Why Does My ATV Battery Keep Dying? What To Do About It


It can be quite frustrating when your ATV battery continues to lack power even after you charge it. Even if you take proper care of your battery and leave it charging during the night, you may be confused about why there seems to be a problem. So what are the most likely reasons your ATV battery keeps dying, and what can you do to fix this?

Your ATV battery keeps dying because it has been sitting for too long, the battery is old, the battery can’t hold a charge anymore, the stator needs to be replaced, or your fluid levels are low.

In this article, we’ll be discussing some of the most common reasons your ATV battery may lack a charge even after you’ve finished charging it. We’ll also discuss what you can do to fix this issue and keep it from happening in the future.

Reasons Your ATV Battery Keeps Dying/Stays Dead

As we stated above, many different factors may be causing your ATV to remain dead even after you’ve charged it. Below, we’ll explore some of the most common issues that may have caused your battery to die, as well as what you can do to fix this.

It’s Sat Inactive For Too Long

As we mentioned earlier, one of the most common reasons for your ATV battery dying is allowing it to sit inactive for too long. To avoid this, it’s best to keep your ATV battery charged even when you don’t plan on using it.

It’s important to note that this doesn’t necessarily mean there is an issue with your battery, but sitting around stagnant has caused your battery to die unexpectedly.

As stated above, it’s best to ensure your battery is always holding a consistent charge, so it’s always ready to be used no matter when you plan on taking it out.

Check out, How To Keep an ATV Battery Lasting for more info.

If your ATV battery has sat inactive for too long and it’s completely dead, it’s important to note that you should not give your battery a jump off of another vehicle such as a car or truck. You can easily fry your ATV battery this way, so it’s important to be mindful of this.

If you do go this route, at least leave the car or truck off the entire time.

To give your battery a jump, it’s recommended that you invest in a jump box to safely give your ATV battery the power it needs without destroying it.

An individual jump box and a pair of jumper cables is the best way to give your powerless ATV battery a boost, so if this is a common issue for you, you may want to have that jump box laying around just in case.

If you haven’t already invested in a jump box, like the NOCO Boost Plus (link to Amazon) this is a good time to do so. Jump boxes are designed to connect safely to ATV batteries.

Watch this jump box work on a car battery. If it can handle a 6.0 liter gas engine, it can jump start any ATV battery:

Bad or Old Battery

If you are still consistently keeping your ATV battery on a charge and still having problems, you may have an old or defective battery. This is another common problem you’ll want to look out for, as some batteries may die sooner than others based on several different factors.

There’s an easy way to test whether your battery has gone bad and can no longer hold a charge. First, you’ll want to disconnect both of your battery’s terminals and proceed to charge the battery fully. It’s recommended to do this overnight to give your battery time to charge if it can fully.

  • If your battery still proceeds to lose charge after a couple of days or even fails to hold a charge at all, it’s best to invest in a new battery for your ATV.
  • If you are experiencing these problems, you may also have a sulfated battery on your hands.

While you can’t prevent a sulfated battery, there are plenty of factors you can try to avoid that may cause this to happen. For starters, a sulfated battery can occur when your ATV sits around unused for too long or sits too long in between charges.

While a sulfated battery may not mean your battery has to be replaced, it’s ideal to contact your ATV dealer or a local mechanic to identify the root of the problem.

Loose or Corroded Ground Cable

Another factor that may be causing your ATV to be unable to hold a decent charge is a loose or damaged ground cable. You may want to inspect these cables that travel from your battery to the frame of your bike to see if this is where the issue lies.

  • Damaged ground cables can definitely impact how well your ATV battery can take or hold a charge, so it’s important to be mindful of this factor.
  • If you inspect your cable and spot unwanted corrosion building up, it’s ideal for removing it from the terminal immediately and tightening your cables if this seems to be the issue at hand.

Before you spend any money on an entirely new battery or piece of equipment, it’s important to inspect your ATV yourself and ensure there isn’t any other issue at hand that you can easily fix on your own.

Your ATV battery goes through a lot of rough handling, so it’s not surprising that sometimes necessary cables that your battery relies on may become weak and loosen or begin corroding in some way.

Low Fluid Levels in Battery

If your ATV has lead-acid batteries, you may want to check up on your fluid levels to see if they are correct. If your fluid levels are too low, your battery lacks electrolytes, causing your machine to be unable to hold a decent charge.

You must check on these fluid levels before throwing out your battery, as you might end up discarding an excellent battery that is simply in need of some basic maintenance. However, it’s important to note that this rule only applies to those who have a removable cover of their ATV’s battery.

If there is no removable cover allowing you access to your battery, do not attempt to open it, as it is not meant to be opened and can cause you to damage your battery and your equipment even more so.

Suppose your battery does have a removable cover that allows you access to your battery. In that case, you should carefully follow the steps below to check on your battery’s fluid levels properly.

  1. Before opening your battery, you should wipe down the surface to remove any debris that may end up damaging the inside of your battery.
  2. Safely pry open your battery’s removable cover to get inside. Once again, it’s important to note that this should not be done if your battery doesn’t have removable covers.
  3. Once you’re able to see inside, inspect the fluids levels, which should be equal in each cell. If levels are low, check to see if the battery has any leaks that you can see.
  4. To restore equal levels in each tube, use distilled water and fill both areas safely up to the max.
  5. Once you’ve performed all these steps, close up your battery and allow your equipment time to charge to see if this took care of the issue.

Weak Charging System

If your ATV’s charging system cannot properly power up your battery, this can obviously become a problem. Before you discard your battery, thinking that’s where the issue lies, you may want to check up on your charging system.

There are multiple ways you can read your battery’s current voltage, depending on the type of ATV you have. For starters, if your bike has this information readily available to you, you can read the diagnostic mode to understand where your bike’s voltage is at.

If you’re unsure how to read your bike’s diagnostic mode, you can read your machine’s instruction manual to learn how to do this. If your ATV still doesn’t have this information available for you to see, you can always manually read the voltage.

It’s highly recommended that you accurately read your ATVs voltage to see where the problem actually is before you start buying new parts. Low voltage could mean you have a poor stator on your hands, while high voltage could mean your voltage regulator is bad.

Understanding the kinds of voltage readings you receive during this process will determine what kind of issue your ATV battery is having. Before you blame your battery, you may want to look into how your charging system works and if it’s working efficiently.

Exposure to Colder Environments

If your ATV sits stagnant within colder environments for too long, your battery can easily suffer because of this. This will really only affect machines with lead-acid batteries, as they are more susceptible to freeze and can even drain your battery of its power.

If you find yourself parking and even riding your ATV in freezing weather, you may find that your battery doesn’t hold a charge for very long, but don’t be too quick to blame your equipment.

If possible, the best way to avoid this is by storing your ATV in a controlled, heated environment or maybe bringing your ATV charging inside to charge. There are also battery warmers available on the market, making it easier for users, so they don’t constantly have to remove their battery and take it indoors to charge.

Considering your options will make it easier, especially during the colder months when your battery doesn’t seem to hold a charge for long enough. Before you throw out your functioning ATV battery, you may want to consider your location and what kind of temperatures your ATV is exposed to.

What To Do When Your ATV Battery Keeps Dying

Now that we’ve gone over some of the most common reasons why your ATV battery may be dying, below, we’ll explore what users should be mindful of when dealing with a dead ATV battery. We’ll also discuss how you can easily fix any issues you may be having with a few simple steps.

Keep Your Battery Charging

As we stated above, one of the most common reasons your battery continues to die is due to keeping your machine stagnant too often while also failing to charge it in between uses. It’s important to always keep your battery charged, no matter when you plan on taking your ATV back out.

Even if you don’t take your ATV out very often, it’s recommended that you leave your battery charging, so you’re set and ready to go the next time you plan on using it. Keeping it charged will also make your life a lot less frustrating at the end of the day, especially on the days that you plan on taking your machine out, only to find the battery is dead.

Contact Dealer or Local Mechanic

If you’re continuously having problems with your ATV’s battery, you may want to contact a professional for them to assess the problems that you’re having correctly. There are plenty of tests that a professional will conduct that will tell you whether your battery is bad or other issues.

  • While there are plenty of quick fixes you can perform yourself, ATV repairs can become more complicated and more of a hassle.
  • Especially when you start working with your ATV’s inner mechanics, such as what’s going on inside your battery, it’s best to look for a professional.

While some may be hesitant to reach out to a mechanic about their ATV troubles, reaching out to a well-respected handyman will ensure that you understand what the problem with your battery is, as well as how to avoid having this problem again in the future.

Perform Your Own Maintenance

To keep any future problems you may have with your ATV battery at bay, it’s best to perform consistent maintenance on your machine. For example, to avoid any unwanted corrosion building up on your ATV’s cables, it’s best to clean your machine consistently and remove any unwanted debris that you may see.

  • Performing your own maintenance also looks like taking the necessary steps to keep your battery safe in colder environments.
  • As we stated earlier, it’s easy for your battery to lose a lot of its power if it’s exposed to the cold.

Ensuring that your battery is kept in a controlled, heated environment is another form of maintenance that will definitely come in handy and shouldn’t be dismissed.

Consider the Different Ways You Can Charge Your Battery

Now that we’ve stressed how important it is to always keep your ATV’s battery charged, it’s beneficial to know that there are many ways you can successfully charge your battery on your machine.

For one, you can use an individual jump box to charge your battery successfully like the NOCO Boost Plus (link to Amazon). As we stated earlier, you should never give your battery a jump with a car or truck, as it can easily fry your ATV’s battery and destroy the mechanics.

A jump box is a great way to give your battery a quick boost without having another type of vehicle around to help you out. If you plan on having your ATV sit around in between rides for long periods of time, you may want to consider using solar panels to give your machine a charge.

  • This is a popular choice amongst ATV users for many different reasons, seeing how it’s hassle-free and does all the work for you.
  • Modern solar panels are also known not to need a whole lot of sun to be effective, so that’s always a plus.

You can easily use solar panels to charge up your battery no matter where you are and how much sun your ATV is exposed to. Taking the time to explore your options when charging your ATV will make your life so much easier while also keeping your equipment fully charged and ready to be taken out.

Don’t Discard Your Battery Immediately

Now that we’ve discussed all these different factors that may be causing your ATV battery to die, it should go without saying that you shouldn’t throw out your battery immediately.

As we stated earlier, factors such as low fluids levels or a weak charging system can all affect how well your battery holds a charge, as well as how long your charged battery will last. Before you discard a functioning battery, it’s important to understand that there can be other factors at play.

If you’re unsure whether the issue lies with the battery itself or not, it’s important to run multiple diagnostic tests and potentially contact a professional to identify the problem’s root.

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed why your ATV battery might keep dying, as well as what you can do to fix this. We explored some of the most common factors that may be causing your machines to die, such as cold climates and corroded cables.

We also discussed how you could take care of these issues and what else you should be mindful of as an ATV user. Keeping all these factors in mind will ensure that your ATV battery is always fully charged and ready to go.

Rob

That's me sinking another ATV. I love to ride no matter what it is, snowmobiles, four wheelers, dirt bikes, and anything else off-roading. I've experienced my fair share of machines, and like to share that experience here.

Recent Posts