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Should I Leave My Golf Cart Plugged In All The Time?

11 Apr 2024
Should I Leave My Golf Cart Plugged In All The Time?

Golf carts have become an essential mode of transportation in many communities, golf courses, and recreational areas. As a golf cart owner, one of the common questions that arise is whether it's advisable to leave the cart plugged in all the time.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the benefits and potential drawbacks of leaving your golf cart plugged in continuously, helping you make an informed decision about the best practices for maintaining your golf cart's battery.

Addressing the Golf Cart Charging Conundrum

The debate over whether to leave your golf cart plugged in has left many owners perplexed, particularly due to conflicting advice from different manufacturers.

Club Car advises keeping the golf cart plugged in during extended storage, while E-Z-GO recommends leaving the charger unplugged in similar circumstances. Yamaha, on the other hand, suggests completely unplugging the golf cart batteries until they discharge.

Given this confusion, it's essential to clarify the best course of action regarding the charging of your golf cart.

The Reasons for Continuous Plugging

When it comes to battery-powered golf carts, the question of leaving the battery plugged in all the time can be viewed from differing perspectives. There are several factors to consider.

Firstly, batteries experience slow self-discharge even when not in use, commonly referred to as "standby loss." The rate of discharge can vary based on the battery type and storage conditions. Traditional lead acid battery has the self-discharge rate 10-15% per month.

Conversely, allowing the battery to regularly deplete until fully discharged can significantly reduce its lifespan. This practice, known as deep discharge cycling, places undue stress on the battery and may lead to "capacity fade."

Maintaining a charged battery ensures it remains ready for use when needed. If the battery is only charged just before using the golf cart, there's a risk it may not be fully charged when required. In many cases, especially during winter, golf carts may remain unused for months. Without continuous charging, the battery cells gradually lose their charge, potentially impacting overall battery performance.

Considering these factors, the general recommendation leans towards keeping your golf cart plugged in all the time.

Reasons to Avoid Leaving Your Golf Cart Plugged In

As golf cart owners, the temptation to keep our carts plugged in continuously for constant readiness is understandable. However, there are compelling reasons why this practice may not be ideal. Extended periods of charging can have detrimental effects.

Firstly, it's detrimental to the battery. Constant full charging accelerates battery degradation, leading to more frequent replacements. When a battery is consistently kept at full charge, it undergoes "cell polarization," causing the battery cells to deteriorate, ultimately reducing overall capacity.

Moreover, continuous plugging often leads to the tripping of the circuit breaker, indicating a malfunction in the battery's auto switch-off function. This compels the charger to continuously supply electricity to the battery, resulting in overcharging and degradation.

Furthermore, leaving your golf cart plugged in all the time can also impact the charger itself, reducing its efficiency over time and prolonging the charging process.

If extended periods of plugging are unavoidable, it's advisable to periodically unplug the cart to give the battery a respite.

In conclusion, while the temptation to keep your golf cart plugged in continuously is understandable, it's important to consider the potential negative impacts on the battery and the charging system. Periodically unplugging the cart can help mitigate these issues and prolong the overall lifespan of the battery and charger.

Is There Any Better Way to Maintain Golf Cart Battery

As we mentioned before, one important reason to plugged in the battery is the self-discharge rate. Lead Acid battery’s average self-discharge rate is 10-15% per month. Luckily, there’s one new-technology type battery popular in the market now, lithium.

Lithium batteries have gained popularity due to their lower self-discharge rate compared to traditional lead-acid batteries. On average, lithium batteries have a self-discharge rate of only around 1-3% per month, significantly lower than that of lead-acid batteries. This means that lithium batteries can hold their charge for longer periods without the need for frequent recharging, making them an attractive option for golf cart owners. Below is the comparison of lead acid and lithium battery self-discharge rate from LiTime labotory, we can easily see the stability of lithium batteries.

self discharge comparison lifepo4 vs lead acid

In addition to their lower self-discharge rate, lithium batteries offer other advantages such as longer lifespan, lighter weight, and faster charging times. While the upfront cost of lithium batteries is higher than that of lead-acid batteries, their overall cost-effectiveness over the long term, combined with their superior performance, makes them a compelling choice for those looking to upgrade their golf cart's battery system.

Considering these factors, for those seeking a better way to maintain their golf cart battery, especially during extended periods of non-use, transitioning to lithium batteries could be a beneficial investment. The reduced need for frequent recharging and the overall improved performance make lithium batteries an appealing alternative for golf cart owners looking to optimize their battery maintenance and usage.

lithium golf cart battery vs agm

The LiTime 48V 30Ah GC2 Golf Cart Battery has been meticulously designed to seamlessly fit a range of golf carts, including Club Car, EZGO, ICON, and Yamaha models. Unlike previous versions, these new batteries remove the need for extra modifications or adapters, ensuring a trouble-free replacement experience for customers.

In addition to its seamless compatibility, the improved lithium golf cart batteries offer several outstanding features:

  • Direct Replacement for Traditional Lead Acid Golf Cart Batteries: Effortlessly compatible with Club Car, EZGO, ICON, and Yamaha golf cart models, ensuring easy installation and integration.
  • Bluetooth 5.0 & Auto-Connection: Smart control and monitoring of the battery through the LiTime App, providing users with real-time insights and management capabilities.
  • Upgraded BMS with 20+ Protection: Ensures the battery's security by incorporating features such as low-temp cut-off protection, over-voltage protection, low-voltage protection, over-temp protection, short-circuit protection, over-current protection, and more.
  • High Discharging Current Rating: With a 300(1S) rating, the battery provides robust acceleration, supports higher power motors, and delivers an overall smoother ride experience.

If you old golf cart battery has the signs that needs to replace, consider the LiTime GC2 Lithium Golf Cart Battery for its advanced features and seamless integration.

What’s the Benefits of Lithium Golf Cart Battery Charger?

Using a lithium golf cart battery charger, also known as a smart charger, offers several benefits when it comes to maintaining and prolonging the lifespan of lithium batteries. These chargers are specifically designed to cater to the unique charging requirements of lithium batteries, ensuring optimal performance and longevity. Realted reading: Can I Charge LiFePO4 Lithium Battery with a Normal Charger?

One of the key benefits of using a lithium golf cart battery charger is its ability to provide precise and controlled charging. Smart chargers are equipped with advanced charging algorithms and sophisticated monitoring systems that allow them to deliver the right amount of charge to the battery, preventing overcharging and undercharging—both of which can significantly impact the overall health and lifespan of the battery.

Additionally, lithium battery chargers often incorporate features such as temperature monitoring and voltage regulation, which further contribute to the safe and efficient charging of lithium batteries. These features help protect the battery from potential damage caused by extreme temperatures and voltage fluctuations, ensuring that the battery is charged in a manner that maximizes its longevity and performance

Moreover, smart chargers for lithium batteries are designed to be energy-efficient, which can result in lower energy consumption during the charging process. This not only helps reduce the environmental impact but also contributes to cost savings over time.

For example, LiTime lithium battery charger has the protection of over-temperature, output short-circuit, and output over-voltage/under-voltage. With the built-in protection, it’s ok to leave the battery charger plugged in overnight, but when the battery is fully charged it’s still recommended to unplugged it and store properly when not using.

lithium smart battery charger


Upgrading to a golf cart battery with a lower self-discharge rate, such as a lithium battery, can eliminate the frustrating issues often experienced during battery charging. By opting for a battery with enhanced features like reduced self-discharge, golf cart owners can enjoy a more reliable and efficient power source, ultimately enhancing their overall experience on the course.

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