ATV Batteries

There are two major kinds of ATV batteries. The first, although the least popular today, is the lead-acid battery. In essence, this is exactly the same kind of battery as is used in cars, except slightly less powerful. But in all other ways, the lead acid ATV battery is the same, and you can even jumpstart it the same way, although that can be pretty dangerous to the battery.

The lead acid battery works because of its sulfuric acid mixture, which is able to carry (and discharge) a great amount of electricity. There are two major types of lead acid batteries. The first is the deep cell battery, which holds a greater amount of power for measured, long periods of usage. The second kind, which is used in ATV’s and cars, is the starter battery, which holds less power, but is able to use more in short bursts, such as what is needed to start a vehicle.

Lead acid batteries come from a very old technology that has been around for more than a hundred years. Because of that, they’re also the cheapest kind of battery that you can buy for an ATV – the technology has been refined over such a great period of time that battery makers are able to put out a very cheap battery without sacrificing any quality in the process. On the other hand, they do come with significant disadvantages. The acid covers the surface of the batteries and can make them dangerous to handle. Also, they can be easily damaged by using them when the vehicle is off. Many people don’t know that using a battery when the vehicle is off, but in lead acid batteries, this is especially true, as they are not meant to discharge more than about 30 percent of their power.

The other kind of battery uses AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) technology. This is quite a bit newer, and since it was commercialized in the mid-80’s, has become the most popular kind of battery for ATV’s. AGM batteries are typically marketed in several different ways – “sealed” and “gel-celled,” to name a couple – but the most basic technology remains the same. Usually, if you see something like the aforementioned marketing names, they refer to additional features that are inherently in the technology to begin with. For example, “sealed” means that there is no acid coating on the top of the battery, something that is true of every AGM battery.

AGM batteries are typically more expensive than lead acid batteries, but that’s because they’re generally of a better quality. To speak generally, they basically have more power. Or to be more accurate, they allocate power more efficiently for their purpose. For their weight, they usually have a higher crank capacity, and can usually give out more power in general. Also, they can be placed at different angles, making them easy to fit in (lead acid batteries can only be placed in with a specific side up).

On the other hand AGM batteries have to be activated in a very specific way to ensure that they get optimal results. This doesn’t sound like a big deal, but if they aren’t activated perfectly, they aren’t nearly as advantageous, and the process of activating them isn’t exactly simple. Also, their advantages are often more important to vehicle makers than drivers, and they can be a pain to replace, both in terms of effort and price. In the end, the type of ATV doesn’t really make a huge difference. Sure, it’s nice not to be at risk for acid and/or electric burns every time you touch your battery, but it’s not something worth buying a different ATV over.



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