Distance Issue -2003 Gem 4 seater

Looking for a little guidance. Purchased a 2003 4 seater Gem last August. The Gem came with new deep cycle batteries (06/21). When we first got the Gem we never had any issue with distance, going over 10 miles the day we got it. Now, after a fresh charge we are lucky to get a mile out of it. All the batteries have been tested on full charge, and after a ride that ended in having to be pushed home – all register just hundreths away from each other, with nothing sticking out. Is there anything that sticks out to anyone of what can reduce distance other than batteries? Local battery shop didn’t think it was the batteries (DCB of San Diego). Thanks for the help, and please let me know if I have left anything out. The cart does have the Zivan NG1charger, with the Micro Upgraded sticker on it. Also, I checked with Electronic Conversions and I am on the correct setting for my batteries. Other than significant loss of distance the cart performs well. The disc brake kit from NEV is a must for some of these San Diego hills!

Check if the rear brakes are dragging. It’s common and will absolutely kill your range in a heartbeat

Thanks for the reply. I was thinking that we would feel that when we have had to push it home ?(unfortunately it has happened a couple times). We will be riding and then the battery level will drop extremely rapidly - 100, 97, 93, 37… and won’t continue uphill.


Check for a light dragging. Jack the back of the vehicle up and spin the wheels by hand. You’ll know…

Check all your battery connectors for corrosion or loose fitting.

Then look up brake stand test. Do it. A bad battery in the string can also cause the behaviour you describe

It sounds like you are confident in checking your batteries when fresh off the charge.
Now do as Jrj suggested and run a brake stand test check (load test) on each battery. You
might be surprised at the number. It sounds like you have one or two failed batteries.

You didn’t quite say exactly what batteries are in there (what size?), but deep cycle batteries aren’t really designed for high demand of a cart. You got 10 mos out of them, which is probably about right for “drop in the cheapest set of batteries and to sell it” batteries.

The good thing is that you have been introduced to how much fun these things can be and figured out what this car means to you.

I will do the brake test this week.

AssyRequired, I think you are correct about the batteries - likely the cheapest thing to get it moving and sold. They are from Performance Plus Battery (Mesa, AZ), with no information on the label other than 31DC and 220 Res. When I called and spoke with them they said it was rated at 115 amps, so I think that is inline with the recommended battery.

My 2002 would easily see over 200 Amps when getting going and over 100 just going up Fanuel St so if the battery is only rated for 115 Amps they might have been over stressed.

Best batter tests are:

  1. charge fully, wait 1-2 hours and measure each battery voltage. Should be all in the typical 12.7V range.
  2. lift front end, get wheels spinning and add some braking to load the system and have someone measure each battery voltage with a steady load. All should be in the same range and probably above 12.0V depending on the load(light or heavy).
  3. fully change, drive around for 10 minutes then stop and check each battery cable connection(at batteries) for heating. They should not be hot and should be just above ambient temp.