Golf cart batteries are the heart and soul of a golf cart, but what voltage are golf cart batteries?
Golf cart batteries typically come in 6V, 8V, and 12V varieties. The total voltage of the cart’s system depends on how these batteries are connected in series or parallel. For instance, six 6V batteries in series will provide 36V, and six 8V batteries will provide 48V.
How To Find The Voltage Of An Electric Golf Cart Battery
Finding the voltage of your electric golf cart can help in maintenance and troubleshooting. It’s relatively simple: you’ll either count and calculate based on the batteries and their cells, or use a tool called a multimeter for a precise reading. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you out.
- Locate the Batteries: Open the golf cart’s seat or designated panel to access the batteries.
- Count the Batteries and Cells: Golf cart batteries will have caps on top for each cell. Typically, a battery has 2V per cell. For example, a 6V battery has 3 cells.
- Determine Voltage Per Battery: Most common golf cart batteries are 6V, 8V, or 12V.
- Calculate Total Voltage:
- If you have six 6V batteries: 6V x 6 = 36V
- If you have six 8V batteries: 8V x 6 = 48V
- Use a Multimeter (for a more accurate reading):
- Set the multimeter to DC voltage.
- Place the red probe on the positive terminal of the first battery in the series, and the black probe on the negative terminal of the last battery.
- Read the voltage on the multimeter.
The displayed reading will be the total voltage of your golf cart’s battery system.
How Many Volts is a Full Charge?
A fully charged lead-acid battery typically has a voltage slightly higher than its nominal rating due to the chemistry involved:
- For a 36V system (typically made of six 6V batteries), a full charge is usually around 38.2V to 38.4V.
- For a 48V system (often consisting of six 8V batteries or four 12V batteries), a full charge is usually around 50.4V to 51.2V.
However, always consult the manufacturer’s specifications or a professional for precise measurements specific to your battery brand and type.
Can a 48-volt golf cart run on four 12-volt batteries?
Yes, a 48V golf cart can run on four 12V batteries. When you connect four 12V batteries in series (positive terminal of one to the negative terminal of the next), their voltages add up, resulting in a total of 48V. Ensure that the batteries are properly connected in series and that they are suitable for the specific power and capacity requirements of the golf cart.
Using four 12V batteries in a 48V golf cart instead of the more traditional six 8V batteries or eight 6V batteries can have both benefits and drawbacks:
- Simpler Wiring: With fewer batteries to connect, the wiring can be more straightforward, making it easier for some users to set up and maintain.
- Availability and Choice: 12V batteries might be more readily available in some areas, or there might be more brand and type options for 12V batteries compared to 8V or 6V varieties.
- Potential for Increased Reserve Capacity: Some 12V batteries may offer a greater reserve capacity than their 8V counterparts, which could provide longer run times, depending on the specific battery used.
- Lifecycle: Generally, 6V and 8V deep-cycle batteries are designed with thicker plates, which can mean a longer lifecycle than typical 12V batteries. So, 12V batteries may not last as long in the demanding environment of a golf cart application.
- Weight and Size: Four 12V batteries might be heavier or take up more space than six 8V batteries or eight 6V batteries, affecting the weight distribution and space considerations of the golf cart.
- Cost: Depending on the region and specific battery types, the upfront cost for high-quality 12V batteries might be higher than for 8V or 6V batteries.
It’s essential to assess your specific needs, budget, and usage patterns when deciding on the best battery setup for your golf cart.
What Voltage is a Gas Golf Cart Battery
A gas golf cart typically uses a 12V battery. However, this 12V battery serves a different purpose than the batteries in electric golf carts. In gas golf carts, the 12V battery is used to start the engine (similar to the starter battery in cars) and power any accessories like lights or radios. Ensure you’re using a battery designed for the start-up demands of a gas engine, as these are different from deep-cycle batteries used in electric carts.
Technically, you can use two 6V batteries in series to create a 12V system, which could start and run the accessories in a gas golf cart. However, there are practical considerations to bear in mind:
- Starting Power: Gas engines require a certain amount of starting power (cold cranking amps, or CCA) to get going. Not all 6V batteries, especially deep-cycle types meant for electric golf carts, can provide the necessary CCA for a gas engine.
- Space and Configuration: Gas golf carts are typically designed to house a single 12V battery. Fitting two 6V batteries might pose challenges in terms of space and securing them properly.
- Life Expectancy: Using two 6V deep-cycle batteries (if they can provide the required starting power) might offer a longer service life compared to a single 12V starting battery because deep-cycle batteries are designed for sustained discharges rather than short, high-current bursts. However, this advantage could be offset by the potential mismatch in starting power.
- Cost and Complexity: Two 6V batteries might be more expensive and complicated to set up compared to a single 12V battery. You’d need to ensure the batteries are connected in series, which adds to the wiring complexity.
While it’s technically possible, using two 6V batteries in a gas golf cart is not standard practice, and there might be challenges to overcome. If considering this setup, consult with a golf cart professional to ensure compatibility and safety.
By understanding your golf cart’s battery voltage, ensuring it’s fully charged, and maintaining it, you can ensure your cart performs at its best. Always prioritize safety and consult with professionals if unsure about any aspect of your golf cart’s battery system.
Want more information on golf cart batteries? See my post on How To Test A Golf Cart Battery.