Although gas models are readily available, the majority of golf carts on the market are battery-powered. These golf carts are commonly powered by lead-acid batteries with a 6, 8, or 12-volt deep-cycle.
Unlike the battery in your car, golf cart batteries do not automatically ‘recharge’ themselves during use. Because of this, golf cart batteries take more abuse from frequent draining and recharging, often leading to reduced lifespan.
What is the Average Life Expectancy of Golf Cart Batteries?
This is a loaded question with several factors contributing to the lifespan of a golf cart battery. They may last anywhere from months, up to 5-7 years under the right circumstances. But when left idly in high temperatures for long periods of time (such as in a hot garage in the summertime) or when left unused for months, it can really take a toll of the lifespan.
Replacing a dead battery isn’t just frustrating, its expensive and time-consuming. As such, proper care and maintenance are important for making sure your golf cart battery lasts.
How to Make Golf Cart Batteries Last Longer - Tips and Tricks
1. Maintain Fluid Levels
Your battery needs water. But not just any water. When fluid levels drop below its plates, or alternatively, is too high/full, it can lead to battery damage or acid leaks. As you no doubt agree, neither of those scenarios is ideal.
First up, remove the battery cells’ caps (usually plastic and found atop each cells’ respective reservoir). Check the fluid level. You want it to have just enough fluid to submerge the battery. If needed, replace ONLY with DISTILLED water, never spring or tap.
2. Use the Right Charger
Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines as to which or what type of charger is best for your battery. We suggest a 3-phase charger for maximum battery longevity and efficiency. After each use, charge your battery back to full capacity.
3. Trickle Charge During Long Periods of Storage
Whether it’s the ‘offseason’ or you simply don’t plan on taking your cart for a spin anytime soon, leaving your battery unused for long periods of time can significantly reduce its lifespan. Luckily there is an easy solution: the trickle charge. A trickle charge setting on your charger can be used to maintain the battery’s power level and health when not in use.
4. Reduce the Risk of Corrosion
Your battery is durable, but not immune to the elements. Metal connections and posts can corrode over time, reducing the lifespan of the battery. Always store or cover your battery in a temperature-controlled, dry space, when possible.
5. Don't Go the Cheap Route All The Time
A battery is one part of your cart that you don’t want to skimp on. Cheap batteries almost always have shorter lifespans. Aim for a mid to higher-mid priced model with a proper warranty. When well-maintained these batteries can last up to 7-10 years. Invest now to save yourself the expense and headache later.
Final Thoughts on How Long Golf Cart Batteries Last
Batteries are an essential component of your cart, powering it up hills and thru straightaways. With the right care and maintenance, your battery is an investment that can last for years.
Follow your manufacturer's guidelines, recharge after each use, trickle charge when left in storage, and you’ll be able to power-up for cart year in and year out without worry.