How Long Do Golf Cart Batteries Last? — (and what Factors Affect Them)

how long do golf cart batteries last from the expert golf instructor authors at tell me more golf

You might be looking to purchase a golf cart for the golf course or to get around your neighborhood.

Do you wonder how long golf cart batteries last? And what do you need to do to ensure they last longer, and how much does it cost to replace them?

The Tell Me More Golf team will explain how long golf cart batteries last, give battery maintenance tips and explain the cost of replacement batteries.

how long do golf cart batteries last from the expert golf instructor authors at tell me more golf

How Many Years Do the Batteries Last?

There are many factors, such as the batteries’ climate. Still, the lifespan of a golf cart battery should be from 4-6 years for golf carts used as part of a golf course fleet and 6-10 years for privately owned ones.


Many factors can affect the battery longevity in a golf cart.


On the other hand, batteries that sit for long periods without regular charging can also have shortened lives and poor performance.

Charging Habits

One of the main factors that affect golf cart battery life is the usage of the golf cart. Golf carts with a lot of daily run time, like multiple rounds of golf, will add wear and tear to the battery shortening its life.

An owner should recharge golf car batteries fully after every use. However, owners must be careful to give their batteries a full charge and not overcharge them.

Overcharging golf cart batteries can damage them and cause them to overheat and explode.

Owners of golf carts should look for automatic chargers, not manual chargers. 

When the battery is fully charged, an automatic charger will turn off. In addition, it often will have a trickle charge setting that keeps the battery’s power full when it isn’t used for an extended period.

Battery Maintenance

Where regular battery maintenance can help prolong the life of golf cart batteries, not maintaining them can negatively impact their performance and longevity.

Owners should check the water levels on their batteries a minimum of once a month and more often if the golf cart is used frequently.

Golf cart owners should do regular visual inspections and look for corrosion on the connecting cables and battery terminals. If there is corrosion, they can use a mixture of baking soda and warm water to clean them.

Another thing that owners can look out for is the battery bulging or swelling. Bulging batteries must be removed and replaced as soon as possible to prevent potential damage from exploding or leaking.

Golf Cart Customizations

Suppose you’ve upgraded your golf cart to make it a street-legal and added headlights, turn signals, brake lights, etc. In that case, the daily use of these customizations can slowly chip away at the battery’s life.


How Can I Improve My Cart’s Battery Life?

Luckily for golf cart owners, there are several steps they can take to help improve their car’s battery life.

Flip Open The Seat When Charging

Flip the seats forward to uncover the batteries when charging your golf cart.

Golf cart batteries can heat up during the charging process so flipping the seat forward and exposing the batteries gives them better airflow to help keep them cool.

Another thing owners can do with the exposed batteries is do a quick visual inspection.

This inspection is to ensure there is no bulging or corrosion on the cables and battery terminals.

Buy Quality Batteries

There’s an old saying that you get what you pay for, which holds true when buying new batteries for your golf cart.

When you’re looking for a new, quality battery for your golf cart, look for brands like Trojan, which have a solid reputation and offer a warranty on the life of their battery. 

They might cost you a bit more upfront, but they’ll usually save you money in the long run.

Maintain Battery Fluid Levels 

One of the most important things you can do to improve the life expectancy of your new golf cart batteries is to maintain the fluid levels in the battery.

You should check the water level on your batteries frequently, at least once a month. If you have to top them off, use distilled water, not tap water. Distilled water helps ensure that you have the proper concentration of electrolytes the batteries require.

It’s also important to remember to fill the water reservoirs only after the batteries are fully charged.

Use the Proper Charger

Golf cart owners must charge their batteries and have two types of battery chargers to choose from: automatic and manual.

Automatic Charger

By far the better of the two options is the automatic charger. An automatic charger will recharge the batteries until they have a full charge and stop charging automatically.

Overcharging the batteries can impact their performance and longevity, making them overheat, damaging the batteries causing them to explode.

Many automatic chargers also have an auto maintain, or trickle charge setting. This setting will keep the battery fully charged, even when the cart isn’t used for a prolonged period.

Manual Charger

A manual charger requires the owner to be present and pay attention while the battery is charging until it is fully charged. Once the battery is fully charged, they will need to disconnect the charger from the batteries.

If the cart is not used regularly, the owner must periodically check the charge of the batteries as they will self-discharge over time when not used.

How Long Do 48 Volt Golf Cart Batteries Last?

Because of the multiple daily rounds, properly maintained 48-volt golf cart batteries should last between 4 to 6 years when used as a fleet cart at golf courses.

Private owners who take good care of their 48-volt golf cart batteries can expect them to last between 6-10 years.

When Should I Replace My Golf Cart Battery?

Regardless of how well you maintain your golf cart batteries, they will eventually begin to fail over time. Here are some common signs to look out for that might mean it’s time to look at getting new batteries.

Slow Acceleration

One of the best things about electric golf carts is that they quickly respond when you push the accelerator pedal. If you start to notice that your golf cart doesn’t have the pep it once did…

it might be a sign that your battery performance is declining, and it’s time for new ones.

Slower Charge Times

Noticing slower charges might be more difficult for golf cart owners with automatic chargers. However, when it’s taking longer than usual for your batteries to get fully charged when charging, that’s another sign that their performance is beginning to fail.

Decreased Range

Suppose it seems like you’re not able to drive the cart as far between charges. In that case, that’s another red flag that your battery performance is degrading.

As a rule, you should rarely let your battery charge drop below 50% and never let it go lower than 20% before recharging it. Allowing a battery level to get that low can damage the performance and life of the battery.

Difficulty Climbing

When your electric golf cart struggles to make it up hills at the golf course or around your neighborhood, that’s another sign that the performance of the batteries is declining.

Battery Damage

It’s time to replace your batteries immediately if you see any visible damage like bulging or leaking. You can also keep an eye out for corroded terminals and cable connectors.

Accessories Don’t Work Properly

Suppose your golf cart batteries are affected by low voltage. In that case, you may notice that your accessories aren’t working correctly or as brightly as they should.

How Long Do 36 Volt Golf Cart Batteries Last?

Properly maintained 36-volt golf cart batteries should last between 3 to 5 years when used as a fleet cart at golf courses.

Private owners who take good care of their 36-volt golf cart batteries can expect them to last between 5-8 years.

How Much Do Golf Cart Batteries Cost?

Golf cart batteries vary from around $800 to $2000 for lead-acid and between $2400-$5000 for lithium-ion batteries. Most golf cart batteries are lead-acid, with lithium-ion used primarily on luxury golf carts.

Higher-end batteries made by companies like Trojan will cost more but often last longer and come with warranties for the life of the battery.

How Long Does A Cart Battery Last On One Charge?

On average, electric golf cart batteries will last between 25 and 40 miles on one charge or between 45 and 90 minutes of full-power run-time.

It’s common for electric golf carts at courses to be used for up to 54 holes in a single day before being recharged.

Lithium-ion batteries can have a range of up to 100 miles between charges.

Why Are Golf Carts Expensive?

One of the main reasons electric golf carts are expensive is a lack of competition in the industry with only three primary manufacturers: Club Car, EZGO, and Yamaha. This lack of competition results in high demand for electric golf carts.

Another reason electric golf carts can be expensive is they are built to last out of high-quality parts and construction materials.

Upgrades and adding safety equipment to electric golf carts, like those needed to convert one into a low-speed vehicle, can also make those carts more expensive than standard golf carts.

Conclusion: Research by

black tell me more golf compressed logo with mottled background information for golfers

With proper care, your golf cart batteries should last you from 6 to 10 years before you need to replace them.

The best ways to get solid performance and longer battery life are to charge them properly using an auto-charger and perform regular maintenance on the battery packs.

If the cart’s performance starts to fall off and it starts to slow down, has problems climbing hills, or holding a charge, it might be time to look for new batteries.

New golf cart batteries vary in price, but an upfront investment in a higher-quality battery often pays dividends in the long run.

Golfers looking to enjoy an electric golf cart away from the golf course can easily do so if they take a little time to examine and maintain it after every use.


Patrick Corley Tell Me More Golf Instructor and Coach
Patrick Corley
From a golf scholarship to a Southern California University, to a private golf coaching career and an instructor position at a nonprofit organization, I’m here to help you get better at golf! With my 50+ years of golf experience; I bring you Tell Me More Golf. A golf coaching website that helps your game with instructional golfing content that’s ultimately geared toward making you a better golfer and having more fun!
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