Cruising around the golf course in your trusty cart takes no effort at all until the battery has problems. Your 18-hole excursion is now a lesson in pushing the cart back to the clubhouse. In a pinch, you might wonder about using a marine battery instead of a golf-cart battery for the vehicle. Although there’s some logic to this swap, it’s important to understand the pros and cons to these battery types.
The Technical Answer: Yes
It’s possible to use a marine battery in place of electric golf cart batteries. They’re both technically gel lead acid batteries designed for deep-cycle purposes, reports It Still Runs. However, this similarity doesn’t mean that they should be used interchangeably.
Battery manufacturers have diversified their inventory based on applications. Certain batteries work better in boats as opposed to golf carts, for example.
You’ll see a marked difference in performance if you use a marine battery in a golf cart, such as:
- Shorter run times
- Faster replacement periods
- Possible damage to sensitive components
Unless you have no other choice, seeking out a 6 volt deep cycle golf cart battery is always recommended.
Most marine batteries are being charged at lower temperatures than 12 volt golf cart batteries. West Marine points out that marine batteries are rarely charged above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Golf carts may be in hotter temperatures than this value.
The temperature is important because charging rates vary between battery types, such as flooded lead acid batteries versus AGM designs. A marine battery used in a golf cart won’t be within the proper temperature range, which negatively effects the charge. The cart might last through nine holes instead of a full, 18-hole course. Use golf-cart batteries because they’re designed for this application.
Quality Internal Parts
When it comes to quality batteries, golf-cart batteries are usually manufactured with slightly better internal components than marine types. Golf-cart batteries don’t have a higher quality than a car battery, however, because manufacturers take cost into consideration. Electric golf cart batteries must remain at a low price point in order to be viable in consumers’ minds.
With this fact in mind, marine batteries are simply not as well-built as products designed for golf carts. Golf Cart Resource reminds everyone that using the proper battery for the application will always make them last as long as advertised.
The Plate Factor
Progressive Dynamics points out that the storage capabilities of any battery depends on the plate size. Within every battery are plates that store energy. With a 6 volt deep cycle golf cart battery, it has large plates to hold that power over long periods of time.
Marine batteries don’t have the same plate size. In fact, they’re dramatically smaller than the plates found in the best golf cart batteries. The internal construction tells consumers that using the batteries interchangeably will only cause problems down the road. There’s a reason why the batteries are designed and shaped they way that they are.
Replacing 12 volt golf cart batteries with marine batteries poses a problem in the discharge department. The best golf cart batteries can be discharged down to 80-percent of their entire capacity and charge back up without a problem.
In contrast, marine batteries prefer a maximum of a 50-percent discharge. This stark contrast means that swapping the batteries out will only lead to rapid decline in the power department. Golf-cart users might find that their battery only lasts for part of the day. Discharging the battery past its preferable level will significantly reduce its lifespan.
Get the life cycle that you need out of your batteries by contacting Northeast Battery today. There’s no battery question that we can’t tackle with expertise by our side!