Like most golf cart owners, you will have seen some battery light at some point in time and got confused.
What are the different battery light colors and symbols telling you about your battery?
Is this golf cart toast? Am I about to cut out on the freeway?
Keep reading our golf cart battery light troubleshooting guide to find out.
Indicator Light Codes
Apart from the standard warning lights, most golf carts deploy indicator lights to alert you when your cart has a battery problem.
- Indicator lights are more detailed than ordinary warning lights and offer you a chance to identify the problem with your battery or power supply lines in more detail.
- These lights display various colors depending on whether the battery gains or depletes charge. Additionally, they incorporate some designated symbols depending on the problem for easier understanding.
- Most popular cart models have a relatively similar symbol system, giving you an easier troubleshooting time.
Below, we have compiled a comprehensive list of lights, colors, and symbols you can use when troubleshooting your golf cart battery.
Here’s what to look out for:
A Question Mark “?” Enclosed Inside a Drained Battery Symbol
This strange warning sign can be quite confusing when it appears on your dashboard.
This indicates that there is trouble between the motor controller and the visage because of the LIN bus.
What do these confusing terms mean?
In simple terms, a visage is a communication tool that informs the motor controller about the battery charge.
When there is a broken connection between the motor controller and the visage, the cart will display this sign to show that the battery is drained.
Luckily, modern carts have a smart computer system that helps flag this as an error.
They can distinguish between a drained battery and when there is a broken connection between the motor controller and the visage.
💡 Golfible Tip: Call a qualified golf cart mechanic immediately to diagnose this intricate electrical power problem.
A Black Lightning Symbol Enclosed Inside a Drained Battery Symbol
When you spot this symbol, just know there’s some problem with your battery pack.
Simply put, there is no problem with the power connection because the motor controller has verified that the charging cable is properly connected to the cart receptacle.
The golf cart battery is set in the right spot, the terminals are properly connected, and the electrical energy should be flowing, but it’s not.
This triggers your cart’s computer to think that the battery pack isn’t well charged or may be completely dead.
How do you resolve this problem?
You can increase the number of times you charge the battery pack to alleviate the situation. However, this is only a temporary measure and will not help you in the long run.
Get a qualified golf cart mechanic to look into the problem because the battery pack may have died completely, calling for fast replacement.
📢 Need To Know: If you ignore this problem, your fully electric golf cart may not run at all, while the gasoline ones will have trouble starting
A White Lightning Symbol Inside a Green Battery
There’s no cause for worry when you see this one.
The white lightning symbol inside a green battery appears when your battery is operating smoothly, without any difficulty.
Your golf cart’s motor controller has scanned the battery and all the power connections. The charger is properly attached to the receptacle, and the battery is charging properly.
Smile because your battery is fully charged and ready to give you a ride for a couple of hours. During driving, ensure that you frequently look at the battery indicator symbol.
📢 Need To Know: The symbols and the colors are dynamic and keep changing depending on how much you drive.
Full Green Battery
This is another symbol that should make you happy or at least relieved.
The full green battery indicates that your battery charge is high, that is, well over 25%.
However, your battery has been significantly drained since you saw the green battery with a white lightning symbol. Therefore, always pay attention to the light as you drive.
Your battery levels change as you drive, causing the indicators to keep changing colors.
These changes should help you track your battery status as you move and take necessary measures.
A Yellow Battery with a Percentage “%” Symbol
A yellow battery symbol indicates that your battery is drained below 25% but is still above 10%.
Thankfully the percentage sign always has a numerical figure indicating how much power you have left.
You have to devise a quick return plan if you are planning a long ride because it is not happening.
Head back or keep moving toward the nearest charging station.
A significant delay at this point may mean more trouble for you. Chances are your golf cart battery might drain in a few minutes and leave you stranded.
A Percentage Symbol Enclosed Inside a Red Battery Symbol
Red is often used to indicate some imminent danger, and things are no different here.
The golf cart battery is in imminent danger of dying any time from now.
The fully red battery will have some figures inside, which is an approximation of how much power you have left which is often less than 10% at this point.
Unlike the green battery, you have no time to get home or access a charging station.
📢 Need To Know: Stop immediately to seek assistance if you are driving and see this red light.
A Numerical Value Inside an Orange Bar
For some golf cart models, the orange bar with a numerical value serves the same purpose as the red light and yellow lights mentioned above.
The percentages inside may prompt you to either charge or keep using the cart, depending on the voltage level inside the batteries.
Note that this isn’t exclusive, and some models mix the two battery indicator lights systems depending on different situations.
For instance, some cart models may use the yellow and red systems when parked, while others may use the orange bar method.
💡 Golfible Tip: Always remember to check the battery lights frequently when the cart is not in use. Your golf cart batteries may lose charge when left to sit for long periods without use.
Troubleshooting Flashing Battery Lights
We have already covered various meanings of the indicator light systems above and the measures you should take to alleviate or fix the problems.
Flashing lights indicate a different category of problems not covered above, which can be quite confusing at times.
Often, flashing lights will appear simultaneously with the warning lights signifying the sort of problem.
The section below will guide you in interpreting them and how the meaning may affect your current situation.
The most probable reason for a flashing golf cart battery light is the charger.
- There might be issues with your charger, causing it to deliver a lower voltage than needed.
- This is especially true if the flashing occurs when the golf cart is plugged into the charging cable.
- Golf cart chargers deliver varying voltages depending on the models. But when the flashing starts, the battery charge has dropped below 90%, yet the charger is plugged in.
The second problem has to do with the onboard computers. Chances are that the computer that regulates the golf cart functions is malfunctioning and needs rebooting.
Rebooting the onboard computers can be completed without a mechanic.
- Start by unplugging the black cable with a minus sign, the negative cable from the battery terminals. Now reverse the FNR switch to deplete the computer’s power supply.
- When the computer power is totally depleted, reconnect the negative cable and the terminal. Let the batteries charge for one complete cycle.
- Leave the golf cart charging for several hours before disconnecting the charging cable. Plug the charger immediately.
So, how does this disconnecting and connecting cycle help?
It creates an equalization charge which should make the battery light stop flashing. When the charging is complete, switch on the computer, which should operate smoothly and properly.
Improper Connection on the Positive Side
The batteries cables must always be properly connected to the battery packs at all times. If not, the batteries may charge poorly or not charge at all.
The golf cart battery lights will flash, indicating a problem with charging for you to take corrective measures.
The positive terminals and cables may get disconnected for several reasons.
- The first reason is that someone messed up with the cables during maintenance or repairs.
- The second problem is that the connection between the positive cables and the battery pack got broken during a rough ride. Some people drive golf carts in a terrain different from the golf course.
Here are easy troubleshooting tips:
- Open up the golf cart where the cables and the battery packs are located. Find a red wire which should have a plus sign engraved on it.
- If the red wires are loose or disconnected from the battery pack, especially on the positive side, attach them properly and tighten the loose areas.
📢 Need To Know: Every wire should hold tightly to avoid sparking and the danger of fire. Always switch the cart off when troubleshooting the power lines and the battery packs to avoid battery discharge or an electrical shock.
Improper Battery Installation
Several errors could have occurred during the installation process if you recently removed or replaced your battery pack, causing flashing battery lights.
Connecting wrong cables
For instance, it is easy to interchange the terminals in a hurry, thus connecting the negative cables to the positive terminals and vice versa.
In this case, the flashing may be accompanied by sparks that pose potential problems. A fire might erupt immediately, or the battery packs may be damaged, leading to poor operations.
In such a case, stop the installation process immediately and ask yourself a question.
What goes where?
Only when you get this right can you continue with the installation process.
The black and red colors aren’t simply decorations and carry important meaning. This should guide you during the repair and installation processes.
Now connect the cables and the terminals carefully, paying attention not to make any more mistakes.
It’s also important to disconnect all the wires before reconnecting them again.
Every component of a golf cart, including the battery pack, depreciates with age leading to poor performance.
If you see the flashing lights and have had your golf cart for a while, ask yourself:
How old is your battery pack, or when did you replace it last?
If you’ve had the golf cart between five years and a decade, there’s a pretty good chance that your battery pack is very weak. The flashing lights are just a warning that you need to take some action.
You shouldn’t worry because this is normal. Batteries hold less and less charge as they age.
Here is how to confirm whether a weak battery is causing the flashing lights.
- Step 1: Check the side of the battery. The maximum and minimum voltage the battery should hold is printed by the manufacturer.
- Step 2: Now plug the charger into the socket and let the golf cart charge until full.
- Step 3: Connect the battery pack to a voltmeter and take the readings.
- Step 4: Compare the two readings. If there is a significant difference between the readings and the minimum voltage, you need to buy a new replacement pack.
The Battery Light Flashes When the Cart Isn’t Running
Typically, golf cart battery lights will show when the cart is operational. However, some issues can make the lights flash when the golf cart isn’t running.
Sometimes, you may pack the cart for too long, causing the battery to deplete its charge. When the battery is low enough, the lights will keep blinking until you charge again.
This phenomenon is especially common with stronger batteries that exceed the cart’s needs. Many cart owners don’t see it necessary to charge them to capacity.
How do you stop the battery lights from flashing when the cart is off?
Just plug in the golf cart to charge. When fully charged, the lights will stop flashing.
If the battery is too weak and drains fast, replace it with a new one.
overcharging the battery
Sometimes, the problem is caused by overcharging the battery and consequently frying the cells.
Older models have these problems, but newer chargers are more efficient and unlikely to overcharge the golf cart batteries.
If you left the cart charging for too long,
- Disconnect the charger immediately after you see the flashing battery lights.
- Let the batteries cool off for some time before starting your golf cart.
How do you reset the battery light on a golf cart?
To reset the battery light on a golf cart, turn off the cart, and remove the key, and the battery compartment cover. Disconnect the battery cables, wait for 30 seconds, reconnect the cables, replace the compartment cover, and turn on the cart. Check if the light has reset. If it persists, the battery or charger may have a problem requiring further troubleshooting.
Why is my golf cart’s battery light on?
The battery light on a golf cart may come on due to low battery voltage, loose connections, a faulty charger, old batteries, or electrical issues. It’s best to have a professional inspect the golf cart’s electrical system to determine the exact cause.