Quite often people plug in a brand new charger
and it doesn’t come on or light up or do anything they expected. If you would like to find out why your battery charger isn’t working, and what you can do about it… this is the tutorial for you!
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.
What to do if your batteries drained so low your charger can’t detect them
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.
Other Issues – Check the receptacle
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.
TIP – use a surge protector
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.
Find out more
Hopefully this article was helpful. If not and still looking for answers continue to read and learn more about golf cart battery chargers.