Charging up your golf cart is critical for keeping it in good shape when it operates.
However, some people may try to charge up their cart in what is known as “tow” mode and aren’t sure if this is safe to do so.
Let’s take a look at whether or not you should charge your cart in this mode, including an explanation of tow mode and the different ways that it affects your cart’s operation.
Will a Golf Cart Charge in Tow Mode?
Yes, you can charge your golf cart in tow mode.
Though this mode does cause your cart to switch off its computer, that doesn’t mean that it affects the battery or other elements of your cart.
In fact, it may be a better idea to charge in tow mode than in run mode, particularly if you are using a trickle charger over an extended period of long-term storage on your cart.
That’s because, as mentioned before, run mode will cause a slight, but persistent, drain on your cart’s battery even when it is not in use.
And this small drain can make your charging less efficient, causing you to charge longer than necessary on your cart.
Though this may not damage the battery too heavily, it can decrease its efficiency enough to be quite frustrating and annoying for many.
By contrast, keeping your cart in tow mode during a charge will decrease this slight drain and make the charging more efficient.
You may see a slight decrease in charging time – as much as a few minutes or so – and notice that your cart keeps its charge longer when you are in tow.
For that reason, it may be a good idea to charge your cart in this mode.
And if you check your cart manual, you’ll find that tow mode is suggested for: disconnecting and connecting battery cables; towing and servicing a cart; and extended storage situations.
There is no warning AGAINST charging your battery while in tow mode.
As a result, it is fair to say that it is safe to charge your cart in this mode.
What is Tow Mode?
Just about every new golf cart produced these days has what is known as the “Run/Tow” switch.
This switch is very simple – it puts your cart either in what is called the “run” mode or the “tow” mode.
There are very few times when you don’t have the cart switched to run mode.
This mode is necessary whenever you want to ride or drive your cart and is only turned off in specific circumstances.
When you switch the cart to tow mode, you are doing a handful of things to your cart at the same time.
The switch will turn off – or “kill” – the electrical cart’s “brain.”
The brain of the cart is the computer that helps it to operate properly.
Without it on, your cart won’t start or even run, making it impossible to run your cart and use it.
Why would you ever want to do this to your cart, you may ask?
Well, there are a few reasons why the tow mode is essential.
First of all, it is necessary when towing your cart – as the name suggests – because it prevents your cart from starting up but allows the wheels to turn properly during the tow.
In this way, your cart can avoid any damage during a lengthy tow and stay in great shape before you get to the maintenance shop where it may need repair.
And during any repairs to your golf cart, your cart will stay in tow mode.
This stops the cart from starting up by accident as the mechanics work.
However, it also helps to stop electrical flow throughout the cart that may cause a shock to the mechanic as they work.
This problem is one that has happened to many cart repair experts, necessitating the installation of the tow switch and tow mode.
Others may want to put their cart into tow mode while in long-term storage.
This step is wise for a number of reasons.
First of all, leaving your cart in run mode during storage will cause your battery to slowly drain, as your cart’s computer and its regenerative braking system will be active, causing a slow drain that will leave your battery dead after a long-term storage situation.
So it is a good idea to keep your cart in this mode when in storage.