The vast majority of golf carts that you see zooming around out on the course are not gas-powered; in fact, they are electric-powered golf carts.
Many people believe these electric golf carts are good for the environment, but in all honesty, that is up for open debate; one thing is for sure, electric-powered golf carts are much quieter than their gas counterparts. But with all the positives that come with the golf cart, one big problem can not be overlooked; electric batteries.
At some point, you’re going to have to charge your electric golf cart battery; but when? Let’s find out.
Factors That Affect Your Cart Battery
As with most batteries, whether it be a car, phone, or in this case, a golf cart, several factors can affect the life and performance of your battery. Below I will outline six of the most critical factors that affect your golf cart battery and can help you choose the right golf cart.
1. Overcharging Your Battery
Just like your iPhone, one of the worst things you can do is overcharge your golf cart battery. When the battery continues to charge, the internal workings of the battery start to “cook,” and it can literally fry the inside. If you’re guilty of leaving your golf cart battery connected to the charger, stop it now.
Luckily, most of the new chargers have automatic kill switches meaning once the golf cart battery is fully charged, the charger automatically turns off. Now, assuming there’s no malfunction with your charger, you shouldn’t have to worry about overcharging your golf cart battery.
That being said, many golf courses and private individuals still have the older models of electric golf carts, which means you’ll have to keep a close eye on the battery and be sure not to overcharge it.
2. Proper Maintenance Of Your Golf Cart Battery
Lack of maintenance is a killer for any electric golf cart battery, but unfortunately, it’s one of the most common mistakes that people make. Golf cart batteries need to be topped up with water at least once a month, and not just any water either.
Distilled water is the water of choice when it comes to filling up your cart battery. Whatever you do, though, steer clear of tap water as it has tons of harmful chemicals that can destroy the internal workings of your golf cart battery. Ensuring your golf cart battery is fully charged will also help prolong the battery’s life.
Maintaining your golf cart battery also includes cleaning and wiping it down to help keep dirt, grime, and particularly rust from forming. If you do see some rust starting to form, take a wire brush and give it a good scrub; it’s not rocket science; you just need a bit of elbow grease to get it loose.
Other maintenance tasks such as charging your golf cart battery after each use and keeping them topped up will go a long way to prolonging your battery. Never leave your golf cart battery uncharged for long periods of time. Finally, ensure your battery is empty or close to it before recharging; this is healthy for the battery’s life.
3. Golf Cart Battery Brands And Quality
Golf cart batteries are just the same as any other device or piece of equipment; you get what you pay for. You can opt for a number of budget models and brands on the market, but when it comes to golf cart batteries, reputable brands are your best option.
Well-known brands are more expensive, but with that, you get a battery with a longer life, a rock-solid warranty, excellent customer service, and peace of mind. In the long run, I think you save more money by paying a little bit more upfront.
Most average golf cart batteries last 3-5 years, but if you want one that can last up to ten, you’ll need to cough up some extra cash.
4. How Often You Use Your Cart Battery
Golf carts vary in how much they are used. For example, golf carts at golf courses are used much more than a privately owned cart. Generally speaking, fleet golf carts are used for 2 to 3 rounds before the maintenance staff plugs them in to top the batteries up. These cart batteries last between 3-5 years before they have to be replaced.
Privately owned golf cart batteries typically last a few years longer just because they aren’t being used as much. A privately owned golf cart battery can last up to 10 years, but only if the battery has been properly maintained.
5. Golf Cart Accessories and Extras
Many golf carts are decked out with soundbars, speakers, cooler boxes, navigation, window wipers, horns, and even headlights. Simply put, the more accessories your golf cart has, the quicker your battery life will diminish.
That being said, if you follow the tips outlined above, the negative effect on your golf cart battery should be minimal. Just be sure to run the battery down to empty each time before recharging it.
6. Properly Storing Your Golf Cart Battery
Finally, ensure that if you store your golf cart battery for long periods, you keep it in a cool, dry place. Leaving your cart battery exposed to the heat for long periods will significantly reduce the battery’s life.
While cooler climates are more suitable for battery life, you don’t want to store them in freezing temperatures. Lastly, check the battery once a month to keep it topped up.