Determining The Voltage Of Golf Cart Batteries Takes Only a Few Minutes.
Golf cart batteries for an electric golf cart are available in different voltages. The batteries are wired in series and there are normally six batteries in the cart. (Club Car has recently introduced an electric golf cart system with four 12 volt batteries). Before doing much maintenance or ordering golf cart parts it is essential that you know the battery voltage for your particular cart.
For golf carts that utilize wet cell batteries this is easy to determine. The batteries are usually under the seat. Once the seat is raised you will see the six batteries. Each battery will have a number of fill caps. The fill caps give access to the individual cells. Some batteries have individual fill caps and others will have a single cell cover that covers all of the cells. Simply remove this single cover and then count the open cells.
Each battery in the pack will have the same number of cells and therefore the same number of fill caps. Choose any one of the batteries and count the fill caps. Each cell in a battery is rated at 2 volts. (Actually under ideal conditions is is a little higher than 2 volts but for determining total voltage of the battery using the number 2 is all that is necessary).
If your batteries have 3 fill caps than each battery is a 6v battery. 3 cells x 2 = 6 volts.
Golf Carts Usually Have 6 Batteries
Because the battery pack consists of 6 batteries and each single battery is rated at 6v you now know that your golf cart has a 36 volt system.
If each single battery has 4 fill caps, or cells, then each battery is rated at 8 volts
As mentioned above some newer models have four 12 volt batteries which make them 48 volt systems. The four battery systems have fewer battery connections and cables making the system more effective while reducing maintenance.
Golf cart batteries are deep cycle and can be discharged down to 20% of their capacity. These differ from auto and truck batteries which are designed to provide cranking power for large high compression engines and then be recharged as the vehicle is driven. They are not designed to be discharged to such low capacity as the deep cycle batteries are.
Golf cart batteries should be charged after each use no matter how long the vehicle was used. While these deep cycle batteries can be discharged through use down to 20% of their capacity you can prolong the life of your golf cart batteries if you never allow them to be discharged more than 80%.
Keep An Eye On the Discharge Rate To Give Longer Service Life
There is an optimum depth of discharge that will prolong the life of your batteries. Keep the discharge between 20% and 60% to get the best service life from your expensive golf cart batteries. Be sure to replace your vent caps. Never leave the cells exposed because water and acid splashed during charging is very corrosive. Of course only use distilled water to top off battery cells and the battery plates must be completely covered with water and a good rule of thumb is make sure the water is about a 1/2 inch abouve the plates.
While you should never run your golf cart batteries till they are completely dead, if this should occur the video below will demonstrate a safe method to recharge them.