2012 Gem gets 7 miles with Ride4Fun motor, DCM 31's

I’m wondering if it’s just the O’Reily batteries, or if there’s another problem. I read posts here where others used these and had no issues. They’re 100 Amp Hours.

This is my second set, as I turned the others in under warranty. They were only getting 3-4 miles.

The motor is rebuilt, installed last year. Charger is rebuilt/new at that same time from @Inwo.

Not sure what else I can tell ya. They charge to 13.5 (+/- .1). I may have had a 13.7 on one. I’ll get a solid reading when they reach turtle mode again, but it was over 12.

Any ideas?

A couple things come to mind for 3-4 mile range:

  1. How long have you had the batteries and when was the last time you checked the water level?

Do you have 31DCM or 31DCMJ?

The 31DCM are from East Penn Deka - they have 6 individual screw down water caps usually under the long sticker on top. They actually look a bit like sealed cells, despite actually being flooded batteries. The 31DCMJ is from Johnson Controls who owns Interstate Batteries, those have two large snap down water caps. Which ones are carried by which stores is a regional / shipping thing.

  1. jack the back end of the gem up, release the parking brake and spin the wheels. See if the brake is dragging. That will murder your range in short order. Dragging brakes are not uncommon on GEMS. Might as well check the fronts too. The R$F motor makes enough power for you to not notice dragging brakes until you start running out of juice.

  2. Charge the batteries up fully, leave the master switch on and let the vehicle sit for a day or two, come back and take a reading on them, see if you have some sort of drain on the system.

Thanks for the suggestions! I’ll try to get to it today.

New batteries are a week old. O’Reilly took the old ones back, as they were within a year. DCM31

Yeah, those are Dekas. If you peel the long sticker off, you will find 6 individual watering caps.

̶ ̶N̶o̶w̶ ̶h̶e̶r̶e̶’̶s̶ ̶s̶o̶m̶e̶t̶h̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶e̶r̶e̶s̶t̶i̶n̶g̶,̶ ̶w̶h̶y̶ ̶d̶o̶e̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶b̶a̶t̶t̶e̶r̶y̶ ̶l̶o̶o̶k̶ ̶l̶i̶k̶e̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶h̶a̶s̶ ̶a̶ ̶N̶o̶v̶e̶m̶b̶e̶r̶ ̶s̶t̶i̶c̶k̶e̶r̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶i̶t̶?̶ ̶I̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶s̶t̶i̶c̶k̶e̶r̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶“̶1̶1̶/̶…̶”̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶b̶a̶t̶t̶e̶r̶y̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶a̶ ̶y̶e̶a̶r̶ ̶o̶l̶d̶ ̶s̶i̶t̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶s̶h̶e̶l̶f̶.̶ ̶

EDIT: Based on the file name “PXL_20220413…” it appears that photo might have been taken on 13 April 2022, so a November 2021 battery wouldn’t have been unusual at the time. Additionally, it’s unknown if that was the replacement battery or the one that was returned. The first photo “PXL_20220210…” would be from February,

What originally followed is still within the realm of possible reasons, although the cause of a single bad battery in the string might be due to something other than being old and unmaintained for the time it sat in a warehouse / store shelf.

What are the date stickers reading on each of your batteries?

East Penn also brands the month and year of manufacture into the plastic of the battery at the factory. It will be on the side, usually on the seam at the top. It’s an alpha-numeric code so as not to be too obvious. One letter and two numbers IIRC. Should be able to cross check the date stickers with that,

If they gave you one old ass battery out of the six, with the amperage that the D&D (rebranded by R$F) motor pulls and the 12:44:1 gears in a 2012, that one battery could drag the whole series string of them down. Especially if you have oversized tires or are heavily loaded. I’ve experienced it personally on my first GEM which had lead batteries in it. You will go from 15-20 mile range to like 4. The cart will run well for the first few miles then when that weak battery starts losing charge, you’re done, You’ll go from 85% on the gauge to 35% in half a mile if you have your foot in it,

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Sorry for the confusion. Those pics were only to show which batteries I had/have. Those are the old batch.

The new batch are the same make and model, just with newer dates. Same problem, to a lessor extent.

What is telling you that the batteries are depleted? Is it actually showing you a Turtle?

Next time do a quick pack check and see if the batteries are truly low or perhaps you are dealing with a bad cable or dirty connection. A bad connection will look like a low battery under load. Once a turtle is triggered it needs a charge cycle to clear even tho the batteries show normal when stopped(load is removed).

Keep in mind that a LA battery is considered depleted when it reaches 50% State of Charge. That is around 12.06v.