A functional battery is important to keep a trolling motor functioning effectively. It can be frustrating when your motor battery dies while fishing. So, you might be asking questions like how long does trolling motor battery last? Or how can you improve the life expectancy of the battery?
In this post, we’ll highlight the average lifecycle of marine batteries and how you can increase their lifespan with proper maintenance.
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How long should trolling motor batteries last?
The lifespan of trolling motor batteries depends on many things, such as the battery type, how often it runs, battery size, and the condition in which it’s utilized. Here’s the life expectancy of a trolling battery, depending on the type:
Various types of trolling motor batteries
A trolling motor can be powered by four batteries: gel cell, absorbed glass mat, and flooded lead acid.
- Gel cell batteries: These batteries are recharged with liquid electrolytes. Unlike the flooded lead acid batteries, gel cell batteries are filled and sealed with a gelled electrolytic solution. That makes them more spill-proof than the standard wet cell batteries. So, if your equipment is extra sensitive or you don’t want to deal with spills, get a gel cell battery. They’ll last 3-5 years.
- Absorbed glass mat (AGM) Batteries: They are also called valve-regulated lead acid batteries and can last up to 5 years.
- Flooded lead acid: These are also called wet cell batteries since they have liquid electrolytes. They can last 2-3 years.
- Lithium batteries: These have the longest lifespan of 4-6 years.
Wet batteries don’t last long like lithium-cell batteries. But remember, the ultimate life cycle of deep-cycle batteries depends on proper maintenance and frequent charging.
For instance, if you discharge a battery and let it stay in that condition for an extended period, its lifespan will drop drastically. Unluckily, this is what most people do whenever they store their trolling motor batteries for cold months.
So, it’s important to recharge the batteries after every use and utilize a trickle battery charger in the cold season. Instead, you can recharge your battery once every month during winter to keep its charge.
Another best solution is using the onboard charger. Just connect it once you are at home, as this will help protect the battery charge from going below 50 percent every time. That is one of the things that reduce the lifespan of your battery.
If you want your trolling motor battery to last longer:
- Keep it clean and free from grim and dirt to prevent corrosion and extend the battery life
- Ensure you charge it periodically, like once every week
- Keep it in a cool, dry place while not in use
If you’re shopping for a new motor battery, don’t forget to consider the most important aspects. First, determine which type you want. The two main trolling motor batteries are AGM and lead wet acid cells. Each has pros and cons, so ensure you conduct your homework before buying. Second, determine the size of the battery. Since batteries come in different sizes, choose one that fits your needs.
Lastly, consider the brand and price. Trolling motor batteries don’t come cheap, but some affordable options exist.
How often should you replace your motor battery?
You can maximize the life cycle of a battery and wait until it dies to get a new one. However, replacing it before a serious problem occurs will help you avoid the trouble of the motor losing its power while in the water.
Generally, you can replace your AGM trolling motor batteries every four years and target to change it at least one year before it gets to its maximum life expectancy.
Some individuals will replace their motor batteries after a year, and others will only replace them when essential. Ultimately, it will depend on how regularly you use the trolling motor and how you maintain the battery.
If you use the motor regularly or don’t give it proper maintenance, you’ll have to replace it often. Nevertheless, if you take proper care of the battery and use the trolling motor occasionally, you’ll escape from replacing it often.
Inspecting the motor battery every year is important to check if it requires replacement. This helps you avoid getting stranded on the sea with a bad battery. It’s also vital to watch out for warning signs of a dying battery like:
- The motor tends to work harder than usual to power the vessel, or if it produces more noise than usual
- Difficulties in steering the boat or the trolling motor vibrating abnormally
- The battery loses power faster than usual when the motor is switched on
If you see any of these signs, take your vessel to a technique and have it checked. They’ll help you know if you should replace the motor or if it’s another issue.
How long can a trolling motor run on a battery?
This is hard to answer since it will depend on various factors such as battery size, type of motor, and how faster the trolling motor is running.
Typically, your trolling motor will run for multiple hours on a single deep-cycle battery charge. Nevertheless, if the motor runs full speed or for many hours, you might realize that your trolling motor battery will only last for a while.
How long can a 24V trolling motor last?
With proper maintenance, your 24-volt trolling motor battery will last several years. Like other electrical gadgets, the motor will undergo wear and tear. To prolong the motor’s life, make sure it’s free from debris and clean. Check out the connection and wires for any signs of wear, and make sure you use the proper type and size of battery for your motor.
How to extend the lifespan of a marine motor battery
Here are some tips to help you extend the life of a battery.
1. Avoid keeping the battery in extreme temperatures
Extreme temperature causes water evaporation, corrosion, and other issues affecting the battery’s life cycle. Anything above 45°C (113°F) and below -20°C (-4°F) can be considered extreme for trolling motor batteries. Nevertheless, it’s ok if you avoid storing your battery anywhere above 38°C (100°F) or below 0°C (32°F).
2. Keep up with battery maintenance
Keep up your trolling motor battery’s maintenance routine by adding the solution or water as required. This is the best way to prolong its lifespan and avoid corrosion.
For instance, wet batteries need a lot of maintenance because the water level must be frequently added. If you ignore this and leave the battery to dry, it will stop working after a few uses. Utilize distilled water when refilling since you don’t want to affect the electrolyte’s concentration.
Since refilling the batteries is a hassle, you can opt for sealed motor batteries that don’t require any maintenance and don’t need refilling with water.
If it’s a new battery, consult the manufacturer for the correct maintenance guide.
3. Practice proper battery storage
Knowing how to properly store your marine motor battery during the offseason is essential. First, disconnect the battery’s negative wire and recharge the battery. If you use a wet cell battery, you’ll want to refill the liquid levels.
4. Clean the battery frequently
Debris and dirt on top of the trolling motor battery and its terminals will cause the battery to drain. This will discharge the battery or even use extra charge cycles, damaging the motor battery. So, it’s important to clean the top of the battery and its terminals using a wet rag at least once weekly.
5. Keep the battery fully charged
Keep your deep cycle battery from running out of charge. Don’t keep it in a discharged condition for long, as this affects its lifespan.
Therefore, if you use your motor battery the entire day, don’t forget to charge it once you are home. If you use the motor for a few hours or sporadically, you can recharge it once every week.
One of the biggest problems happens when you keep the marine motor battery for the cold season. If you do not recharge them frequently, that will damage them. One of the effective ways to resolve this problem is using the automatic charging unit that senses when the trolling motor battery is fully charged.
This method helps you keep the battery fully charged throughout winter, prolonging its lifespan. Don’t forget to store them in a dry and cool place. Avoid placing the battery on concrete flooring.
There’s no specific lifespan of trolling motor batteries. It depends on how frequently you use the motor and how you maintain the battery. Nevertheless, it’s important to inspect the battery every year and check out symptoms of trouble. This will help you avoid getting stranded on the sea with a bad battery.
This post highlights the things affecting the lifespan of your battery and offers tips to extend its life. So, whether you are searching for a new trolling motor battery or want to know how to maintain the one at home, use this information. Feel free to comment if you have any questions or concerns.