So, it’s time to change your Golf Cart Batteries. The signs are already visible. Your cart starts to slow down before you finish 18. The batteries don’t seem to take a full charge.
You could truck your cart to a dealer or have someone come by and install the new batteries for you, but all of that adds labor to the cost of the six 8 volt batteries, which is already substantial.
Fear not. You can follow our step-by-step instructions and get the job done yourself. When you go at it the right way it becomes a fairly simple task. If you have any uneasy feelings about doing the job yourself though, then we highly recommend contacting a local dealer. If not, then let us start at the beginning.
Before discussing the tools you’ll need, we have to select the types of batteries to use. We’ve talked about things to know when purchasing batteries in the past. For our batteries, we have chosen to select US Batteries (Click Here to find an Authorized Dealer near you). They are a well known battery brand and have been around since 1926. In addition, they are handcrafted in the US and build the internal part of the battery to last.
Purchasing lesser known brands can lead to problems down the road since the internal construction of a battery will effect how long it will last. Lastly, we are a big fan of their SpeedCap venting system as it makes it easier to fill batteries with water when the time comes to perform battery maintenance.
Here are the tools you’ll need to successfully remove and replace your power source:
- Get some mechanic’s gloves. You do not want your hands making contact with battery acid.
- Use safety glasses. You don’t want battery acid in your eyes either.
- Find some zip ties. They will come in handy when keeping connection wires for your accessories together.
- Fill a squirt bottle with a solution of baking soda and water so you can clean the battery bay once the old batteries are removed.
- Buy some battery terminal protector, if you don’t already have some.
- Use a battery strap to remove the old batteries and lift the new ones into place (if you can’t find one get some heavy duty zip ties). The batteries are much heavier than you might think.
- Finally, locate a 9/16” or ½”socket wrench with an extension so you will not allow the wrench handle to make contact with any of the terminals, which could be a painful mistake. We do NOT recommend the use of power tools for this type of project.
Now, follow these step-by-step directions and you’ll be patting yourself on the back for a job well done.
1) Disconnect Charger and Turn Key to OFF
Make certain the cart key is in the off position and the charger is not connected. You can then remove any battery hold downs. If your cart is new enough to have a “run/tow” switch, set it to tow.
2) Take a Picture and Make a Sketch
Remove the seat to get to the battery bay and then make a sketch that clearly labels the position and polarity of each battery, where the accessories are connected and what the location is of the main negative and positive terminals. They should be easy to find, as these are the only two cables that do not go to another battery but go outside of the battery bay. You’ll use this information a couple of times, so take the time to make the drawing clear and accurate.
3) Disconnect Main Negative and Positive Cables
Disconnect the main negative terminal first, then the main positive. Then disconnect any accessory wires and use the cable ties to keep them together so there is no question where they go on the new batteries.
4) Remove Remaining Cables
Remove the remaining cables, careful to make sure the wrench doesn’t touch the terminals and give you a shocking new hairstyle.
5) Remove Golf Cart Batteries
Using the battery strap remove each old battery. They are very heavy, so be careful when doing so. In addition, they may have residual acid on the, so it is not a bad idea to place them on cardboard or some other form of a shield barrier to cement or the garage floor.
6) Clean the Battery Bay
First place some cardboard covered with a towel under the battery bay. Battery acid can permanently mark concrete and almost anything else. Then grab your baking soda and water solution and totally clean the battery bay and dry with a towel. Use a paint scraper to remove any excess acid.
7) Install New Golf Cart Batteries
Paying close attention to your meticulous diagram, take the battery strap and place the new batteries where they belong, making sure the polarities match the sketch
8) Reconnect Battery Cables
Start reconnecting all the battery cables and we recommend using lock washers when doing so to prevent cables from loosening over time. Do the ones that connect battery to battery first, then the accessories and finally the main positive and negative terminals. Check the polarity one more time (positive to negative, positive to negative, etc) and then secure the batteries with the hold down bars and rods.
9) Test Test Test
With everything done correctly you should test the operation of the lights and other electronics and verify that the cart will operate in forward and reverse by tapping the accelerator lightly (after setting the “run/tow” switch back to run, if you have one). After everything has been tested properly, the last final step will be to apply battery protectant spray to all the terminals. This will protect any build up of acid on the terminals for a time. It is recommended to re-apply every 2-3 months.
10) Charge the New Golf Cart Batteries
Give the new batteries a full charge before using the cart and you’ll be back on the fairways/roads at full power.
There you have it! You have completed an install of brand new batteries. If you want to avoid replacing them for awhile, then be sure to take of your batteries! Properly taking care of your batteries can add an additional year or two to their overall life. Keep your pocketbook full and cart happy by taking care of them!
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