Golf Cart Battery Charging Tips

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What Type Of Battery Is Best For Your Golf Cart

How to Charge your Golf Cart Batteries Manually if your charger will not turn on

Batteries play the role of the heart in golf carts and decide your experience in the golf ground. A wrong battery selection doesnt only cause an early failure but also adds a cost of replacement. In selecting golf cart batteries, everyone wants to have features like safety, fast charging, long life, and lightweight.

Considering the lead-acid batteries, a long lifetime and reliability are the worth noticing features. However, you have to compromise on heavyweight and thermal runaway that is not a thoughtful decision.

On the other hand, lithium-ion batteries are up to mark in every aspect. Having a powerful lithium ion golf cart batteries in the cart, you dont need to worry about safety because of the integrated battery management system. Also, these batteries reduce the cost of early replacement due to their long life.

So, if you dont want to spend your hard-earned money frequently on golf cart batteries, lithium ion would be the best option for you.

Charging Golf Cart Batteries: 8 Key Questions Answered

Golf carts are one of the most fun ways to navigate your way around the golf course.

For some players especially those who are elderly or not physically able a golf cart is necessity for others, they are a luxury item given the Average Joe will be more likely to be seen shunting around a push cart, or perhaps an electric cart if their budget permits.

But regardless of the reasons why you own a golf cart, one thing remains consistent for everyone: the need to keep the batteries charged and properly maintained .

Golf cart batteries arent cheap, so its important you take care of them and charge them properly if you can do this, not only will you save money, but you wont suffer the annoyance of breaking down halfway through a round.

Ive scoured the internet and found the answers to the eight most common questions golfers have about charging golf cart batteries, which Ive put together in this easy-to-read guide for you.

Choosing The Right Battery And Charger

When purchasing a battery you want to consider cycle life and maintenance.

Cycle life is how many charge and discharge cycles the battery has in its life. Having a battery that has a cycle of around 750 is optimal. Search for batteries with good reviews on the cycle life.

The flooded lead-acid battery needs more maintenance. These chargers require water maintenance. Over the life time of the battery the water level may lower. It is a simple fix however. Adding distilled water to refill to desired water level will fix this problem.

Now you have the battery and need the charger

The battery you purchase will need a specific charger. Your charger needs to match the battery for it to work. Your charger will need the right voltage and plug to match your battery.

Each battery runs off a certain amount of voltage.

You want to choose a charger that matches this voltage. For example, if you cart has a 24-voltage then you need a charger that is meant for 24 volts. In addition, make sure your charger has the right plug to fit your cart.

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Also Make Sure When Golf Cart Battery Charging

  • That you check the battery cables and connections to ensure they are tight, clean, and free of corrosion. If the terminal connection is corroded it may cause a voltage drop between batteries and less golf cart battery life. It may also cause the cable to eventually fail due to heat caused by high resistance. Replace badly corroded cables with new ones. Make sure you apply a good coating of terminal protector after cleaning and before charging.
  • Make sure that all the vent caps are secured properly on the battery.
  • Apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly or battery terminal protector Keep the area around batteries clean and dry.
  • Proper deep cycle battery maintenance is imperative to maximize battery performance. Both under or over-charging batteries can significantly reduce golf cart battery life. For proper golf cart battery charging, refer to the instructions that came with your equipment. Most chargers are automatic and pre-programmed.
  • Battery Cell Electrolyte Levels:

    Before golf cart battery charging make sure each cell has the proper electrolyte level. Never charge a deep cycle battery if the electrolyte level is below the tops of the battery plates. Always keep the water at ¼ to ½ above the lead metal plates and only use distilled water.

    How Does Temperature Affect Battery Discharge And Charge Rates

    Best Ways to Take Care Your Golf Cart Batteries

    Did you know that temperature affects discharge and charge rates?

    A golf cart battery tends to charge and discharge quickly in hot weather. In contrast, the battery will charge and discharge slowly in a cold climate. And batteries lose capacity in cold environments.

    The golf cart battery loses 10% of its capacity for every 15-20 degrees below 80 °F.

    Do not store batteries without charge during the winter months. A discharged golf cart battery in cold temperatures will expand the liquid . The expansion of an electrolyte can damage the battery.

    If the golf cart battery is fully charged during colder months, the liquid electrolyte is less likely to freeze and damage the internal structure of your battery.

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    How Long Do Golf Cart Batteries Last

    Under the right circumstances, golf cart batteries should last anywhere from five to ten years.

    Actually, its difficult to predict a specific lifespan. Because battery performance and durability are affected by a variety of factors.

    Well discuss that later. Now, lets consider two common scenarios.

    First of all, private golf carts usually have longer-lasting batteries. Most of them can last for about seven to ten years.

    On the other hand, for golf carts in a golf course, you can expect consistent battery performance for five to seven years.

    Types Of Golf Cart Batteries

    Electric golf carts typically use two types of batteries, namely, Lead-acid batteries and Lithium-ion batteries. Of these, Lead-acid batteries are more common than their Lithium-ion counterparts.

    This is because they are cheaper, easy to manufacture, and the technology is tried and tested for more than a century. On the other hand, lithium batteries require advanced technology and are more expensive.

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    Water Your Batteries Regularly

    Depending on the type of golf cart battery you have, check them once or twice a month after installation to inspect the proper watering schedule. Usually, brand new batteries need very little water in the initial period, but with regular use, they will need water nearly every month. During summer, check your batteries every week as the hot weather may evaporate water faster.

    Watering is an important factor for the batteries. Add water when the batteries are completely charged. It’s important to add water at the right time and in the right amount for optimal performance.

    Golf Cart Batteries Overheat When Charging

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    Charging golf cart batteries can lead to overheating and battery failure. Golf carts are an everyday use for lithium-ion batteries, which can quickly become hot if the car is not turned off or is being charged with inadequate care.

    Be sure to turn off the golf cart before charging it, and avoid parking in direct sunlight or too close to another vehicle thats also running, as this could overheat the golf cart battery.

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    Why Do Golf Cart Batteries Emit A Strong Odour While Theyre Charging

    Golf carts run on lead-acid batteries. When theyre charged, they give off heat and a strong odour. This heat is emitted because the electrolyte in these batteries consists of a sulphuric acid and water mixture. As the batterys level starts to charge, the water heats up.

    The reaction causes hydrogen gas to be released as well as other reactions that produce gases like sulphur dioxide. These emissions make golf cart batteries emit such a strong smell while being charged.

    Should I Leave My Golf Cart Plugged In All The Time

    If youre wondering whether you should plug your car into a power outlet while youre away from home, then the answer is yes. You can use this method to charge your batteries so that you have enough energy when you return home.

    However, you shouldnt always do this. If you drive more than an hour each way, youll end up using a lot of electricity. This means that you might need to buy extra batteries. The best thing to do would be to make sure that you dont overload your battery system.

    You can also avoid charging your batteries by leaving them at a low level for extended periods of time. Your vehicles dashboard will let you know when it needs to be recharged. However, you can change the settings on the radio or CD player to prevent these devices from draining your battery.

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    Benefits Of Lithium Ion Golf Cart Batteries Over Lead

    When it comes to choosing between lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries, there are plenty of factors that urge us to go for lithium ion golf cart batteries. Lets have a detailed review of why you should prioritize lithium-ion over lead-acid batteries for your golf cart:

    Light weight

    Lithium ion golf cart batteries are equipped with the latest technology, and golf cart battery manufacturers especially put effort into reducing their weight. Lightweight is the reason you will not face any problem while replacing them, maintaining your cart, or even cleaning it after use. Thats why they allow a smooth run of your cart and enhance your experience in the ground. In contrast, lead-acid batteries are heavier and cause issues while replacing your golf cart battery. This heaviness of lead-acid batteries will not only make your experience

    Longer Life

    Lead-acid batteries are notorious for their short lives, especially when used in golf carts. When equipped with an alternator or a charger, lead-acid batteries become heavier and cant last long. Its common to see users replacing their battery pack after every 3-5 years only, whereas the lithium ion golf cart batteries can easily last for 6-8 years.

    No Memory Effect

    Better Performance

    High Depth of Discharge

    High Number of Cycles

    Maintenance Free

    High Charge Rate

    Highly Safe

    Dont Go Beyond 80% Discharging

    How To Charge Golf Cart Batteries

    If you seriously want to increase the battery life, dont go beyond the 80% discharging. Whenever you see that only 20% battery is left, head back home and attach it to a charger.

    The recommended discharge is between 50 80%. If you keep it between these percentages, you will see a significant increase in your battery life.

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    Use Branded Golf Cart Battery Chargers

    The brand name plays a critical role in determining the health and performance of any product. Particularly for electrical and expensive items like a golf cart battery charger, the importance of a good brand name is worth noting.

    You should always purchase a battery charger from a reputable brand that has a good track record. Also, make sure that the charger you buy is compatible with your battery type, both in terms of voltage and plug-type.

    Tips For Maintaining Your Golf Cart Batteries

    If you’re a snowbird or if you’re moving into something like a retirement community, then undoubtedly one of the greatest assets you’re going to want to have is a golf cart. Golf carts are fantastic modes of transportation for those heading to places like Florida’s beach communities or Arizona’s retiree neighborhoods. These nifty machines are becoming increasingly commonplace thanks to their inherent advantages like being fuel-efficient, low-maintenance, ease of operations, and the perfect size. In fact, Arizona’s Maricopa County currently has over 30,000 registered golf carts!

    But before you head out to invest in a golf cart, it is important to understand how they work. In particular, it is important to understand the significance of golf cart batteries to the golf cart’s operations and how best to maintain them. Most golf carts don’t have an alternator like a car does and so golf cart batteries won’t just recharge every time you turn on the golf cart. Instead, you will most likely have to manually recharge it to ensure that the golf cart batteries do not completely drain out and thereby leave you suddenly stranded. The following is a look at some key charging, maintenance, and other tips every golf cart owner should know.

    Tips for Choosing & Maintaining Your Golf Cart Batteries

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    Charging Your Lithium Batteries

    Charging your lithium batteries is a much faster process than charging lead-acid batteries, but there are a few things youll need to keep in mind.

    • Unused batteries will lose some of their charge, so its best to fully charge them if you plan to store them for any length of time and recharge them when you return.
    • Lithium batteries handle extreme temperatures better than lead-acids, but you should still only charge them in temperatures between 32 degrees and 113 degrees.
    • While lithium batteries have a BMS to keep them from overcharging, you shouldnt leave them on the charger overnight or longer than necessary.

    How To Prevent A Golf Cart Battery From Discharging Too Quickly

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    To prevent a Golf Cart Battery From Discharging Too Quickly, you should turn off all of the features on your golf cart after use.

    You might also consider adding an external battery pack to your golf cart. These devices are designed to provide additional power to your golf cart when it needs it most.

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    Should You Leave Golf Cart Plugged In When Not In Use

    It is not recommended to leave your golf cart plugged in all the time. Automatic chargers are designed to prevent over-charging but carry the risk of a broken circuit breaker, risking battery damage. It would be best if you left your golf cart on charge for a maximum of eight hours at a time to prevent overcharging.

    Electricity is an expensive commodity, and so are golf cart batteries. Overcharging your golf carts batteries can be dangerous for your bank account as well as your golf cart. Overcharged batteries can become unstable and burst into flames, and from a safety standpoint, you need to be careful not to leave it plugged in for too long.

    Leaving your cart plugged in for too long can increase electricity consumption, which will inevitably cost you more money the longer you charge your cart. So when not in use, its wiser to avoid overcharging your golf cart to the extent that you are overloading the batterys voltage.

    That can cause long-lasting damage to the efficiency of the cart and will force you to replace the battery or perhaps the cart sooner than you had desired. Golf is already an expensive enough sport as it is. For any mid-range golfer, high handicapper, or beginners to the sport, I advise you to take good care of your equipment to help you save money and ensure youre not wasting money needlessly.

    Tips For Golf Cart Battery Charging Safety

    Now that you have the basic process of how to use a trickle charger, there are some safety tips that you should be well aware of. Again, the fact that you are installing a trickle charger is smart, but you must ensure that your setup is safe before you leave it.

    • Always clean your golf cart and batteries before installing and ultimately leave the trickle charger unattended.
    • Hydrogen gas can be emitted when golf cart batteries are charging therefore, some ventilation in the charging area is necessary.
    • Sparks, open flame, or smoking near a golf cart battery can cause an explosion always take precautions to avoid this.
    • Check the water in the golf cart batteries prior to starting this charging process.
    • Golf cart batteries can be charged with the trickle charger while in the golf cart, or you can move them out to a clean, dry location where they can sit level and charge.

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    Charge The Battery Completely

    Please wait for the Battery to give the green signal to plug it off whenever you plug in the charger. It is highly recommended that you let the battery charge completely. It increases the life and power of the Battery.

    They demand at least 8 to 10 hours to completely charge, and you can do that in the night when you wont have to take it out suddenly for a drive.

    Golf Cart Battery Charging Algorithm

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    Most golf cart chargers use a 3-stage charging algorithm, consisting of a bulk charge stage, absorption charge stage, and finish charge stage. This algorithm determines how much power returns to the battery at various intervals, in order to make sure it is not undercharged or overcharged. During the bulk charge stage, about 80% of the discharged battery power will be recharged, usually taking around 4-8 hours depending on how low the battery charge was. The second stage, the absorption charge stage, the charge current slowly decreases until the 100% of the discharged battery power is recharged however, this does not mean the battery is fully recharged. The final stage, the finish charge stage, slightly and safely overcharges the battery to account for efficiency losses. When using the right size charger, the battery is safely overcharged without damage.

    In order to fully optimize the performance and life of lead-acid batteries, its recommended that the properly sized charger for the amp-hour capacity is used. The bulk charge stage of the charging algorithm should have a charge current of approximately 10% of the 20 hour capacity of the batteries, and the finish charge stage should have a charge current of about 3% of the 20 hour capacity of the batteries. The 20 hour capacity can be found on the batterys sticker.

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