Lead Acid Golf Cart Batteries: Can You Replace Them One at a Time?
When it comes to lead-acid golf cart batteries, you have two options — replacing them one at a time or changing the entire battery pack.
How do you know when it’s time to replace them and whether you should do so separately or as a whole?
Is it Time to Replace Your Lead Acid Golf Cart Batteries?
Not sure whether you should replace your golf cart batteries ? Here are the most critical factors that will help you determine when it’s time to do so:
Poor Battery Life
Have you noticed that your golf cart is losing power faster than it used to? This is likely because of the batteries. Recreational golf carts usually travel 6 to 7 miles on a single full charge, depending on the terrain and the load weight. So, you might want to check for battery issues if it can barely get you around the neighborhood or to the beach and back.
On a related note, consider changing your entire battery pack if you previously replaced just one or two. They might not be compatible with the whole pack. Not only that, but they can cause battery power imbalance — something we’ll talk about more later — and make all batteries perform weaker than they should.
Longer Charging Time
Golf cart batteries typically take between 8 to 10 hours of charging time for a full charge, so most people decide to charge them overnight or as soon as they’re done using the cart for the day . So if you notice it’s taking much longer to reach full charge, it might be time to replace the batteries.
This happens naturally — charging old golf cart batteries could take twice as long. However, charging time could also slow down and take longer if the battery pack has a mix of old and new batteries.
Weaker Vehicle Acceleration
Recreational golf carts are known for being relatively fast — they zoom across the beach sands and streets with a notable acceleration power. However, if you notice that it’s taking longer for the cart to reach top speed no matter how hard you step on the pedal, this is a strong sign that you need to replace the batteries.
You might also notice weaker acceleration power when climbing hills or driving up inclined roads. If the cart doesn’t accelerate as quickly as usual, replace those batteries immediately.
Leaking or Bulging Batteries
This is a clear sign that your golf cart batteries need a replacement. If you inspect the battery pack and discover batteries that are starting to bulge or are already leaking acid, you have to replace them right away.
In addition to being obvious signs of deterioration, they indicate that the batteries are already on their last leg and ready to give out soon.
Should You Replace Batteries One at a Time or as a Whole Set?
While it’s essential to be aware of the signs indicating that it’s time to replace your golf cart batteries , it’s equally important to know whether you should replace them one at a time or if you should replace the entire lead acid battery pack as a set.
Technically, you can change lead-acid golf cart batteries one at a time. However, golf cart mechanics and service providers would advise against this because it could permanently damage each battery. So, even though just one battery has gone bad, replacing all batteries in one go would be best.
Why is it Advisable to Replace Golf Cart Batteries as a Set?
Some people assume they can save more money by replacing just one or two defective golf cart batteries rather than changing the entire set.
This couldn’t be further from the truth because the battery pack has a higher chance of having charging difficulties if the set is not uniform. Additionally, the old batteries could damage or shorten the lifespan of the new batteries that you purchased.
Instead of saving on battery costs, you might just set yourself up for greater headaches and more costly battery replacements down the road.
How Do Solo Battery Replacements Cause Battery Power Imbalance?
By replacing golf cart batteries one at a time, you’re setting up the battery pack for unnecessary and entirely avoidable complications. This could cause a power imbalance — while the new battery can release power efficiently and uninterruptedly, the older batteries might resist the power flow and damage the new ones.
Battery power imbalance causes the newer battery to work double time and could overwhelm the older batteries, damaging the entire battery pack and resulting in longer charging time. The easiest way to maintain your golf cart’s battery health would be to replace them as a whole.
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