Why Do I Need to Replace All My Golf Cart Batteries When Only a Couple Are Bad?

June 25, 2018 9:20 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

One of the most common questions we receive from our clients requiring service on their golf cart batteries is why it’s important to replace all six golf cart batteries at once, even if it’s only two or three that have gone bad.

The reason for this is simple—golf cart batteries, unlike batteries for many other types of vehicles, work in conjunction as a team. As these batteries start to age, they develop more resistance to charging, which means they’ll release more energy. Only replacing three of the six batteries could actually cause more problems rather than restoring the energy you need.

Here’s some information from a battery store in Houston, TX about just a few of the problems you might notice if you decide to only replace several of your golf cart batteries rather than replacing all of them at once.

Problems that could arise from improper battery replacement

Again, the main thing to remember with golf cart batteries is that they are really six separate batteries built into a single unit, rather than one solid battery that powers the entire vehicle like in most cars. All six of these components work together to power the golf cart, meaning you must be able to maintain consistency across every single one of these batteries.

For the purposes of this article, let’s say you replace three batteries, but leave three old ones in the system.

During the first time you run the vehicle after you install the three batteries, the newer batteries will release more power, because there’s a lot less resistance on them. The older ones, meanwhile, do not release as much power, because they are dealing with a lot more resistance due to their age and general wear. This means there’s a significant imbalance in your system—the newer batteries actually get depleted before the older ones, meaning the golf cart will reach its voltage cutoff point much sooner. It is likely, for example, that the voltages on the new batteries will be 5.25 volts each (meaning they’re fully discharged), while the older batteries will be higher in voltage because they’ve built up much greater resistance and did not release much energy. They did not effectively stop the new batteries from releasing all their juice.

When you put these batteries in to charge, the charger will look at overall voltage to know how much charge to give, rather than the individual voltage of each battery. In series charging, if the charger rate is 21 amps, all of the batteries will receive 21 amps. This means the newer batteries that have a lower resistance will accept the charge faster, and will finish charging before the other ones. Since the charger is looking for total voltage and the older batteries still aren’t full, the charging in the newer batteries will continue to the point that they actually get overcharged and damaged, potentially causing them to burn out and underperform.

Therefore, it just makes sense to swap out all your batteries at once. To get the supplies you need to get this done, contact our battery store in Houston, TX.

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