How to Charge Golf Cart Batteries (Step-By-Step!)

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Electric golf carts became popular in the golfing community in the early 50s. Nowadays, thanks to a new generation of batteries, brands like EZ-Go, Club Car, and others offer electric models powered by lithium batteries.

These manufacturers succeeded in building faster, better, and more reliable vehicles thanks to this new generation of batteries.

Knowing how to charge golf cart batteries is essential for all golf cart owners. In this article, you will find helpful information about charging golf cart batteries safely and easily.

What is the Proper Way to Charge an Electric Golf Cart?

If your electric golf cart batteries are in good shape, the proper way to charge an electric golf cart is to plug it into the electric network using the charger that came with your golf cart. If your golf cart didn’t come with a charger, you should find one that matches your vehicle’s charging socket and voltage specifications.

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Below you will find the most common and simple way to charge an electric golf cart. If you have problems charging yours, don’t worry; in this article, you will find how to solve most of your golf cart’s charging problems and how to charge your golf cart in different situations.

How to Charge an Electric Golf Cart Step by Step

  1. If your golf cart didn’t come with a battery charger, try to buy a charger from the same brand as your golf cart. If that option is not available, buy a battery charger that meets your golf cart’s specifications. You should find more information in your golf cart’s user manual, and you can always ask the vendor what charger is advised for your unit.
  2. You don’t have to wait until your batteries are completely dead; you can charge your golf cart anytime to have it ready to hit the golf course.
  3. Always charge your golf cart in a well-ventilated area.
  4. Make sure your golf cart switch is set to the off position.
  5. Plug the battery charger into the power grid and plug the other end of the charger into your golf cart’s charging socket.
  6. Depending on the charger, you may have to set up the amperage output of the charger. Golf carts chargers go from 6 to 30+ amps. More amps will make your golf cart charge faster, but you have to check your golf cart’s user manual to see the manufacturer’s recommendations about this. Some chargers are “smart”: they will adjust themselves depending on your battery’s charging levels, and other chargers have only one charging current.
  7. Leave your golf cart plugged until it’s fully charged. Unplugging the charger before the batteries are fully charged could damage them. Some chargers have lights that will flash red when the batteries are low, and that will start to flash green when they are almost full, and will stay green when the charge is complete. Other models work differently; a set of red lights will flash when the golf cart is fully charged. Intelligent chargers usually have a simple LED display and will read “FULL” or “FUL” when the charge is finished. Most chargers will stop charging after the batteries are fully charged, and they will automatically shut down.
  8. If your golf cart uses lead-acid batteries, it’s a good practice to periodically check your batteries’ water levels and top them with distilled water when necessary.
  9. It’s a good practice to charge your golf cart after every use.
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Can I Charge Golf Cart Batteries with a Regular Charger?

You can charge most golf cart batteries with a regular charger. However, there are some things you should keep in mind. There are different types of car battery chargers, and there are different types of golf cart batteries.

Regular chargers usually can charge 12v, and some advanced models can charge 6, 12, and 24 volts.

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It’s important to be aware of the voltage of the battery or battery pack you need to charge to see if you will have to individually charge the battery or if you can charge the full pack.

Can You Overcharge Golf Cart Batteries?

Overcharging golf cart batteries is dangerous and can cause damage so it’s not recommended. Batteries have many chemical components that heat up every time you charge them. Overcharging a battery will overheat these chemicals, ruining the battery and the heat buildup may make it catch fire.

Not to mention the toxic fumes that an overcharged battery can release.

Modern cart battery chargers have automatic shutdown systems, but just in case, to avoid risks, never leave your batteries unattended while you are charging them.

What Should My Golf Cart Charger Read when Fully Charged?

Modern cart battery chargers have LED lights to show the charge status. Most of these chargers will have a light displaying that the charger is plugged into the wall and another light indicating that the charger is working. Once the charge is complete, another light will turn on, generally in green next to a sign “charge complete”.

Most chargers will have flashing lights during the charge and will show a solid green light after the charge is complete.

Old or basic golf cart chargers have a gauge showing their charging amps. As the batteries get more and more loaded, the charger will lower the current until it reaches zero amps. After the charge is complete, the charger will turn off.

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Other types of chargers have simple LED displays that will show you the amps or the battery voltage while charging your batteries.

When the charge is complete, they will automatically start to operate in floating mode and the display will read “FULL”.

Always check your charger’s user manual to ensure you are using it properly and safely.

How Do You Charge a 36 Volt Golf Cart Battery?

If your golf cart has a 36-volt battery pack, it will probably have three 12v individual batteries or six 6v batteries. If you don’t have the charger that came with your golf cart, or if you need to run a maintenance charge, you can charge each battery in the pack individually and charge it.

Keep in mind that if you have a battery pack of 6 x 6v batteries, you will need a battery charger capable of charging 6v batteries.

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Most mid-range and professional car battery chargers can be set up to work in 6, 12, or 24 volts. If you need to charge a single 36v battery, you will need a special charger.

How Do You Trick a Golf Cart Charger?

When your golf cart’s batteries are completely discharged, you will have to “trick” your golf cart charger by using an automotive battery charger to manually charge them, at least to the point where your cart charger will read some voltage. That’s how you trick a golf cart charger.

Most golf cart chargers won’t start charging If the battery or battery pack’s charge is too low because they need to detect some voltage in order to start working, your golf cart charger won’t start.

Below in this article, you will find a thorough explanation of how to do this.

How to Bring Golf Cart Batteries Back to Life?

When your golf cart batteries are completely dead, the best way of bringing them back to life is by charging them manually with a car battery charger. This is because your golf cart chargers are not designed to detect very low voltages and a regular car battery charger will jumpstart the process.

How to Charge a Golf Cart without a Charger?

When you don’t have your golf cart battery charger available or your golf cart batteries are completely dead, you will have to use an automotive battery charger to do the job. To do this, you will need to remove your golf cart’s battery cover to have access to the battery or pack of batteries.

Your golf cart may have a 36v battery pack (6 6-volt batteries or three 12-volt batteries), a single 36V battery, or a 48V battery pack (6 8-volt batteries or four 12-volt batteries).

Remember that single 36v or 48v batteries can’t be charged using an automotive charger.

How to Charge a 36v Battery Pack with Six 6v Batteries

  1. Find the batteries (they are usually under the seat) and make sure to have full access to them.
  2. Split the six batteries into three pairs. Each pair will total 12v. You can use a 12v car charger to charge each pair as if you were charging a single 12v battery.
  3. Number the batteries from 1 to 6 to easily identify each battery.
  4. The #1 and #2 batteries will be the first pair, the #3 and $4 the second, and the $5 and #6 the third.
  5. 5Attach the positive clamp of the charger to the positive terminal on the first battery (#1).
  6. Attach the negative clamp to the negative terminal of battery #2.
  7. Now that you have the first pair connected to the charger, turn the charger on.
  8. When the voltmeter of your charger reaches about 12.2-12.8 Volts or after no more than one hour, you can stop charging this pair.
  9. Turn the charger off.
  10. Move on to the next pair, attach the positive clamp to the battery’s #3 positive terminal and the negative clamp to the battery’s #4 negative terminal.
  11. Wait until the charger reads 12.2-12.8v or no more than an hour (if after an hour the batteries haven’t reached this voltage, let them cool down for a while and resume the charge).
  12. Turn the charger off.
  13. Repeat these steps for pair #3 (positive terminal of battery #5 and negative terminal of battery #6).
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How to Charge a 36v Battery Pack with Three 12v Batteries

Just charge each battery individually using your 12v charger. This is a simple and straightforward task but refer to the instruction manual if you need further guidance.

How to Charge a 48v Battery Pack with Six 8v Batteries

To charge a golf cart 48v battery pack you will have three pairs of 8-Volt batteries. You can charge them as if they were 6v batteries. Mark them in pairs and charge them with the precaution of not charging them for more than 30-minute intervals.

How to Charge a 48v Battery Pack with Four 12v Batteries

To charge a golf cart 48v battery pack safely, charge each battery individually as if you were charging your car battery, be careful to not charge them for more than 30-minute intervals.

The Easy Way to Charge Dead Batteries on a Golf Cart!

Charging dead batteries takes a lot of work; you need to find a 12V charger, open your golf cart’s battery compartment, and perform an unpractical and risky task.

The best way to avoid all the hassle of doing this is to charge your golf cart after every use. It’s the best for your batteries, and it will save you a lot of time and headaches further down the road – that’s how to charge golf cart batteries in the safest way possible.

If you need to charge your golf cart’s batteries manually, you just have to follow the steps in this article to complete the process successfully.