Directions for New ATV Batteries

by Nick Davis

All-terrain vehicles (ATV) let you roam rocky, uneven roads and narrow paths that cars, trucks and other vehicles can't access. ATVs contain an engine and components similar to an automobile including a battery that works along with an electric starter to ignite the engine. Before installing a new battery in your ATV, you need to properly charge the battery so it will start your ATV and keep it running. Failure to initially charge the battery, can lead to a shortened battery life.


To properly charge and condition your new ATV battery you need a battery charger designed for charging ATV batteries, a shop towel or rag and a pair of work gloves. ATV battery chargers, available at automotive supply and retail superstores as well as online, provide a slow charge to your new battery so the component doesn't overcharge. Regular car battery chargers will not work.

Setting Up The New Battery

Place the battery and charger on a flat surface close to a electrical outlet. Wipe the battery's connectors with a clean shop towel or rag to remove any loose dust and dirt. Wear work gloves to keep your hands clean. Place the battery charger's "Positive" cable (red) onto the "Positive" post on the side of the ATV battery then place the "Negative" cable (black) onto the battery's post. Plug in the battery charger's power cable into an electrical outlet.

Amp Selection

Most battery chargers contain an "Amp" selection button that lets you properly correlate the charger with the amount of amperage your ATV's battery can handle. Make sure to place the switch on the "Amp" setting that matches your battery. The amperage information is printed on the top or side of your battery. If your battery charger doesn't contain an "Amp" switch, the amperage is automatically detected by the charger.

Charging Time

Let the battery charge for at least eight hours. Heavy-duty and large-capacity ATV batteries require at least 10 hours of charging time--consult your battery's owner's manual for recommended charging time if you have this type of battery. Note, certain battery charger models have a "Charged" light that will indicate when the battery is fully charged.

Removing The Battery From The Charger

Unplug the battery charger's power cable from the electrical outlet once the battery charger indicator light has illuminated or the battery has charged for at least eight hours (regular batteries) or 10 hours (heavy-duty batteries). Remove the "Negative" cable from the battery first, then the "Positive" cable. Place the battery in your ATV and connect the "Positive" cable first then the "Negative" cable. To keep your new battery's terminals from corroding, grease the terminals with petroleum jelly or grease designed for battery terminals, before connecting the ATV's battery cables.

About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera black atv image by Dumitrescu Ciprian from