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How Do I Choose the Best ATV Battery?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
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In order to choose the best all-terrain vehicle (ATV) battery for your machine, you should follow the manufacturer's recommendations for replacement batteries as well as researching some pertinent information yourself. Most manufacturers commonly agree that discount or surplus batteries should be avoided. This is due to the tremendous amount of electronics designed into the modern ATV. You might wish to replace your worn-out battery with a new brand name ATV battery in the original water-filled version, or you may wish to upgrade to a gel-cell battery. You should always take accurate measurements of your ATV battery, taking special care to note the locations of the positive and negative battery post placement to ensure that you purchase a similar replacement battery.

Your ATV battery takes a lot of abuse while offering plenty of electrical power for your ATV. Not only do the lights draw current from the battery in your ATV — your electric starter, winch and even some fuel-injection systems all require plenty of ATV battery power to operate properly. While many batteries designed for use in an ATV use heavy lead plates inside of a durable plastic case, if you want to purchase the best battery available for your specific needs, you may wish to go with an aftermarket battery.

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The wet cell battery has been in use for as long as batteries have been produced, making it a typically reliable choice. You can buy this style of ATV battery in a sealed unit requiring no maintenance or a refillable battery which requires periodic maintenance and refilling with distilled water. Of the two, you may want to choose the maintenance-free battery for the most reliable, hands-off ATV battery choice. While this is typically the style of battery installed by the manufacturer of your ATV, there is often a better choice in battery power available: the gel-cell battery.

Unlike a common water-filled battery that can leak when turned upside down or held sideways, the gel-cell battery is filled with a thick gel that will not leak under typical circumstance. Another benefit in choosing a gel-cell ATV battery is that the gel supports the lead plates inside of the battery and guards them against shorting across each other on rough terrain. Some water-filled batteries are shaken apart when operated on rough terrain, causing catastrophic failure and the end of a ride. You may spend a little more for a gel-cell ATV battery, however, the added piece of mind afforded by using this type of battery may well be worth the initial cost difference.

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