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How To Charge An ATV Battery

How To Charge An ATV Battery

Are you eager to get back to outdoor fun on your ATV but facing the challenge of a non-starting engine? Before losing hope and assuming a dead battery, let me guide you through the straightforward process of recharging it. Restoring power to your ride is simpler than you might think!

Whether you’re a beginner exploring off-road trails or an experienced rider eager to return to the dirt, a drained battery can put a damper on your plans. But don’t worry! That is why we put together this article. 

The short answer is this! To charge your ATV battery, remove the side panel that protects the battery from the elements. Next, connect your smart charger to the battery terminals. Allow the charger to stay connected for approximately 4-5 hours to ensure a full charge.

Are you ready to experience the exhilaration of tearing through the tracks, and feeling the wind in your helmet vents? Then, keep reading to discover my simple strategies for reviving your ATV’s battery and getting back on the gas. Your next thrilling adventure awaits, and all you need to do is charge up and hit the road!

What Do I Need to Charge My ATV?

To charge your ATV, you will need the following items:

1. Battery charger: Preferably a smart charger. 

2. Latex gloves

3. Safety eyewear

4. Well-ventilated location 

5. Access to the battery 

6. Knowledge of battery type.

How To Charge An ATV Battery_A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

Charging your ATV battery is a crucial maintenance task to keep your ATV always ready for action. Let me guide you through the step-by-step process:

Step 1 Prepare the necessary tools and equipment

  • You’ll need an appropriate battery charger, preferably a Ctek Smart Charger, ATV battery, or Battery Tender 1.25 amp all of which are found on Amazon.
  • Don latex gloves to protect your hands from battery acid spills.
  • Wear safety eyewear for added eye protection.

Step 2: Find a suitable location

  • Park your ATV in a dry and well-ventilated area, ensuring the battery and charger stay dry throughout the charging process.
  • Adequate ventilation helps disperse any gases that may be released during charging.
  • If you don’t have a suitable location, consider removing the battery from the ATV and charging it separately.

Step 3: Locate and identify the battery

  • Open the seat of your ATV to access the battery.
  • Use a screwdriver to remove the seat screws and loosen all screws securing the ATV battery.
  • Remove the battery covers and take note of the battery type, usually clearly labeled on the side.

Step 4: Select the appropriate charger; Get A Smart Charger

Once you have your ATV and riding gear, the very next thing you should get is a smart charger. If you have a kick start or pull start, this won’t be as important. But for me, my ATV is electric start, and having a good battery is essential.

The charger I use and recommend is a Ctek Smart Charger found here on Amazon. It’s sold at a good price (around $60-70) and has all the connections for any brand of battery your ATV has. I chose this battery because of its price and how easy to use it is. This charger will turn itself off when the battery is full saving you costly damage that can occur from leaving a battery on a charger for too long.

There are plenty of cheaper options you can find for ATV battery chargers. But, most of them are simple trickle chargers that you have to make sure you unplug as soon as the battery is done charging. I found it to be a big hassle having to set an alarm and run out to check on the battery all the time. With this charger, I was able to set it and forget it. Which I love for leaving the battery on the charger all winter.

Also, getting a good charger will save you money in the long run anyway. If it saves you even one dead battery it paid for itself already. It’s worth the money to get a decent charger, and you’ll be glad you have it when you need it.

However, some people prefer the Battery Tender 1.25 amp found here on Amazon, which is fine, they work great too. But I’ve had no problems with my Ctek Smart Charger and I would buy another one when the time comes.

ATV battery charger

Step 5: Connect the charger to the battery

  • If using a manual charger, utilize a voltmeter to check the battery’s voltage and determine its current charge level, however, you wouldn’t have to go through this with the Ctek Smart Charger
  • Attach the red lead of the charger to the battery’s positive terminal and the negative lead to the negative terminal or a metal piece near the engine area.
  • Set the charger to the appropriate charging current, typically no more than a tenth of the battery’s Ah rating.
  • Plug in the charger and initiate the charging process. Monitor the battery charge level and reduce the current once it reaches 80% to allow for a full charge.
  • If using an automatic charger, simply connect it to the battery and let it handle the charging process, adjusting voltage and current as needed.

Step 6: Monitor the charging process

  • Keep a close eye on the battery’s charge level throughout the charging process. Once the battery is fully charged, promptly switch off the charger to avoid overcharging.
  • If you anticipate leaving the battery idle for an extended period, consider using a maintenance mode or battery tender to keep it consistently charged.


When charging your ATV battery, it is crucial to prioritize safety by following the manufacturer’s instructions, wearing appropriate safety gear, and ensuring a well-ventilated and non-flammable charging area.  

To make leaving the battery on the ATV a little easier I got this Ctek Comfort Connector found here on Amazon. This has made charging the battery so much easier for me. And, it has a fuse to protect from power surges. Now I don’t even unhook the battery, I just plug the charger right into the connector and it’s done. I also got a similar setup for my motorcycle I liked it so much.

If you don’t get the quick connector, that’s ok, the smart charger has clamps that will connect to any style battery like jumper cables would. Simply connect the charger to the battery terminals and plug it in to charge the battery.

Here’s a helpful video to show you how to charge the battery.

Does My ATV Battery Need To Be Replaced?

The quickest easiest way is to try charging the battery and see if it takes a charge. If it does, great! If not, you might need a new battery. If the battery was left out all winter, you probably need a new one. It is worth seeing if the smart charger will charge it, but it’s not likely.

I don’t recommend getting a battery from a local parts store unless they have multiple options to choose from. A lot of the time the price is just too high. Our local parts store was selling a simple ATV battery for almost $100. After looking around online I found the same battery for half the price. If you can wait a couple of days for shipping, just get yourself an ATV battery on Amazon.

How Fast Does an ATV Battery Charge?

The charging time of an ATV battery can vary depending on factors such as battery capacity, charging method, and current charge level. However, ATVs with built-in charging systems may take longer to fully charge due to their lower charging current.

Using an external battery charger is a common and efficient method that depends on the charger’s specifications and battery capacity. The higher the battery’s capacity, the longer it generally takes to charge. While it’s challenging to provide an exact charging time,  using a low-amp smart charger may take a few hours.

It’s crucial to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations to prevent overcharging or damaging the battery.


To prevent a dead battery in the spring, it is advisable to charge your ATV battery throughout the winter. Remove the battery from the ATV and connect it to a reliable smart charger during the winter season. This practice helps avoid the need for purchasing a new battery every year. Alternatively, you can use a trickle charger, but ensure that it has an automatic shut-off feature to prevent battery damage once the battery is fully charged.

Why Should I Hook UP My ATV To A Charger? 

There’s nothing worse than the frustration of a dead battery when you’re itching to hit the trails on your ATV. That’s why I have a vital recommendation for you: always hook up your battery to a charger if it’s going to sit idle for more than a couple of weeks. Let me share the reasons why I swear by this practice:

  • Prevention is key: The battery could die from leaving the key in the on-position or during long periods of non-use. To ensure your battery stays alive and kicking, it’s crucial to connect it to a smart charger during winter or extended periods of rest. This simple step maintains the battery’s freshness, guaranteeing that your ATV will fire up effortlessly when spring arrives.
  • Optimize battery efficiency: If you choose to regularly charge your ATV battery, you automatically prevent sulfates from building up inside, which can gradually reduce its efficiency over time. By keeping a consistent charging routine, you’ll ensure your battery performs at its best and delivers maximum power when you need it most.
  • Safeguard against damage: Improper charging practices can potentially inflict significant damage on your ATV battery. However, when you make charging a regular habit, you protect your battery from harm, ensuring it remains in excellent condition and enjoys a longer lifespan.
  • Escape the stranded scene: Picture this – you’re in the heart of the great outdoors, ready for adventure, but a dead battery leaves you stranded. It’s not a scenario anyone wants to experience. By diligently charging your ATV battery, you eliminate the inconvenience and potential hazards of being left powerless in the middle of nowhere.

By regularly connecting your ATV battery to a charger, you can prevent dead battery issues, maintain efficiency, prevent damage, and always be prepared for exciting adventures on the trails.


Charging your ATV battery is a simple yet important task to ensure your ATV is always ready for your adventures. Get the appropriate smart charger, prioritize safety, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and choose a suitable location. Connect the charger correctly, monitor the charging process, and maintain the battery in good condition. With proper charging, you can enjoy worry-free rides on your ATV.

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