Bad Cable Equals Expensive Battery Replacement for Club Car EZGO Golf Cart

Updated on January 24, 2019
Pcunix profile image

I was born in 1948 and spent most of my career as a self-employed computer trouble shooter for Unix systems.

I mentioned losing a battery in our Club Car EZGO electric golf cart in a previous article. That repair didn't last long; I soon had to buy a new battery.

I initially thought that the damage shown in the pictures below had come from accidentally leaving the battery cap loose. As it turns out, I was wrong about that.

Well, not entirely. Leaving the cap loose would have been a careless and unthinking act on my part. The actual cause was a different careless and unthinking act on my part, so while I was wrong in the specifics, the top level cause was dead on: it was my own dumb fault.

I'm kicking myself extra hard because I know better. I noticed this problem, knew it was a problem, but I didn't act on it instantly. That cost me $148.00 and may end up costing me another $148.00 before I'm done.

Basic Electricity

Resistance in an electrical circuit causes heat. Everybody who has ever done even the most cursory study knows that. Heck, you might even know that if you never learned anything about electricity.

I certainly know it.

I know it very well, in fact. I've burned my fingers more than once building little electronic circuits and have smelled burnt resistors from my mistakes more times than I'd like to admit. Electrical resistance creates heat, that's basic. That's how electric heaters work, right?

Small current flows create a little heat, but even a 1.5 volt battery can heat up a thin wire enough to burn your finger. Six eight volt batteries wired together produce a good amount of electrical current and the amount of heat that current can generate if it hits resistance is quite impressive.

I initially thought this mess came from a loose cap
I initially thought this mess came from a loose cap

The Original Meltdown

The picture at right is the original meltdown and explosion that happened shortly after my post repair. Note that this was not the repaired post that blew; it was the other terminal.

As I said, because my discovery of this came when I heard a loud "bang" under my seat, I thought that perhaps I had left the battery cap loose after checking the water levels. Loose cap, hydrogen gas bubbles out, a tiny spark ignites it, flame melts lead and plastic, more gas, and "pop".

Nope. That's not what happened at all.

I had noticed this rust and had meant to order new cables
I had noticed this rust and had meant to order new cables
This is what it should look like, though even that one is rusting a little
This is what it should look like, though even that one is rusting a little

Rust Isn't Such a Great Conductor

As the second picture shows, one end of the cable for that battery had a good deal of rust.

I noticed that. I even made a mental note to get new cables. I even called the local auto parts store to see if they had short cables like this (they didn't).

I ignored it.

Which is totally stupid, yes. Rust is not a great conductor of electricity. At the very least I should have taken some steel wool or a file to this and cleaned it up to get some shiny metal. But I did not. I just tightened it down and forgot about it.

That wasn't a good decision.

Melting lead from a bad connection
Melting lead from a bad connection
I hope I can file that flat enough to make a solid connection - if not, that's $148 out the window. Click to see full size.
I hope I can file that flat enough to make a solid connection - if not, that's $148 out the window. Click to see full size.

With Enough Heat, the Lead Melts

So, apply a nice 48 volt current through some unexpected resistance and you get heat. Enough heat to melt lead. That's what had happened to the original battery and it melted enough lead and burned enough plastic to open the battery right up as we can see in the pictures.

And now it was on its way to happening again. While driving down to get our mail, I smelled something burning and stopped. I flipped open the seat to see the batteries and touched the terminal. That burned the tip of my finger. Just a little, I expected heat so I had touched it very lightly.

It had been raining, so I had a damp paper towel handy; I touched the terminal with that and it sizzled like water splashed on a frying pan. Hot, very, very hot.

I cooled it down with the wet towel, tightened up the nut (which was loose because of the lead melting underneath the cable) and drove it home, stopping frequently to cool it down and retighten.

The end of a two year old cable
The end of a two year old cable
The rusted and broken end that caused this mess
The rusted and broken end that caused this mess


I don't know. I have ordered new cables ($25 plus shipping from Buggies Unlimited) but I'm not sure if I can file the lead down flat enough to get a good solid connection.

You can see in the photos at right that the cable was actually broken - rust, heat, who knows, but that wasn't helping any.

My tardiness in replacing these cables may cost me another $148.00 and that annoys me greatly. If I didn't know any better to start with, I'd just call it a life lesson leaned, but I do know better, so this was completely unnecessary.

I'll be having a long talk with myself if I do have to buy another battery, that's for sure.

The cables on my car battery attach differently
The cables on my car battery attach differently
This seems like a better design to me
This seems like a better design to me

Auto Battery Cables Are Different

I've never seen an auto battery cable that wasn't a ring clamp as shown in the final pictures. I wonder why golf cart battery cables aren't done that way - it seems like a better design to me, less apt to loosen up and cause this sort of problem.

Oh well: it will be what it will be. I have ordered the new cables and hope not to have to buy another battery. It's getting on toward winter, so I'll be putting the cart away soon, but it has to be charged every few weeks to keep the batteries from freezing, so I need to have this all corrected before that.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Submit a Comment
  • profile image

    Todd Jones 

    17 months ago

    yes I am in the golf car repair business I see a lot of that melted battery post corroded cables couple of simple solutions

    When you install your cables give them an axle Grease and then put them on that helps keep the corrosion down keep the battery nuts. And usually you'll be in good shape

    Not too many people know how to do this it is very dangerous but that post can be replaced with another one if it does not melt through plastic if one knows what they're doing I know how to solder new Lead post on Old melted battery. If did not burn through the plastic case most of the times I can repair people's batteries

  • Pcunix profile imageAUTHOR

    Tony Lawrence 

    5 years ago from SE MA

    Happy to have helped.

  • profile image


    5 years ago

    I want to thank you for the very informative post. It has helped me in diagnosing why I just burnt my fingers and what to do to fix it. I appreciate you being open and admitting that you are human. We all have made costly mistakes, by you sharing yours, you may have helped me avoiding destroying another battery by melting the post down.

  • ilitek profile image


    8 years ago

    i learnt a good guide here.thanks.

  • Pcunix profile imageAUTHOR

    Tony Lawrence 

    9 years ago from SE MA

    Three guesses. If one of them includes the word "stupid", you could be close.

  • profile image

    Peter Enmore 

    9 years ago

    Why are you burning so many resistors?

  • Pcunix profile imageAUTHOR

    Tony Lawrence 

    9 years ago from SE MA

    Wow. What can you say to someone like that?

  • SteveoMc profile image


    9 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

    Resistance is no good. Unless, of course, you want to resist something. I have 'invented' a few solutions myself that went the wrong way. But, as an appliance repairman, you should have seen some of the solutions that I came across. One was a hot water tank and a dryer hooked to the same wire. The wire out of the tank had been stripped and a hook fashioned on the end, another wire from below had a hook as well and was the hot lead. To run the dryer, you had to take a pair of pliers and unhook the wires, run the dryer while that wire flopped around and then re-hook it up to run the the water heater. I told the owner that he was putting his kids in serious danger. He told me he knows because when that wire hit the pipe, his kids would get shocked while washing the dishes. I told him, I couldn't just walk away from the situation and I stayed and ran a new circuit for the water heater from the panel and put the wire in conduit. We then hooked the dryer up properly.

  • Pcunix profile imageAUTHOR

    Tony Lawrence 

    9 years ago from SE MA

    I was just at the Buggies Unlimited forum and did a search for "melted"

    A lot of people have done the same dumb thing, so I am not alone. They even sell a battery post refinisher!

  • LillyGrillzit profile image

    Lori J Latimer 

    9 years ago from Central Oregon

    Very informative Hub. Thank you for the wise advice.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)