A well-maintained lawn tractor can function reliably for many years, but its battery—the part responsible for starting the engine—will likely only last for about 3 years before it must be replaced. While replacing the battery is a straightforward process that requires only a little time and basic tools, selecting the right battery is a little more complicated. Lawn tractor batteries come in different sizes, and, although every model is a 12-volt battery, other features set them apart.
Use this guide to explore the world of 12-volt batteries and identify the essential features to consider when shopping for the best lawn tractor battery. Then keep reading for details about some of the top models on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: Mighty Max Battery 12 Volt 35 AH SLA Battery
- RUNNER-UP: Weize 12V 35AH Battery Rechargeable SLA Deep Cycle
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Mighty Max Battery ML-U1 12V 200CCA Battery
- UPGRADE PICK: Yuasa YUAM320BS YTX20L-BS Battery
- BEST FOR COLD STARTS: CB CHROMEBATTERY Deep Cycle Replacement Battery
- MOST DURABLE: ExpertPower EXP12180 12V 18Ah Lead Acid Battery
- BEST FOR UNEVEN TERRAIN: Weize YTX14 BS ATV Battery High Performance
- BEST HIGH-PERFORMANCE: Universal Power Group 12V 35AH Battery
- BEST DEEP CYCLE: Interstate Batteries 12V 35AH Deep Cycle Battery
- BEST BATTERY TENDER: Battery Tender Plus 12V Battery Charger
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Lawn Tractor Battery
Lawn tractor batteries come in different sizes and various materials that make some better suited for specific lawn tractors. Here’s what to keep in mind when selecting a lawn tractor battery.
Size and Terminal Position
The physical size of batteries is determined by the Battery Council International, and most lawn mower batteries fall in the council’s U1 category. While lawn tractor batteries vary somewhat in size, most are approximately 8 inches long, 5 inches wide, and 7 inches high. The larger the battery size, the more amp hours the 12-volt battery can generate. Amperage refers to how many amp hours a battery can supply for one hour before it’s drained. For example, a 16-amp hour battery can draw 16 amps for 1 hour before it needs a recharge.
The location of the terminal also isn’t universal among lawn tractor batteries. The U1 designation is organized based on the location of the battery terminals. U1R, for example, indicates that a battery’s positive terminal is on the right side of the battery.
Most lawn tractor batteries are lead-acid batteries, which create electricity by cells with plates submerged in an electrolyte solution. In most batteries, these plates are infused with antimony, a metalloid chemical element. Unfortunately, this type of battery loses its charge over time and is susceptible to corrosion, but it’s rechargeable.
Some batteries, however, use alternative materials, such as calcium, which doesn’t discharge as quickly and resists corrosion better than antimony. Calcium batteries are particularly suited to lawn tractors as they endure vibrations better.
Some batteries also incorporate glass mat and gel cell technology, which use a dry material instead of lead-acid batteries’ liquid. This design prevents hazardous spills should the battery tip over or the casing crack. It also means the battery can be mounted on its side or even upside down, since nothing can spill out. Glass mat batteries also charge about five times faster than lead acid batteries.
“Deep cycle” batteries, which use thicker, more durable lead plates, can endure repeated charges and discharges without damaging the plates. They’re useful for tractors that sit idle for long periods.
Voltage is the amount of output a battery can supply when fully charged. Most lawn tractors use 12-volt batteries, which can output 12.6 volts of power. In addition to voltage, batteries have amp-hour ratings, which tell the user how much amperage a battery can provide for 1 hour.
Like cars, lawn tractors have a charging system that charges the battery while the engine is running. However, the number of amp hours a 12-volt battery produces isn’t that critical in lawn tractors, because the engine uses the battery only to start the engine. That said, a battery with more amp hours will discharge more slowly than one with fewer amp hours, which can be significant for tractors that sit for long periods between use.
Cold Cranking Amps
Cold cranking amps is the amount of current a battery can deliver in sub-freezing temperatures. For lawn tractors that double as snow plows in the wintertime, cold cranking amps are important.
A lawn tractor’s cold cranking amps are indicated by a CCA rating, an indication of the amps the battery can produce in 30 seconds at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The higher a battery’s CCA, the better it can operate at cold temperatures.
In lawn tractor batteries, cold cranking amps range from about 250 to 280. Batteries with higher CCA ratings are more expensive, so determine how much use the lawn tractor will get in cold weather when shopping.
Certain maintenance tasks can extend the life of a lawn tractor battery. Sub-freezing temperatures may discharge a battery, rendering it dead when it’s time to mow the lawn. Store a lawn tractor battery in an environment that stays above freezing, such as a basement, during the cold winter months.
Keep battery cables and terminals free of corrosion. Use a battery tender, a device that attaches to the battery and keeps it charged to an optimal level. A battery that falls below 50 percent charge is more likely to suffer damage that prevents it from charging completely.
Our Top Picks
The products described here consider all these important factors to narrow the field to some of the best lawn tractor batteries on the market. These batteries feature advanced technology and come in different sizes to suit various makes of lawn tractors.
This Mighty Max battery’s durability and ample power make it an ideal choice for a variety of lawn tractors. It produces 12 volts and will start in both high and low temperatures, so it’s suitable for cold weather climates. Its impact-resistant ABS plastic case makes it one of the tougher batteries on the market.
It’s also versatile and can be mounted in multiple positions, which makes it compatible with most major lawn tractor brands, including John Deere, Craftsman, and Ariens. This battery is 7.68 inches long, 5.16 inches wide, and 7.13 inches tall.
Ample power, durable construction, and a versatile size make this Weize battery a good choice. With 35 amp hours, it lasts longer than some 12-volt tractor batteries. And at 7.68 inches long, 5.12 inches wide, and 7.09 inches high, it’s the right size for many popular lawn tractor brands.
It’s durable, too, thanks to a calcium-alloy grid that allows it to absorb bumps and impacts. Absorbent glass mat technology uses dry internal components instead of liquid, preventing hazardous battery acid spills that could damage the lawn mower’s engine or create a safety hazard.
This battery packs a punch at an affordable price point while being compatible with one of the most popular brands of lawn tractor. The ML-U1 Mighty Max battery features non-spillable advanced glass mat technology that makes it capable of functioning in many different mounting positions.
It also makes the battery as much as 20 times more shock resistant than conventional lawn tractor batteries and gives it better starting power in cold weather with 200 cold cranking amps.
With dimensions of 7.75 inches long, 5.11 inches wide and 6.25 inches high, the Mighty Max ML-U1 fits most Craftsman tractors.
The Yuasa premium battery generates the standard 12 volts but uses lead-calcium technology, which better resists corrosion and discharges than antimony lead batteries.
Glass mat technology envelops the plates in a dry material, so no spills should occur if the battery tips or the casing cracks. The Yuasa 12-volt battery measures 6.87 inches long, 3.43 inches wide and 6.12 inches high.
With 280 cold cranking amps, this battery is suitable for lawn tractors that are used in cold weather. In addition to its ability to start in sub-freezing temperatures, this 12-volt battery can deliver 35 amps per hour, requiring fewer charges than other batteries.
It uses absorbed glass mat technology, which eliminates the risk of leaks. Lead-calcium plates can better endure shock than standard lead plates. This battery is 7.68 inches high, 6.46 inches wide, and 5.12 inches wide.
Rugged construction and advanced materials, such as a shock-resistant plastic casing, make this battery from ExpertPower capable of resisting bumps and cracks.
Even if the case should crack, advanced glass mat technology, which uses dry components instead of liquid, eliminates chances of battery leaks that can pose a health hazard or damage the tractor engine. This battery is 7.13 inches long, 3.03 inches wide, and 6.57 inches tall.
This Weize 12-volt lawn tractor battery often is used with motorized vehicles, such as ATVs, motorcycles, jet skis, and snowmobiles, which require a battery that can absorb violent bumps, impacts, and jolts.
This Weize model uses absorbed glass mat technology to protect the internal components from abuse without damaging the battery. The battery plates are dry coated, not submerged in liquid, so the battery won’t leak should its outer shell crack. The Weize YTX14 measures 5.91 inches long, 3.43 inches wide, and 5.71 inches high.
The Universal Power Group battery puts out more power than most 12-volt lawn tractor batteries; instead of the typical 5 to 18 amp hours, this battery busts out 35 amp hours.
In addition to a high output, this battery’s absorbent glass mat technology eliminates the risk of spills if the battery turns over or cracks, while also allowing the battery to be installed in any position. This Universal Power Group battery measures 7.76 inches long, 5.16 inches wide, and 6.14 inches tall.
This deep cycle battery by Interstate Batteries uses absorbed glass mat technology that resists spills and allows the battery to be installed multiple ways. With 35 amp hours, it offers excellent battery life before a recharge.
This battery features thicker lead plates that allow it to endure numerous discharges and recharges without causing damage, which makes it good for lawn tractors that see a lot of use. At 7.68 inches long, 5.16 inches wide, and 6.42 inches high, this battery fits many different makes of lawn tractors.
Some battery chargers continue to generate power even after the battery reaches a full charge, which could damage the battery if the charger isn’t switched off.
The Battery Tender Plus enters “float mode” to maintain the optimum voltage levels on the battery without overcharging. It sits conveniently on top of the tractor. A quick-disconnect harness makes it easy to attach and detach the battery, while a protection feature prevents accidentally reversed connections.
FAQs About Lawn Tractor Batteries
If questions remain about choosing or maintaining a lawn tractor battery, keep reading to find answers to provide more important information about these batteries.
Q. Are all lawn tractor batteries the same?
While all lawn tractor batteries are 12 volt, they come in different sizes, which means not all are compatible with every tractor. Some, but not all, feature advanced technologies that give them better durability than other batteries.
Q. How do I choose a lawn tractor battery?
First and foremost, make sure that the battery’s dimensions are compatible with the lawn tractor. Try to match the dimensions of the old battery as closely as possible with the new one.
Q. How do you charge a lawn tractor battery?
Charge a lawn tractor battery using a battery tender. This device charges the battery to full, then continues to maintain it so it doesn’t discharge while not in use.
Q. Why does my lawn tractor battery keep dying?
The plates in the battery may be degraded, preventing the battery from holding a charge. The battery’s alternator, the device that recharges the battery when the engine is running, may not be working properly.
Q. How do you revive a dead lawn tractor battery?
The simplest way to revive a dead lawn tractor battery is to use a charger to recharge it for several hours.
Q. How can I store lawn tractor batteries in winter?
Freezing temperatures can cause a lawn tractor battery to discharge. If the battery is allowed to discharge to too low a level, it may cause permanent damage to the plates. To prevent this from happening, store a lawn tractor battery in a space that never falls below freezing or gets hotter than 80 degrees Fahrenheit, such as a basement.
Q. How long should a lawn tractor battery last?
Most lawn tractor batteries will last about 3 years before requiring a replacement.