ATV Battery Voltage Guide
Understanding your ATV battery’s voltage empowers you with useful information about caring for your machine. Without this information, you could be damaging your engine or running around with a bad alternator. This post will answer the question, “how many volts is a four wheeler battery,” and help you understand ATV battery voltage and battery quality.
How Many Volts is An ATV Battery?
Quad batteries are labelled as 12V, but when you test them, you should find that they actually read somewhere between 12.6V and 13.1V. Different battery types and models will read slightly differently.
They read higher than 12 because it’s better to be on the higher end of 12 than the lower end of 12 because just 11.8V is too low. It means that one of your battery cells has died or the battery is sulfated and will have to be replaced.
If the battery has more than 13.1V, this means your battery is getting too much charge. It usually indicates you have a problem with your alternator.
Batteries in toddler ATVs are 6V. This is because kids ATVs don’t need as much power and a 12V battery wouldn’t fit in such a tiny ATV.
You may be wondering if it’s possible to put two 6V batteries in an adult ATV. It isn’t a good idea because two 6V batteries weigh much more than one 12V battery, and you don’t want to throw off the balance of your ATV that way.
What Voltage Isn’t
Quad battery voltage is not what determines the battery’s power. That would be the amperage.
When you buy a new quad battery, check the amperage, including:
- CA or Cranking Amp
- CCA or Cold Cranking Amp
- AH or Amp Hour
These are the figures for choosing a battery. They tell you how powerful it is, how well it will run in winter weather, and how long you can stay on the trail.
The CA tells you the amps of your battery at 32 degrees Fahrenheit or above. The higher the number, the better.
CCA is the number of amps your battery can deliver at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Higher numbers are better. Of course, your climate determines how important this number is to you. If you live in a climate that sees very cold weather, you’ll need at least 300 CCA. 500 is ideal.
AH refers to how long your battery can deliver a certain charge. This determines how long you can ride, so it’s very important to all riders. Make sure this number is high.
The cycle life of a battery tells you how many times you can charge your battery before you’ll need a new one. A high number means your battery will last longer.
4 Wheeler Battery Voltage and Maintenance
If the battery supplies too little or too much voltage, it can damage your engine and your electrical components. It is important to regularly check the voltage on your ATV battery.
How to check ATV battery voltage:
- Make sure your ATV is turned off.
- Remove the terminal covers.
- Check the terminals for corrosion and remove any corrosion.
- Attach the positive end of a digital voltmeter to the positive terminal on the battery and the negative end to the negative terminal.
- Read the number on the voltmeter.
- Remove the digital voltmeter and replace the terminal covers.
Your battery or your ATV owner’s manual should tell you the ideal voltage.
Most batteries need somewhere between 12.6 and 12.8V. Some need more. No battery is running well with less than 12.6V. You can charge it to see if it is reading low simply because it has been undercharged. If not, it has at least some sulfation.
A little sulfation can be cleaned off and you can still use your battery. If the sulfation is impossible to remove or has reduced the battery’s voltage to less than 11.8V, you will need to buy a new battery.
If the battery has too much voltage, you should turn on the high beams for a while to see if it can be drained. If not, you should check your alternator.
AGM batteries run higher. They need 12.8 to 13.1V. They run differently from typical batteries which have liquids to be maintained. If you have an issue with your AGM four wheeler battery voltage, you should contact a mechanic for their advice.
Battery Life Span
No matter how good the battery or how well you take care of it, they all have a certain life span. It’s usually between 2 and 4 years. If you are having problems with yours and it’s nearing its expiration date, you should probably go ahead and replace it rather than trying to fix it.