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Unread 05-09-2010, 02:47 PM   #1
Not Yet Wild
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Default Slow speed on '03 DS/Battery or controller issue?

I recently purchased an '03 Club Car DS (not an IQ), that is painfully slow (7-9 MPH on my GPS after full charge), and I'm trying to figure out why. I noticed it seemed slow when I bought it, but the seller said that was the way it always was in the 2 years he had owned it, and I didn't know enough to realize something was wrong, as this is my first cart.

The seller told me the batteries were new in 2010. Four of them are US Battery 8VGC XC (170 AH @ 20-hour rate, 90 minutes @ 75 amps, 128 minutes @ 56 amps). These 4 have 3A348D stamped on them, but no date sticker or code that I can see. One is a US Battery 8VGC (165 AH @ 20-hour rate, 121 minutes @ 56 amps). It is stamped A207N, and again, no date code I can see. The sixth is black on top (the other 5 are red), and has no markings, ratings or stamps that I can see, but it does have a Dec. '09 sticker on it, and the seller told me he got that one in late '09. The rest of the batteries look pretty new to me.

I've tested the batteries individually after a full charge, and the readings I get are 8..48 v, 8.45 v, 8.50 v, 8.21 v, 7.49 v, and 8.46 v. Obviously, the 7.49 v (which is one of the 4 8VGC XC's) appears to be defective so I'm going to replace it. Does anyone think the 8.21 is low enough to require replacing? Also, will I likely have a problem mixing in a new battery with some that are presumably a few months old, and is it essential to try to find another US Battery to match up with the others?

More importantly, is it likely that this is the reason my car runs so slow? I get 49.4 v across the whole system after charging. I was considering replacing the motor, but the good and very helpful folks at EMP suggested testing the voltage at the motor under load (full speed operation) first. I did that, and the most I ever got was 35v, but it tapered off to about 27v after a mile, and I was worried about even making it home (and the speed was about 6 MPH). Is it likely the one weak battery would cause that level of poor performance, or do I have additional problems?

EMP suggested perhaps a faulty controller or a mis-adjusted throttle pedal might be causing the problem, and a new motor might not help. Can anyone tell me how to test the controller and/or pedal? Would it be worth it just to install a new controller, or might I just be wasting money?

The car is in a very remote location, and it's not easy for me to get it to a service center, so I'm trying to resolve these issues myself. Any advice or comments would be most appreciated. I have ruled out low tire pressure and dragging brakes by the way.

Thanks--This is a great forum, and I've learned quite a lot already by researching and studying it.

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Unread 05-09-2010, 04:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: Slow speed on '03 DS/Battery or controller issue?

You have a bad problem with your cart. First you have different brands of batterys and different AMP hour ratings along with possibly different ages ( plus possible longer shelf life ) of batterys. Its NEVER good to mix batterys unless you just want to sell cart to a new owner? The best way to have long life etc is to replace with all one brand with same date codes and break them in correctly as shown in the STICKIES ABOVE. Any time you mix even same brand batterys of different build dates you are looking at shorter life and possible various rates of recharge as capacity will vary and allow for one or more batterys not allowing whole bank of batterys to come up to fully charged state.
Its also possible that your controller is set for a slow speed like you find with this cart. PROBLEM you must take it to CLUB CAR DEALER to get code changed.
Good luck with your fine cart.
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Unread 05-09-2010, 09:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Slow speed on '03 DS/Battery or controller issue?

Sounds to me like you either have a bad speed sensor or the car is programmed on speed setting 1. Turn the key on, Tow/Run switch to run, and shifter switch in Forward and try to push your car. If it freewheels and doesn't try to hold itself back you've got a bad speed sensor. Another way to check the speed sensor is to get the car up to speed and switch it to reverse while it's still moving. It should stop itself without using any brakes. If it doesn't... Bad speed sensor.
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Unread 05-09-2010, 09:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: Slow speed on '03 DS/Battery or controller issue?

Originally Posted by labloverdc View Post

More importantly, is it likely that this is the reason my car runs so slow? I get 49.4 v across the whole system after charging.
49.4 is less than 70% charged for a 48v pack. You have a battery problem first and foremost.
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Unread 05-10-2010, 08:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: Slow speed on '03 DS/Battery or controller issue?


Mixed batts are not the best deal but change out the weak one and see if you can't make the best of this set up?

Freshly charged batteries will give falsely high Voltage and SG readings.... The batteries must be allowed to settle 1-12 hours (12 is best) to get a true reading on what they are HOLDING. Use the chart below to assess the situation. Grab a temperature compensating hydrometer from the auto parts store and do some Specific Gravity tests on the batteries too. Any 20% variation from cell to cell within a particular battery is suspect and any 30-40% difference is a red flag Hope this helps
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