The battery is an essential component in every golf cart. Carts can’t run without them, after all. Using the right battery for your cart can improve the performance, capacity, life span, and function of your golf cart. That said, it’s vital to take these considerations in mind when choosing the battery that fits your golf cart.
Many golf carts run using electricity, which means they’re heavily dependent on the battery to function. Like other kinds of batteries, the ones for golf carts also have different capacities. If you want a longer-lasting battery, you need to find one with a high capacity.
Typically, a golf cart with new batteries can run 25 to 40 miles in a single charge, depending on certain conditions, like the cart model, battery voltage, and configuration. However, some carts can go beyond 50 miles. Don’t buy cheap and questionable-quality batteries if you’re after a high capacity and long life span.
When choosing the battery type for your golf cart, know your options. There are different types of batteries, which range from affordable to expensive, hassle-free to maintenance-heavy, and compact to bulky. Get to know them all before you decide which one to buy.
Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) Batteries
AGM batteries are the more expensive type. They have an internal resistance that is lower than most batteries, so they can withstand higher temperatures and charge with lower voltage. The batteries are completely sealed and safe to transport.
Compared to other types of batteries, AGM batteries are very robust and discharge deeper without causing serious damage since they were originally made for the military.
Flooded Lead-Acid Batteries
Also known as wet cells, flooded lead-acid batteries are the most common type used in golf carts. This is due to their cheap cost and proven performance. Unlike AGMs and gel batteries, the electrolyte liquid in this type of battery is uncovered, so it must remain upright at all times. The water must also be refilled every time you charge these batteries.
Gel Lead-Acid Batteries
Just like AGM batteries, gel lead-acid batteries are sealed, but they use a gel-like substance made from sulfuric acid and silica as a sealant instead of the fiberglass mat in AGMs. Gel lead-acid batteries also have a high tolerance to extreme temperatures, shock, and vibration. However, you can’t use the same battery charger for flooded and AGM batteries if you have a gel lead-acid battery for your golf cart.
A fairly recent addition to the golf cart battery family, lithium-ion batteries generate power through conductive surfaces called cells. When the battery is charged, the lithium ions move back and forth between the negative and the positive energy, which then produces energy. Lithium-ion batteries don’t use liquid electrolytes, unlike lead-acid batteries. They’re also more compact and can go for miles with a single charge.
Golf cart batteries will have 6 volts, 8 volts, or 12 volts. Golf carts usually have either a 36-volt or 48-volt operating system, depending on the voltage of the battery.
To check the voltage of your golf cart battery, open up the seat to find the battery compartment. Batteries typically have either 3, 4, or 6 holes. Each hole is equivalent to 2 volts. Count the number of holes on your battery, and multiply it by 2. So a 3-hole battery will have 6 volts; a 4-hole, 8 volts; and 6-hole, 12 volts.
A battery’s voltage is a crucial factor in determining the total lifespan of your vehicle. That’s why you need to be selective about the brand of battery you buy. Choose a brand of battery with a lot of authentic good reviews, expert recommendations, generous warranty policies, and excellent customer service.
It’s vital to get batteries that are fresh and new. When choosing batteries, look at the manufacturing date to see if they’ve been stored for a long time. Old batteries may work perfectly in the beginning, but they will show their true age as you use them longer.
Consequently, avoid buying used or refurbished batteries. Used batteries usually have a limited ability to use deep cycling, so you can’t harness the full capacity of the batteries and your golf cart.
Does the battery allow deep cycling? Does it evenly and efficiently distribute power? How often do you need to maintain it? Can it withstand extreme temperatures, shock, and vibration? How long is its lifespan? Does the battery warranty cover damage repair, defects, and replacement?
Certain features can help prolong the lifespan of your battery and its performance. You want to get the most out of your purchase, so don’t hesitate to ask the questions above.
Choosing the right battery is vital to keep your golf cart running for a long, long time. Batteries are essential for the performance and functionality of your vehicle. That said, remember to carefully consider the factors listed above to get the perfect battery that will suit your golfing and golf cart needs.