Using a golf cart is the most convenient and fastest way to move around the golf course, making it an integral part of the sporting activity. Golf carts use high-quality batteries, which add to their efficiency on the greens. Fear of charging golf cart batteries frequently or the golf cart coming to a stop in the middle of a round leads to questions such as how long do golf cart batteries last?
This article looks at how long do golf cart batteries last on one charge and answers a few other questions regarding battery maintenance for longer life.
What You Need To Know About Golf Car Batteries
Golf cart batteries are lead-acid, just like ordinary car batteries. However, unlike car batteries that have 12 volts, golf cart batteries are either 6 volts or 8 volts, which means you cannot use an ordinary car battery in your golf cart. Golf cart batteries also discharge as you drive the cart, compared to a car battery that charges as you drive.
Driving the golf cart around the greens drains the battery of all its power, and if you do not recharge, you will have to push it to rest until the next recharge. You can drive a regular car without having to worry about the battery discharging at any time during your journey, which is not the case with a golf cart battery.
Electric powered golf carts are a favorite with many people because they have low operating noises. They are also eco-friendly due to zero pollution, and they are slower, making them safe for other carts and pedestrians using the greens. Different types of golf carts include those powered by a 4-stroke internal combustion engine and gasoline. Electric powered golf carts use either the AC or EC drives.
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How Long Do Golf Cart Batteries Last On One Charge?
Depending on the configuration of the battery, voltage, and cart model, new batteries on an electric golf cart can last for between 25 and 40 miles on a single charge. Some of the more modern golf carts with powerful motors can cruise for 50 miles per hour on a single battery charge. Driving a golf cart faster may seem like a great idea, but it shortens the golf battery life. Golf carts come in seating configurations of two or four-seating capacities.
The two-seater cart hauls fewer people and less luggage, making its running range better than the four-seater golf cart. The extra luggage on a four-seater cart puts a strain on the drivetrain, which requires more power to move the cart. With a discharge of 56 amps, a typical round of golf takes approximately 40 minutes. Golf cart batteries with all the right configurations can take you through two golf rounds without worrying about the cart dying on you mid-play.
On the other hand, a golf cart battery’s life expectancy depends mainly on the usage, maintenance, and golf cart handling. A player who uses a golf cart on hills is more likely to experience a shorter battery lifespan than one that avoids the hills. The quality of the batteries also determines their life expectancy. If you use cheaper batteries, you are more likely to get low-quality parts that will require frequent replacements.
If you opt for the more expensive high-quality batteries, you will not need much replacement. Essential maintenance of the battery, which includes using and maintaining the right levels of distilled water and ensuring that you charge the battery after use, also determine the life expectancy of your golf cart battery. Another factor that determines golf cart batteries’ longevity is ownership of the cart’s cart and usage.
With the proper maintenance, privately owned golf carts can keep batteries in excellent condition for ten years. Fleet golf carts, on the other hand, have their batteries lasting an average of six years. Additions on the golf cart, such as headlights and entertainment units, also play a massive role in the batteries’ longevity. Other factors that may shorten the batteries’ life expectancy include over-discharging caused by the acceleration rate and the golfers’ type of activities on the greens using their golf carts.
Depth of discharge
Another factor that you may want to consider while determining how long do golf cart batteries last with a single charge is the depth of discharge (DOD). DOD is the percentage capacity of the battery before a recharge. Keeping the DOD low increases the number of recharge and discharge cycles. If, for example, you keep DOD to a consistent 30%, you increase the life span of the battery by more than two times compared to DOD at 60%. 6 and 8-volt golf cart batteries have a lower discharge than the 12-volt batteries, which means they last longer.
The more lead acid the batteries have, the better the charging capabilities, and the longer the life span. Cheaper batteries also tend to be lighter than expensive batteries, which leads to less power and runtime. They also strain the electrical parts leading to faster wearing out and less life span.
Tips for Maximizing Battery Life
- The first step to maximizing your golf cart battery life is to ensure that you use the right batteries for the application you intend to use the golf cart for on or out of the greens. Following these maintenance guidelines will provide your golf cart battery with a longer life span and better performance.
- Before putting your golf cart into service, ensure that you charge the batteries fully after each use.
- Maintain the basic maintenance routine that includes checking if all the connections are proper, adding the right type of distilled water, maintaining correct water levels, performing equalization charge monthly, and carrying out opportunity charging.
- If you want to improve your golf cart battery’s life span and performance, manage the depth of discharge levels by limiting them to less 50% at all times.
- Golf cart motors increase their discharge rates, as they get older. The same also happens when you add heavy loads to your golf cart. Ensure that you get quality performance from an aging golf cart motor, use only high-rated golf cart batteries.
- Ensure that you take regular gravity readings of your golf cart battery. If you have any questions regarding specific gravity readings, you should not hesitate to consult the battery manufacturer. One of the most inexpensive ways to determine your golf cat battery’s DOD is by using a hydrometer. A hydrometer checks both the state and health of the battery pack charge.
- Light bulbs or other electronic devices can discharge your golf cart battery if you leave them on for long hours. Always switch off all the electronic cart lights, music system, radio, and other accessories installed in your golf cart. Before you leave the golf cart, remember to remove the ignition key.
Battery Chargers and General Practices
One of the most common mistakes and general practices that people make is using charging systems that damage their batteries. Using improper charging systems also reduces the life span of your golf battery. Other general approaches that you can adapt to ensure that your golf cart battery stays effective and efficient are as follows
Do not overcharge
Avoid Continuous charging of the golf battery to prevent the acceleration of corrosion on the battery’s positive plates. Overcharging also causes excessive consumption of water and damages the lead-acid battery temperatures. To avoid overcharging, use a charger that turns itself after a full charge. Manual chargers do not turn themselves off, so you have to remember to do it by setting a timer or alarm clock to alert you once the battery is full.
Do not undercharge
Undercharging your golf battery is also as bad as overcharging it. If your golf cart battery is on a partial charge, do not operate it. Also, avoid storing the battery in its discharge state as it leads to lead sulfate forming on the battery plates. Undercharging also causes stratification, premature battery failure, and lowers the performance.
Equalizing (For Flooded Batteries Only)
After purchasing your golf cart battery, you should have it equalized. Equalization helps to eliminate sulfation, uneven distribution of lead-acid, and stratification. Carry out the same equalization process on the battery regularly, depending on your golf cart application. Monitor the voltage of the battery regularly to determine the amount of equalization it needs.
An excellent example of when you should equalize your golf cart battery is after the gravity levels go below those recommended by the manufacturer. The recommended Trojan deep cycle battery value is 1.285 +/- .007 at 80º F (27º C)). You should also carry out the equalization process if the gravity values of the cell exceed 30 points.
If your battery exhibits reduced performance, you should also carry out equalization. If individual battery voltages for a 6-volt battery go beyond 0.15 volts, and those of a 12-volt battery go beyond 0.30 volts, you should also run the battery through equalization.
Wrapping it up
Golf carts are intriguing to people joining golfing and the greens for the first time. Many things about golf carts are fascinating, with one of them being the motor system powered by batteries. The fact that the cart is so tiny yet it has almost everything you find in a standard vehicle, such as a music system, radio, powerful headlights, and more, often begs the question, how long do golf carts batteries last?