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Buying Guide: Golf Cart Batteries

Buying Guide: Golf Cart Batteries

Author Photo: Christian Attlesey

Author: Christian Attlesey

Read Time: 3-5 minutes

 

 

 

Golf cart batteries can be a significant (albeit worthwhile) investment for your golf cart.

On the low end, you can spend anywhere from $800-$1000; on the high end, you can pay close to $6000. With a price tag like that, you must ensure you have all the necessary information to put your hard-earned money in the right spot.

This article will cover all the essential details you need to be aware of when purchasing new batteries for your golf cart. Let's dig in!

Type: What are the different types of golf cart batteries?

Illustration of a battery

Three types of batteries are commonly used in golf carts: Deep-cycle lead-acid, AGM, and lithium-ion, with the most popular being lead-acid and lithium.

Lead-acid batteries were the standard battery in golf carts coming off the factory floor, but now all new golf cart models have lithium.

Lithium has many advantages over traditional lead-acid golf cart batteries that we will explore below.

Price: How much does a golf cart battery cost?

Dollar Sign

As with everything else related to golf cart parts and accessories, golf cart batteries range in price depending on the type, size, and brand of battery you choose.

As a quick rule of thumb, deep-flooded lead acid batteries will have less upfront cost but a higher lifetime cost. On the other hand, lithium golf cart batteries will have a higher upfront cost but less total lifetime cost. Here is a quick reference of what typical golf cart batteries will cost you:

*Please note these prices are averages*

  • Lead-acid (single/new): $150-$300
  • Lead-acid (set/new): $800-$1600
  • Lithium-ion (single/new): $1300-$3000
  • Lithium-ion (set/new): $3000-$6000

Maintenance: How do you maintain a golf cart battery?

Screwdriver and wrench

There are a few critical steps to keeping your golf cart's batteries in tip-top shape. They relate to charging, cleaning, and watering. 

  • Charging: First, especially for lead-acid batteries, it is best to keep your golf cart batteries at full charge when not in use. Regularly draining a golf cart battery and keeping it at a low charge reduces its lifespan by changing the chemical processes within the battery. Golf cart batteries are meant to be used, so charging your battery after each use can go a long way. If you plan on keeping your golf cart in long-term storage, it is best practice to disconnect and reconnect the charger to top off the batteries every few days.
  • Cleaning: Battery corrosion can be common on a battery's terminal connections due to the release of hydrogen gas, water, and acid that occurs during the charging process. Although it may seem harmless, corrosion that is left unchecked can start to damage your terminals and begin to make having a clean and robust connection between your batteries and cable more difficult. Combine a cup of hot water and a tablespoon of baking soda to clean the corrosion on your batteries. Using a small brush, use this mixture to scrub the terminals. Once the excess corrosion is removed, wipe off your terminals and make sure they are completely dry. For extra protection, add some terminal protectant gel before re-attaching your cables.
  • Watering: (Not required with lithium batteries) Watering your battery is crucial as your golf cart battery produces electricity through electrolytes and water. Precisely like your body, if the balance of electrolytes to water in the system is off, your batteries won't perform as they should. If your battery water levels are left unchecked for too long and drop to severe levels, you can cause significant damage to your batteries. To water your batteries, make sure the water line in each cell is above the lead element and approximately 1 inch from the top of the cell. If you find your water levels lower than that, add distilled water to your batteries to raise the water level. Regular tap or spring water won't do the trick, as they both have trace elements and minerals that can mess up your battery's chemical profile. 

Popular Brands: Which golf cart batteries should I buy?

Brand tag

The biggest name in golf cart batteries is Trojan®. They have been around for a while and have made a name for themselves in lead-acid golf cart batteries.

Although Trojan® is exceptionally well known, plenty of other battery companies are starting to make a name for themselves in the lithium-ion space. UNO®, Dakota, and Roypow are some of the most popular lithium-ion golf cart battery manufacturers with a reputation for quality and excellent customer service. 

Weight: How much do golf cart batteries weigh?

Scale
  • Lead-acid golf cart battery weight: Deep-cycle lead acid batteries are approximately 60-85 lbs. each, so a complete set of four to 8 batteries weigh anywhere from 340 lbs. to 500 lbs.
    • Trojan T-105 (6V) lead-acid batteries: 62 lbs.
    • Trojan T-875 (8V) lead-acid batteries: 63 lbs.
    • Trojan T-1275 (12V) lead-acid batteries: 85 lbs.
  • Lithium golf cart battery weight: One of the main advantages of lithium-ion golf cart batteries is that they are significantly lighter than lead-acid. Considering you only need one battery to power your cart (you can always add more), you can reduce your golf cart's overall weight by hundreds of pounds!
    • UNO™ 48V lithium battery: 48 lbs.
    • Dakota 36V lithium battery: 48 lbs.
    • Dakota 48V lithium battery: 77 lbs.

Voltage: What battery voltage do I need for my golf cart?

Electricity sign

Each golf cart will have a motor and controller calibrated to a specific voltage. The most common golf carts operate on either 36 or 48 volts, with a few 72-volt golf carts on the road.

As a result, when purchasing new golf cart batteries, you must ensure that the batteries you buy can provide your cart with the correct voltage. Here is a list of the standard battery setups on 36 and 48-volt carts.

  • 36-volt golf carts
    • Six 6V batteries
    • Three 12V batteries
    • 36V lithium battery (you can install more than one 36V lithium battery in your cart as long as you hook up your batteries in parallel)
  • 48-volt golf carts
    • Six 8V batteries
    • Four 12V batteries
    • 48V lithium battery (you can install more than one 48V lithium battery in your cart as long as you hook up your batteries in parallel)

Size: How many batteries fit in a golf cart?

Dimensions diagram

On average, golf carts can fit six to eight batteries inside their battery compartment.

However, as stated in the question above, golf carts have a pre-determined voltage setup, and their battery compartments are built around their factory battery configuration.

Regarding lithium batteries, you can typically fit one to three batteries in a golf cart. 

Warranty: Do golf cart batteries have a warranty?

Shield and checkmark

Most reputable golf cart battery manufacturers will provide a warranty with their products. The warranties are typically total replacement, pro-rated, or a combination of both.

Here is a look at some p golf cart battery manufacturers and their corresponding warranties.

  • Trojan® deep-cycle lead-acid batteries: 18-month full replacement warranty
  • Trojan® Lithium batteries: 8-year full replacement warranty
  • UNO™ Lithium batteries: 10-year pro-rated warranty
  • RoyPow® Lithium batteries: 5-year full replacement, pro-rated after five years
  • Dakota Lithium batteries: 11-year full replacement warranty

Lifespan: How many years should a golf cart battery last?

Hourglass

Under everyday use, you should expect to see a lifespan of 3-4 years with lead-acid batteries and 10+ years with lithium batteries.

A multiplicity of factors impact a golf cart battery's performance life, so to maximize your golf cart's battery(ies) performance, make sure you perform its regularly scheduled maintenance and use it under routine operating procedures.

Safety: Can golf cart batteries catch fire? Anything else I need to be concerned about?

safety alert

Lead-acid golf cart batteries: Although they may seem completely harmless, they pose a threat if you don't treat them properly.

Lead-acid batteries release hydrogen gas when they are charged. Hydrogen gas is highly flammable at small concentrations, so it is best practice to charge your battery in an open area with plenty of ventilation.

You must also regularly check the water levels of your batteries and perform their regularly scheduled maintenance. To keep you and your golf cart safe, make sure you:

  • Follow the instructions and adhere to the warnings from your battery manufacturer.
  • Only charge your golf cart with electrical cords and a battery charger that is designed for your golf cart.
    • Use a "smart" charger that can monitor battery charge levels and charge accordingly.
  • Ensure that a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector are installed near your golf cart.

Lithium golf cart batteries: A few years back, lithium batteries made the news for causing laptops and cell phones to burst into flames.

Thankfully, that was a while back, and lithium technology has made leaps and bounds regarding safety.

Without getting into much detail, the old lithium batteries were manufactured with lithium and cobalt. This combination was an early lithium technology and the culprit that caused batteries to overheat.

On the other hand, new lithium batteries are manufactured with lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4). The chemical structure of these batteries makes them virtually non-combustible, so there is nothing to worry about with lithium golf cart batteries. It is still best practice to follow the above guidelines when charging lithium-ion golf cart batteries.

Concluding Thoughts

Hopefully, at this point, you have a much deeper understanding of golf cart batteries and the important factors you need to consider when looking to get yours replaced. If you still have further questions, drop them in the comments below, or feel free to reach out to us directly.

Want to know more about batteries? Check out our another one of our battery articles covering golf cart battery FAQ's!

 

Author Photo: Christian Attlesey
Christian Attlesey is the Marketing Manager here at Golf Cart Stuff™, and, in addition to the marketing department, he oversees our website and advertising responsibilities.

...You probably know him as the humorous & relatable host of our YouTube channel!

Prior to taking on marketing, however, Christian honed his industry knowledge as our Customer Service Manager. Fast-forward to present day: it’s his mission to deliver the best and most current products, resources, and overall expertise to Golf Cart owners everywhere.

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Email: sales@golfcartstuff.com
Phone: 574-333-2494
Text: 574-612-5195
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Comments

Nico - July 18, 2023

Hi, Dear
Have a nice day!
This is Nico from Upin Solar Energy Co., Ltd.We can provide Automotive Batteries, Golf car batteries,Car and Truck Battery.
Is there any product you are interested? Or are you looking for a trusted one stop battery supplier?
Best Regards
Nico

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