How to Care For or Test My Trojan Golf Cart Batteries FAQ
Pete’s team outlines the basics behind the heart of your electric golf cart. Your golf cart batteries! Whether they are in good working order or not will directly reflect the performance or your golf cart. Which could also cause issues or false issues with your charging system because of low voltage or an internal short in the battery bank. We have set this blog post up for informational purposes to try and answer frequently asked questions via telephone conversations over the years… You can scroll down the list of questions and answers to hopefully shine some light on your problem or worries and hopefully it will be helpful in determining your current issue with your Trojan Golf Cart Batteries or really this information will apply to any “Flooded” Golf Cart Battery not really specific to one brand though should you need a new set of Trojan Golf Cart Batteries for your golf cart Click Here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Measurements & Troubleshooting
1. How can I tell if a flooded battery is bad? To determine if the battery in a system is experiencing a problem, disconnect all electrical loads, fully charge the batteries then disconnect all charging sources. Allow each battery in the system to stand on open-circuit for about one hour. Measure the voltage of each battery. If the battery voltage spread exceeds .15 volts for a 6-volt battery, or .22 volts for a 12-volt battery a problem is indicated. Battery voltage alone does not confirm a problem. When the voltage spread indicates a problem, confirmation is accomplished by taking electrolyte specific gravity readings using a hydrometer. If the specific gravity readings show a spread greater than .030 (30 points), give the batteries an equalization charge and re-test.2. How can a flooded battery’s state of charge be accurately measured? The state of charge of a lead acid battery is most accurately determined by measuring the specific gravity of the electrolyte. This is done with a hydrometer. Battery voltage also indicates the level of charge when measured in an open circuit condition. This should be done with a voltmeter. For an accurate voltage reading, the battery should also be allowed to rest for a period of one hour minimum in order to let the voltage stabilize.3. How far can I tilt my batteries? For flooded batteries, 22 degrees from vertical is the maximum recommended tilt. AGM and Gel batteries can be operated vertically or horizontally.4. Can I reduce my maintenance by not gassing my flooded batteries? You will reduce the frequency of watering, but will cause a condition known as stratification where the specific gravity of the electrolyte is light at the top of the battery and heavy at the bottom. This condition results in poor performance and reduced battery life.5. What is used to clean a battery and neutralize the electrolyte? A solution of baking soda and water. Use 1 cup of baking soda for every gallon of water.6. What is the specific gravity of a fully charged flooded battery? A hydrometer reading of 1.277 or greater indicates full charge for most Trojan batteries. This value is based upon a specified temperature of 80°F (27°C). For temperature correction values, see the “Temperature” section of this FAQ.7. What is the correct Specific Gravity (SG) of the Trojan Premium Line? I was told that Trojan changed the SG value for the Premium Line. Is this true? How do I determine the correct Specific Gravity of the Trojan Premium Line battery I already have purchased? Yes, Trojan changed SG values of the Premium Line in March 2012 to avoid confusion over correct SG values for the Premium Line compared to the Signature Line. However, this change does not have any impact on life cycle performance. Trojan Premium Line batteries manufactured prior to March, 2012 have nominal SG of 1.260 while those produced after March 2012 have nominal SG of 1.280. To determine the date of manufacture, refer to the date code on the negative terminal which consists of a letter and a number. The letter refers to the month and the number refers to the year. A2 = January 2012, B2 = February 2012 and C2 = March 2012 etc…
Trojan Golf Cart Battery Date Codes of Manufacturing
1. How do you read the date codes on the batteries? Negative Terminal- Shipping Date. This code indicates the month and year when the battery was shipped out of our factory. LETTER stands for the month, A to L (A=January, B=February, C=March, and so on); NUMBER is the last digit of the year.
A battery with “G4” on the negative.
“G4” means that it was shipped from our factory around July of 2014.
Temperature Factors & Effects
1. How does temperature affect the performance of my batteries? At higher temperatures (above 80º F (27º C)) battery capacity generally increases, usually at the cost of battery life. Higher temperatures also increase the self-discharge characteristic. Colder temperatures (below 80º F (27º C)) will lower battery capacity and prolong battery life. Cooler temperatures will slow self-discharge. Therefore, operating batteries at temperatures at or slightly below 80º F (27º C) will optimize both performance and life.2. How do I determine my battery capacity when it is colder/hotter? Battery capacity is basically a linear relationship. A good rule of thumb is that for every 15º F (9º C) above 80º F (27º C), capacity is increased by 10% and for every 15º F (9º C) below 80º F (27º C), capacity is reduced by 10%.3. How do I account for temperature when taking my gravity readings? Temperature will affect specific gravity readings. As temperature increases, the electrolyte solution expands and as temperature decreases the electrolyte solution contracts. As a result, it is a good practice to temperature correct specific gravity readings. Here are the relationships Trojan recommends using: Every ten degrees above 80º F (27º C) add 4 points to the hydrometer reading.
Example: @ 90º F (32º C) the hydrometer reads: 1.250 the actual reading: 1.250 + .003 = 1.253.
For every ten degrees below 80º F (27º C) subtract 4 points from the hydrometer reading.
Example: @ 70º F (21º C) the hydrometer reads: 1.250 the actual reading: 1.250 – .003 = 1.247.
4. How much should I compensate the charge voltage for temperature?
Temperature will affect voltage readings. As temperature increases, voltage decreases. Conversely, as temperature decreases, voltage increases. Here are the relationships:
Trojan recommends using the following: For every 1º F below 77º F add 0.0028 volts per cell or for every 1 C below 25º C add 0.005 volts per cell to the charger voltage setting.
1: A 12 volt battery @ 70º F. The recommended charging voltage at 77º F is 14.8 volts. The adjusted charging voltage is 14.8 + (6 cells * 7 degrees below * 0.0028) = 14.92 volts.
2: A 12 volt battery @ 21º C. The recommended charging voltage at 25º C is 14.8 volts. The adjusted charging voltage is 14.8 + (6 cells * 4 degrees below * 0.005) = 14.92 volts.
For every 1º F above 77º F subtract 0.0028 volts per cell or for every 1º C above 25º C subtract 0.005 volts per cell to the charger voltage setting.
1: A 12 volt battery @ 85º F. The recommended charger voltage at 77º F is 14.8 volts. The adjusted charging voltage is 14.8 – (6 cells * 8 degrees above * 0.0028) = 14.67 volts.
2: A 12 volt battery @ 29.5º C. The recommended charger voltage at 25º C is 14.8 volts. The adjusted charging voltage is 14.8 – (6 cells * 4.5 degrees above * 0.005) = 14.67 volts.
Quite often people plug in a brand new charger and it doesn’t come on or light up or do anything they expected. Nine times out of ten this is because the batteries are too low. There is a safety feature in most new golf cart battery chargers that require them to detect a voltage before applying amperage. This means they want to know the DC side connector is plugged into the receptacle for the battery bank. Otherwise that connector could be dropped in the puddle you’re standing in (not good) or cause some sort of unexpected harm. A lead acid battery will lose about 10% of its capacity each month. So if a cart is left for an extended period (at a vacation house or put away for the season up north) then the batteries could have drained too low for the charger to detect them. This is quite common. On average a 48v charger needs to sense between 25-35 volts to turn on.
If this has happened to your cart, you will need to use a common automotive charger for 6v, 8v or 12v batteries and charge them up individually. It is not necessary to disconnect the batteries from each other or from the cart. Simply put the positive and negative leads on each battery one at a time. This type of charger will not stop charging (as the golf cart charger knows how to do when the battery bank is topped up), so be careful not to leave it going. We usually say 20-30 minutes per battery depending on how low they are. Once this is done, the charger should detect them and be able to maintain them. Yes, most folks don’t understand why they need to use another charger to charge their batteries when they just bought a charger to charge their batteries. But you certainly don’t want to charge each one each time, and you don’t want to have to set a timer to do it. Using an automotive charger is a one time thing to give them CPR so the golf cart charger can maintain them all at once and hassle free.
If you have a voltmeter telling you the batteries have enough juice, or if the cart runs and drives fairly well as it is, then check the receptacle. There may be a break in the system.
We recommend that every charger be plugged into a surge protector as they are very sensitive to power surges and lightening strikes. Usually any cheap power strip will do as long as it will trip before the surge reaches the charger. If your charger has been working fine but stopped after a lightening storm or a power outage, that may be the culprit. This actually will void the warranty, so it’s important to protect them.
How To Pick The Right Golf Cart Battery Charger For Your Golf Cart?
First things – first. When your golf cart battery charger stops working you will need to determine why. It is also important to know because it is not always the charger that is bad. There are a lot of common problems that can cause your golf cart battery charger to stop working. Most common are things like the AC power supply has been interrupted. ( Power Surge, blown or popped fuse or breaker ), DC side voltage to low – Meaning the batteries in your golf cart are so low the charger does not know it is even plugged into your golf cart to start to charge. See our FAQ for more in depth information on this scenario and how to remedy the situation.If these are not common problems related to why your charger is not working you will need to move forward with your search. Pete always recommends checking the conductor wires between batteries. They are all connected to create the combined power supply for your golf cart. If one is bad or lost connection with the batteries it will cause everything to stop working. So if your golf cart is not moving anymore this could be the culprit. Or could just be the wires going from the charger receptacle to the batteries on the cart where you plug in the charger. After these basic searches have been done you can assume the worst ( your charger is dead ) and now you need to start looking for a replacement. Things to know before you start the search.
What year, make and model golf cart do you own?
If you do not know you will need to find out what kind of golf cart you have. The big three makes are Club Car, Ezgo and Yamaha. There are numerous ways to determine the make and model. Usually you will find some sort of branding or badging on the golf cart. The determine the year or model specifically you will usually be able to find a serial number sticker ( On Club Cars above the pedal assemble under the dash or on the passenger side dash support upright – which looks like a white sticker with a barcode on it) Ezgo carts you can usually find a serial number plaque inside the passenger side glove box area. Yamaha depending on the year and model are usually somewhere under the seat in the battery or engine hold area.Note – this step is usually only required to make sure you get the right charger for the Club Car carts that use the round three pin charger connectors because some carts (between 1995 and 2014 have a OBC or Onboard computer to tell the charger when to turn on and turn off)
What is the operating voltage of your golf cart?
This is easily determined by looking under the seat of your cart and counting batteries and cell caps.For example if you count six (6) batteries and each battery has three (3) round caps on each you will now know those are 6 volt batteries. So 6 x 6 volts = 36 volt system. So you would need a 36 volt golf cart battery charger. ( The voltage of the cart must match the voltage output on the charger you purchase.)On 48 volt golf carts some come with four (4) batteries which are 12 volts each. Or six (6) 8 volt batteries. Again this can be determined by the individual cell caps on each battery. A 12 volt battery will have 6 and a 8 volt battery will have 4. All golf cart batteries are comprised of 2 volt cells. So being a 6 volt battery will have 3 cells, and a 8 volt battery will have 4 cells then lastly a 12 volt battery will have 6 cells.
Confirm and compare the connector the you will plug into the golf cart charging port.
Basically you can determine all thee above by just knowing what connector your current golf cart battery charger uses. Though is is wise to double check by looking under the seat and counting batteries to be sure. This is basically because most people buy the golf cart used and do not really know what the previous owner did to it. We have seen numerous times where a customer had a charger that used a 36 volt plug on a cart that was converted to 48 volts.
Popular Connector Shapes and Styles and what they represent.
Club Car Golf Cart Battery Chargers have either a crowsfoot connector which means it is older and came as a 36 volt golf cart. or a round three (3) pin connector which means it is a 48 volt golf cart.Ezgo golf cart battery chargers will also use a crowsfoot connector which meansd it is also an older cart and 36 volts. But they also use what is known as a D36 or TxT connector that is rectangular shaped and rounded on one side with two round pins one inside each of two slots in the front of connector. This is also a 36 volt connector used on the popular TxT model golf cart. Now if you have an Ezgo golf cart that has a rectangular 2 pin connector with a slot cut out right down the middle or a triangular 3 pin connector you have a newer style 48 volt golf cart.Yamaha golf cart battery chargersare also found with a crowsfoot connector which means it is again an older cart and 36 volts. ( Prior to 1990 alot of the golf carts manufactured where 36 volt systems and all used the crowsfoot connector system.) But usually Yamaha golf cart today are all 48 volt systems. One uses the Nabson plug connector which looks like a fisher price pair of toy binoculars. 2 pin design. Or the newer Drive carts came with a 3 pin connector that looks kinda like a three leaf clover. or some say a square with rounded edges. either way these are 48 volt systems.
What if you cannot find the connector on the battery charger or see that it is wired directly to the batteries on the golf cart?
No Worries. This just means your golf cart has what they call an Onboard battery charger. So you will need to either locate the charger itself and read the specifications off the charger or count the batteries and the cell caps as described in this article above. Either way it is still not big of a job to replace the charger in your golf cart. Most are very straight forward and easy to install and use. Most common today are the Delta Q brand chargers found in onboard applications on carts like the Ezgo or the Tomberlin brand golf cart. Lester electric actually has a great new onboard battery charger called the Summit Series II which even comes with Bluetooth connectivity. So times are changing and the golf cart battery charger of yesterday is almost gone as companies make newer safer more efficient chargers. Which is great for the golf cart owner because some are even designed to charge or maintain your batteries while you are away on vacation or elsewhere for long periods of time.
Use Pete’s easy to navigate golf cart battery charger section to find your charger.
Pete offers all the major brands of golf cart battery chargers at reasonable prices and all ship free in the United States ( Lower 48 Only) Find yours today and SAVE BIG!!!!
How to Top off The Batteries With Your Golf Cart Battery Watering System Using a Hand Pump
Here are some basic instructions with a illustration of how to top off your battery system with the Pro-Fill Battery Watering System hand pump. (Note – This Hand pump will connect to your Trojan Hydrolink battery watering system as well as your Club Car Golf Cart PD Plus, FlowRite Pro-fill single point watering systems only. Should you need a hand pump for the BWT System “Battery Watering technologies” You will need the blue bulb hand pump found here.)Now if you just installed your new battery watering system you will find that maintaining the electrolyte in your golf cart batteries will be a breeze now that you installed the system. No more hour long job checking and filling each individual battery cell. You will also realize other cost benefits including extended battery life and increased performance. Being able to fill your batteries without removing the cell caps will allow you to avoid things like battery acid burns, ruined clothing, and breathing noxious fumes not to mention staining or ruining the concrete pad in your garage or shed from the overflow and acid that comes from the batteries when not filled properly.Remember – Important – Always check the electrolyte/water in your batteries when they are fully charged.Step 1– Insert pump into jug of distilled water! Only use distilled water when filling your batteries.Step 2 – Prime the bulb by squeezing until full of water from the jug.Step 3 – Once hand pump bulb is primed remove the dust cover from the end of the fill line on your battery watering system. Mate the two connections.Step 4 – Squeezing the golf cart battery watering system hand pump with firm steady pressure to pump water into the battery cells.Step 5 – Continue squeezing/pumping the hand pump until the bulb becomes firm. All battery cells are full once achieved.Step 6 – Immediately disconnect the connectors between the battery watering system and the hand pump. Then replace the dust cover. You can finally relax and rest assured with properly watered batteries the battery lasts longer and performs better. The average person does not even know they need to check or fill there golf cart batteries with water til it is to late and they need to buy new batteries. Once they do know they still don’t really know how to do it or how much water should be added and when to do it. You can learn more about proper battery maintenance here. One of the biggest problems is overfilling a battery. This results in loss of acid or technically speaking changes the specific gravity of the electrolyte(acid) in the battery and once this occurs you can damage the battery plates when charging. Either way it equals loss of capacity and life expectancy of your batteries. A golf cart battery watering system takes the guess work out of this task and insures your batteries get filled properly and to the specific level every time. In minutes… Continue reading here if you want to learn more about a battery watering system or order yours today.