If you are thinking of investing in a Golf course of your own or you’ve simply acquired a golf cart for personal use on your land then you should familiarize yourself with your cart.
A big part of this is your golf cart battery and today we are going to tell you all that you need to know about optimal voltage, types of batteries, inspection, and how to check their current voltage.
So, how many volts should a golf cart battery have?
Golf Carts can use batteries with power ranges going from 6 to 12 volts, with 36 or 48 volts total being utilized by tandem-running batteries in your average golf cart.
Let’s start this article off by discussing the battery sizes used in your average golf cart.
Golf Cart Battery sizes
Golf cart batteries are available in sizes of 6, 8, and 12 and if you aren’t sure of what voltage the battery in your cart is using then you simply need to count the holes.
Lead-acid deep cycle batteries, such as those used in a golf cart, employ a suspension of electrolyte-infused water. Each cell on the battery is 2 volts of power. So if you count ‘3 water holes’ then you are looking at a 6 volt battery.
Usually it will be arranged like this:
- 6 6-volt batteries for a 36 volt total
- 6 8-volt batteries for a 48 volt total
- 4 12 volt batteries for a 48 volt total
You will want to consult the cart manual for the preferred setup, as you’ll get optimal performance by following their recommendations.
You might think that you are saving money by simply totally the voltage yourself but we strongly suggest that you follow their recommendations. You’ll save yourself a lot of money and headaches, trust us on this.
The importance of regular inspection
You will want to check the voltage on your golf car batteries on a regular basis and a dedicated charge cycle is also the best idea for your battery and your peace of mind.
Regular charge cycles help to prevent sulfation, which is a situation where sulfate crystals build up in the battery and attach to the plates, eventually reducing charge efficiency until you have to replace the battery.
Fluids need to be checked in this type of battery as well. You have to top them off with distilled water from time to time, typically every 2 to 3 weeks, but if you can inspect your batteries once a week that is even better.
You want to know when problems are coming as soon as possible and regular charge and inspection is the only way to do that.
Remember, if you are charging infrequently or if you don’t top off the water regularly when your inspection says that you should then you can run into problems like sulfation or a dry plate in your battery and this will not only lessen the overall life but it might even void out your warranty, Take care of your battery and protect your investment.
How to check the voltage on your Golf Cart battery
Checking your voltage so that you know that you are charged and that the battery is not going bad requires the following steps:
- Step 1 – Give your battery a full charge cycle. If you cannot do these, make sure the battery has been sitting unused for at least an hour to get accurate results.
- Step 2 – Use a voltmeter to check each individual battery. 6 volt batteries should show at about 7 volts, while 8 volt batteries should read about 9.3 volts. Note, with a 36 volt array cart if any battery measures under 7 volts and is not within .5 volts of another battery in the set then it needs to be replaced. With 48 volt arrays, replace anything under 9.3 if it is not within .5 of another battery in the set.
- Step 3 – With gloves and goggle on, take out your Hydrometer and pull up a small sample of fluid for each individual cell and test it. You’ll get an acidity reading, with 1100 being mostly water and 1300 being properly acidic. All cells should be with .50 of each other on the reading and If they are not then the battery is going bad.
A note on Hydrometer readings with examples
Just to be clear, when we say that you shouldn’t have more than a 50 point variance we mean that if you are testing cells and you see acidity readings like this:
- Battery A: 1200, 1215, and 1230
- Battery B: 1250, 1225, and 1215
- Battery C: 1200, 1225, and 1280
This would should you that battery C is bad, because one of the cells is outside of the acceptable 50 point variance range. It’s actually quite easy to spot once you have done it few times so don’t worry, you’ll be doing hydrometer tests like a champ in no time.
Some final words
Today we have discussed how many volts a golf cart deep cycle battery should have as well as how to check them out for yourself so that you can keep them inspected regularly. Do it once a week if you can but if not, at least once every 2-3 weeks.
With regular inspection, these batteries can run a good, long time, so take care of them so that they can also take care of you. You’ll be happy that you did.