Golf cart batteries have a lifespan. However, their performance doesn’t all fail at once. There are times when only one battery stops working while other batteries stay in perfect condition. And when this happens, you might be wondering what to do.
You might be torn between replacing the defective and all the batteries at once. So, which way is the best?
You can do either. You can replace just one battery on a golf cart. But the concern is not just about replacing the battery. Your cart performance should be the main focus. So, after replacing the battery, will it solve the problem?
In this article, we’ll share with you everything you need to know about battery replacement.
How Golf Cart Battery Operate
An electric golf cart has packs of individual batteries. Depending on your cart, and battery power, you might have a pack of 4, 6, or 8 individual batteries. They are all connected in a series. The number of batteries depends mostly on the voltage system of your cart.
And since every battery might have a different voltage simultaneously, you must always ensure that your batteries have the right voltage at all times. That’s why replacing the only bad batteries is a careful decision you must make.
Why Replacing Just One Battery on A Golf Cart Could Be A Bad Idea
Google stats show that most people ask this simple question—can you replace just one battery on a golf cart? But the answer is not obvious.
If you are thinking about saving money, you might just wish to replace just one battery. But other people know cheap could be expensive.
The truth is, you can change one battery at a time. You can remove the batteries that are damaged and replace them with others.
However, this is not the most recommended way to do it. This is because replacing the damaged batteries alone could permanently damage other batteries in the cart. This is because the new battery and old ones might have different voltages. The new battery might overwhelm the old batteries, and all the batteries get damaged in a very short time. This is because they are all connected in a series.
The following are some of the main problems you should expect when replacing just one battery on a golf cart.
- Could Cause Battery Power Imbalance
New batteries will release power more efficiently as compared to old batteries. And as a result, they would cause an imbalance in the entire series. The old batteries will experience more resistance, and as a result, their performance will go down.
The power imbalance in the battery system will lead to issues such as acceleration lag. The speed of the cart will be underwhelmed. It won’t function as it should have.
- Lowers Poor battery Life
Replacing just one battery in the entire series of your cart pack will affect the charging system. The new battery you bought will be affected by the resistance of the old batteries. And as a result, its lifespan will definitely go down.
And since the total voltage of the batteries is what counts, the older batteries installed next to newer batteries will have their cells exhausted. As the newer battery receives and releases power efficiently, it will stress the adjacent batteries. The lifespan of the old batteries will be accelerated. They would get damaged quickly and easily.
- Affects Your Charging
The charging system won’t differentiate between the newer and older battery. This is because they are connected in a series. The newer battery would get charged quickly. However, the charging system doesn’t stop charging until all the other batteries are fully charged. As a result, newer batteries will be overcharged. And as you probably know, overcharging your batteries will definitely damage your batteries.
Circumstances That Allow Replacing Just One Battery on a Golf Cart
If your batteries are new or after replacing all of them, you notice that there are still some issues, you can check each battery individually. Identify the batteries that could be damaged. If only one battery or two are damaged, you can replace them with new ones.
However, the new batteries should have almost the same power performance as the old batteries. You can also boost the performance of the old batteries by refurbishing your old batteries. The goal is to ensure you have the power balance in your golf cart.
Signs Of A Golf Cart Batteries That Need Replacement
The secret to an effective golf cart performance is identifying when your batteries are getting damaged. You need to ensure you replace them before they could affect other parts of your cart. The following are specific signs that you must always look out for. These signs would help you tell when the golf cart needs quick attention.
- Batteries charging longer than normal time
- Losing charge quickly
- The golf cart accelerates slowly
- Battery leaking or bulging
- Constant low battery voltage
However, if charging is the issue, you can’t rules out entirely that the batteries have a problem. The issue could be on the battery charger. First, check the battery charger and ensure it’s functioning properly. Invest in a good charger that won’t damage your batteries. It will save you a lot of money that would have been lost in the battery replacement.
Sign 1: Charging Issues
Damaged or older batteries need a lot of time to charge them fully. And as previously mentioned, a charger cannot differentiate between a full battery and those that aren’t. So, if one battery is damaged and not getting full, it could lead to overcharging of other batteries. This will eventually damage the lifespan and performance of other batteries.
So, check your batteries when you notice a longer charge time compared to normal time.
Sign 2: Decreased Battery Life
If your cart’s charge storage capacity decreases, it could be due to batteries. Sometimes, you would leave your cart fully charged and not use it. But when you come to it, you realize that it’s not functioning well. Then it’s time to check the batteries.
Other times you might have been used to your golf cart running all day for several miles without re-charging, and now that doesn’t happen again, you must ensure you get it done.
So, if you begin noticing issues with your battery life, then it could be time to replace them. Inspect them to check if there are any problems with them.
Sign 3: Decreased Acceleration
As your batteries get damaged, they lose their power. Even on a full charge, acceleration becomes an issue. Your cart eventually loses its speed because there’s insufficient energy to speed them. You can know you’re having acceleration if:
- Your cart struggles to climb an incline or small hill
- The cart can’t reach a top speed
- Takes a long time for the cart to take off
- The cart is abnormally slow
Sign 4: Leaking Acid
As your batteries age, it expands and starts to budge. And as that happens, you might begin seeing acid leaking out of the battery. The acid could start leaving through the caps or cracks that could have formed on the casing.
So, when you’re maintaining your cart, always observe the batteries. Check if there’s any liquid around the battery pack. You could have acid leaks even if you notice any corrosion around the battery area.
If you suspect your battery leaks, you must replace it as fast as possible. This is because a battery leak is dangerous. It can affect you or put your cart on flames.
To Tips For Maintaining Golf Cart Battery Lifespan
It’s true batteries have a lifespan. But you can easily prolong their lifespan if you do your due diligence. The following are simple tips you can always follow to extend the lifespan of your battery.
- Regularly charge your battery. It’s recommended you charge the batteries when they drop to 50%.
- Use a standard charger that automatically stops the charging once the batteries are fully charged. You shouldn’t overcharge your batteries.
- Maintain the electrolyte solution if you’re using a flooded battery. You can do this by adding distilled water every month.
- Remember to clean your battery and remove harmful build-up regularly
- Always buy quality batteries.
The above tips will go a long way in ensuring that you get a better battery performance. They will also save you a lot of money that you could spend on replacing batteries.
Can you replace just one battery on a golf cart? Yes, you can replace one battery. However, that’s not the most effective way to do it. You might create a bigger problem by replacing one battery than replacing the entire pack. So, always replace all the batteries whenever some get damaged. This is the only way to get better performance with your golf cart.