We have talked about the pros and cons of EZGO vs. Club Car and touched on voltage in that discussion. It is time to dig a bit deeper and understand the voltage that powers your golf cart.
What is Voltage?
Before we jump into the pros and cons of different golf cart voltages, let's go back to science class and talk about what voltage really is. Technically speaking, voltage is the potential difference in charge between two points in an electrical field. The greater the voltage is, the greater the current.
What Voltage Is My Golf Cart?
It is important to know what voltage your golf cart is to understand its speed and power potential. To determine whether your golf cart is 36V or 48V, follow these steps:
- Lift up the seat to view the battery compartment.
- Count the number of holes on each battery. You may need to remove the battery cap to see the holes.
- Multiply the number of holes by 2 to determine the golf cart battery voltage.
- Multiply the golf cart battery voltage by the total number of batteries.
Example: In my Club Car Precedent golf cart, each battery has 4 holes. 4x2=8 so they are 8 Volt batteries. There are 6 of them, so my cart is a 48 Volt cart.
As an aside, maintaining your batteries is extremely important for the current to flow at the proper voltage. We recommend this short ebook on battery maintenance, which is free on Kindle Unlimited.
36 Volt Golf Cart
A typical 36 Volt golf cart will have a battery configuration of (6) 6 volt batteries.
- They are more affordable to purchase.
- Replacing the batteries is more affordable, since there are only (6) 6 volt batteries.
- Stock motors and controllers are typically more affordable to replace.
- They are perfect for cruising around a flat surfaced neighborhood or golf course at 10-12 mph.
- They can be upgraded for speed, if needed.
- They produce less power than 48 Volt systems.
- They are less efficient and therefore, yield fewer hours on a charge.
- It is not recommended that a 36V golf cart be used offroad, since it has less power.
48 Volt Golf Cart
Golf carts that are powered by 48 Volts consist of either (6) 8 Volt batteries or, in the case of some Club Car Precedent golf carts, (4) 12 Volt batteries.
- They are easily converted into hunting buggies or offroad carts.
- They use 1/3 less amperage than 36 Volt carts, so they are more efficient.
- Parts, especially upgrades, are more readily available for 48 Volt systems.
- Golf carts with 48 Volt systems have higher resale values.
- Batteries are more expensive to replace.
- If the system uses 12 Volt batteries, run time will be less due to a lower battery lead volume.
- Replacement motors and controllers are typically more expensive.
- 48 Volt cart are more expensive to purchase.
Whether you decide to go with a 36 Volt or a 48 Volt, the important thing is that you understand the difference so that you have realistic expectations of your new golf cart.
Please visit WHEELZ Custom Carts for custom accessories or replacement parts.
The team at WHEELZ prefers to operate our golf carts year round. And with so many uses for golf carts, even during the snowy months, why winterize? But, if you are a snowbird or someone who prefers to pack the golf cart away during the off season, do it correctly. Here are a few tips for both gas and electric golf carts:
Step 1: Thoroughly Clean your Golf Cart
When it comes time to store your golf cart, be sure that it is clean. Use soap, water, degreaser, and other cleaning products as needed to wash away dried mud, sand, grime, and dirt on the golf cart. Don't let a dirty golf cart nag at you all winter, clean it now. Cleaning your golf cart makes it easier to work on / inspect before storage.
Use a battery terminal cleaner to clean corrosion from the battery.For a DYI cleaner, mix a bit of baking soda and water together and use it to lightly brush the terminals. Rinse the solution off with water and dry with a towel. While the battery dries, check the connecting wires on the battery to ensure a tight fit and no wire breakage or damage.
Now is a good time to park your golf cart in the spot where it will be stored, because after the winterizing process, it will have to be pushed to be moved.
Step 2: Winterizing your Golf Cart
If your cart is gas, drain gasoline from all plumbing and parts from the carburetor to the fuel tank. Fuel that is left to sit in the cart over the winter can cause gunk to form in small parts of the carburetor or the fuel pump. If your golf cart has a shut-off valve, make sure it is in the "off" position. If your golf cart does not have a shut-off valve, disconnect the fuel line from the fuel tank. After all fuel has been drained, and lines shut off / removed, run the engine until it dies. Loosen bottom screw on the carburetor bowl to drain the remaining fuel out of it. Seal the gas tank by tightening the gas cap. Next, stick a golf tee into the vent tube and seal the edges with some duct tape for a secure seal.
Step 3: Finishing Touches
Disconnect battery cables to prevent any unnecessary electrical problems from occurring while in storage. If the cart will be checked on periodically, leave the batteries connected and hook the cart up to a maintainer. Inflate tires to the proper pressure before storing to maintain the shape of the tires when it is not driven.
DO NOT LOCK your golf cart's parking brake. Locking the parking brake cable for an extended period may cause the cable to stretch. Place wooden blocks behind the tires to prevent movement while in storage.
Be ready to tune up your gas golf cart when you take it back out of storage.
Now, for a special price and with FREE FREIGHT, check out:
Our Resources page has links to complete body and light kit installation instructions.
Is your golf car looking more and more like a luxury vehicle? If so, you will relate to Julie Wilson's most recent article published in Golf Car Advisor magazine.
Here are our picks for our top luxury golf car products:
WHEELZ is pleased to announce our partnership with the ONLY golf car magazine available to golf car owners and enthusiasts. Golf Car Options Magazine features the latest in vehicle and product news, repair tips, reviews, and photos of how readers are modifying and using their golf cars.
Whether your golf car is for on- or-off the course use, for shopping, or off-roading we address it all. Our mission is simple; to supply our readers, and industry partners with the highest quality of media to expand and grow the interest of golf cars, LSVs, and the industry regionally, nationally, and worldwide.
Golf Car Options Magazine is published monthly in both digital and print.
Digital and print versions combined are available on the MagCloud platform.
Digital subscriptions are available on Magzter.
Keep an eye out for a monthly column written by WHEELZ owner, Julie Wilson. She will be sharing her vast golf car experience with readers through articles about golf car communities, new products, golf car safety, and more. If you have ideas for upcoming articles, let us know. The goal is to provide valuable content for valued golf car owners.
Even if golf cart insurance is not required by your HOA or state, it is still a good idea for golf cart owners to insure their golf carts. If you use your golf cart on a regular basis and rely on it for either regular transportation or recreation, insuring it is never a bad idea. The following will determine what kind of insurance and the cost:
- Usage type and frequency
- Aftermarket modifications
- Where it is driven
What Type of Golf Cart Insurance Do I Need?
In many communities, the HOA requires golf cart owners to purchase specific insurance for their golf carts and name the HOA as an additional insured. Prior to purchasing insurance, check with your HOA. If you use your golf cart around your property, it can be included on your homeowner's insurance policy with an endorsement. If you drive on the street and your cart is considered to be a Low Speed Vehicle or All-terrain vehicle, it is smart to purchase an auto policy specific to golf carts.
Getting the Best Deal on Golf Cart Insurance
Golf cart insurance is fairly reasonable and there are several ways to save additional money on it:
- Combining it with existing policies. Referred to as "bundling," obtaining your golf cart insurance from your current auto insurance company will save you money on the policy.
- Homeowners. Discounts are typically offered to golf cart owners who also own their homes.
- Switching. If you decide to switch your current auto policy and simultaneously add a golf cart policy, many insurance providers will offer a discount for switching.
- Motorcycle. If you have a motorcycle endorsement, you can likely save on the golf cart policy.
- Up-front Payment. Paying for the entire amount of the policy will save money.
- Deductible. As with most types of insurance, accepting a higher deductible will lower the amount of the policy.
- Safety Features. Adding safety features, such as seat belts and light kits can lower your premium.
How Much Will Golf Cart Insurance Cost?
Adding a golf cart endorsement to your homeowner's policy is the least expensive way to insure your golf cart and will cost $50-$200/year. If you purchase a separate golf cart policy, it will average $12/month, as long as it is driven within a golf course community. A speed modified cart that drives on the street is priced $400 to $1000 / year and will depend on your driving record and other factors considered with conventional auto policies.
Keep in mind that if your golf cart is found to be used for business purposes, driven in an illegal manner, or outside of the range of coverages, the policy may not cover theft, damage, or injury.
With the increasing rise of golf carts being used for recreation, transportation, and hunting, it is safe to say that golf carts are not just for golfing anymore.
So, when shopping for your golf cart, how do you decide which brand is right for you? Club Car and EZGO are the two most popular golf cart manufacturers and are both American products. Deciding between the two means identifying the model that fits your lifestyle and delivers the maximum performance, style, and durability that you expect.
What is the primary use?
The uses for golf carts are practically limitless. From running around the neighborhood, hauling trash or equipment, doing yard work, hunting, to of course, golfing, golf carts are versatile. Understanding how your cart will be used primarily is the first step towards choosing the perfect cart.
One of the most important things to consider is the amperage of the golf cart controller, which largely drives performance and produces the torque and speed of the cart. The more amps, the more torque. Keep in mind that battery life is affected by performance controllers.
EZGO – The Rugged, Affordable Cart
The first EZGO golf cart was introduced in 1954. Known to be some of the most rugged vehicles on the market today, Bad Boy Buggies use an EZGO style frame for their hunting carts. One of the primary benefits of choosing an EZGO is the reputation for being durable.
EZGO’s are well designed, have a steel frame, and are very durable. EZGO replacement and aftermarket parts are fairly inexpensive and easy to come by. The EZGO has a smooth ride and have plenty of options and upgrades to turn a basic cart into the electric vehicle you need. Built with quality materials, EZGOs are also known to be easy to maintain.
EZGO golf carts are available in electric or gas powered models.
- Offers models with Series motors and PDS set ups. Series are the best set-up for future upgrades and PDS is the technology of the future and s programmable.
- EZGO’s are well designed.
- EZGOs are constructed with a durable, steel frame.
- Replacement parts and upgrades are fairly inexpensive and available.
- Smooth ride.
- They are constructed with a steel frame, which quickly erodes in Southern, humid states or coastal areas.
- EZGOs do not perform as well on hilly terrain or with heavy loads unless controller and cables are upgraded.
- Older EZGO carts were built with GE Motors that are not known to perform well.
- The forward / reverse shifter is short and many users complain. Luckily, there is a fix.
CLUB CAR – Quality In The Details
Club Car has been a leader in quality, innovative golf carts since the 1950's. They pride themselves in a corporate environment that prioritizes customer satisfaction.
Club Car golf carts are designed with the most innovative and useful features on the market which are routinely included as standard equipment. Their aluminum style frame guarantees against rust and provides lightweight durability. Club Car golf carts utilize improved power for uphill driving as well as enhancements to the speed controls, balancing speed and torque. Offering a variety of models, including two, four, six, and eight seaters, Club Car offers something for everyone.
Club Car offers industry related golf carts catering to Golf Hospitality, Turf Industries, and Transportation. Both electric and gas models are popular.
CLUB CAR PROS
- Club Cars are great for hunting vehicles and require very few upgrades to hit the woods.
- They handle well on hilly terrain.
- They offer power in various terrains.
- Club Car golf carts are known for high quality steering.
- The stock motors are high quality and run strong.
- Club Car comes standard with a light weight aluminum frame that will not rust.
- They offer smooth suspension systems.
- Club Car golf carts, when well maintained, will last for over twenty years.
- Parts are readily available.
CLUB CAR CONS
- Club Car owners experience issues with the clutch on gas models
- Parts tend to be a bit more expensive than their counterparts.
- Club Cars can put more of a drain on batteries than their competitors.
Once you have decided which features are the most important, consider the pros and cons of each and commit to a decision. No matter which cart you choose, you are sure to be pleased.
WHEELZ Custom Carts & Accessories has been a leading provide of golf cart parts and accessories since 2008.
Do you suffer from golf cart embarrassment when you are in your neighborhood, golf course, or RV park? If it seems as if everyone's golf cart looks nicer than yours, there is a way to fix that, even on a budget.
Batteries Need Replacement?Many local battery suppliers will issue a credit for any "core" batteries that are traded at the time of the new battery purchase. At the current time, battery suppliers are issuing credit for anywhere from $10-$20 per golf cart battery. Suppliers do not care what condition the batteries are in or if they hold a charge. Battery suppliers recycle the batteries for the lead content.
Don't forget about car or lawn mower batteries. Many times, suppliers will issue credit for $2-$5 for these batteries. If you have access to old batteries, collect them to pay for your new golf cart batteries. Offer to remove them from the properties of friends and neighbors and watch your new golf cart battery credit grow.
Do you need to order batteries online and are unable to trade in your old core batteries? No problem! List the core batteries on Craigslist and watch the battery recyclers come calling with cash in hand.
Need Parts to Repair Your Cart?When hard parts get worn out and fail to function properly, replacement parts can be pricey. Keep your eyes open for scrap golf carts that can be found at garage sales and on Craigslist. Many times, purchasing a scrap cart to use for parts may be a less expensive way to repair your golf cart. Be sure to inspect the cart thoroughly to ensure that the parts that you need are intact and in working order.
Another way to score replacement parts for cheap is to check out the Closeout sectionof golf cart parts dealers. Many times returns and overstocks force golf cart parts suppliers to offer heavily discounted prices for parts.
Is Your Golf Cart Ugly?Golf carts can be expensive to purchase and to maintain. Many times adding the cosmetic parts, like seat cushions, wheels and tires, dashes, and stereos is cost prohibitive. In order to keep up with the neighbors' carts, watch for sales offered from online suppliers. Another option is to get a few friends together and purchase parts in bulk to receive discounted pricing. Of course, starting small and saving for larger add ons is always an option, too.
Do you have an idea for how to save money on golf cart improvements? Email them to Julie@wheelzllc.com and we will publish them in an upcoming blog post.
Golf Car Advisor is an unbiased, informative golf car and electric vehicle trade magazine. Published since 1993, the publication is both print and digital and is distributed bi-monthly. Consistently providing informative news about the latest technologies and products within the industry, Golf Car Advisor is the "go to" publication for anyone who is interested in golf cars.
WHEELZ Custom Carts is pleased to announce that our owner, Julie Wilson, will have a Featured Article in each edition beginning with the current March/April issue. She will cover topics such as golf cart safety, the latest news in the golf cart industry, golf cart tips and tricks and other related topics. Subscribe today to read Julie's and other Featured Articles each edition.