge and diagnostic skills.

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