When it comes to electric golf carts, and your golf cart battery charger not shutting off, it’s usually recommended that you use the charger that came with the golf cart when you purchased it. That is, of course, until you go to start your golf cart only to realize that the charger didn’t shut off and the battery is overcharged. It’s important to get to the root of why your golf cart charger didn’t turn off so that you can remedy the situation.
Your golf cart battery charger won’t shut off because you either have bad batteries or a bad charger. However, it’s also possible that you have corroded or damaged terminals, low water levels, or a damaged power cable. Regardless of what’s causing the problem, overcharging is always the result.
While every golf cart and charger is different, there are several universal reasons for a charger that doesn’t turn off. In this article, we’ll look at each one of those reasons and how to diagnose them. We’ll also look at the consequences of having a golf cart battery charger that consistently doesn’t turn off.
Why Doesn’t My Golf Cart Battery Charger Shut Off?
No matter what type of golf cart you have, the charger is designed to turn off when the battery is fully charged. So, when the charger fails to turn off after your batteries reach maximum charge, it’s a sign that something is wrong.
Not only will overcharging result in bad batteries, but overcharging is also a sign of bad batteries. For various reasons, batteries do strange things when they’re going bad and giving out. For instance, your battery won’t be able to signal to the charger that it’s full and the charger will keep doing its thing. The result is more overcharging before the battery eventually gives out for good.
If your batteries are swelling, they could be bad which could your charger to keep trying to charge your batteries. Here is a full article explaining why your golf cart batteries may be swelling.
The second possibility is that you have a faulty charger that can no longer turn off on its own. When this happens, the charger will continue to charge even after the battery is full. Faulty chargers aren’t quite as expensive as replacing bad batteries, but they’re an inconvenience nonetheless. In addition to overcharging, another sign that your charger is going bad is that it won’t fully charge your batteries or turn on and off sporadically.
Faulty Charger Cable
In addition to the charger itself where it plugs into your golf cart, it’s possible for the cable connecting the cable end to the outlet to go bad. The usual cause for a bad cable is because of arcing or a short circuit. However, there’s a chance that when this happens, the charger will turn off completely rather than overcharge.
Bad Voltage Regulator
Golf cart batteries don’t automatically have six, eight, or twelve volts. They’re often slightly higher in voltage, which can be a problem if left unattended. That’s why all electric golf carts have voltage regulators to reduce the total voltage of your batteries to the correct amount. So, when the voltage regulator gives out, it could cause your charger not to turn off resulting in overcharging.
To check your voltage regulator, measure the voltage of your batteries with a multimeter. If the voltage is higher than it should be, your voltage regulator isn’t working properly.
Aside from the possibility of a bad battery, charger, or charging cable, it’s also possible that your battery has bad terminals. Bad terminals are usually the result of a loose connection between the battery cable and the terminal, or corrosion blocking the connection.
Either way, if you have bad terminals, it could cause a misreading between the charger and the battery. The result is that the battery might be fully charged, but the charger won’t recognize that fact and fail to turn off. You can easily fix the terminals on your battery by either tightening the connection or cleaning the terminals. Use baking soda mixed with water to clean corrosion on battery terminals, but be sure to disconnect the battery first.
Battery Water Levels are Off
Most standard golf cart batteries, aside from lithium ones, have individual battery cells containing small amounts of water. The water in cells helps cool the battery, but its main function is to turn it into hydrogen and oxygen gas to create energy to power your battery. When these levels get too low, it can cause issues with your battery and charger, including overcharging because the charger doesn’t turn off.
What to Do if Golf Cart Battery Charger Won’t Shut Off?
If your golf cart battery charger doesn’t turn off, it’s because of one o the issues on this list. To determine which one is the cause, however, you’ll have to use a process of elimination and explore every possibility.
Start by checking the voltage of the battery to see if it’s overcharging. While you’re examining the battery, you can also check the terminals for a loose connection or corrosion. You should also check the water levels at this time. Next, check the charger and charger cable for possible problems.
If nothing is wrong with the batteries or the charger, it’s likely that you have a bad voltage regulator. Unfortunately, when the voltage regulator gives out, you’ll have to replace it with a new one.
It may be time for a New Charger
I know, it sucks if your charger is bad and you need to get a new one, here is our favorite model that won’t leave you dead on the side of the road. It is available for most carts, but this link will bring you to the EZ GO RXV model and you can find your make and model from there.
Frequently Asked Questions
What would cause a golf cart to overcharge?
The main reason that a golf cart overcharges is because of a bad battery or a faulty charger. It’s possible that the water levels are off, the terminals are corroded, or the battery or charger are at their end.
Does a golf cart charger shut off automatically?
Depending on how new your golf cart is, the charger that accompanies it is supposed to shut off automatically. If it fails to do so, it means there’s an issue with the charger or batteries.
Can you leave a golf cart charger on all the time?
Because golf cart chargers turn off automatically, you can leave it on all the time without worry of overcharging.