I was recently looking to purchase a golf cart for my old man. He is getting on but loves his golf so I thought this would help him stay out on to the course in retirement. I scoured the internet and found lots of un-specific and contradictory advice – sound familiar? Well, I ended up speaking to a couple of mechanics to help me out and I wanted to share what they said so everyone can have a one-stop guide to the frequently asked questions about golf carts, starting with how do you know when golf cart batteries are dying?
How do you know when golf cart batteries are dying?
When you are out on the course you just want to be focussing on the golf. It is a real pain when your cart battery becomes a real concern. In this section, I am going to give you 5 quick and easy things to look at for so you know when your golf cart batteries are dying. Keeping these simple tips in mind next time you are on the course will ensure you have a worry-free round.
The easiest way to tell if your golf cart battery is dying is to check how well it is dealing with going uphill. A fully charged battery will have no problem climbing steep gradients and won’t limp to the top. If your battery is dying you will notice your cart slowing down as it approaches the top of the hill. If this is the case, it is time for you to recharge those batteries.
When the battery is fresh and charged you will have no issues with putting it in “R” when it was in “D”. If you cart struggles to do this – either because it is slow in starting to reverse or the engine cuts out – it means that the battery is very low. This happens because transferring the cart from one mode to another requires a sudden and greater flow of electricity than when it is kept just in a single mode. If the battery is flat or drying changing gears will drain the battery further which will indicate that it needs to be recharged.
This is a simple measure to use. When you turn the key in the starter ignition if the battery is near the end of its life-cycle you will start a lot slower than usual. Some manufacturers state that you could see up to a two-second delay from the moment your foot hits the pedal to the cart moving.
The performance of appliances directly correlates to your battery life. If your refrigerator isn’t cooling things as well as it once was or the CD player is low to respond, this could indicate that it is time for you to change the battery.
If you are struggling to drive your cart between holes where there are no impediments (such as hills etc.); this likely means that the battery is struggling and needs to be changed.
How much does it cost to replace the batteries in a golf cart?
The general cost of replacing a cart battery ranges from $80 on the low end to $1,500 at the high. If you are dealing with a 72-volt system this cost could rise to as much as $2,000. This cost includes the installation fee. If you are capable of installing one yourself this cost would be cheaper (a quick health warning, do not try and install the battery from youtube videos, or if you are not experienced in doing this sort of thing). The result of some half-baked could be that you ruin your cart or get seriously hurt.
The cheapest volt system for a golf cart is the 4-12. However, this has the least range. The more lead and the heavier the battery the more expensive it will be. This though has the benefit of being higher quality. My advice would be to pay the difference and invest in a better battery pack which will undoubtedly save you time and money in the future whilst providing you with a better experience. If you are looking to do this on the cheap then you should consider whether a golf cart is right for you, and instead, you should look into just hiring one from the club you play at.
How much does a golf cart weigh?
Have you ever wondered how much does a golf car weigh? I decided to do some research to see how different models compare to one another.
On average, a golf cart weighs between 227-456kg (500-1000lbs). This depends on a number of factors such as make, model and modifications.
Weight is an important factor to take in consideration when looking to buy a golf cart. This is because golf carts are, by their nature, a formidable piece of kit. If you have to transport it or store it you will need to have a rough idea of the weight so you can make the appropriate arrangements. In the majority of cases, an electric golf cart will weigh less than a gas-powered golf cart. The main exception to this rule is when an electric golf cart is using oversized or big batteries.
*Weight includes the battery weight.
You can see from the weights that a golf cart is a substantial piece of kit. For transporting a cart we recommend using a trailer which has a 1500lb capacity. This should give you enough scope to add modifications to your cart and also allows for battery weight for electric carts and fuel for gas carts.
How wide is a golf cart?
A key question to ask when looking into buying a cart is: how wide is a golf cart?
The typical golf cart is about 4 feet wide, 8 feet long and 6 feet high (1.2m x 2.4m x 1.8m). The usual golf cart is a little narrower in the front than in the back and as a result, the spacing between the front wheels is around 33.5inches compared to 38inches for the back.
This is an industry-standard but it does fluctuate between manufacturers. The narrowest golf cart I have been able to find is 47inches (3.9 feet) whilst the widest is around 58inches (4.8feet).
It is worth noting that 6-person golf carts tend to be slightly wider than 2-4 person golf carts. The 6-person cart will also be heavier and longer.
Most courses are designed with golf carts in mind so have pathways wide enough to get from tee to green. There may be some structures like narrow bridges and enclosed underpasses which make navigation tight. A well-designed course will signpost these areas and will give you a bypass route if necessary.
How long does it take to charge a golf cart?
There are three factors which affect how long it takes to charge a golf cart. The first is the quality of the battery (how well it is designed), the second how much power the battery has lost and the final factor is the quality of the charger.
The quality of the battery is the easiest factor to understand. A newer battery with ‘fewer miles’ in the tank will charge quicker than an older battery. A battery which is over 5 years old may take more than 12 hours to fully charge compared to a newer battery which at optimum speed should only take 1-3 hours to reach full capacity.
Discharge or loss of power
The amount a battery discharges power or has lost is another key factor in how long it charges a golf cart. As a battery gets older it naturally begins to lose power. This is why batteries do not charge indefinitely. Discharge happens because of chemical reactions occur within the battery. The more charging cycles you undertake, the greater the capacity you lose. This is why you should only charge you battery to full capacity and no further. Once it hits 100% you should unplug your charger as this will help maintain the battery life for as long as possible.
Charge your cart regularly to keep the battery active.
Do not charge your cart if you have 85% battery or more.
Do not leave your charger in once it has over 100% charge.
Do not undercharge your battery. Make sure when you are charging your battery to full capacity each time.
Quality of the charger
The quality of the charger will affect how long it takes to charge your golf charge. If you are looking to replace your charger you should always go directly to your chart manufacturer. You should be changing your charger every couple of years to maximise the charge time. This is because older units do not have a higher power output which will result in longer charge times.
Automatic chargers are well worth the price tag
Most of the issues we have discussed such as overcharging or undercharging your cart can be solved by investing in an automatic charger. These chargers will switch on and off depending on your cart needs which means you can just plugin and leave it until your next round. An automatic charger makes things easier for you and will ensure your battery minimizing its charge time.
Another consideration to go alongside an automatic charger is that the weather will also affect how long it takes to charge your cart. If the weather drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit you can lose up to 35% of your overall charge. To combat this, batteries should be removed from the cart in winder and stored in at room temperature.