How to Read the Date Coded on Trojan Golf Cart Batteries

by Richard Rowe

Electric vehicle batteries lead a hard life. Even though Trojan constructs its EV batteries using thicker plates and a deep-cycle design, odds are that those batteries will still wear out long before the golf cart's chassis does. Brand-new batteries aren't cheap -- between $80 and $200 on average, as of this publication -- making used batteries an attractive option for buyers looking to get back on the road. But time plays havoc on battery life, which makes knowing the date of manufacture critical for ensuring you're not buying someone else's junk.

Step 1

Remove the battery from your golf cart and clean it off. Batteries -- especially those used in off-road equipment like golf carts -- can get grungy, and that's going to make the stampings difficult to read. Use baking soda, water and a toothbrush to clean the terminals off enough to make the stampings legible.

Step 2

Note the alpha-numeric stamp on the battery's positive terminal. This stamping indicates the date the battery was assembled but before it got the electrolyte that made it fully active. The letter corresponds to a month, with "A" indicating January, "B" February and so on. The number next to it is the date of assembly. So, a battery with a positive terminal stamping of E12 went together (without electrolyte) on May 12.

Step 3

Check the stamping on your negative terminal. This terminal stamping indicates the month and year the battery received its electrolyte and shipped out of Trojan's factory. The month-lettering system works the same, but on the negative terminal the number corresponds with the last digit of a year. A "2" in this area could mean "2002" or it could mean "2012"; Trojan gives no indication of the decade, so it's up to you to tell the difference between a one-year-old battery and an 11-year-old battery.

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