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Battery Died

Discussion in 'ATV / UTV Snow Removal' started by Castlevetti, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. Castlevetti

    Castlevetti Junior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 1

    The battery on my 09 Polaris died this morn in the middle of plowing. I did have some trouble with it back in the summer due to lack of use but I charged it up and worked fine till now. I have plowed with it once already this season with no issues. Should I be keeping it on a charger when not in use? Or replace the battery all together? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. BruteForce750

    BruteForce750 Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 133

    Its not a bad idea to use a trickle charger to keep your battery topped off. I myself don't but I ride my quad pretty often with or without plowing. Also, it depends on how frequently you tax the system by using your winch. The more frequent you raise and lower, the more draw you take from the battery and less chance it has to recharge.

    Even with the lack of use during the summer with a nearly new battery (2009) I think it should of still held a charge fine (I guess depends on the actual length of no use). If you plowed once with it and it worked fine, you might want to check that your battery is being charged by the ATV.

    If you have a bad magneto then your battery is getting weaker each time you use it to various activities. Which would make sense that it worked the other time you used it plowing (you had charged it right before that). I'd recommend getting a volt meter and doing some tests.

    This is also why I plow in low as it charges the battery a bit quicker than when in high. Here is a link that goes into absurd detail about ATV charging systems.

    One last thing, before you decide to get a brand new battery ($$$) bring it to an Autozone or similar place and have then check the status of the battery for free. You might replace the battery when its actually something else. Maybe somethings constantly pulling a draw on your battery thus explaining it being dead in the summer.

    Bust out that volt meter and do some tests! :drinkup:
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  3. captainkelley

    captainkelley Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    Batteries will freeze. The freezing point depends on level of charge. It might have gotten low and started to freeze. Mine did that last year with the lights on and a winch working the plow. It got weaker and weaker over about three hours. Then it died completely after I got it on the trailer and shut it off.
     
  4. BruteForce750

    BruteForce750 Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 133

    thanks captain, learn something new everyday. I would have thought the heat from the engine would keep the battery from freezing...
     
  5. MtnCowboy

    MtnCowboy Member
    Messages: 96

    I know a bit about batteries -- for a time I was a marine electrician and I've maintained a photovoltaic system with battery storage for a long time. If you search ATV magneto stator online you'll find a wealth of information about checking your ATV's charging system. But otherwise a dead battery with a year's use points to a bad battery or the charging system isn't recharging the battery; or long storage at very high temps and no periodic recharging. My ATV battery is 3+ years-old, gets a lot of use and is in fine shape -- my garden tractor battery is 6 years-old and going strong.

    A smart charger runs $40- $70 but is also a good investment considering its periodic use can extend the life of expensive ATV batteries -- possibly doubled. I use a "Battery Tender Plus" for AGM bat. recharging and it works very well. In theory a battery may be left on a smart charger 24/7, yet many people don't think it's a good idea because of the small potential for thermal runaway or other catastrophic failure. I put my bats on the Battery Tender every 2 months and remove them once a full charge is reached. I wouldn't leave a battery on a standard trickle charger longer than needed to bring it to full charge -- a smart charger will be kinder to the battery.

    So do a search for "ATV magneto" and another for smart chargers or Battery Tender Plus (1.25A) and you'll have more information than you'll need. I'm assuming your ATV has a magneto assembly and not an alternator, though I don't know. You might have a bad bat, the ATV may be undercharging or overcharging the battery; it could be a bad connection, or a ghost load or, heat... cold usually isn't hard on a battery - not as hard as heat anyway - but it will make much of the power unavailable so that the battery appears dead until it warms. If you use a lot of accessories your ATV charging system may not be recharging the battery fully (it never real does anyway), in which case it is sulfating, and you might need to use a smart charger regularly.
     
  6. MtnCowboy

    MtnCowboy Member
    Messages: 96

    And captain is correct. Cold doesn't harm a battery ... unless it's in a low state of charge, in which case it can freeze. In any event, regardless of temp, a lead/acid, sealed, AGM battery should not be stored for any length of time at a partial charge with expectations of any sort of longevity.
     
  7. 06Sierra

    06Sierra PlowSite.com Addict
    from Maine
    Messages: 1,329

    AGM batteries are very picky with the initial charge. If not done properly, it shortens the life of the battery a lot. Check around as I'm not familiar with Polaris, you may be able to get a bigger battery. Also a battery tender jr works great!!
     
  8. skywagon

    skywagon Senior Member
    Messages: 262

    We run 925 Optima's and they will last 5-10 years like 06Sierra says are handled rite, we run winch, angle cylinder, Stereo, full lites, strobes and never kill a battery all nite or day of operation.:waving::waving:
     
  9. lagwagon

    lagwagon Member
    Messages: 50

    skywagon, do you trickle charge your batteries at the end of every plow day?
     
  10. skywagon

    skywagon Senior Member
    Messages: 262

    Yes, always when not in use all equiptment is hooked to battery tenders. We run a couple 925 Odyssey batteries and 3-4 Optima's, which are the same AMG tecnolodgy. We also run Combiners shown here and is also a very good product. http://yandina.com/c100InfoR3.htm
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  11. captainkelley

    captainkelley Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    MtnCowboy could have been the service guy I was talking to. Sounded pretty close to what he said. Also the service guy said that freezing isn't bad but ice pushing the plates together is bad. That probably explained the slow death of mine.

    I agree with the "smart" charger recommendation. I plugged mine in at 10 degrees the other night about 4 hrs before a storm and it was green right away. I would have left a trickle charge on it for hours otherwise. 20 bucks is about a third of a new battery. Buy the better charger.