Can I Leave My Golf Cart Plugged in All Winter

Golf carts are essential tools for avid golfers and are also widely used for various purposes beyond the golf course. However, during the winter months when golfing activity decreases, many golf cart owners wonder whether it’s safe to leave their golf carts plugged in all winter. In this article, we will explore the considerations and precautions you should take when it comes to winter storage and charging of your golf cart.

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Understanding Golf Cart Batteries

Before diving into whether you can leave your golf cart plugged in all winter, it’s crucial to understand the type of batteries your golf cart uses. Golf carts typically use one of two types of batteries: lead-acid batteries or lithium-ion batteries.

  1. Lead-Acid Batteries: Lead-acid batteries are common in older golf carts. These batteries require regular maintenance, including checking water levels and ensuring proper charging to prolong their lifespan.
  2. Lithium-Ion Batteries: Lithium-ion batteries are becoming more popular in modern golf carts. They are generally maintenance-free and offer longer-lasting performance but can be more expensive upfront.

Leaving Your Golf Cart Plugged In

Whether you have lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries in your golf cart, leaving it plugged in during the winter months can be a viable option, but it requires some considerations:

  1. Battery Type: Lithium-ion batteries are generally more forgiving when it comes to long-term storage. They have a slower self-discharge rate compared to lead-acid batteries, which tend to lose charge faster when not in use. If you have lithium-ion batteries, leaving your golf cart plugged in is a safer option.
  2. Maintaining Charge Levels: For lead-acid batteries, maintaining a proper charge level is essential. If you plan to leave your golf cart plugged in all winter, invest in a battery maintainer or charger that has a maintenance mode. This mode keeps the batteries at an optimal charge level without overcharging, which can damage the batteries.
  3. Temperature Considerations: Extreme cold can negatively impact battery performance. If your golf cart will be exposed to sub-freezing temperatures, it’s advisable to store it in a temperature-controlled environment. Lithium-ion batteries tend to handle cold better than lead-acid batteries.
  4. Regular Check-Ups: Regardless of battery type, periodically check on your golf cart throughout the winter. Ensure the charging system is functioning correctly, and the batteries are maintaining a proper charge.

Alternative Storage Options

If leaving your golf cart plugged in all winter isn’t feasible, consider these alternative storage options:

  1. Remove the Batteries: For lead-acid batteries, you can remove them from the golf cart during the winter and store them in a cool, dry place. Make sure to charge them periodically to prevent complete discharge.
  2. Indoor Storage: If you have access to indoor storage space, keep your golf cart there during the winter months. This protects it from extreme temperatures and weather conditions.

Additional Tips for Winter Golf Cart Storage

In addition to the main considerations mentioned above, here are some extra tips to ensure your golf cart remains in top condition during the winter:

  1. Clean and Protect: Before storing your golf cart for the winter, thoroughly clean it, including removing any debris or dirt. Apply a protective wax or sealant to the body to shield it from moisture and potential damage caused by ice or snow.
  2. Tire Maintenance: Over-inflate your tires slightly to prevent flat spots from forming during prolonged storage. Alternatively, you can also lift the golf cart off the ground to take the weight off the tires.
  3. Disconnect Auxiliary Accessories: If your golf cart has additional accessories like radios, GPS units, or lights, disconnect them from the battery to prevent any unnecessary drain.
  4. Ventilation: If you’re storing your golf cart in an enclosed space, ensure there’s adequate ventilation to prevent condensation and mold growth. Placing desiccant packs or moisture-absorbing products in the storage area can help control humidity.
  5. Security Measures: If your golf cart is stored outdoors, consider investing in a cover and a lock to deter theft and protect it from the elements.
  6. Regular Check-Ins: Even if you plan to leave your golf cart plugged in or in storage, make it a habit to periodically check on it. This includes inspecting for any signs of damage or wear and ensuring that the charging process, if applicable, is working correctly.
  7. Prepare for Spring: As winter comes to an end and golfing season approaches, give your golf cart a thorough check-up. Recharge the batteries, test all systems, and replace any parts that may have deteriorated during storage.

Golf Cart Battery Types

Battery TypeCapacity (Ah)MaintenanceWinter StorageCharging Frequency
AGM Deep-Cycle190LowIndoorBi-weekly
Sealed Lead-Acid140LowIndoorWeekly
Gel Deep-Cycle170LowIndoorMonthly

Winter Golf Cart Maintenance Checklist

Maintenance TaskFrequencyTools NeededNotesRecommended Temperature Range
Battery InspectionMonthlyVoltmeter, WrenchesCheck for corrosion and voltageAbove 32°F (0°C)
Tire Pressure CheckWeeklyTire gaugeMaintain proper inflationAny temperature
LubricationBi-monthlyLubricantGrease moving partsAbove 32°F (0°C)
CleaningAs neededSoft brush, soapRemove dirt and debrisAny temperature
Cover InstallationBefore storageGolf cart coverProtect from elementsAny temperature
Brake InspectionMonthlyBrake fluid, toolsCheck brake systemAbove 32°F (0°C)
Electrical System CheckMonthlyMultimeter, wrenchesTest lights and connectionsAbove 32°F (0°C)
Steering System CheckBi-monthlyWrenchesEnsure smooth operationAbove 32°F (0°C)
Suspension CheckBi-monthlyWrenchesInspect shocks and springsAbove 32°F (0°C)
Charging System CheckMonthlyMultimeterVerify charger functionalityAbove 32°F (0°C)

Winter Storage Options

Storage OptionDescriptionProsCons
GarageIndoor, controlled environmentProtection from weather and theftLimited space and accessibility
CarportPartially covered, some protectionCost-effective optionLimited protection from elements
Golf Cart CoverOutdoor with coverAffordable and easy to useLimited protection from cold weather
Storage FacilityProfessional storage unit or facilitySecure, climate-controlled storageExpensive and may require travel
Outdoor StorageExposed to the elementsConvenient and accessibleRisk of weather-related damage

Battery Charger Types

Charger TypeCompatibilityCharging Time (Hours)Automatic ShutoffPrice Range ($)
Smart ChargerUniversal4-8Yes50-150
Portable ChargerVaries by model6-12No20-80
Golf Cart SpecificGolf cart brand8-14Yes80-200
Solar ChargerUniversal12-24Yes150-300
Trickle ChargerUniversal24-48Yes15-40
High-Speed ChargerUniversal2-6Yes100-250
Automatic ChargerUniversal4-10Yes40-100
Maintenance ChargerUniversal8-16Yes30-80
Fast ChargerUniversal2-4Yes150-300
Inverter ChargerUniversal6-12Yes100-200

Tips for Winter Golf Cart Battery Maintenance

Keep the battery fully chargedPrevents sulfation and capacity loss
Use a battery maintainerKeeps the battery at the right voltage
Store the cart in a cool, dry placeMinimizes temperature extremes and moisture exposure
Disconnect the battery if storingPrevents slow discharge and damage
Check and clean terminals regularlyRemove corrosion for better connections
Insulate the batteryHelps maintain temperature stability
Avoid overchargingFollow manufacturer’s recommendations
Keep the cart clean and dryPrevents rust and corrosion
Use a golf cart coverShields the cart from winter elements
Perform regular maintenance checksEnsure the cart is in good working condition


Final Thoughts

Leaving your golf cart plugged in all winter is a viable option, especially if you have lithium-ion batteries. However, it’s essential to understand your specific battery type, follow proper maintenance procedures, and consider environmental factors. If you’re unsure about the best approach for your golf cart, consult your owner’s manual or reach out to a professional technician who specializes in golf cart maintenance. Proper care during the winter months will ensure your golf cart remains in excellent condition and ready for another season of enjoyable golfing and recreational use.


Can I Leave My Golf Cart Plugged in All Winter


  • Anglo Carson

    Anglo Carson, a Certified Golf Instructor, embarked on a remarkable journey, driven by his unwavering love for golf. He founded The Golf Mine with a singular mission - to create a golfing haven where passion knows no boundaries. His lifelong love affair with golf, combined with his expertise as a Certified Golf Instructor, turned into a vision to share his extensive knowledge, inspire, and promote the game he holds dear.

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