Your batteries are the heart of your cart. Your human heart delivers blood to your body that allows you to do everything. Your cart heart delivers the electricity that allows you to complete 18-holes or more without slowing down. Both hearts must be properly maintained, but your cart heart is much easier to replace when it starts to underperform.
Depending upon how you use your cart, charge your batteries and keep the water levels checked, you can enjoy up to 750 cycles before you see any problems. Tell-tale signs of an issue include the cart slowing down, not holding a charge properly or overheating because the cells have been overcharged or the charge has been fully used. These signs will not bring a smile to your face, as every golf cart owner feels batteries are greatly overpriced. If there are six batteries under your seat, replacement could easily run over $1,000 (even more for Lithium).
What you consider before you decide what to buy and where to buy it involves several important factors.
Voltage is key…
because the more voltage the greater the acceleration.
Capacity is important…
because that will dictate how much can be held in a single charge.
Choosing the right brand…
for your specific cart is critical and should probably be done with the help of a cart professional so the match-up is ideal. Check out our Top 3 Brands Here.
You’ll need to take a close look at the terminals and wires too…
because they can demand more care and/or cleaning to prevent them from heating up and causing a hazard down the line.
Finally, take a look at features and warranty.
Remember the Fram oil filter ad where the mechanic says, “you can pay me now or pay me later.” That is also good advice for a battery purchase. Going for cheap may not be the best move because you could be limiting performance and battery life. If the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
A good example of why you consider paying more for replacement is the case for lithium-ion batteries versus the more traditional and less expensive lead acid battery. A lead acid battery can weigh as much as 130 pounds and averages around 65 pounds. A lithium-ion battery averages 28 pounds. Less weight means your cart will be able to haul more weight at a greater speed. And, they are capable of holding a single full charge for a year instead of losing a charge slowly over time. Also, some lithium batteries carry a lifetime warranty and can deliver up to 5000 cycles versus the typical 100-500 cycles for a lead acid battery.
Even with a 500-cycle lead acid battery cart, that means replacing the power source 10 times more than the lithium-ion model. Granted, lithium-ion batteries are expensive, but they are also maintenance-free, so you can spend more time playing instead of filling water and cleaning terminals on your lead acid batteries. When it comes to cart batteries you truly do get what you pay for. Be aware though, lithium batteries need to be charged properly. Not every charger is built to charge lithium batteries as well.
Purchasing Golf Cart Batteries Online
Now that you’ve evaluated all the facts, you only need to decide where to buy when your old batteries begin heading for the elephant’s graveyard.
Let’s look at the internet first.
The internet is basically a long-distance retailer and everything you buy there must be shipped. Shipping is more difficult when it comes to golf cart batteries, because six of them can weigh a lot, meaning the shipping charge will add much money to the initial price. In comparison, lithium-ion batteries are lighter and will cost less to ship.
There is also the fact that a battery containing acid can be considered as having a hazardous material. Depending on the supplier and how they will ship, you could end up with an unpleasant and possibly dangerous surprise.
Most golf courses with electric cart fleets use lead acid batteries because they get a great price by buying in quantity, they have cart barn employees to perform all the maintenance and with newer carts they have state-of-the-art chargers that will keep a trickle charge going when the carts are not being used and prevent any overcharging.
Your Best Bet? Purchase Golf Cart Batteries Locally
All of that said, we recommend you shop for replacement batteries locally instead of buying from a website. There are several benefits that come with this recommendation. First and foremost, you can talk directly with a professional and get your questions answered about the right type and brand battery for your specific cart and pattern of use. The same expert can work the numbers to show you whether you should invest in a lithium-ion product swap. Additionally, you will have no concern about shipping and can probably arrange both delivery and installation, so you are not schlepping very heavy batteries that could present a hazard if mishandled. Lastly, buying locally allows you to see the batteries upfront and ensure they are brand new by checking the year and month they were manufactured.
Also important is the fact that you will have a local contact you can meet face-to-face should any warranty issue or problem occur that requires remediation or even exchange. If you end up shipping the heavy beasts back and forth to a distant internet supplier, those costs will quickly add to your overall investment.
So, bite the bullet (or the battery if you will – but not literally) and do the work to make the best decision. You can always turn to your local dealer or your PGA Pro for a recommendation of where to start and how to help you make a decision. Do this and you will have less to worry about other than why you can’t seem to hit your 3 wood three hundred yards.