How do I know if my golf cart is 36 or 48 volt?
Although there are many types of golf carts available on the market, most fall into one of two categories: 36-volt or 48-volt.
Each of these models has benefits and advantages to consider, and each is worth the purchase price for certain types of cart owners.
As a result, it is essential to not only understand these elements but to know how to tell the difference between these cart types.
Thankfully, this process is relatively simple if you take the time to inspect your cart and know what you are looking for under the hood.
Calculating Your Voltage
The easiest way to determine your cart models’ voltage is to open up your cart seat and look at the battery compartment.
Inside, you should see several batteries. Count the number of holes on just one of these batteries and multiply the number by two.
You’ll find batteries with either 3, 4, or 6 holes – so a cell will have six, eight, or 12 volts.
Once you’ve calculated this number, you need to multiply this value by the number of batteries in your cart to get your total voltage.
The amount will always be 36 or 48.
For example, let’s say that you have a cell with six holes and have three batteries in your cart.
You’d need to multiply six by two to get 12 and then multiply three by 12 to get 36. The calculation is as simple as that.
Now, we should take a look at a 48-volt example to get an idea of what to expect.
Let’s say that you had four holes on a single battery. That would give you an eight-volt cell.
And if you have six batteries in your cart, you’d then multiply eight by six to get 48 volts.
Now that you understand this process, you should know why you’d want either a 36-volt or 48-volt model.
Each of these batteries has benefits that make them worth your time and drawbacks that may not make them right for your golf cart.
Typically, these benefits and disadvantages are consistent across every type of battery within this range, so you don’t need to worry much about differences in brands.
Pros and Cons of Each Model
A basic 36-volt golf cart provides a variety of benefits that make it worth your time. A few of these benefits include the following:
- Easier to Afford – 36-volt golf carts typically cost less than 48-volt models, which makes them a good choice if you don’t have a lot of money to spend.
- Simpler Battery Replacement – The lower number of batteries in this type of cart makes them easier to maintain and keep ready for the road.
- Speed Up Possibilities – Though many types of golf carts can be easily upgraded, 36-volts provide the most chances of speed upgrading. As a result, you can get your cart on the road more easily.
- Motors Easier to Replace – The simpler nature of this type of cart makes it easier to replace their motor than with a 48-volt model. This benefit ensures you cart is well maintained.
- Simpler Controller Replacement – A golf cart’s controllers may suffer from a variety of damage and a 36-volt cart usually has controllers that are easier to replace.
Although these benefits make these carts worth your time, they also have disadvantages, including:
- Less Power – The lower number of batteries in this type of cart will naturally make them less powerful than a 48-volt model.
- Lower Efficiency – Although these models aren’t inefficient compared to other electric vehicles, they do have less efficiency than a 48-volt model.
- Limited Off-Road Skills – Many people like to take golf carts off the road, but 36-volt carts are often not powerful enough to handle this task.
How To Identify Your Golf Cart Battery
The pros and cons of a 48-volt cart often contrast a 36-volt cart point-by-point.
For example, 48-volt carts are easy to convert into off-road buggies or carts, which makes them an excellent idea for somebody with hunting land.
They also use less amperage than their sister carts – about one-third less – and are, therefore, more efficient.
And you often get more money on resale if you keep these carts in great shape.
However, these carts do have downsides that must be considered.
For example, it uses a multitude of batteries that are typically more expensive to replace than the 36-volt cart.
Other replacement parts, such as motors an controllers, also cost more to repair.
Simply put, a 48-volt cart costs more than a 36-volt cart on every level beyond cart efficiency.