Your golf cart is your trusty companion, whether it shuttles you from hole to hole on the course or around the RV park, campground, or neighborhood. But after a few years of use, you might notice it’s not quite performing the way you expect, leaving you wondering – how long do golf cart batteries last? Let’s explore this important topic and how lithium batteries can help change your battery game.
How Long Do Golf Cart Batteries Last?
The answer to this can depend significantly on the particular type of battery and how you’re using (and charging) your cart. If you’re using traditional lead-acid batteries or modified versions of them, you can typically expect a battery to last 2-5 years.
For more modern lithium-ion batteries, owners can usually count on three times that range, up to 20 years in many cases! That can easily span the entire life of your golf cart and part of a new one.
How Often Do You Need to Replace Golf Cart Batteries?
Figuring out how long golf cart batteries last and when they need to be replaced comes down to looking at your driving and charging behavior. For those who frequently use their golf carts or use them for longer distances, batteries will tend to wear down faster. Infrequent users will see longer battery lives.
Lead-acid battery users can also face decreased battery lifespan through behaviors like overcharging, undercharging, discharging the battery too deeply, operating in extreme temperatures, or other situations. Fortunately, lithium-ion batteries don’t face most of these issues, and the ones they do encounter are far less extreme.
4 Signs That Indicate You Need New Golf Cart Batteries
So now that you generally know how long golf cart batteries last, it’s crucial to know the signs that your specific battery is on its last leg. Here are the easiest ways to spot a dying battery.
1. Batteries Are Taking Longer Than Normal to Charge
This can be one of the most obvious signs of battery decline. If your golf cart used to charge fully overnight but now needs 12 hours or more, failing batteries may be the culprit. This won’t happen all at once, so you’ll need to watch over time for any changes in charge time.
2. Golf Cart Loses Power Quickly
Another surefire sign your batteries are near the end of their life is losing power faster than you did previously. Damaged or degraded batteries simply can’t hold as much charge as new, fully-functioning ones. The result will be less driving time between charges, a problem that will continue to worsen until you replace the batteries.
3. Golf Cart Acceleration Has Decreased
Have you noticed a bit less pep in your cart? Batteries that are dying can’t provide the burst of energy that powers the acceleration you’re used to. This can make your drives feel a little sluggish and even impact handling or safety in some cases. Like issues with decreasing length of charge, acceleration problems will worsen over time until you install a new battery.
4. Batteries Are Leaking Acid, Bulging or Corroding
If you simply look at your batteries and something just doesn’t seem right, this can also signal it’s time for a replacement. Common issues include acid leaks, either around the terminals or along seams or openings, as well as bulging or any other deformation. Lead-acid batteries can be very dangerous, and it’s imperative to replace damaged ones as soon as possible and do your best to avoid contact with any battery acid. You should also ensure you properly dispose of batteries to prevent damage to the environment from the toxic materials inside.
→ Find out What Causes Battery Corrosion on Terminals and how to avoid it.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace Golf Cart Batteries?
There are many different types of golf carts and golf cart batteries out there, meaning there are plenty of options at different prices. Typically, replacing golf cart batteries will cost $1000-$1,600 for traditional lead-acid. Lithium golf cart battery replacements usually run twice to three times that amount but most likely will not need replacement in a cart’s lifespan.
Lead-Acid Versus Lithium Golf Cart Batteries
As mentioned, the two main types of golf cart batteries are traditional lead-acid (and its variants) and modern lithium ones. Overall, it’s clear: lithium batteries have the edge, not just for those wondering how long golf cart batteries last, but also for other needs. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages and drawbacks of this valuable technology.
Upgrading to lithium batteries can bring a wide variety of benefits to golf cart owners. First, lithium batteries are smaller and lighter than their lead-acid counterparts. This can help cut weight or free up space on your cart. It can also add battery capacity at the same overall weight. Lithium batteries also charge 3 times faster than lead-acid and can be fully discharged without being damaged.
Even better, lithium batteries are designed as sealed units, meaning there’s no maintenance required after installation. Perhaps most importantly, they last far longer than traditional batteries. This means you spend less time worrying about maintaining your golf cart and more time enjoying it!
Lithium also has 3 times the energy capacity per battery meaning you can go much further on a charge. Lithium also does not suffer Peukert losses meaning they will actually propel you more than 3 times further than a similar lead-acid setup.
Unfortunately, there’s no getting around the fact that lithium golf cart batteries are more expensive than lead-acid. This makes sense, as they’re a newer technology and also last so much longer. Therefore, many owners find that the extra cost more than pays for itself over the battery’s extended lifespan.
How Much Does It Cost to Upgrade Golf Cart Batteries to Battle Born Lithium?
Battle Born is among the top suppliers of high-quality, excellent-value golf cart batteries. Their LiFePO4 batteries are their best choice for golf carts. They start as low as $599, with more powerful batteries reaching $2,000 or more. Battle Born also offers numerous battery kits from $2,000 to $6,000.
These combine multiple batteries and installation materials into one comprehensive package. This is generally the most affordable route for switching over to lithium from other battery styles.
What Are You Waiting For?
By now, you should know how long golf cart batteries last and the signs you should make a switch. If your golf cart performance has been lagging over the past few weeks, it may be time for a replacement. Look out for the signs of trouble we mentioned above before committing to a replacement. And why not invest in the best and step up your golf cart game to lithium? It’s the battery technology of the future, so what are you waiting for?
Want To Learn More About Electrical Systems and Lithium Batteries?
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