If you are a golf cart owner, you certainly want your golf cart to provide you with the best performance. However, to achieve optimal performance, you must maintain it properly. Along with maintenance, you must know every little detail about your golf cart and its parts. Like any other battery, golf cart batteries are susceptible to wear and tear, and one of the most common problems is a dead cell. In this blog, we will tell you how to check for a dead cell in a golf cart battery and provide other important related information.

Understanding Golf Cart Batteries

Batteries are one of the integral components of electric golf carts, and keeping them in optimal condition is essential to achieve the best and most reliable golf cart performance. Golf cart batteries are generally lead-acid batteries, more specifically, deep cycle batteries. These batteries are made to provide a sustained flow of power over an extended period, making them the best for the frequent charge and discharge cycles typical in electric golf cart usage.  Moreover, the golf cart battery pack is, in most cases, composed of multiple lead-acid cells that are connected in series to achieve the desired voltage. 

Identifying the Culprit: Golf Cart Battery Failure

Before we tell you about the specific signs of a dead cell, it’s essential to understand the indicators of golf cart battery failure. Common signs include slower acceleration, reduced runtime, and difficulty holding a charge. If you notice any such signs, it’s time to consult with the battery professionals so that they can investigate further and identify the real culprit.

Understanding the Anatomy of a Golf Cart Battery

A standard golf cart battery has several battery cells, each contributing to the voltage output. These cells are housed in a single battery case, and each cell consists of negative and positive lead plates immersed in a sulfuric acid solution or battery acid.

The Culprit: Dead Battery Cells

A dead cell in a golf cart battery directly impacts its performance. A dead cell occurs when one or more cells fail to hold a charge, disrupting the energy flow within the battery pack. This leads to an imbalance in voltage and affects the entire battery’s ability to deliver power consistently.

Testing Golf Cart Batteries for Dead Cells

Now that you understand the potential issue, the next step is to diagnose whether a dead cell is the reason. Let’s learn some effective methods to test golf cart batteries for dead cells:

Visual inspection

Begin with a visual inspection of your golf cart’s battery case and look for any signs of leaks, damage, or corrosion around the battery terminals. A visible battery acid or damaged case may indicate a problem.

Voltage check

After visual inspection, check the voltage using a digital multimeter. Generally, a fully charged 36-volt system should read around 38 – 38.5 v. If there is a significant voltage drop, it shows a dead cell.

Load testing

Another way to check the dead cells is by using a load tester. A load tester is a tool for assessing the health of a golf cart battery. Connect the load tester to your golf cart battery and observe the voltage drop under load. A drop may indicate a dead cell.

Hydrometer test

A hydrometer is generally used for batteries with removable cell caps. 

The hydrometer test measures the specific gravity of the electrolyte in each cell, and a significant variation in gravity among cells may point to a dead cell.

Addressing The Issue: Dealing With a Dead Cell

If the tests confirm the presence of a dead cell in your golf cart battery, you have a few options. Let’s discuss what options you have and which option to choose.

Battery Cell Replacement

Battery cells are replaceable, but this replacement requires expertise and precision, and it is essential to make sure that replacement cells match the specifications of your golf cart battery. You can consult battery professionals to check and confirm that the cells match your battery model.

Replacing the Entire Battery

Replacing your battery and installing a brand-new one is also an option, but it depends on a few factors. If the dead cell is part of the old battery pack, replacing the entire set is a better option. Buying a new golf cart battery ensures uniform performance, power, and compatibility. If you have a budget, you should always buy a new one to get the best performance. Still, it is suggested that this be discussed with battery experts.

Preventive Measures for Extending Battery Life

To minimize the risk of dead cells and extend the life of your golf cart batteries, we suggest you follow the given preventive measures.

Regular maintenance is a MUST.

Regular maintenance is essential for every electronic, electrical equipment or machinery. The battery is an electrical device, and obviously, it requires regular maintenance. Perform routine maintenance checks, including inspecting for damage, cleaning the battery terminals, and ensuring proper water levels in batteries with removable cell caps. These practices will also pay off in the long term and save you money. Keep the batteries in the best condition and consistently follow a proactive approach to maintaining batteries.

Following proper charging practices

Golf cart batteries are the same as other batteries, such as mobile phone batteries. If you are overcharging your mobile phone, your phone’s battery will be damaged and start discharging fast. The same goes for the golf cart batteries or any other battery. Use a suitable battery charger designed for deep-cycle batteries. Avoid undercharging or overcharging, as both can contribute to premature battery failure.

Periodically recharge the batteries during storage.

If you plan to store your golf cart for an extended period, it would be best to charge the batteries fully. You should also periodically recharge the batteries during storage to prevent them from discharging completely. For more information, you can always discuss with fellow golf cart owners, read manuals, watch golf cart battery maintenance online videos, and get assistance from professional battery experts.


Golf cart batteries are the heartbeat of your golf cart, and learning how to check for a dead cell is essential for maintaining peak performance. Preventive maintenance, a proactive approach, Regular testing, and prompt actions can help you avoid the inconvenience of a dead battery and ensure an enjoyable and smooth golfing experience. Whether you choose individual cell replacement or invest in a new golf cart battery, proactive care will always pay off in the long run, keeping your golf cart running reliably for many rounds.

Call Us for Premium Golf Cart Batteries & Accessories

Are you a golf cart owner eager to hit the greens but needing to gain knowledge about golf cart batteries? Don’t worry, for we are your trusted partners, ready to help you master everything related to golf cart batteries. We are Golfcarts.com, a name trusted by golf cart owners nationwide. Specializing in premium golf carts and branded accessories such as batteries, mounts, lift kits, tires, and wheels, we cater to all your golfing needs. If you’re searching for high-quality, high-performance batteries for your golf cart, we have them. Contact us today or visit our store located near you. Let’s elevate your golf carting experience together!