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GCG BLOG

Replacing Golf Cart Batteries: One at a Time Vs. All at Once

A battery is the most important part of any device. It provides power and keeps everything running smoothly, including your golf cart!

One of the most overlooked items on your list is to replace old golf cart batteries. If they're not working as well or holding a charge, then you could be in for some major inconvenience when out camping and exploring trails that are too far from home.

Understanding Your Golf Cart Battery

An electric golf cart battery pack consists of 4, 6, or 8 individual batteries connected in series. The number varies based on whether the cart is a 36-volt or 48-volt system, as well as the voltage of each battery. Ensuring your golf cart batteries always have the correct type and a number of volts can be very important in ensuring it works exactly how you want. Not having enough power could make driving difficult and affect other aspects like starting up the vehicle.

When it comes to replacing the batteries in your golf cart, you may think about just replacing one or two that have gone bad instead of all of them. But, is that the right way to replace golf cart batteries?

Replacing One Battery Vs. All At Once - Which One to Follow?

One of the most common questions golf cart owners have is “What is the best way to replace the battery, one battery vs. all at once?”, and there are definitely different answers depending on who you ask! Some people love saving money and don't want to spend any more than necessary, while others don’t mind spending a little more every time their favorite hobby requires new battery power. 

But, is it about saving money? Let’s discuss in detail.

When it comes to changing the golf cart batteries, technically, you can change just one at a time. However, this is not advisable as it can cause permanent damage to each battery. When a battery has gone bad, you should change all of the batteries. You may be frustrated at first, but this is likely going to save you money and spare you headaches down the road. It is important to replace all of the batteries in your golf cart at once so that you can enjoy it smoothly and without any unnecessary complications.

What Happens If You Replace Only One or Some Batteries Instead of All?

Replacing only one or two batteries is cost-effective but is it really worthy for the long run? Let's learn more about what happens if you replace one or two batteries instead of all of them at once.

Poor Battery Life

Replacing just one or two batteries in your golf cart battery pack can result in difficulties with charging, as well as a shorter lifespan for the new ones you've purchased. When it comes to charging these devices, the total voltage will be measured instead of each cell inside them - which means older, more exhausted cells might have poor performance levels if they're installed next to newer batteries.

Battery Power Imbalance 

Replacing just one or two batteries instead of all can cause an imbalance. Newer batteries will release their power more efficiently, but older ones may experience too much resistance due to age and their condition, which doesn't help them either way. A power imbalance between batteries can cause your golf cart to experience a lag in acceleration and an underwhelming amount of speed.

Longer Charging Time 

The process of charging will take a longer time. The charger cannot differentiate between newer and older batteries when combined in the cart. The result is that it continues charging until each battery has reached total capacity, which takes longer than necessary.

Don't take the easy way out and just replace the old battery. It's easy to think that you can just replace one battery at a time, but it will also cost more over time. In most cases, replacing all batteries will solve your problem.

Exceptions

If you have replaced all of the batteries and are still noticing an imbalance in power, a voltage test can pick out the specific reason for the issue. It's highly recommended to replace all of the batteries simultaneously, but in this case, replacing only one or two which have issues would be acceptable.

When Should You Replace Your Golf Cart Batteries?

Batteries have a lifespan, but it's not always easy to tell when they're about to expire. A dying battery is a problem that you should never ignore. Here are some signs of a dying battery:

1. A Shorter Battery Life 

If you regularly use your golf cart, it's an easy sign to notice if the vehicle is struggling. If there are frequent problems with batteries and they aren't being appropriately charged or have gone bad entirely, this could cause concern.

2. A Longer Charging Time 

You may notice your batteries taking a long time to charge. If it used to take 4 to 5 hours to charge fully and now it takes 8 hours or more, it's probably time for new batteries.

3. An Acid Leak from the Battery 

Over time, batteries expand and start leaking as their acid leaks through the cracks in their casing or caps. If you notice any leakage around the battery pack, there is a high chance it is acid, and it's time to change the batteries.

4. Decreased Acceleration and Power 

Today’s golf carts are equipped with cutting-edge technology, which allows them to be more than just a way of getting from point A to point B. Golf carts should respond almost instantly when you press your foot on the accelerator. If they take longer than normal, it could signify that the batteries need to be replaced.

Learn more here!

How Long Will Your New Golf Cart Battery Last?

Knowing the lifespan of your battery is essential when investing in a new pack. You can look for the battery's expected life span, measured in cycles, as well as by reading general information about golf cart batteries and use cases. A sealed battery can be expected to last 5 to 7 years, depending on size and brand of battery. If you choose a flooded battery but don't keep up with maintenance, then the money saved on upfront cost may end up costing more because of frequent replacements down the line. Learn about golf cart battery charging tips.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace the Batteries in a Golf Cart?

You may be surprised to find out just how much golf cart batteries cost. The answer depends on the size of your golf card and what type of batteries you need. The cost of the batteries also depends on choosing between sealed or flooded lead-acid batteries. Sealed Lead-acid (SLA) batteries are similar in many ways to your car battery, but they do require maintenance if you want them to last as long as possible. Since most carts have 4, 6, or even 8 batteries, they can cost nearly $1K+ for the whole lot when you need new ones!

Invest In a Quality Charger

Make sure to buy a quality charger for your new golf cart batteries. A poorly made or outdated one can damage the health of batteries, so don't take the chance! With a good charger, all you need to do is to plug it in and let the charging system run through its diagnostics and/or balancing charge to get optimal use out of this device!

Golf cart batteries are not complicated, but they can cost quite a bit. Choosing the right batteries will save you time and money. Visit Golf Cart Garage for quality batteries and chargers. With our large selection, you'll find the right batteries to fit just about any need. 

Further Read 

Popular Aftermarket Parts & Accessories for a Golf Cart

5 Most Golf Cart Friendly States

How to Adjust a Golf Cart Governor