Can You Use Car Batteries In A Golf Cart? 

Golf carts are a great way to get around the golf course, but they can be expensive to maintain. One of the biggest expenses is the batteries. Golf cart batteries provide consistent power over time and can be expensive.

So, can you use car batteries in a golf cart? The answer is yes, but it is not recommended. Car batteries are not designed to provide the same level of power or longevity as golf cart batteries. They are also more likely to leak.

In the following sections, we will explore the compatibility and suitability of car batteries for golf carts, emphasizing important factors to consider prior to transitioning.

Pros and Cons of Using Car Batteries in a Golf Cart

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When powering golf carts, car batteries are sometimes considered an alternative to traditional golf cart batteries. Let’s explore the pros and cons of using car batteries in a golf cart.


  • More readily available and less expensive: Car batteries are more readily available than golf cart batteries, and they are also less expensive. This can be a big advantage if you are on a tight budget.
  • Can be used in a wider variety of golf carts: Car batteries can be used in a wider variety of golf carts than golf cart batteries. This is because car batteries are typically 12 volts, while golf cart batteries are typically 36 or 48 volts.


  • Not designed to provide the same level of power or longevity: Car batteries are not designed to provide the same level of power or longevity as golf cart batteries. This means that they may not last as long, and they may not be able to provide the same level of power for extended periods of time.
  • More likely to leak: Car batteries are more likely to leak than golf cart batteries. This is because car batteries are typically made with lead plates, which are more prone to corrosion.
  • May not be compatible with the charging system on your golf cart: If your golf cart has a specific charging system, it may not be compatible with car batteries. This could lead to problems with the charging system, or it could even damage the batteries.

Factors to Consider Before Using Car Batteries in a Golf Cart

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Car batteries can be a suitable power source for golf carts, but several factors need consideration. 

These include battery type, capacity, voltage compatibility, charging requirements, and overall performance. Proper evaluation is crucial for optimal usage.

Battery Type

Consider the different types of car batteries available, such as lead-acid, AGM, or lithium-ion. 

Each type has distinct characteristics, costs, and maintenance requirements that can affect its suitability for a golf cart.


Determine the battery capacity needed based on the golf cart’s power requirements and usage patterns. 

Factors like the number of passengers, terrain, and distance to be covered should be considered to ensure sufficient power for the cart’s operation.

Voltage Compatibility

Ensure that the car battery’s voltage matches the golf cart’s electrical system. 

Most golf carts operate on either 36-volt or 48-volt systems, so selecting a battery with compatible voltage is essential for proper functioning.

Charging Requirements

Evaluate the charging capabilities and requirements of the chosen car battery. 

Consider whether the existing golf cart charger can handle the specific battery type and voltage. 

Some batteries may require specific chargers or charging protocols to ensure optimal performance and longevity.


Car batteries are more likely to leak than golf cart batteries. This is because car batteries are typically made with lead plates, which are more prone to corrosion. 

If a car battery leaks, it can damage your golf cart or even cause a fire.


Not all golf carts are compatible with car batteries. If your golf cart has a specific charging system, it may not be compatible with car batteries. 

This could lead to problems with the charging system, or it could even damage the batteries.

Performance Considerations

Look into the performance specifications of the car battery, including factors like cycle life, discharge rate, and voltage stability. 

These aspects can impact the battery’s ability to provide consistent power and endurance during prolonged use on the golf course.


Consider the maintenance requirements of the chosen car battery. Some battery types may require regular water level checks and occasional equalization charges, while others may have lower maintenance needs. 

Assess the practicality of maintenance tasks based on available resources and expertise.

Cost and Longevity

Evaluate the cost of the car battery and its expected lifespan. While higher-quality batteries may come with a higher initial cost.

They can offer better performance and longer service life, making them a more cost-effective option in the long run.

Warranty and Support

Check the warranty and customer support offered by the battery manufacturer. 

A reliable warranty and accessible support can provide peace of mind and assistance in case of any issues or concerns that may arise during usage.

Golf Cart Batteries vs Car Batteries: Quick Comparison Table

Golf carts and car batteries are essential for their respective vehicles but differ in size, power output, and usage requirements. 

Learning these disparities can help you make informed decisions about choosing the right battery for your needs.

FeatureGolf Cart BatteriesCar Batteries
Power36-48 volts12 volts
LongevitySeveral years3-5 years
CostMore expensiveLess expensive
LeakageLess likelyMore likely

Size and Form Factor

Golf cart batteries are typically larger and heavier than car batteries. They are designed to fit the specific battery compartments of golf carts, which can accommodate multiple batteries arranged in series or parallel configurations. 

Golf cart batteries are often 6-volt or 8-volt deep-cycle batteries. Car batteries are smaller and more compact compared to golf cart batteries. 

They are designed to fit the designated battery space in cars and are usually 12-volt batteries. 

Car batteries can vary in size and capacity depending on the vehicle’s requirements.

Power Output and Capacity

Golf cart batteries are designed to provide a steady power flow over a longer period. 

They are deep-cycle batteries, meaning they can be discharged and recharged repeatedly without losing their capacity. 

They deliver consistent power to propel the golf cart and operate its accessories.

Car batteries are primarily responsible for starting the engine and providing short bursts of high current. 

They are designed to deliver a high amount of power quickly to crank the engine. 

Car batteries are not intended for deep cycling and may experience diminished capacity if discharged excessively.

Usage Requirements

Golf cart batteries are optimized for electric golf carts used primarily on golf courses and other low-speed applications. 

They are designed to provide sustained power for extended periods and are suitable for leisurely rides on flat terrain.

Car batteries are essential for starting the vehicle’s engine and powering various electrical components such as lights, infotainment systems, and accessories. 

They are engineered to withstand the demands of daily driving, including frequent starts and stops, and provide the necessary power for a wide range of automotive functions.

Maintenance and Charging

Golf cart batteries require regular maintenance, including proper water level management, cleaning of terminals, and occasional equalization charging to prevent sulfation. 

They typically need specialized chargers designed for deep-cycle batteries.

Car batteries require minimal maintenance, mainly ensuring proper terminal connections and periodic cleaning to prevent corrosion. 

They can be charged using standard automotive battery chargers or through the vehicle’s alternator while driving.

Maintaining Car Batteries for Golf Cart Use

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Golf carts are powered by batteries, making proper maintenance essential for their optimal performance. 

By following a few simple steps, you can ensure that your golf cart’s batteries remain in excellent condition and provide reliable power for your rounds on the course.

Regular Cleaning

To maintain your golf cart batteries, start by keeping them clean. Remove any dirt, debris, or corrosion from the battery terminals and cables using a mixture of baking soda and water. 

Gently scrub the terminals with a brush, then rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly.

Check Water Levels

Most golf cart batteries are of the lead-acid type and require regular water maintenance. 

Check the water levels in each cell of the battery regularly, especially before charging. 

If the water level is low, add distilled water to bring it up to the recommended level, typically just covering the lead plates.

Avoid Overcharging

Overcharging can lead to excessive heat and damage the battery. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for charging your golf cart’s batteries and avoid leaving them connected to the charger for extended periods once they are fully charged. 

Investing in a smart charger that automatically shuts off when the batteries reach full capacity is a good idea.

Equalize Charging

Periodically, you should perform an equalized charge on your golf cart batteries. This process helps to balance the cells and prolong the battery’s life. 

Follow the battery manufacturer’s instructions or consult the golf cart’s manual for the correct equalization procedure.

Store Properly

If you won’t use your golf cart for an extended period, it’s important to store the batteries correctly. Fully charge them before storage and disconnect them from the cart. 

Store the batteries in a cool, dry place, ideally on a wooden or insulated surface, to prevent them from discharging.

Inspect and Replace

Regularly inspect your golf cart batteries for any signs of damage or wear. Look for bulges, cracks, or leaks in the battery casing, as well as loose or corroded connections. 

If you notice any issues, it may be time to replace the battery with a new one to ensure safe and reliable performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

To help you, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions about using car batteries in a golf cart, along with concise answers.

Are There Any Drawbacks to Using Car Batteries in a Golf Cart?

While using car batteries can be beneficial, there are some drawbacks. Car batteries are generally larger and heavier than golf cart batteries, affecting the cart’s overall weight distribution. 

Additionally, car batteries may require modifications to fit properly in a golf cart’s battery compartment.

How Do I Ensure Compatibility Between Car Batteries and My Golf Cart?

To ensure compatibility, it’s crucial to check the voltage requirements of your golf cart. Car batteries typically have a 12-volt voltage, so if your golf cart operates on 36 or 48 volts, you’ll need to connect multiple batteries in a series or series-parallel configuration.

Are There Any Safety Considerations When Using Car Batteries in a Golf Cart?

Yes, safety is paramount when using car batteries in a golf cart. Use batteries with proper venting mechanisms and secure them tightly to prevent movement. 

Regular maintenance, such as checking water levels and cleaning terminals, is essential to ensure optimal performance and safety.


Overall, using car batteries in a golf cart is not recommended. Golf cart batteries are designed to provide the power and longevity that golf carts need. 

Car batteries are also more likely to leak. If you consider using car batteries in your golf cart, carefully weigh the risks and benefits.