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Club Car On-Board Computer (OBC) Frequently Asked Questions

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering “What is this OBC thing on my 48V Club Car and what exactly does it do?” then you’re in the right place! Here we’ll discuss all things related to the OBC.

What does OBC stand for?

You’ll see that generally folks will use the abbreviation OBC. This is simply an abbreviation for “On Board Computer” and is widely used when referring to the OnBoard Computer in your 48V Club Car (a much quicker way to get it down on paper rather than typing out the whole phrase).

What is the On Board Computer (OBC)?

Since 1995, 48 volt Club Cars come with an OBC. The OBC is a small device that is wired into the golf cart that’s purpose is to regulate the batteries charge. As you use and drive your golf cart, the OBC records the amount of energy consumed and then directs the charger to replace exactly the amount of energy needed to fully replenish the batteries.

Do all golf carts have OBC’s? If not, which golf carts have them?

No, all golf carts do not have OBC’s. The OBC is unique to the 48V Club Car only.

If I leave my battery charger plugged into my 48V Club Car, will the OBC prompt the battery charger to come on after several days on it’s own?

Yes. The OBC has a long term storage mode of sorts and will activate the charger every 15 days or so to keep the batteries charged.

Does the On Board Computer (OBC) disable the golf cart (not letting it move) while it’s charging?

Yes. The OBC won’t let the cart move when the charger is plugged in.

Does the OBC control any other parts of the Club Car besides regulating charge?

No. The OBC’s sole purpose is the regulate the charge and be the bridge between the charger and the batteries.

How do I know if my OBC is working properly?

If the OBC on the Club Car is functional and the batteries are above 35 volts, you should hear a "click" from the relay inside the charger when the round plug is inserted into the cart and the charger should come on and begin charging.

How do I know if my OBC is NOT working properly?

If you plug in the charger and no click is heard the problem is either that the battery voltage is too low (less than 35 DC volts) or there is a problem with the OBC or a fuse. The only other reason the relay will not click is if it is a bad relay (a failed "open coil"). This is very rare and there have not been many documented out-of-the-box relay failures.

If I have a bad OBC, what are my options?

You have 1 of 2 options:

  1. Replace your OBC: You can replace the OBC by buying and installing a new one. It’s not super involved to replace the OBC and can be done in just a few simple steps. 
  2. Replace your Charger: Buy a Lester Summit On-Board Battery Charger that bypasses the OBC completely: This is the preferred option for most folks as it requires no real work. You simply take it out of the box, place the ring terminals on your batteries, plug it into the wall and you’re good to go. The Lester Summit On-Board charger bypasses the OBC completely by wiring directly to the batteries. No need for a receptacle, 3-pin plug or replacement OBC. 48V Onboard Battery Charger.

If you have questions about your OBC and whether or not it’s functional, feel free to email us at Support@GolfCart Garage or give our experts a call at 800-401-2934 and we would be happy to help you!

You can also check out our other FAQ's and Buyer's Guides in our Golf Cart Resources section.