Owning a golf cart is a ton of fun, but it’s also a big and sometimes expensive responsibility. There are many different components on golf carts that can experience problems and need repairs or replacements. Your golf cart batteries are one such component.
No matter what battery brand you have, they will eventually give out, and you’ll need to replace them. You may be tempted to mix golf cart battery brands when replacing them, but you should highly reconsider first.
It is not a good idea to mix golf cart battery brands when replacing them, different brands use different chemicals, formulas, and voltage, which means that the brands might not be compatible and cause more harm than good. If you replace just one, you can risk damaging the whole battery bank.
While you should never use different battery brands together as a long-term solution, there’s a time and place when it’s ok. This article will explain when that time and place is and why it isn’t a good idea to mix battery brands for long-term use. Finally, we’ll answer some of the most popular questions that people have about mixing golf cart batteries.
Problems With Mixing Batteries of Different Brands
While mixing battery brands is a good way to save a few bucks in the short term, it could prove costly down the road. Several things could happen when you mix golf cart battery brands, none of which are good. Here are some of the most common and probable issues that could arise.
Whether you’re talking about golf cart battery brands or any other type of batteries, different companies will have different voltages. Therefore, even when you replace an old 8-volt battery with a new 8-volt battery of a different brand, the voltages likely won’t be identical. Even a slight voltage difference is enough to throw off the remaining batteries and cause power issues with your golf cart.
A more obvious problem with mixing golf cart battery brands is that not all brands use the same sizes for their golf cart batteries. For instance, one company might make a 12-volt battery with a 12”x12” case, while another will make the same one with an 8”x8” case. The new battery won’t fit into the same spot as the old one and will likely loosen and cause damage to the golf cart if you install and attempt to use it.
It’s also possible that different battery brands have subtle differences in the chemicals and formulas they use when making their batteries. Mixing these batteries is dangerous because some chemicals and battery acids aren’t compatible with others. As a result, mixing the chemicals could damage all the batteries in your battery bank.
Safety Hazard to the Golf Cart
While mixing golf cart battery brands is bad for the batteries themselves, it could also be detrimental to your golf cart. Mixing battery brands could cause damage to the motor and other components in your golf cart’s electrical system.
What Can Happen When You Mix Golf Cart Battery Brands?
Now that you know the possible issues with mixing golf cart battery brands let’s look at what could happen because of these issues.
The Other Batteries Will Die Faster
As a general rule with golf cart batteries, your golf cart will operate according to your weakest battery. Therefore, when you replace a golf cart battery with one that’s of lesser quality, size, or strength, the rest of your batteries will pay the price. They will begin to die faster, provide less power, and need to be replaced sooner than if you had replaced the battery with one of the same brand.
The Chemistry Might be Off
As we said before, mixing battery brands will also mean you’re mixing acids and chemicals from the different batteries. While this might not cause a problem in the short term, mixing acids and chemicals will cause damage to your golf cart and golf cart batteries.
You’re Mixing Battery Cells
If the different battery brands you use have different chemicals and acids, the battery cells will also be different. When this happens, and they’re wired in series as golf cart batteries are, it can lead to several problems. The most common of these issues are battery acid leaks and decreased battery performance. These issues will then lead to a slower golf cart that dies faster and doesn’t provide the power you need.
Should You Replace All or Just One Battery at a Time?
If you want to play it safe and ensure that your golf cart batteries age and perform equally, you should replace all of the batteries simultaneously when one of them gives out.
However, if you don’t want to replace all of your golf cart batteries simultaneously, at the very least, you should replace the faulty battery with one of equal size and brand.
If one of your batteries is swelling, read all about what your problem may be at this article here.
Is It Ever Ok to Mix Golf Cart Battery Brands?
The only time it’s ok to mix golf cart battery brands is if you’re doing it temporarily. For example, if you’re stranded on the side of the road or in the middle of a golf course because of one dead battery, you can temporarily install a mismatched one to get your cart back to safety.
However, once you’re out of harm’s way, you should replace the mismatched golf cart battery with one that matches the other batteries on the cart.
What battery should use?
Frequently Asked Questions
Do all golf cart batteries need to be the same?
If you want your golf cart to perform at its best, all of the batteries should be the same.
Is it OK to mix battery brands?
It’s ok to mix battery brands temporarily but never for long-term use because the chemistry, ingredients, and voltages may differ.
What happens if you mix battery types?
When you mix different types and brands of batteries, they won’t perform well and will die faster than they otherwise would.
Is it OK to mix old and new batteries?
Just as you shouldn’t mix battery brands, you also shouldn’t mix old and new golf cart batteries.