How to Charge an ATV Battery with Car Charger?

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ATV requires batteries to start the engine and run all the electrical equipment. The headlight, backlight, digital speedometer, and others run using the battery’s power.

The ATV itself charges the batteries using the engine rev on the go. The prebuilt recharging system inputs power to the battery with acceleration. But sometimes the current required is not effectively met by the engine and sometimes the batteries become dead.

You need to use an additional charger and a car charger is the most common. If you know How to Charge an ATV Battery with Car Charger? you can easily get rid of the problem. The car chargers are used to recharge the ATV and other vehicle batteries.

You Should know that How to Charge an ATV Battery with Car Charger?

You can manually charge the ATV battery using the car charger. All the modern vehicle batteries are designed to comply with universal high voltage chargers. Both car and ATV use a 12V battery but an ATV battery has a lower CCA (Cold Cranking Amps). That is why ATV batteries lower the surge of power than a car battery.

ATV Battery with Car Charger

Moreover, car batteries require a 10AMP of input current which can be a bit higher to withhold by the ATV batteries. ATV batteries are required 1-3AMP of current for recharging. Therefore it is mandatory to use a Car Battery Charger where you have the liberty to alter the output current to 1-3Amps or as required.

The charging mechanism of an ATV battery is similar to the charging system of a car battery. Nowadays, there are several types of batteries being introduced in the vehicular battery system. These require special arrangements and power than the old conventional Lead-Acid batteries.

How to charge an ATV VS UTV battery?

If you own an ATV or UTV and need to charge your battery, there are a few steps you should know. First, make sure your battery is completely discharged. One of the main causes of battery failure is overcharging. Next, follow the charging procedure outlined in the manufacturer’s manual.

Charge an ATV Battery with Car Charger?

1: ATV or UTV somewhere dry and well-ventilated

When you pull into a public campground or parking lot, you have the right to park the ATV or UTV in a location that is NOT in the stall or in the way of other vehicles in the lot or in the campsite.

2: Locate and inspect the battery

We all have batteries in our cars, but how well do we know them? This guide will focus on the location, removal, and inspection of car batteries. As with anything related to the car, you should have a basic understanding of how the car works before attempting any of the described actions.

3: Identity what type of battery you have

There are many types of batteries, including lead-acid, NiCad, NiMH, Li-Ion, and lithium-ion. Each type has its advantages. For example, lead-acid batteries can be used to power lanterns and other home lighting systems while NiCad and NiMH batteries are used in laptops, cell phones, and other electronic devices. Lithium-ion batteries can be used in laptops and some cell phones and some watches and toys.

How long should you charge an ATV battery?

A new ATV battery can cost $600-$1,000, which is more than most people will spend on a new vehicle. Yet, they never seem to last as long as they should. The main reason is that they are always discharged to a certain point each time they are recharged, which keeps them from performing as well as they could.

charge an ATV battery

To top it off, they still lose a few percentage points of capacity with every charge, which is a waste for anyone who wants to use their ATV as much as possible. This means that if you use your ATV as much as you can, as soon as you can, you might as well buy a new one rather than deal with the hassle of trying to maintain it. 

That’s why this blog is here to help. Here you will find the most up-to-date and accurate information on how long you should charge and how to properly store your ATV battery.

How To Charge An ATV Battery With A Car Charger?

ATVs using conventional Lead-Acid batteries possess a similar charging mechanism to a car battery. Lead-acid-type batteries require initial refilling of electrolytes such as Sulphuric Acid. It needs to be filled with distilled water at a regular interval of time to maintain the ionic balance.

Battery charger

Lead acids cannot withhold the vibrations and aggressive tilts of an ATV rider. The good thing about a lead-acid battery is that it is not as demanding in terms of voltage as the other types. Moreover, it can charge simply.

Many ATVs in modern times use the AGM or Absorbent Glass Mat ty[pe batteries. This requires initial activation using higher ionic electrolytes.

Another AGM battery type that is specially made for ATV and sports bikes is the Factory sealed version. It can withstand vibrations, jerking, and higher banking angles quite easily. These come in pre-activated types. You need not manually activate it using electrolytes.

The latest type of battery used by ATVs is the modern Li-ion battery. These are very light with higher effective action and comply with most of the modern battery chargers with ease. Li-ion batteries don’t require any manual activation.

We’ll be discussing the step-by-step procedures required for charging ATV batteries using a car charger.

What will you need?

Firstly you need to park the vehicle in a cold-shaded area with a good ventilation system to readily remove gases produced from chemical reactions while recharging. Accidental overcharging may leak highly explosive Hydrogen gas. That’s why proper airflow should be maintained in the area of charging the ATV battery.

Secondly, you must have easy access to the ATV battery. ATVs being very small and confined vehicles some models have batteries well hidden inside the body with a plastic covering. On the other hand, many ATVs have batteries just below the seat which are readily accessible.

charge an ATV or UTV battery with car

Next, you must inspect and characterize the type of battery your ATV possesses. Not all batteries are compatible with car battery chargers. Some ATV batteries even require specific chargers.

You would require the best compatible charger with your battery type. FLA(Flooded Lead Acid Battery) can be changed easily using any automatic or manual chargers with constant monitoring of voltage input.

It is possible to charge the AGM or Sealed AGM battery manually but it requires constant and sharp monitoring. Slightly overcharge may cause a gas leak and water depletion. If it’s a sealed version then the damage would have been permanent. Some manual chargers have a dedicated AGM or SLA charging mode that can be used.

Gel-cell batteries are highly sensitive in terms of overcharging. It can cause trapping of Hydrogen bubbles inside the electrolyte permanently and cause deprived battery life in the future. That is why it is recommended to use only compatible automatic intelligent battery chargers for a Gel-cell battery.

Li-ion batteries can be charged quickly and easily with both manual and intelligent chargers. These require high voltage input. It is recommended to use the automatic or LI-ion compatible chargers only than the manual ones. The minimum requirements for ATV battery charging are:

  • The charger must be a 12V type.
  • Output current must be between 1-3amps.

Batteries Charging Process

  • It is imperative to clean and dry the battery connections before setting up cable connections.
  • Maintain proper cable connection. Red charging clamp from the charger will go into the Positive (+, P, POS) terminal of the battery with Red rubber protection. And the negative terminal shall be connected with the Negative (-, N, NEG) terminal with black colored rubber.
  •  You can now connect the charger with all sockets. If you are using a manual charger, then divide ah reading of your battery with 10 and ensure the input current. ATV batteries should be never charged with more than 3 Amps.
  •  If you are using an automatic intelligent charger then choose the correct charging profile dedicated for AGM/SLA, Gel-cell, and LI-ion battery.
  • You can start the charging process at this stage. You must give the time required for a full charge otherwise the battery may cause sulfation.
  • Monitor the charging process from time to time using a voltmeter.
  • After charging completion disconnect the charger and unplug the cables after removing produced gases from the area.
atv battery with a car charger

Batteries Charging Safety Guide

  • Always charge the ATV battery in a well-ventilated area.
  • You must use rubber gloves and protective eyewear.
  • Remove all flammable things away from the charging area. 
  • Never smoke around a charging battery.

Related Questions

Can you charge a 12-volt battery with a car charger?

You can charge a 12V ATV battery using a car charger meeting the requirement of the current input.

Do ATV batteries charge when running?

ATV batteries do charge while running using the engine rev. But it is not as effective as commuter bikes and requires charging every often.

How long does it take to charge a car battery with a 12-volt charger?

Charging time depends upon the current you are providing and the state of the battery. It takes around 14-18hours to reach 100% from 0%.

Final Word

Charging ATV batteries can be easily done using car chargers with 12V and proper current input. But you need to know How to Charge an ATV Battery with Car Charger properly. Otherwise, you may end up damaging the battery.

Since car batteries have higher CCA and amp requirements, it is imperative to double-check the charging profile required for your ATV battery (low CCA). Make sure you follow the step-by-step process we have mentioned above for the best result


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