How to Install a Voltage Reducer on a Golf Cart

By James Gapinski

Golf carts no longer have to be boring vehicles designed for getting from "point A" to "point B" on the golf course. While a stock golf cart may not be much to look at, there are a bevy of extra features that can make your golf cart not only functional, but stylish. Radios, extra lights, fans and a number of other electrical accessories are available to transform your cart into a more luxurious mode of transportation. However, before you can wire low-voltage accessories to your electric golf cart's battery, you'll need to install a voltage reducer so you do not overload and break these smaller accessories.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Step 1
Use a voltage tester on your golf cart's positive battery terminals, grounding the tester on an adjacent negative terminal. Test the terminals until you find a terminal that draws 16 volts of power. As explained by GroovyCarts.com, standard 48-volt electric golf carts utilize a series of separate 8 volt batteries to form an entire 48-volt system made up of several smaller batteries. Each of the batteries are strung together in succession. The terminal reading "16 volts" will usually be the second battery in the chain of terminals. While most voltage reducers are designed to convert from 16 to 12 volts, if you are using a different type of reducer, you'll need to continue testing the positive terminals until you find the one that matches your reducer's starting voltage.
Step 2
Disconnect one battery interconnect cable from its terminal. This will effectively break the battery circuit, allowing you to attach the reducer without fear of electric shock. Most cables are held on by an external screw or nut; be careful not to directly touch any battery components other than this nut as you unscrew it. It doesn't matter which terminal is disconnected, positive or negative, or which battery the terminal is attached to; any battery terminal disconnection will break the circuit for the cart's entire battery system.
Step 3
Connect the voltage reducer's 16-volt end to the positive 16-volt battery terminal as previously identified in Step 1. In most cases, the voltage reducer's connective wire is designed to either wrap around the terminal and twist together, or it is supposed to simply clamp onto the terminal.
Step 4
Connect the 12-volt end of the voltage reducer to your desired golf accessories by soldering the 12-volt wire to the accessory's power input.
Step 5
Reconnect the previously broken battery circuit to power the system back up and enjoy your new electric golf cart accessory.

Tips & Warnings

Usually, you'll only need to reduce the voltage of a 48-volt electric golf cart. In the case of 36-volt electric golf carts, the system uses six batteries of 6 volts each. Therefore, you should be able to draw the necessary 12 volts of accessory-level power from two of the system's 6-volt batteries, and a reducer is typically not needed according to MyGolfCarStore.com. a retailer of golf cart parts and accessories. Additionally, most gas golf carts use a 12-volt battery, so you also don't need a reducer in this scenario. Most accessories are designed to cater to the common 12-volt output of a gas golf cart's battery, but in the rare case that your accessory calls for a different voltage, you'll need to get a different type of voltage reducer.
Usually, you'll only need to reduce the voltage of a 48-volt electric golf cart. In the case of 36-volt electric golf carts, the system uses six batteries of 6 volts each. Therefore, you should be able to draw the necessary 12 volts of accessory-level power from two of the system's 6-volt batteries, and a reducer is typically not needed according to MyGolfCarStore.com. a retailer of golf cart parts and accessories. Additionally, most gas golf carts use a 12-volt battery, so you also don't need a reducer in this scenario.
Most accessories are designed to cater to the common 12-volt output of a gas golf cart's battery, but in the rare case that your accessory calls for a different voltage, you'll need to get a different type of voltage reducer.
Always observe proper safety precautions when working with electrical circuits. Never directly touch exposed wire or open battery terminals with your bare hands or with any metallic tools. Always break the circuit before you begin attaching new wires to an electrical system.
Always observe proper safety precautions when working with electrical circuits. Never directly touch exposed wire or open battery terminals with your bare hands or with any metallic tools.
Always break the circuit before you begin attaching new wires to an electrical system.

About The Author

James Gapinski is a writer with numerous online contributions, including those featured on JSOnline.com, Digital-Photography-School.com and the Milwaukee City Edition of Examiner.com. He is the recipient of the Burrows Award and the Angela Peckenpaugh Writing Award. Gapinski holds a Bachelor of Science in English with a writing emphasis from the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater.

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