Traditionally, gas and electric golf carts get used from spring to fall, and then they go into storage during the winter. However, because of how popular golf carts are, people often wonder if they can use them throughout the year, including during winter.
Unfortunately, you shouldn’t use the cart during winter because of how cold weather affects the batteries in your electric golf cart. Cold weather will make it easier to discharge your battery, which will drain it faster and could cause unrepairable damage to the individual battery cells.
If you’re still not convinced that using your electric golf cart during winter is a bad idea, you should keep reading. This article will go into the specific details about why you shouldn’t use an electric golf cart during winter. We’ll also discuss the cut-off line of how cold is too cold for your electric golf cart.
Do Electric Golf Carts Work in Cold Weather?
While electric golf carts may work for a short time in cold weather, they will eventually damage them. Specifically, the batteries in electric golf carts are prone to damage from prolonged exposure to cold weather.
In addition to the batteries, the golf cart itself is prone to damage when you use it in cold weather, and here are two reasons why.
- Rust From Salt
Anyone familiar with cold winters knows salt is used to melt icy roads, sidewalks, driveways, and cart paths. If you use your golf cart on surfaces covered in salt, there’s a good chance that the frame will experience rust damage.
2. Corrosion From Condensation
If you live in an area where it’s cold in the morning, and temperatures warm up throughout the day, your golf cart is prone to rust. Rust happens when there’s frost or condensation in the morning, slowly disappearing as the day rolls on. If your golf cart is outside for use, it will also get covered in condensation. As a result, the frame and any metal components on the cart are prone to corrosion.
However, the main danger in using your electric golf cart during winter is the batteries. Electric golf cart batteries aren’t designed for use in temperatures lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit. While they may operate, the batteries will lose their charge at a rate of 10% for every fifteen degrees that it drops below 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Therefore, the colder it gets outside, the more likely your golf cart batteries will discharge and become damaged.
How Do You Take Care of an Electric Golf Cart During Winter?
Taking care of an electric golf cart during winter starts with winterizing the batteries. However, once you winterize the batteries, it’s important to maintain the cart. Here’s how to take care of your electric golf cart during winter. Below is our full winterization guide for electric golf carts:
- Keep the cart covered with a golf cart cover.
- Store the golf cart in a warm, dry area where the temperature doesn’t drop below 40 degrees.
- Winterize your golf cart batteries and prepare them for cold weather.
- Cover your batteries in special electric battery blankets to keep them warm.
- Clean the inside and outside of the golf cart before storing it for the winter.
- Refrain from using your golf cart until temperatures are over 55 degrees.
- If you can’t store the golf cart inside, you should store it under a shelter, roof, or overhang. However, this won’t protect it from the cold.
Will Golf Cart Batteries Freeze in the Winter?
One of the potential risks of using your golf cart during the winter is that the batteries are prone to freezing. Whether you have an electric or gas golf cart, the batteries that operate it contain water, acid, and electrolytes. When you use your golf cart and don’t winterize the batteries, the water and electrolytes are prone to freezing in cold weather.
When water and electrolytes freeze in golf cart batteries, it kills the battery cells. You can’t revive dead battery cells, which are the lifeblood of golf cart batteries. Therefore, you’ll have to replace the individual cells or purchase new batteries for your golf cart.
However, you can avoid this problem by winterizing your golf cart batteries and not using the cart during winter. Even in storage, golf cart batteries are prone to freezing if you don’t store them properly. Golf cart batteries are generally prone to freezing if the temperatures drop below 20 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can Electric Golf Cart Stay Outside?
Generally, it’s always better to keep your electric golf cart inside in a heated, conditioned environment, such as a barn, shop, or garage. However, if that isn’t an option and you need to store the golf cart outside, here’s what you should do.
- Remove the batteries from the golf cart and store them inside.
- Cover your golf cart with a golf cart cover to protect it from debris and dirt.
- Keep the golf cart as dry as possible to protect it from rust and corrosion.
Keeping your golf cart outside and unprotected could result in serious, sometimes irreparable, damage. Therefore, it’s important to follow the above tips and tricks when keeping an electric golf cart outside so it’s ready to go in the spring.