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How Long Does A Golf Cart Take To Charge

how long does a golf cart take to charge
how long does a golf cart take to charge

Nobody wants to be stranded on the side of the road or a golf course due to a dead battery. For this reason, maintaining a charge is critical to avoid the hassle of being stranded. So, how long do golf carts take to charge? The answer is complex because there are a multitude of factors that play into charging time. The factors include the charger, the age of the batteries, the air temperature, and, most importantly, the type of the batteries. Below, we will dive into what impacts charging time and how to reduce the time required to charge golf cart batteries.

Standard Golf Cart Charging Time

To answer how long do golf carts take to charge, the answer is 7-14 hours for a completely drained battery and between 2-7 hours for a partially drained battery. The charging time highly depends on the state of the battery’s charge when it is plugged in.

Factors That Affect the Charging Time Of Golf Cart Batteries

Without question, there are a multitude of factors that affect the charging time of golf cart batteries. Here is a breakdown of what may impact your golf cart’s battery charge time.

Current Level Of Charge

The current charge level significantly impacts the amount of time required to achieve a complete charge. A battery at a high discharge level will require more time on an automatic charger than a minimally discharged battery.

Importantly, it is good practice to never completely discharge a batter. Allowing a golf cart to draw all of the battery power can result in the inability to reach full capacity and impact the battery’s lifespan.

I routinely charge my golf cart after each use. No matter if I am playing 18 holes of golf or driving a mile to go to the grocery store and back. For this reason, my batteries never become completely depleted.

The Batteries Age

There is a direct correlation between battery age and the time required for the charging process. Golf cart owners should know that an old battery will require more time on a charger than new batteries.

Unfortunately, with age, batteries develop rust and corrosion internally. The batteries cannot accept power delivered from the appropriate charger at a high rate. With that said, the charging time increases.

Although expensive, I have had to replace my lead-acid batteries as a result of the battery’s age. While routine maintenance will increase battery life, eventually, they will fall, and you will be required to swap the batteries on your electric golf cart.

The Type Of Battery

Unquestionably, there are many battery options for powering golf carts. Two of the most notable batteries are the lithium-ion and the lead-acid. A lithium-ion battery will charge at a faster rate compared to a lead-acid battery.

The lithium batteries are designed to receive electricity at a high rate from a golf cart battery charger. For this reason, the power level rises and achieves a full charge at a more rapid rate.

​I have owned a Club Car golf cart and an EZGO golf cart. Currently, I own the Club Car, which is fitted with Trojan lead-acid batteries. Previously, the EZGO also had lead-acid batteries. The charge time for both golf carts after a round of golf was in the 3-4 hour range.

Air Temperature Where The Golf Cart Is Being Charged

The difference between the air outside of the garage and inside of the garage can be significant at times. Weather conditions, specifically temperature, are one of the major factors on the amount of time required to charge golf cart batteries.

Cool temperatures are the most conducive for faster golf cart battery charge times. The automatic golf cart charger will deliver equal power to the batteries, whether it is hot or cold. It’s the batteries that are impacted by temperatures.

During cold temperatures, the battery’s electrothermal process during charging is disrupted. For this reason, the batteries do not accept the charge at the same rate as they do in weather that is cool to warm.

Alternatively, in the summer months, the battery bank is at risk of overcharging. Excessive heat, especially in garages, can lead the thermal runaway. Thermal runaway is possible during a charge cycle but, unfortunately, can lead to permanent damage to the batteries.

Golf Cart Charger Style

Regarding golf cart chargers, two varieties are available, including a standard charger and a fast charger. If you’re playing multiple rounds of golf in a single day, I suggest going with fast chargers. A fast cuts the charging time by at least a couple of hours.

Charging golf cart batteries for less time leaves you more time to be out cruising or playing golf. However, opting for a fast charger is unnecessary if you’re playing one round a day.

I use a standard golf cart charger that is specific to Club Car. My batteries are in good condition and will remain charged for a significant length of time. I would have no issue playing two rounds of golf on a single charge.

Should You Charge Your Golf Cart Every Day

Yes, you should always charge your golf cart every day after use. If you’re visiting the neighbor next door, always plug in your golf cart after you pull out of the driveway and charge according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

​Battery quality is highly dependent on charging habits. Unfortunately, failing to charge golf cart batteries routinely leads to long-term damage. Batteries that reach a maximum depth of discharge are likely never to reach maximum capacity thereafter despite charging.

For best battery health, charge the batteries unit they are full. The same applies to all types of golf cart batteries. Following this routine will greatly increase the lifespan of your set of batteries. Failing to do so is a costly mistake and must be avoided.

Golf Cart Charger Issues

​It is important to understand that charging issues do not always lie in the condition of the golf cart batteries. Instead, the charger itself fails on occasion, especially with repeated use.

For the charger to deliver power to the batteries, electrical currents run from the unit, through the cables, and out the plug where the golf cart receives it. At times, the cables become damaged from constant bending or dragging on the ground below. If damage is noticed, it is critical to replace the cables. I suggest bringing the charger to a trained professional for repair.

In addition to damaged cables are loose connections. The plug incorporated a series of pins that connect to the golf cart. Each of the pins is connected to a wire within the plug housing. Occasionally, the wires loosen up, resulting in insufficient power flow from the charger to the golf cart. For this reason, the plug must be opened before tighething the connections. However, always unplug the charger before performing work.

Tips To Reduce Charging Time

If you remember to plug in your cart after use, you will unlikely even need to consider ideas to reduce the time required to charge the batteries. However, regarding the best possible performance for charging batteries, here are some ideas to decrease the amount of time the batteries need to sit on the charger.

Be Sure The Battery Cables Are Tight

One of the most important factors in charging batteries is ensuring the battery cables are tight. The life of your batteries depends on receiving a proper charge consistently, starting with snug battery cables.

Without question, battery cable nuts become loose over time due to vibration. Loose cables do not allow the batteries to receive a steady flow of electricity for charging. I recommend tightening the battery cables every month to ensure they remain tight.

Clean Your Battery Terminals

Poorly maintained batteries are more likely to develop oxidation on the terminals. Various factors cause oxidation, but it can be removed and prevented by following a specific maintenance routine.

If you see corrosion on the terminals and cable ends, it is essential to remove it. The corrosion will reduce the flow of electricity to the batteries from the charger, thus preventing the batteries from ever charging to their fullest extent.

In addition to corrosion is the buildup of dirt on the surface of the battery. Despite the battery bank sitting beneath a seat, road dirt coats the battery tops. Excessive buildup of dirt and debris like corrosion prevents electricity from flowing into the batteries uninhibited.

Ensure That Your Lead-Acid Golf Cart Batteries Are Filled With Water

​To achieve a full charge, it is essential to top off the batteries with distilled water. Failing to keep the water levels topped off results in overheating and the formation of corrosion.

Low water levels will reduce the ability of the battery to become charged. In order to maintain battery health, it is essential to check and fill the water levels as needed on a monthly basis.

I keep a couple of 1-gallon distilled water jugs on hand and store them in the garage. When my batteries were low, I added water through a funnel. The water levels drop more rapidly during the summer when the temperatures soar.

Avoid Using The Incorrect Charger

Unquestionably, swapping a 36-volt charger with 48-volt batteries or a 48-volt charger with 36-volt batteries can lead to a disastrous situation. Charging the batteries with the incorrect charging voltage can lead to the batteries burning up.

I have experienced burning up batteries as a result of charging the improper charger. My brother-in-law rented a golf cart from a local golf cart shop. The cart drove from the shop to the house with no issues. Once the cart was plugged in, it never worked again. The batteries were cooked because the shop provided the wrong charger.

It should be mentioned that if you’re heading to a friend or family member’s house and you’re running low on charge, don’t assume you can use their charger. I would avoid using a charger other than your own. If need be, put your golf cart charger in your cart if you’re making stops along the way where an electrical outlet is available.

Golf Carts Require Hours Of Charging

​After a day of golf, you can expect the golf cart to charge for hours on end despite the batteries and charger in excellent working condition. However, if charge times become noticeably longer, it is important to address a potential issue with the charger itself or the batteries. Fortunately, most issues are easily spotted, including loose connections, by wiggling the wires or visually seeing the accumulation of corrosion on the terminals. Understand that you will be required to replace golf cart batteries at some point or another.