Your ATV Battery Questions: Answered
This week, we're starting a new mini-series. Much like Anatomy of an ATV, we never really planned this, it just sort of happened. You may or may not know that last month, our blog turned a year old year old. To mark the occasion, we wanted to pick the top search terms that led to our site and answer a few of the questions. The more we thought about it, the harder it was to narrow it down. Now that we have our retail space open and are dealers for Odes UTVs, we get more questions than we ever imagined and Ask Us Anything seems like the perfect way to get some of them answered. Sometimes the questions will come from our search terms, sometimes they'll come from customers in our store, and sometimes they'll come from our readers via Facebook. To date, our post on battery types and maintenance is still the most popular item on this site. It only seems fitting that we use our first Ask Us Anything to address some of the questions that aren't mentioned specifically in that post. All of the search terms below are word for word and were pulled from our site analytic programs.
wet cell battery keeps running down
Unfortunately, wet cell batteries are going to run down and need to be refilled. That's just part of a wet cell's lifecycle and there's not much you can do about it. If you find that your acid levels and/or charge are running down quicker than usual, you may be charging it at too high an amperage. When you use too many amps to charge your battery, it causes excess heat. This heat causes the acid to calcify on the plates and evaporate quickly. This combination decreases both the charge capacity and the lifespan of your battery. Keeping your battery on a maintainer is the best way to extend it's lifecycle. A maintainer like a Battery Tender Jr will provide a trickle charge that keeps your battery ready to run no matter what.
how is the best way to store a small atv battery
We preach the Battery Tender pretty hard around here because it's an awesome way to maintain your battery and increase the lifespan. But if you plan on storing your battery for an extended period of time and you don't have access to a maintainer, there are a few guidelines you can use to keep your battery protected. If you're planning on storing your ATV in a shed our outhouse for the winter, we recommend pulling the battery and storing it in a climate controlled environment. The constant temperature will protect the plates or mats inside the cells. It will also help to prevent issues with condensation as the weather begins to warm up. If you don't have access to a maintainer, it's good practice to use a trickle charge at least once per month while the battery is in storage. This keeps the battery charged.
do you have to charge a 4 wheeler battery after adding acid
Whether you're using an Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) battery or a lead-acid battery, you definitely need to charge it before the first use. Adding the acid to the battery doesn't provide power. For either type of battery, you'll want to wait at least one hour before putting the battery on the charger. In most cases, you'll want to charge the battery for a full day or overnight. The Battery Tender Jr is great not only for maintaining your battery, but the trickle charge is an ideal method for charging your battery for the first time and we use it on all of the batteries we activate in the store. Unfortunately, there is no way to speed up the initial charge without contributing damage to the battery. It may run fine the first time, but quick charges are one of the easiest ways to ruin a battery.
when filling atv battery with acid some leaked
There are a number of things you could be referring to here, but we'll try our best. First, we're assuming you didn't get any on your hands or clothes or in your eyes. If you did, you should back away from Google and go wash up and/or seek medical attention immediately. Once everything is good there, you'll want to make sure the acid in your battery is at the correct level. If it's a traditional lead-acid battery, make sure there is enough acid to meet the bottom line. If it's not, you'll want to add more acid. Charging or running a battery without the correct amount of acid is a great way to destroy it. Refer to our original post on battery maintenance for more details on this.
If the acid leaked and got on the outside of the battery, a shop floor, or any other surroundings, you'll want to neutralize it before trying to clean it up. Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is an excellent way to neutralize battery acid. Make mixture of water and baking soda. No need to be precise, just a lot of baking soda. Then pour it directly onto the spilled acid. (If you're pouring it onto the top of your battery, make sure everything is sealed up good first.) As the baking soda reacts with the acid, the mixture will bubble. You may need to use the baking soda and water more than once. You'll know everything is neutral and safe to clean up when you can pour the mixture and no longer see a reaction. This method is also great for cleaning corrosion off battery terminals.