How to Check for a Dead Cell in a Golf Cart Battery

By Bob Williams

August 7, 2023

Do you own a golf cart? If so, do you know when it’s time to check for dead cells in the battery and determine whether or not they need replacing? Well if you haven’t checked your battery yet chances are that the time has come. Dead cells are common and unfortunately can lead to higher repair costs down the road if not detected on time.

In this blog post, we’ll go over to understand what a cell is and how to detect one when it has gone bad to take swift action before any significant damage occurs. So let’s get started!

Understanding the Basics of Golf Cart Battery Maintenance

Golf carts are a convenient and fun mode of transportation on the golf course, but like any vehicle, they require regular maintenance to ensure they run smoothly. One of the most important aspects of maintaining a golf cart is taking care of its battery. This includes checking the water level, inspecting the terminals for corrosion, charging the battery regularly, and storing it properly during the off-season. Understanding the basics of golf cart battery maintenance can extend your battery’s lifespan and keep your cart running at its best. With a little effort and attention, you can enjoy your golf cart for years to come.

Analyzing Your Golf Cart Battery for Signs of Wear and Tear

One of the most important steps in golf cart battery maintenance is to regularly check for signs of wear and tear. This can prevent costly repairs or replacements down the road. One type of damage that should look out for is dead, which can occur when a cell’s internal resistance has increased over time due to sulfuric acid corrosion. A telltale sign that your battery might have a dead cell is if it drains faster than usual, doesn’t charge fully, or fails to hold its charge as long as it used to.

Testing for Golf Cart Battery with a Multimeter

The easiest and most reliable way to test for dead cells in a golf cart battery is with a multimeter. This device measures resistance and can detect if there are any cells within the battery that have abnormally high internal resistance. To use the multimeter, you’ll need to turn off your golf cart and remove the key from the ignition.

Ensure you wear safety goggles and gloves at all times when working with batteries, as they contain sulfuric acid, which can cause serious injury in case of contact with skin or eyes. Next, attach one lead from the multimeter to one terminal on the battery while attaching the other lead to an adjacent terminal. The meter should then read voltage between 12-12.5 volts indicating a cell is alive, or 0 volts indicating it’s dead. Repeat this step for the remaining terminals of the battery until you have tested each one.

Check the Cell Separators and Connections for Corrosion of the Golf Cart Battery

It is also important to check the cell separators and connections for corrosion. Corrosion can reduce the performance of your battery, so it’s a good idea to inspect them regularly. To do this, you’ll need to remove the cover on the golf cart battery and look for any signs of corrosion, such as green or white powdery residue. If you find any, use a wire brush to gently scrub away the corrosion before replacing the cover.

Perform a Load Test to Check for Dead Cells

In the world of batteries, dead cells can be a frustrating and potentially costly issue. That’s why load tests are important for checking for weak or dead cells. A load test can detect even the smallest irregularities in the cells by applying a controlled amount of stress to the battery.

This helps prevent unexpected battery failure and extends the life of the battery. In fact, many battery manufacturers recommend performing load tests regularly to ensure optimal performance and long-term reliability. So, the next time you want to ensure your battery is performing at its best, consider performing a load test to check for dead cells.

Replacing Damaged or Defective Batteries in Your Golf Cart

If you find that you’ve got dead cells or corrosion in your golf cart battery, it may be time to consider replacing it. Replacing the entire battery at once can help prevent further damage and ensure that your golf cart has a reliable power source and preserve its lifespan.

If you choose to replace the battery yourself, make sure to take all necessary safety precautions, such as wearing gloves and goggles, disconnecting the negative terminal first, and installing the new battery correctly. If you don’t feel comfortable with this task, then it’s best to leave it to an expert mechanic who can easily handle this job.


In summary, golf cart battery maintenance is essential to ensuring your vehicle remains in top shape. If any of the above-mentioned tests reveal that your battery is weak or damaged, consider replacing it as soon as possible. Moreover, keep an eye out for any signs of wear and tear and address them immediately. Regularly checking the cell separators and connections for corrosion and performing load tests can help identify defective cells. With proper care and routine servicing, maintaining a golf cart is easier with these tips.

Frequently Ask Questions

Q: How often should I check my golf cart battery?

A: It is recommended to inspect your battery every few months. During this time, look for any signs of corrosion, wear and tear, or dead cells. Additionally, perform a load test periodically to ensure optimal performance.

Q: What should I do if I find dead cells in my golf cart battery?

A: If you find that your battery has dead cells, it is best to replace the entire battery as soon as possible. This will prevent any further damage and help preserve its lifespan. Be sure to take all necessary safety precautions when disconnecting and installing the new battery. If you don’t feel comfortable with this task then it’s best to leave it to an expert mechanic.

Q: How do I know if my golf cart battery is no longer working?

A: If your battery is no longer working, you may notice that it drains faster than usual, doesn’t charge fully, or fails to hold its charge as long as it used to. Additionally, a multimeter can be used to measure resistance and detect dead cells. For best results, perform a load test periodically to ensure optimal performance.

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