It won’t come as news to you that the battery is a pretty important part of the golf cart – you could say it’s the lifeblood of the whole system. There are plenty of maintenance tasks you can do to help maintain the golf cart battery for as long as possible. However, there will come a time when your golf cart battery will need replacing. In this article, we go through everything you need to know to take care of your golf cart battery as well as pointing you in the right direction of where you can buy golf cart batteries in your local area.
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- How much are golf cart batteries?
- How long do golf cart batteries last?
- How to know when golf cart batteries are dying
- How to test golf cart batteries with a multimeter
- How to charge golf cart batteries
- How long do golf cart batteries last on one charge
How much are golf cart batteries?
As with any piece of kit, the price of golf cart batteries varies depending on the quality. It also depends on whether you install the golf cart battery yourself or not as this will incur an additional charge. A professional golf cart dealer will generally quote anything between $750 and $2000 for a golf cart battery replacement (which will include the installation cost).
Prices of golf cart batteries will vary, with cheaper batteries likely to have lower voltages and lower lead content. While a cheap golf cart battery may be tempting, be aware that these will not last as long as a more expensive golf cart battery and won’t keep their charge as long. Therefore, it may be more cost-effective to go for the pricier option in the long run. It is also a good idea to get a professional to install the battery for you as, if installed incorrectly, the battery can run into some difficulties that may reduce its longevity.
How long do golf cart batteries last?
The length of time your golf cart battery will last is dependent on the model and how well you look after it. A well-maintained golf battery can last for up to 7 years, however, if you don’t care for the battery it could start failing within a couple of years of installation. Maintenance of a golf cart battery involves ensuring the water levels are kept topped up within the battery and cleaning the battery. Let’s take a look at each of these maintenance tasks individually.
#1 Watering your golf cart battery
Golf cart batteries need water to prevent acid build-up and to prevent the battery from overheating. The water in your golf cart battery needs to be checked every month to make sure it is at a safe level. Only use distilled water to top up your golf cart battery and always ensure the cart has cooled down before doing this maintenance task.
#2 Cleaning your golf cart battery
Build up of acid on your golf cart battery can be very damaging as it can lead to corrosion of the battery which may affect the overall running of the battery. To prevent this from happening it is important to clean your golf cart batteries at least once a month. The cheapest way to do this is through using baking soda and water or you can purchase ready-made golf cart battery cleaner. For detailed instructions on how to clean your golf cart batteries see here.
How to know when golf cart batteries are dying
It is likely that you will be aware that your golf cart batteries are dying as your cart may not be functioning as well as it used to. Here are some telltale signs that you can look out for to tell when your golf cart batteries need replacing:
#1 The charge runs out quickly
When your golf cart battery is at its peak you should be able to have a day out on the golf course with no worries about the charge lasting. However, you may have started to notice that the charge on your golf cart is running out quicker than it used to and you worry that it won’t last for the time you need it to. This is a clear sign that your batteries have weakened and it might be time to replace them.
#2 It takes a long time to charge
Another indication that your golf cart batteries are dying is if it is taking longer to charge them. As batteries age, they are not able to receive charge as effectively and the charger may not even be able to get it to full charge. If you’re waiting longer and longer for your golf cart battery to charge then a new battery is certainly on the cards.
#3 Your golf cart has slowed down
As batteries get weaker and lose their strength, they are unable to give your golf cart the same level of acceleration. It may take a lot longer to reach the top speed or may be unable to reach the speeds you require at all. If your golf cart is experiencing difficult climbing hills then this is also a sure sign that your golf cart needs replacing.
#4 You see signs of acid leakage and bulging
You can also tell for signs of aging on your golf cart battery by conducting a visual inspection. When batteries are failing they tend to bulge, so you may notice this happening on your golf cart batteries. There may also be acid leakages occurring which is also something that you certainly don’t want.
How to test golf cart batteries with a multimeter
While there are plenty of visual and performance-related checks you can do to assess your golf cart batteries, there is also a tool known as a multimeter that can test your golf cart batteries. A multimeter tests the electrical voltage, current, and resistance of a battery. With a multimeter, you can test the condition of your battery and see if it performing at its optimum level. This is a good tool to have if you’re golf cart has been out of use for a while and you want to check how the battery is doing.
Here is how you can test your golf cart batteries using a multimeter:
#1 Configure your multimeter
First of all, you will need to configure your multimeter so that it can read up to 20 DC volts. This is so it will be able to take an accurate reading of your golf cart batteries.
#2 Prepare your battery
The battery needs to be completely disconnected from the corresponding parts in your golf cart so that the multimeter can be connected to it. So the next step is to remove all of the cables attached to the battery ports.
#3 Connect the multimeter
Now its time to connect the multimeter to your battery and get your reading. Check your battery manual to see what the reading should be for a battery performing at its optimum level and see how your reading compares. If it is lower than this it is likely that there are some bad cells within your battery which are causing it to underperform.
How to charge golf cart batteries
How to charge golf cart batteries and how long to charge golf cart batteries are common queries asked by golf cart owners. In this next section, we will look at how to charge a golf cart battery properly. Charging a golf cart battery properly can lead to a longer lifespan so it is certainly worth the effort.
It is important not to overcharge your golf cart batteries as this can lead to shortening their lifespan. With an automatic charger, you won’t need to worry about this and can rely on the fact that the charger will switch off once your golf cart battery has reached full charge. If you need to use a manual charger make sure you set a timer on your phone so that you are reminded to unplug it once full charge is reached.
Another important charging routine that you should get into is to charge your batteries each time you use the golf cart (if it is electric). It is not good for lead-acid batteries to discharge fully as this can damage the battery.
How long do golf cart batteries last on one charge
If you’re planning on using your golf cart battery for a long trip or you have a full day on the golf cart ahead of you then knowing how long the golf cart battery will last on one charge is an important consideration. This is, of course, dependent on the type of golf cart you have, the condition of your golf cart batteries and the size of your golf cart.
To give a ballpark figure, an electric golf cart with good quality and young batteries should last for between 25-40 miles on a full charge. You can check the user manual to see how long your model can last for on one charge. Make sure that you don’t push the limits of how long the golf cart batteries will last on one charge as you don’t want to find yourself stranded in the middle of the golf course with no charge, or worse be in the middle of the country and the power cuts out.
The weight within your golf cart will determine the length of time the golf cart will run on one charge. For this reason, a 2 seater golf cart will run for longer than a 4 seater golf cart (if they are fully seated). If you are carrying some luggage in your golf cart this will also affect the running time.
If you want the golf cart battery charge to last for as long as possible, think about reducing the use of any accessories you have in your golf cart such as a radio or a fan. These will drain the battery and reduce its running range. If you do need to use them, make sure they are switched off when you’re not using the golf cart as leaving these on will really run the battery down. The same goes for your lights – check these are off when not in use as these are another battery drain.
Golf cart batteries are an essential component of your golf cart. Replacing golf cart batteries is pretty expensive so make sure you regularly check the water levels of your batteries, clean them and charge them properly to ensure that they last as long as they should do. Through some routine maintenance tasks, you can increase the longevity of your golf cart batteries and save yourself some money.
If your golf cart is taking longer to charge than normal, the charge is running out quickly or your golf cart is struggling to get up to speed then these are signs that your golf cart batteries need replacing. Golf cart batteries range in price from around $750 – $2000 and are best installed by a professional. To find your nearest golf cart battery dealers and installers check out our handy search tool at the start of this article.