Golf cart owners often wonder about the best practices for maintaining their vehicles, especially when it comes to storing them during the offseason or for extended periods. One common question that arises is whether it’s necessary or advisable to disconnect the golf cart batteries during storage. In this guide, we’ll explore the reasons for and against disconnecting golf cart batteries and provide recommendations to help you make an informed decision.
Why Consider Disconnecting Golf Cart Batteries for Storage?
1. Prevent Battery Drainage
When golf cart batteries are left connected for an extended period, there’s a risk of slow, continuous drainage of power. This can occur due to various factors, including parasitic loads like onboard electronics, alarms, or clocks.
Disconnecting the batteries effectively eliminates any risk of power loss due to these minor drains, ensuring your batteries remain fully charged when you’re ready to use the golf cart again.
2. Prolong Battery Life
Lead-acid golf cart batteries are sensitive to discharge levels. Allowing the batteries to become deeply discharged during storage can lead to sulfation, a process that can permanently damage the battery and reduce its lifespan.
Disconnecting the batteries helps to prevent sulfation by maintaining a higher state of charge, preserving the battery’s health and longevity.
Why You Might Not Want to Disconnect Golf Cart Batteries for Storage
1. Maintenance Mode Chargers
Some modern golf carts come equipped with maintenance mode chargers. These chargers are designed to automatically monitor and maintain the batteries at an optimal charge level during storage.
If your golf cart has such a charger, disconnecting the batteries may not be necessary as the charger will keep the batteries in good condition.
2. Inconvenience and Time
Disconnecting and reconnecting batteries can be a time-consuming process, especially if you’re not familiar with the task.
If you’re storing your golf cart for a short period, the benefits of disconnecting the batteries may not outweigh the inconvenience of the process.
Recommendations for Storing Golf Cart Batteries
1. Assess the Duration of Storage
Consider the length of time you plan to store your golf cart. For short-term storage (a few weeks to a couple of months), it may not be necessary to disconnect the batteries. However, for long-term storage (several months or more), it’s generally advisable to disconnect them.
2. Use a Battery Maintainer or Charger
If you decide not to disconnect the batteries, invest in a quality battery maintainer or charger designed for golf cart batteries. These devices can help prevent deep discharge and sulfation during storage.
3. Consult Your Golf Cart Manual
Always refer to your golf cart’s owner’s manual or consult with the manufacturer for specific recommendations on battery storage.
4. Properly Store the Batteries
Ensure that the batteries are stored in a cool, dry place away from extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, and moisture.
Additional Tips for Golf Cart Battery Care During Storage
In addition to the decision of whether to disconnect the batteries, there are some other important considerations to ensure your golf cart batteries remain in good condition during storage:
5. Check Water Levels (For Flooded Lead-Acid Batteries)
If your golf cart uses flooded lead-acid batteries (the most common type), check the water levels in each cell before storage. Add distilled water if needed to maintain the proper electrolyte levels. Proper hydration helps prevent damage during storage.
6. Clean and Inspect Battery Terminals
Clean the battery terminals and cable connections to remove any corrosion or buildup. Corrosion can impede the flow of electricity and lead to performance issues. Applying a thin layer of battery terminal grease can also prevent future corrosion.
7. Use Battery Disconnect Switches
Installing a battery disconnect switch can make the process of disconnecting and reconnecting the batteries more convenient. This switch allows you to isolate the batteries quickly, reducing the risk of electrical arcing when disconnecting cables.
8. Keep a Maintenance Schedule
Create a maintenance schedule for your golf cart batteries. Regularly check the state of charge and voltage levels. If you notice any signs of low charge or battery issues, address them promptly to prevent further damage.
9. Properly Store the Charger
If you’re using a battery charger or maintainer, store it in a dry, safe place when not in use. Ensure it’s in good working condition and ready for use when needed.
Battery Type Comparison for Golf Cart Storage
Self-Discharge Rate (%)
Ideal Storage Temperature (°F)
Battery Storage Duration and Maintenance
Storage Duration (Months)
Check voltage monthly
Charge to 50-70%
Charge to 50-70%
Charge to 50-70%
Charge to 50-70%
Charge every 1-2 months
Battery Maintenance for Long-Term Storage
Remove corrosion and apply terminal protector spray.
Check Water Levels
For lead-acid batteries, ensure water levels are within recommended range.
Charge the battery if voltage drops below a certain threshold (e.g., 50%).
Keep Battery Dry
Store the battery in a dry, cool place to prevent moisture damage.
Battery Voltage Check
Measure and record voltage to monitor the battery’s health.
Battery Storage Dos and Don’ts
Disconnect the battery
Leave the battery connected indefinitely
Store in a cool, dry place
Store in extreme temperatures or direct sunlight
Check and maintain water levels
Overcharge or undercharge the battery
Store the battery with a low charge
Monitor battery voltage
Ignore maintenance and storage guidelines
Common Battery Storage Mistakes
Not disconnecting the battery
Risk of battery discharge and damage
Ignoring maintenance tasks
Reduced battery lifespan and performance
Storing in extreme temps
Battery damage, electrolyte loss, and failure
Overlooking water levels
Corrosion, sulfation, and capacity loss
Neglecting voltage checks
Unexpected battery failure during use
Whether you should disconnect your golf cart batteries for storage depends on several factors, including the duration of storage and the presence of maintenance mode chargers. While disconnecting batteries can help prevent drainage and prolong battery life, it may not always be necessary. Consider the recommendations above and consult your golf cart’s manual for the best approach to ensure your batteries remain in excellent condition during storage, ready to power your golf cart when you’re ready to hit the course again.
Grace Kaufman, our Creative Director and a Golf Course Design Specialist, brings a touch of creativity and visual flair to The Golf Mine. With a keen eye for design and a deep understanding of course layout, she ensures that our content not only informs but also engages and inspires. Grace's innovative approach, combined with her specialization in golf course design, enhances the overall experience for our readers, making our blog more than just words on a screen.