Despite their limited power capacity, trolling motor batteries are highly durable and fit for long-term performance.
With that fact, I combined notes from several manufacturers, boat enthusiasts, and years of experience to answer the question: how long do trolling motor batteries last?
Trolling motor batteries can last up to five years or more. Their life depends on three factors: degree of usage, maintenance, and battery type.
In this article, you’ll learn the truth about trolling motor batteries and some valuable tips on preserving battery life.
Facts About Battery Life Expectancy for Different Trolling Motor Battery Types
Lithium batteries, AGM batteries (Absorbed Glass-Mat batteries), and flooded lead acid batteries are the three most common trolling motor battery types.
Lithium Batteries Are the Best Investment – But They Come at a Cost
Many users opt for lithium batteries because they have a much longer lifespan than traditional trolling motor batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries last approximately five to seven years, with some manufacturers offering up to ten years of warranty.
At the same time, lithium troll motor batteries charge faster than other battery types, not to mention that they’re the most lightweight option. These qualities make these batteries increasingly popular troll motor batteries.
However, lithium batteries tend to cost more than other battery types. Another downside is that there are limited chargers compatible with lithium batteries.
It’s best to check with the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure proper charging and prevent detrimental damage to battery health.
AGM Batteries Are Mid-Performing but Low-Maintenance
AGM or Absorbed Glass-Mat batteries are moderately priced and superior to flooded lead-acid batteries for recharging and power output.
These batteries have an average life span of three to four years.
Thanks to their spill-proof technology, they’re also highly durable and resistant to jarring movement and vibrations.
Flooded Lead-Acid Batteries Have the Shortest Lifespan
Flooded lead acid batteries are the market’s most widely available trolling motor batteries. If you want to save on upfront costs, flooded lead acid batteries are the cheapest ones you’ll use.
However, these batteries have an average lifespan of two to three years, not to mention that they’re the least efficient among the three.
Flooded lead acid batteries have higher internal resistance than lithium and AGM. As a result, these batteries recharge and deliver current slower than the two.
They’re also less resistant to vibrations and impacts.
What Are the Factors That Affect Trolling Motor Battery Life?
Aside from the battery type, certain environmental and usage conditions affect your trolling motor’s battery health:
Unless your battery is designed for extreme temperatures, constant temperature fluctuations can drastically reduce your battery’s lifespan.
As a result, operating or charging your battery (especially lithium batteries) in intense heat or freezing temperatures lessens performance. It leads to battery degradation, electrolyte loss, and rapid discharge.
Duration of Use
Constant usage (running at high speeds for extended periods) to the point of battery drainage will eventually impair your battery health.
Leaving your batteries unused or discharged for a long time will degrade them, too.
Impacts, Vibrations, and Elemental Exposure
Vibrations won’t only cause battery cracks or leaks. Still, they can also damage your batteries’ internal components and cells.
Plus, exposure to saltwater and other elements can result in corrosion, shortening your battery’s life.
Inconsistent Charging Cycles
Charging guidelines vary per manufacturer, so check with your manual before charging your battery.
Not staying consistent with your charging cycles is a bad habit if you want to prolong your battery life. One example is not letting the battery charge fully before using it.
How to Maximize Trolling Motor Battery Life?
Here are some tips and tricks to ensure peak battery health even after years of prolonged use:
Use Appropriate Chargers
Lithium batteries usually require a specialized battery charger. In contrast, flooded lead acid and AGM batteries are compatible with most charging systems.
Avoid Overcharging or Undercharging
Insufficient charging causes lead sulfate buildup, making your battery take longer to charge.
To avoid this problem, disconnect your charger after your battery is fully charged.
Follow these steps to charge your battery properly:
- Turn off the battery’s power.
- Tightly clamp the charger’s red clamp with the battery’s positive charge terminal, and connect the black clamp with the negative charge terminal.
- Adjust charging settings according to the manufacturer’s manual.
- Once fully charged, disconnect the black-negative terminal first and follow with the red-positive.
Charge Batteries Within Acceptable Temperatures
Plug your battery into power when the temperature isn’t highly over or below the prescribed range.
For example, you should charge lithium batteries in temperatures not exceeding 120 degrees F but not reaching freezing temperatures.
Charge the Battery and Allow It to Cool Before Use or Storage
Whether you plan to use or store your battery, it’s essential to let it cool down first—especially after charging.
Charging causes the cells in your battery to heat up, and consistently using hot batteries can damage your trolling motor.
Moreover, never store a trolling motor battery that’s below 50% capacity. Fully charge the battery before storage and check battery levels occasionally.
Properly Clean and Store Batteries During Off-Season
Regularly clean and dry your trolling motor batteries to prevent corrosion or buildup of dirt that can clog your internal system.
If you’re storing your battery off-season, make sure that the space is:
- Temperature regulated
- With low humidity levels
- Away from direct sunlight or heat sources
Refill Flooded Lead Acid Batteries
Charging flooded lead acid batteries lowers electrolyte levels, which may result in poor performance.
That said, check your battery’s water levels and refill with distilled water (if electrolyte levels are below range) to ensure optimal battery function.
When Should I Replace My Trolling Motor Battery?
Before replacing your battery, check for wiring problems and see if fixing them improves battery performance.
You can also do a voltage test and see whether your battery’s reading is below 80% of the charge level’s full state. When this happens, you must replace your battery with a new one.
Signs That My Trolling Motor Battery Is Failing
Here are telltale signs that your trolling motor battery needs replacement:
- Battery deflation or deformation
- Cracks and leaks
- Quicker than average power loss
- Slow charging
- Discoloration and corrosion
Investing in long-lasting batteries is vital to flawless troll boating and fishing. One good option is lithium-ion trolling motor batteries, which last longer than AGM and flooded wet acid batteries.
They usually last for up to seven years.
Meanwhile, regular cleaning, maintenance, and following proper charging cycles can prolong the battery life of trolling motor batteries.