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How to Charge Dead Golf Cart Batteries Manually When Your Battery Charger Won't Turn On

Today on GCGTV, we're discussing one of the most common battery and charger questions: How to manually charge dead golf cart batteries when your battery charger won't turn on. We've all been there, especially if you're a snowbird! You plug in your battery charger, usually to new batteries, and nothing happens. Why? Well, in this video, Dave is going to show you everything you need to know about how to remedy this issue and bring your batteries back to life! Be sure to give us a like, subscribe and share if you enjoy our content. Thanks for stopping by the garage!

Charging Golf Cart Batteries

Did you just plug in your charger to your golf cart and nothing happened? We’re solving the most common issue that causes charging problems right now on GCGTV.

Hi, everyone. Welcome, and thank you for joining us at Golf Cart Today on GCGTV, we’re taking a crash course in charging a golf cart with dead batteries. You may have noticed that your golf cart charger doesn’t have an “on/off” switch. This is because golf cart chargers get commands to turn on and off by receiving voltage back from the cart when plugged in. So, if your batteries have been run down all the way or left without charging for a long while, your charger may not activate when plugged in.
This can be a common issue if your charger doesn’t have storage mode or trickle charging, if the kids or grandkids (or sometimes adult kids) forget to plug it in when their done, if the batteries are left uncharged during an off season, or if your cart sneaks out at night with your great dane to solve mysteries. No matter how the batteries ran low…. If your cart does not have enough power to drive forward, it probably does not have enough voltage to activate a charger, either. We’ll show you a charger that can avoid this problem in the future.

What if Your Cart Won't Turn On? Check Your Connections

This is often overlooked and is quite common. If your cart's batteries aren’t hooked up in the correct way, or there's a weak connection between them, it can lead to a loss of power and cause your charger to fail. You should try and check each battery terminal for regularly for things like corrosion and buildup; these impede the flow of electricity, and could also cause problems.

How to Get Voltage Into a Dead Golf Cart Battery

But, for now, let’s discuss getting your cart back up and running. The best way to get some voltage into your batteries so that you can get your usual charger working to do the whole job, is to use a “jump box” like I’ve got here in the garage today or a handheld or automotive battery charger… any type that will connect directly to the batteries with clamps and charge them for a short while, one or two at a time. This type of charger can be found in big box stores or hardware stores and can be a good tool to have in your garage for lots of different reasons. Before beginning this process, here’s a quick safety tip from the pros. Connect your jump charger to the batteries before activating it or plugging it in to the wall.
If the charger is active or plugged in before connecting the batteries, it may cause sparks to occur. Charging of batteries can give off flammable gas… so we want to avoid causing arcing or sparks during this process. Ideally, your charger will match your batteries individual voltage and you can charge them one at a time, just like so.
There is no need to disconnect battery cables, you’ll simply be sending low amp voltage into one battery at a time. Some owners may have to do some math here. For instance, If you’re using a 12V charger, but you have 6V batteries… then you’d want to charge two of them at a time by connecting the jump charger to one positive and the next battery negative.
Because golf carts can have 6, 8, or 12 Volt batteries, you’ll want to pay attention to match that voltage on your charger if possible by setting it to the correct voltage or connecting it to the right number of batteries at a time to equal its voltage. However, if the numbers don’t match up exactly… maybe because you’re using a 12V charger on 8V batteries and your jump charger does not have a setting for 8V’s.
You can charge two of them using this method, because you’ll be doing it for a short period of time on each battery or pair. We’re not charging the batteries all the way here, we’re just trying to get enough voltage in them to get your normal golf cart charger to do it’s job. Remember to turn the charger off or disconnect it from power each time you move the charger to the next battery.
We recommend starting by charging each battery for 5-10 minutes at a time and then moving on to the next one. Once this process is complete, and you’ve removed your jump start charger, plug in your golf cart charger to the cart receptacle to see if it begins charging for you. While this doesn’t always solve charging issues, low battery power is the most common reason that chargers do not operate, especially during times of the year when we take our carts out of storage or if we forgot to plug them in…. or if aliens have been using the cart while you’re away to make crop circles on the back 40.