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Should I Discharge the Battery Completely?

by Ken Bell
(Florida)



How come my car's 12 volt battery is kept fully charged, yet I am told not to charge golf cart battery every night? I am told that I should only charge it when it gets low.

Hi, Ken -
You were right the first time, and that's good logic, comparing it with your car's battery. Simply put, what you've been told about your golf cart batteries was wrong.

It's a common misconception - even among golf experts - that discharging fully will lengthen lead acid battery life, but the folks at Battery University say that the exact opposite is true.

Deep discharges shorten battery life. They don't suffer from frequent top-ups. A top-up does NOT count as a full cycle when calculating cycle life.

Unless your golf cart has nickel-based batteries, like nickel cadmium (NiCad) or nickel metal hydride (NiMH), it IS better to keep them charged up, charging them every night.

Here's a Battery University table which outlines how and when to charge for different battery chemistries.

Regards,
Lynne

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