Whether you enjoy golfing on a cool day or don’t mind hitting the course on a hot day, you need a working golf cart.
That way, you don’t have to waste time walking from hole to hole. The right battery can make a huge difference in how your golf cart works.
To choose a golf cart battery, consider the battery capacity and voltage to make sure the power will last. Some battery terminals and wires may need maintenance, and the battery type can also be important. A warranty is worth getting for any golf cart battery to make sure it’s covered.
Whether you just got a new golf cart or need to replace your current battery, you need to know how to choose the right battery.
That way, you can spend all day golfing and riding around the course without worry. Keep reading to learn how to choose the right golf cart battery for you.
Review the Battery Capacity
The first thing to look at when choosing a golf cart battery is the battery capacity. Many golf cart batteries use Amp Hours (AH) to measure how much charge a battery can hold.
The average golf cart battery has 180 to 225 amp hours, which means you can get about 18 to 22 hours of use per charge.
If a golf game takes you about four hours, that means you can use the cart for four to five games between charges. But if you have a smaller battery with less capacity, you’ll need to charge it more often.
Charging may not be an issue if you have access to a charger. But if you share your golf cart or store it at a club, you may not always be able to charge it.
Any battery can also lose some of its capacity after a while, so having good capacity now will help you prepare for later on.
Check the Voltage
Along with battery capacity, you should choose a golf cart battery with good voltage.
You can find batteries with voltages between 6 and 12 volts, and the total voltage is 36 to 72 volts. Voltage may not affect how long the battery lasts, but it can affect your speed.
A golf cart with a higher-voltage battery can accelerate more quickly. You won’t have to waste time trying to get your golf cart to pick up speed between holes.
While you don’t need the maximum voltage, you should consider how fast you want to go. If you want to go a bit faster, you’ll need to look for high voltage golf cart batteries.
High voltage batteries can be useful, but consider how they relate to the charge capacity to choose the best golf cart battery for you.
Consider the Terminals and Wires
Next, you should consider if the terminals and wires are easy to clean and maintain. If you don’t want to spend a ton of time working on your golf cart, you’ll need low-maintenance parts.
But if you don’t mind getting dirty and working on your cart, you can get terminals and wires that require more care.
Battery terminals and wires that need more maintenance can get hot more easily. They may also lead to dangers, such as fires or corrosion.
You shouldn’t buy a golf cart battery without knowing how much care it needs.
Some good batteries require more maintenance, but you have to consider if a battery is right for you. However, you don’t need a low-maintenance battery if you can’t work on it yourself.
If the best golf cart battery for you requires maintenance, you can get some professional help. You can look for a local golf cart supply store and ask about maintenance services.
Whenever you need to work on your cart, you can take it to a professional to do the work for you.
A professional can make sure the battery is clean and that the wires and terminals are in good condition.
They can perform routine maintenance to keep problems from developing, and they can fix problems that do occur.
However, you do have to make sure you can get the golf cart to a professional. Make sure you have a way to transport the cart or find a professional near your local golf course for easy access.
Choose a Good Battery Brand
You can find tons of golf cart batteries out there, but you should consider the brand. Popular brands include Trojan, Crown Batteries, and US Batteries.
But you should look for a brand that makes batteries that are compatible with your golf cart.
The best brand for one golf cart may not work well for yours, and that’s okay.
You should consider where the battery goes on your golf cart and how old the cart is. If it’s an older model, you may need to search for a compatible battery.
No matter what cart you have, you can ask a local battery shop or the golf cart company for recommendations. That way, you can find a battery that will fit your cart and power it for your next golf game.
Decide Which Type of Battery
You can choose between lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries. Lead-acid batteries use older technology, but they have been around for a long time.
If you currently have a lead-acid battery, you may not want to switch to the other type.
However, lithium-ion batteries provide a few benefits over lead-acid ones. When choosing which type of battery is best for your golf cart, consider a few factors.
Lithium batteries are almost always lighter than lead-acid batteries. The average lithium-ion battery weighs about 28 pounds, but an average lead-acid battery weighs 65 pounds.
Some lead-acid batteries can weigh 130 pounds. Even if you’re strong enough to maneuver a heavy battery, it can slow you down.
Your cart will have to work harder to carry the extra weight of a heavier lead-acid battery.
So you may not be able to carry as many golf clubs or have others ride the cart with you.
If your current cart and battery run just fine, you can get a battery with the same weight. And sometimes, heavier batteries can be useful.
If you don’t usually have a heavy load while golfing, a bulkier battery may not be a big deal.
You should also consider how long a battery will charge its full capacity. When you first get a lead-acid battery, it will be able to charge completely.
However, it can slowly start to lose its maximum capacity over its life.
A lithium-ion battery will hold its full charge capacity longer than a lead-acid battery. While it can lose some capacity over its life, it will take longer for that to happen.
You’ll get more full charges out of a lithium battery, so you won’t have to charge it as often.
That can be especially useful if you don’t always have a place to charge your golf cart battery. You can charge it a few times a month rather than after every golf game.
Another benefit lithium-ion batteries have over lead-acid batteries is the number of charge cycles you get. The average lead-acid battery can charge about 100 to 500 times.
So if you charge your golf cart battery every week, it may only last for a couple of years.
Couple that with the diminishing charge capacity, and you may need to charge it more as you use the battery.
But a lithium-ion battery can have as many as 5000 cycles. So you can charge it at least ten times more than an equivalent lead-acid battery.
Even if the two batteries are just as powerful and can hold just as much of a charge, the lithium one is a better option.
If you charge a lithium-ion battery each week, it can last for a decade. As long as you take care of it, you won’t have to choose the best golf cart battery for a long time.
Consider the Installation Process
You can install a golf cart battery yourself, but you may want or need a professional.
Some battery companies will install the battery for you. In other cases, you may need to pay extra for the service. But in any case, it can help you make sure the battery works well.
Even if you get the best golf cart battery for you, it may not work well if you don’t install it correctly. You should only install the battery yourself if you know what you’re doing.
If you’re on a budget, you may also be able to install it, but follow any instructions you have exactly.
Still, hiring a professional to install the golf cart battery can be worth it. They’ll make sure it goes in correctly, and they can perform a safety check on your entire golf cart.
Then, you won’t have to worry about stuff going wrong when you use your cart. A pro can also answer your questions about maintaining your battery, which can help you avoid even more problems.
Verify Your Budget
Next, you should consider how much you can afford to spend on a golf cart battery. It can help to compare this with the type of battery you want.
Since lithium-ion batteries last longer than lead-acid, you may be able to justify a higher price tag.
Overall, you should have an idea of how much money you have for your next battery. Many golf cart batteries cost between $600 and $1,600, so that’s a good budget to set.
However, you may be able to find batteries that cost more or less than that.
Golf cart battery prices can also vary from brand to brand and location to location. You may get a better deal online if you live in a high cost of living area.
But you may find some brands are always more expensive, no matter where you live.
You Get What You Pay For
If you don’t have a ton of money, it can be tempting to get the cheapest golf cart battery. However, most batteries give you what you pay for.
If you go cheap, your battery may not be very powerful, and it might not last long.
On the other hand, investing in a good battery means you can use it for years. You won’t have to worry about a ton of maintenance or issues.
And you may not have to charge it that often for it to work. Consider if you want to spend more now or in the future before you buy a golf cart battery.
How to Make Your Golf Cart Battery Last
Once you choose the best golf cart battery for you, you want to make it last. Whether you spend a few hundred on a battery or more, you don’t want it to break on you.
Luckily, you can make the most of almost any golf cart battery.
Here are a few tips to follow if you want to extend the life of your new or current golf cart battery.
Store Your Cart Properly
One of the easiest things you can do to extend your battery’s life is to protect it. So make sure you have a safe place for it to go when you aren’t using it.
Keep the golf cart out of the rain and extreme temperatures. If you get snow during the winter, keep your golf cart inside.
Storing your cart in the wrong place may not immediately affect your battery. But if your battery is always out in the heat or rain, it can affect it.
You should make sure the top of the battery is clean and dry, and storing the cart well can help that.
Water the Battery Regularly
When your golf cart battery is cool, you can open the tops of the battery cells. Look for the water fill holes and add distilled water to the battery.
Avoid tap water because it can have impurities that affect the battery.
You can fill the water to about one quarter to one-half inch above the plates. Less water will require more frequent watering, but more water can increase the chance of acid buildup.
Consider what you’re willing to deal with regarding your golf cart. You may need to experiment to find what works for you and what your battery needs to work well.
If you aren’t sure what to do, start with less water, and you can add more later if you choose.
Clean the Battery
If you notice some acid or corrosion on your golf cart battery, you can clean it. You can mix a gallon of water with a cup of baking soda, and you can adjust the ratios based on how much you need. Then, you can spread the mix over the battery.
The baking soda will neutralize the acid and make it easy to remove. After it bubbles up, you can use water to remove the mixture from the battery.
However, make sure you do so over rocks or dirt because it can stain concrete.
If you want an easier option to clean your battery, you can buy a battery cleaner. However, most people have water and baking soda available, and it’s not that hard to use.
Still, a battery cleaner won’t create as much of a mess, so it can be quicker.
Monitor the Voltage Gauge
As you use your golf cart, check the voltage gauge when you can. Some golf carts have analog gauges, while others use electric ones. Both can tell you how much charge and power your golf cart battery has.
You should check the gauge when you first replace the battery to know what the highest levels are. Then, if you notice a significant drop, you’ll know that your golf cart battery is starting to die.
Other signs that the battery is almost dead are if it takes longer than normal to accelerate and takes longer to charge. You shouldn’t have to work too hard to speed up or wait that long for a charge.
Overall, knowing how your battery functions when it’s new can help you notice changes later.
Replace the Battery
While you can extend a golf cart battery’s life, you may not always be able to save it. If a battery is beyond repair, your best bet will be to repair it.
You should also attempt to replace the battery early so that it doesn’t die when you’re in the middle of a golf game.
If you don’t want to waste what’s left of the battery, you can get a new battery and take it with you on your next game. That way, you can swap out the batteries if the old one dies when you’re on the course.
But if your current battery is giving you problems with charging and acceleration, it may not be worth that. Switching the batteries early can save you a lot of stress during a golf game.
Choosing a golf cart battery may not seem like a big deal, but it can make or break your experience.
You want a low-maintenance battery that can hold a charge and get you around the golf course. So keep these tips in mind next time you have to get a new battery.