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How To Install A Golf Cart Voltage Reducer - GOLFCARTSTUFF.COM™

How To Install A Golf Cart Voltage Reducer

Author Photo: Christian Attlesey

Author: Christian Attlesey

Read Time: 2-3 Minutes






[ If you still have questions after reading this article, leave them in the comment box at the bottom of the page. We will answer your questions with a reply comment as well as a direct email to you.  ]

If you've been looking to install a new accessory on your golf cart, you may notice that often golf cart accessories are rated for 12 volts. 

The only problem? Electric golf carts are either 36 or 48 volts.

If you have a 36-volt golf cart with 6-volt batteries, you can get away with hooking up to two batteries, but if you have a 48-volt cart with six 8-volt batteries you will need a voltage reducer.

This article will walk you through how to get your voltage reducer installed on both your cart and your accessory. Let's jump right in!



Installing A Golf Cart Voltage Reducer: Quick Overview

Before we get into the specifics, it is important to understand the concept of a voltage reducer.

As the name would imply, a voltage reducer reduces the overall voltage of a golf cart down to a voltage that works with various golf cart accessories (typically 12 volts).

It acts as a go-between for your golf cart batteries to your accessory. See the photo below for a visual representation.

Voltage Reducer Diagram

Installing a voltage reducer step-by-step

Step 1: Safety & Locating The Correct Batteries

  • Switch the golf cart to TOW mode and turn the key switch to the OFF position. It is also recommended to disconnect the main negative off your golf cart's batteries.
  • Most golf cart voltage reducers are rated for 36 and 48-volt systems. Use a multimeter to test the voltage of the connection where you will be installing the voltage reducer. Typically this will be the positive post on the number one battery and the negative post on the last battery in sequence.
    • The number one battery can often be identified by finding the main power wire that is coming off a positive post on the battery and running into the cart's controller or motor. See below for an example photo.
example photo of the main positive wire on a golf cart
    • The last battery in sequence can often be identified by finding the main negative wire that is coming off a negative post on the battery and running into the cart's controller or motor. See the photo below for an example photo.
Example photo of the main negative wire on a golf cart

Step 2: Find A Mounting Location

  • Find a good, flat metal surface where you can mount the voltage reducer with screws and/or double-sided tape.
  • This should be away from heat or moving parts as best as possible.
  • The voltage reducer may reach high temperatures so it is best not to install the reducer on any plastic parts of the golf cart.

Step 3: Prep The Reducer

If your reducer doesn't already have some bare wire showing at the ends of the wires, use wire strippers and strip the lead wires of the reducer so there is approximately 0.25" of bare wire showing.

Voltage Reducer wires

Step 4: Connect The Input Side Of The Reducer

Connect the positive lead from the input side of the reducer (typically red but not always) to the positive terminal of the number one battery. Connect the negative lead from the input side of the reducer to the last battery in sequence.

Voltage Reducer wiring showing input and output side of the reducer

Pro-Tip: Often the wiring on voltage reducers is not very long and there are no connectors on the ends of the wires.

As a result, you may have to extend the wires in order to reach the necessary terminals.

You may also have to purchase ring terminals, spade connectors, or some other connector in order to properly attach the voltage reducer to your golf cart's batteries and/or accessory.

Please Note: If you have a 30-amp voltage reducer, you may have a third wire on the input side of the reducer.

If so, this third wire (often red and white striped, but not always) MUST be connected to a hot wire on the golf cart's key switch for the reducer to work.

10-amp and 20-amp reducers do NOT require this extra step. See the photo below for an example of the extra wire on 30-amp reducers.

 Example wiring on a 30-amp voltage reducer

Bonus- Different Golf Cart Battery Set-ups

Here are some diagrams of various different golf cart battery setups and where you can connect the input side of your voltage reducer.

Please note these are used for reference only as your battery setup may be different than the photos below.

For the most accurate placement of your voltage reducer, follow Step 1 above.

48-volt Golf Cart With Six 8-Volt Batteries

How to connect a voltage reducer to six 8-volt batteries

48-Volt Golf Cart With Four 12-Volt Batteries

Voltage reducer wiring diagram for golf cart with four 12-volt batteries

36-Volt Golf Cart With Six 6-Volt Batteries

Voltage reducer wiring diagram for golf cart with six 6-volt batteries

Step 5- Test Output Voltage

Now that you have the voltage reducer connected to your golf cart, you want to check that the voltage reducer is working properly.

  • To test, switch the cart back into the RUN position. If you disconnected the main negative off of your golf cart's batteries, you will need to reconnect that as well.
  • If you have a 30-amp reducer, you will also need to turn the key to the ON position.
  • Once the cart is in RUN, use a volt meter and test the output wires of the reducer. You should get a reading of 12 volts.

No voltage: If you see less than 12 volts or no reading at all, double-check that your wires are properly secured to the battery and that the cart is in RUN. Also, ensure that your volt-meter is set on the proper setting. If after checking all the wiring and your volt meter, you still do not read 12 volts, your reducer is faulty.

More than 12 volts: If you are getting a reading of more than 12 volts, go through the same steps above and double-check your connections as well as your volt-meter settings. If you still read more than 12 volts, your reducer is faulty.

Pro-Tip: Most voltage reducers will have a slight fluctuation in voltage output. A reading of slightly less than 12 volts (11.2-11.10 volts) or slightly more than 12 volts (12.3-12.9 volts) is very common and does not indicate a faulty reducer.

Step 6- Connect Your Accessory

Once your voltage reducer is hooked up and tested, you now need to connect your accessory.

As stated above when getting your voltage reducer connected to your golf cart's batteries, you may need to purchase a different connector to ensure compatibility (crimp on butt connector, spade connector, etc.)

  • Connect the positive wire from the output side of your reducer (usually a yellow wire but not always) to the positive connection on your golf cart accessory. 
  • Connect the negative wire from the output side of your reducer (usually a black wire) to the negative connection on your golf cart accessory.

Pro-Tip: If you are using a fuse block, you can connect the output side of the reducer to your fuse block if you would like to run multiple golf cart accessories off of one voltage reducer.

Step 7- Turn Your Golf Cart To "Run" and Reconnect Your Batteries

At this point, all that is left for you to do is reconnect your golf cart's main negative wire (if you disconnected it) turn your golf cart back into the RUN position, and enjoy your golf cart accessory!

If you have some questions or want some clarification, put them in the comments below or reach out to us directly. See you next time!

[ Are you using a voltage reducer to hook up golf cart lights? If so, check out our article ongolf cart light wiring ]


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.


Email: sales@golfcartstuff.com
Phone: 574-333-2494
Text: 574-612-5195
Previous article EZGO TXT Light Kit Installation Instructions


GCS Customer Service - August 23, 2023

Hey Craig!

You’re definitely on the right track, if you were to replace only the halogen lights.

Our recommendation: (both for ease of installation and, likely, overall cost savings) is to replace the entire light kit. You will have to replace the wire harness, but won’t need to mess with a voltage reducer.

Our Club Car DS LED Light Kits operate anywhere from 12-48 volts without the need for a reducer (simplifying the installation).

While you will see headlight replacements on our store, those would have to be tediously cut and spliced into your existing halogen kit (if possible), and may result in incompatibility (and having to replace the entire kit after all).

Below are the links to our complete kits. Take a look and let us know what additional questions you may have!



Thanks for reaching out; we look forward to helping you with your upgrades!

Craig - August 23, 2023

We have a 1995 Club Car DS (48v) that needs headlights (halogens that have burnt out). The taillights with 12v 2057 bulbs still work. Cant find a reducer so we think previous owner had hooked across 16 volts thus premature failure. We want to replace the front lights, Floorboard switch works. Im not sure where the lights are hooked to ground. Will the negative of a voltage reducer be connected to ground so that running all new wire is not necessary?
Thank you!

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