When the time comes to replace the batteries in your golf cart, you may be surprised to find out just how much a golf cart battery costs. Since most golf carts have 4, 6 or even 8 batteries, you’re often looking at a $600-$1,000+ investment for a full battery replacement.

You may be wondering: Can you replace one battery on a golf cart? The best answer is no. You should replace all of the batteries at the same time. Technically you could just swap one deep cycle battery out, but you’re asking for trouble when you take this approach.

I know, I know….it can be tempting to just change one electric golf cart battery and see what happens. Of course, the main reason for this approach is to save money.

But you should face the facts, newer batteries are expensive and electric golf cart ownership requires this investment every 4-5 years, even with excellent battery maintenance practices.

Want to learn more? Keep reading and you’ll learn everything you need to know about acid batteries and AGM batteries.

Understanding Your Golf Cart Battery

In general, golf carts have 4, 6 or 8 individual batteries that are connected in a series. Together, these make up what people generally call the golf cart battery (even though there are actually multiple batteries). The number of batteries varies based on whether or not you have a 36 volt or 48 volt system.

When it comes to changing these batteries, you can technically change just one. However, this is not encouraged as it can cause permanent damage to each battery.

Is My Golf Cart Battery Bad?

There are a few signs that your golf cart battery may be going bad.

  • It loses it’s charge quickly
  • It takes longer to charge
  • It accelerates slowly
  • A battery is bulging or leaking
  • It has a low battery voltage

If the battery not charging at all, you should make sure the battery charger isn’t the issue, but generally speaking, the symptoms above indicate a bad battery or batteries.

Being a golf cart owner will require you to spend money every few years. Battery replacement will often be your biggest maintenance costs.

How much does it cost to replace the batteries in a golf cart?

Expect to pay a few hundred to over a thousand dollars. Costs vary based on:

  • The number of batteries
  • The type of battery (lithium ion battery vs lead acid battery)
  • The voltage of the batteries (6v battery, 12v batteries, etc.)

When your battery has gone bad, you should change all of the batteries. It will be frustrating to pay that bill up front, but this is the best course of action. In the long run, you will likely save money and spare yourself new headaches.

Charging issues, battery imbalance, and shorter battery life are all common problems that can occur if you only replace one battery.

That being said, some situations require you to change just one or two batteries. However, this only happens after you have replaced all of the batteries in the first place.

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When should you replace your golf cart’s batteries?

There are some tell-tale signs that your battery is coming to the end of its days. Here are some symptoms of a dying battery that you should not ignore.

Your golf cart has a shorter battery life

This is an easy sign to notice if you use the same golf cart regularly. If your golf cart is struggling to run through a full day of golf, then failing batteries are most likely to blame. A full battery replacement will usually solve the problem.

Sometimes the issue can still be present after you have replaced all of the batteries. If this is the case, you should inspect the golf cart battery charger and run a test on the batteries. This will help you diagnose other possible issues.

A longer charging time

Older batteries tend to have an increased charging time. If you have newer and older batteries combined in your cart, then the charger will not be able to differentiate between these. Therefore, it will continue charging until each battery has charged fully. Because older batteries require extra charging, this process takes longer than it should.

If it used to take 4-5 hours to fully charge your cart and now it takes 8 hours or more, it’s probably time for new batteries.

An acid leak from the battery

Batteries can expand and start leaking as the years pass. As batteries wear down and start aging, they expand from within their casings. This expansion allows acid from inside to leak through the cracks in the caps or casing.

If you see any sign of leakage around the battery pack, or in this region, there is a high likelihood that it is battery acid. Therefore, it’s time to change the batteries. Don’t forget that battery acid is dangerous and shouldn’t be ignored or handled without extra safety precautions.

Some of these dangers include a high level of toxicity and corrosion properties. Battery acid can eat through different components of your golf cart and, if it comes into contact with skin, can cause severe burns. This acid is also highly flammable as it releases a combustible gas.

If you believe there is a battery acid leak, you should replace all of the batteries immediately. Clean away the acid from any components it has come into contact with to prevent further damage.

A decreased acceleration and power

Once a battery begins to lose power, your golf cart’s acceleration will decrease as well as its overall speed.

Golf carts require a certain level of power, or amperage, to produce speed. As a battery gets older, it gets tougher to produce this necessary power.

Some signs that your golf cart is experiencing a decrease in acceleration are:

  • It takes a lot longer for the cart to start and take off
  • The cart struggles to climb simple hills or inclines
  • It takes a lot longer for the cart to reach top speeds

Battery-powered golf carts should keep up quite well with gas-powered models, but consistently slower acceleration often is a sign of old batteries.

So can you replace one battery on a golf cart?

If you made it this far, you know that the simple answer is no. One new battery rarely eliminates the deeper issues. Replacing the entire series of batteries is often the best way to solve your golf cart problems.

There are rare exceptions, but generally speaking, replace all of the golf cart batteries at once (or consult a golf cart mechanic if you suspect your situation is the exception to the rule).

Want to become a golf cart expert? See all of our golf cart posts.

Leave a Reply

  1. Chance Cook

    I didn’t know that golf carts have multiple individual batteries connected. I’ll need to get a bunch of spares. Maybe even find a way to test which one is dead.

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