How Long Do Golf Cart Batteries Last? (Types & Lifespans)

How long a golf cart battery lasts depends on its type and how well or badly it is maintained.

Lead-acid batteries normally last from two to five years under regular use, whereas lithium-ion batteries in golf carts may last between ten and twenty years if properly maintained. The lifespans of lead-acid and AGM batteries lie somewhere in between.

Besides detailing these two key factors, I also cover good and bad maintenance practices to help you maximize your own battery’s lifespan.

Good and Bad Maintenance

The actual lifespan of a golf cart battery, like any other battery of the same type, depends very much on how well it is maintained or otherwise.

So if you buy a good quality battery and look after it well, it should last up to the upper end of its estimated life. The following are good maintenance practices:

  • Adhering to a good charging routine
  • Using the golf cart battery no more than five times a week
  • Managing the battery’s water level up to the required level (and not letting it run dry)
  • Cleaning the battery frequently
  • Maintaining the required acid level inside the battery

Maintaining a battery well also means avoiding or minimizing harmful practices that would limit its lifespan. Here are some examples of poor maintenance practices, apart from buying a cheap, low-quality battery, to begin with:

  • Using the battery heavily
  • Frequently overcharging the battery
  • Neglecting to maintain or clean the battery
  • Letting the water and acid levels often run low
  • Letting the battery leak, which would erode it
  • Short-circuiting the battery’s two terminals could lead to rapid deterioration.

Types of Golf Cart Batteries

How long a golf cart battery will last depends on the battery type, as multiple options exist.

Each type offers certain benefits and operates optimally under certain conditions. The most common types of golf car batteries at the time of writing are lead-acid, gel lead-acid, lithium-ion, and AGM.

Battery TypeLifespanAdvantagesDisadvantages
Lead-Acid Battery2 – 5 yearsEasy to maintain, affordableHeavy, short lifespan
Gel Lead-Acid Battery2 – 5 years or moreRequire less maintenance, leak protection, tolerate extreme temperaturesMore expensive than lead-acid batteries
AGM Battery2 – 5 years or moreCharge up to 5 times quicker than ordinary lead-acid batteries, better leak protectionMore expensive than lead-acid batteries, may not perform well in extreme temperatures
Lithium-Ion Battery10 – 20 years or moreSmall, lightweight, long-lastingExpensive, considered an investment, may require a different charging system, may not perform well in extreme temperatures

Lead-Acid Batteries

This is the most common type of battery used in golf carts and vehicles.

One reason is that they are easy to maintain and comparatively affordable. However, their lifespans are typically short (between 2 and 5 years). Also, they are very heavy, which is not ideal, especially in a small golf cart.

a lead-acid golf cart battery
A lead-acid golf cart battery

Gel Lead-Acid Batteries

This type contains gel to suspend the electrolyte inside the battery.

The design allows electrons to flow through the gel between plates. Gel lead-acid batteries require less maintenance than regular ones and offer leak protection. Another key advantage is their ability to tolerate extreme temperatures, especially cold temperatures, that would otherwise shorten their lifespan.

AGM Batteries

AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries have absorbable electrolyte and fiberglass plates.

They allow the battery to charge up to five times quicker than an ordinary lead-acid battery. They also offer better protection against leaks.

an AGM golf cart battery
An AGM golf cart battery

Lithium-Ion Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are generally small and lightweight.

They are good for long-lasting batteries, which can take 10 to 20 years if taken properly. However, they are far more expensive, so they are considered investments that offer long-term savings.

a lithium-ion golf cart battery
A lithium-ion golf cart battery

a lithium-ion golf cart battery's description
A lithium-ion golf cart battery’s description

Images References

Golf carts:

AGM golf cart batteries:

Lead acid golf cart battery:

Lithium-ion golf cart battery’s description:

Lithium-ion golf cart battery:

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About Alex Robertson

c3c9d43f1f0d14c4b73cb686f2c81c4e?s=90&d=mm&r=gCertifications: B.M.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Mechanical Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Hi, I’m Alex! I’m a co-founder, content strategist, and writer and a close friend of our co-owner, Sam Orlovsky. I received my Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (B.M.E.) degree from Denver, where we studied together. My passion for technical and creative writing has led me to help Sam with this project.

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