Installed New Batteries In a EZGO and Golf Cart Won't Run


New Member
First I want to say hi to everyone. I've been reading for quite a while, and now I need some help.

I got my first gas golf cart a few months back, and now I've picked up an electric 78 EZGO.

The batteries were pretty well shot, but there was enough there to insure the cart worked properly, forward and reverse. I know it isn't the best, but while working on the cart I've installed 3 12 volt batteries that I had on hand. I don't want to spend a bunch on new batteries if we run into too many problems while going over the cart.

I've installed the batteries, and I know I have them correct. I drew up a diagram before I started the change. Now that new batteries are installed I get nothing and the golf cart won't run.

After we got the cart there was one time where I know the kids had to pull the cart back to the barn with the 4 wheeler. Now I wasn't there, and I assume they had it in neutral. But now I did notice when I tried the cart it would free wheel if it was in forward or reverse. I wasn't sure if it should do that. I was guessing it shouldn't.

I know one of the first things to do is check all the connections to make sure I have a good ground. But I thought I'd ask about the cart's ability to move freely even when in forward or reverse. I wasn't sure if they messed up something when pulling the cart back.

Thanks for any help anyone can give.


New Member
Moving freely is a good thing, that part's OK and the brakes aren't dragging.
Did the cart run before you changed the batteries?


New Member
Yes the cart ran before the change, though not very far because the batteries were bad.

I charged all 3 of the 12 volt batteries before they went in to insure they were charged up.
To insure I'm right I hooked them up this way.

battery1.. the positive post to the area directly behind the F/R switch, negative post to positive post of battery 2.

battery 2 negative post to positive post of battery 3.

battery 3 negative post to motor.

Of course the positive post of battery 1 and the negative post of battery 3 also had a wire that went to the charger plug in.

The connections do look bad all over the cart. I cleaned up the connections to the batteries when I did that. I was hoping by not disturbing the other connections they would still work ok for now. But it looks like my working around in there may have disturbed things enough another wire is not getting a good connection. They all look pretty rusty.

I was just thinking since they worked before the switch, they should work now, but I know that's not always the case.

Looks like next step is some connection cleaning, and picking up a voltmeter and learning how to use it.


New Member
The first thing you will need is a voltmeter, using it is child's play and you can't really do anything too wrong with it.
Odds are you have batteries or connections that are not sufficient for the power you need to turn the motor.
Tug on all the cables to make sure they are not broken and make sure all your battery connections are clean and tight.
Let us know when you get your meter and let's get this thing running for you.


New Member
Voltmeter picked up, problem found. Turns out 2 of the 3 batteries that said charged after some time on the charger aren't good. I have 12.3 volts on one battery, and only 2 volts each on the other two. The two bad ones are under the 3 year free replacement, so guess it's time to take them back and get a couple new ones.

Thanks for the help, I'll let you know for sure this is the only problem after I get the new batteries in place.


New Member
Put in 2 new 12 volt batteries and she runs.

Not a lot of power, but it runs. I'll now start cleaning all the connections since most are rusty. That might give me a little more power, not sure if that will help or not.

Went up and down the drive a couple times which would be about 2000 feet or so. I again checked the batteries and the new ones were still over 12 volts, but the third battery was about 11.8. I suppose that might have something to do with lower power for the cart.

Will bad connections cut my power very much?

I understand 3 12 volt batteries isn't the best situation, but on the gravel drive it's fine, going off in the grass will slow it down. So far we've just been on level ground.

Can a cart this old be upgraded to give it more power, or is it too old for that?


Slow speed and short run time is going to be a problem with three 12 volt batteries. If the old battery was fully charged and went down to 11.8 volts after only going 2000 feet it may be bad to. Run them through a few charge cycles and the run time may get better but don't expect much with that battery setup. :twocents:


New Member
I'l put a little more charge in the older battery and see what happens this weekend. It's still within the 3 year free replacement so maybe I'll work it hard for a bit and then take it back and get a new one. I'd have three new batteries at that point.
More importantly my daughter and granddaughter now have something to ride around in so they don't use my workhorse.


New Member
Have a quick question.

Once I get a new third 12 volt battery, can I use the 36 volt charger that came with the cart?

I figure 36 volt is 36 volt be it 6 6 volt batteries or 3 12 volt batteries.

The charger looks to be as old as the cart. It seems this one just has a timer, so I assume that means it doesn't have an automatic shut-off. I was thinking if I can use this charger, I'd just put it on for a couple hours at a time to play it safe. Plus when using the cart now it won't get much use each time out, so there shouldn't be much drain.