will golf cart batteries freeze in the winter

Will Golf Cart Batteries Freeze (in the Winter)?

Will golf cart batteries freeze? How do you keep these batteries from freezing? What are the common mistakes that can shorten the life of your golf cart battery?

To find out the answers to all of these questions, read on.

So, will golf cart batteries freeze? Golf cart batteries will freeze if they are uncharged or partially charged. An uncharged battery will freeze at a higher temperature than a charged battery. A discharged battery has a freezing point of about 20 °F, while a fully charged one has a freezing point of about -80 °F.

This article discusses golf cart batteries in detail and some valuable tips to store them for winter.

will golf cart batteries freeze in the snow

What Should You Do with Batteries in the Winter?

Do not store the batteries uncharged in cold temperatures. Before storing your golf cart (and/or your electric golf push cart) for the winter, charge the battery and check the charge status occasionally. 

Know that golf cart batteries will take some time to charge in cold weather than they will in hot weather. The capacity of a golf cart battery increases at temperatures above 80º F. But the life of a battery is reduced at high temperatures.

An uncharged battery will freeze at 20º F, while a fully charged battery will freeze at -80 °F.

How Does Temperature Affect Battery Discharge and Charge Rates?

Did you know that temperature affects discharge and charge rates?

A golf cart battery tends to charge and discharge quickly in hot weather. In contrast, the battery will charge and discharge slowly in a cold climate. And batteries lose capacity in cold environments. 

The golf cart battery loses 10% of its capacity for every 15-20 degrees below 80 °F.

Do not store batteries without charge during the winter months. A discharged golf cart battery in cold temperatures will expand the liquid (electrolyte). The expansion of an electrolyte can damage the battery. 

If the golf cart battery is fully charged during colder months, the liquid electrolyte is less likely to freeze and damage the internal structure of your battery.

Will a Fully-Charged Battery Make It Through the Winter?

A fully-charged battery can make it through the winter. But, you will have to charge it again in the spring.

Also, you will have to check on your battery many times if it gets relatively cold and the temperature fluctuates continuously.

Should You Plug Your Golf Cart Throughout the Winter?

Go through the owner’s manual of your golf cart to know the recommendations for extended winter storage.

Currently, Yamaha, E-Z-GO, and Club Car are the leading manufacturers of golf carts.

  • Yamaha recommends that you unplug the batteries completely.
  • E-Z-GO recommends that you keep golf cart chargers unplugged during extended storage.
  • Club Car recommends that you keep chargers plugged in during extended storage.

According to manufacturers, you should keep your golf cart plugged in all of the time while using an auto battery charger. The charger will keep the golf cart batteries completely charged.

The golf cart batteries may damage with time and deliver less capacity if left uncharged for extended storage.

Should you charge your golf cart battery after every use?

Charging your batteries after every use is vital for increasing their lifespan. So, recharge them after four hours of use.

How to Care for Your Golf Cart and Its Batteries?

You can save the life of your battery with proper storage in winter. Here are some valuable tips for caring for your golf cart and its batteries.

Tips to Maintain Your Golf Cart

  • Make sure your golf cart is charged completely before storage.
  • Clean all the post and terminal connections thoroughly. 
  • Whenever the golf cart is going to be stored for long periods without being charged, it should first be completely charged, and then the tow/run switch should be set to tow. The golf cart battery will not drain totally if the tow mode is activated. Also known as a tow maintenance switch, the tow/run switch is present in several models of golf carts. These switches reside in the battery compartment. Golf carts use a tow/run switch together with a separately excited motor and controller.
  • Store golf cart keys in a safe location.
  • Disengage the parking brake and ensure to secure the golf cart from rolling.
  • Re-inflate tires, if required.
  • Clean upholstery and flooring.

Tips to Maintain Your Golf Cart Battery

  • Make sure the golf cart batteries are clean. Do not store them in a dirty condition before storage as this could damage the terminals.
  • Disconnect the negative battery cables and positive battery cables from your terminals. Prepare a solution by mixing one quart of water with two tablespoons of baking soda. Use this mixture to clean the battery terminal posts. Remove the bigger deposits using a wire scratch brush. And dry the battery with a paper towel.
  • A dry and cool area is the best place to store your battery.
  • Low temperatures will slow the discharge rate of your battery. A slow discharge will help maintain your battery charge. The discharge rate increases with the increase in temperature. 
  • Your battery cable should be corrosion- and dirt-free.
  • Fill all the battery cells with distilled water. Do not use tap water as it has impurities that will accumulate on the internal plates while the golf cart is in winter storage. Most importantly, do not add any acid to the golf cart battery. Avoid adding too much water as it can dilute the electrolyte solution causing damage. 
  • If the golf cart batteries are not staying in the cart, put them on a non-conductive surface like a board or wood pallet to help maintain their charge better. Keeping the batteries on the ground can lead to self-discharging.
  • Wear the proper safety gear when maintaining your golf cart batteries, such as corrosion-resistant gloves and aprons.

Recap: Do Golf Cart Batteries Freeze?

Golf cart batteries can freeze in the winter if left uncharged. Taking the correct steps to protect your golf cart batteries with winter storage is extremely important.

If you don’t want your batteries to freeze, keep them charged up through the winter. You can also extend the longevity of your battery by charging it regularly.