I often get calls from golf car owners that bought a used golf car from a “guy on craigslist” or from a neighbor, or someone that sells golf cars out of their garage… The conversation usually goes something like this,
“Hey Paul, I bought this golf car from “a guy” and got a really great deal, but now it won’t run. I think my batteries are dead.” This person is about to have a bad day.
Normally I ask, “what year are the batteries?” There is often a long pause on the other end of the phone.
The usual reply is, “I don’t know. He said they were a couple of years old. How do I check that?”
This post will quickly explain how you can determine the age of a Trojan battery by reading its date code.
Knowing this information should arm you with enough knowledge to determine if the “great deal” is actually “great” or if you’ll need to figure the replacement costs of a new set of batteries.
Additionally, the current retail Trojan warranty as of this writing, 2/2020, is 18 months, which is another valuable reason to know the age of your batteries.
Where can you find the Trojan Battery date code?
Trojan etches or stamps a “date code” into the posts of the battery. Trojan has decided that the code they provide will reflect the shipping date of the battery, not the manufacturing date.
Here are the steps:
- Locate the Negative terminal of one of the batteries.
- Next to the terminal post connection you should be able to see a code etched into the lead.
Sometimes the date code is obscured by a red residue. The picture on the right shows a small amount of this residue on the wire and terminal connector.
Many manufacturers will apply a small amount of an anti-corrosion spray or gel that helps prevent the terminals from corrosion, and can usually be wiped away enough to read the code.
Over time, and with years of use, dirt and corrosion will obscure the etching which can sometimes make determining the date difficult.
If you have a lot of corrosion on the post of a battery, you may not be able to read the date code and will have to try and find another battery post to read.
The code here indicates the month and year when the battery was shipped out of the Trojan factory. The code consists of a Letter, which represents the month, A – L (A=January, B=February, C=March, thru L=December). The second character is a Number, which represents the last digit of the year.
|Month Code||Represents (Month)||Year Code||Represents (Year)|
|A||January||0||2010 or 2020|
In the picture here, a battery with “C8” on the negative terminal means the battery was shipped from the factory around March 2018.
One thing that can get confusing is that the “8” in this example could also possibly indicate a battery from 2008. So you do have to make a judgement call on whether the battery is over 10 years old or newer.
Update – 3/10/2020
I noticed the other day while checking the year of a set of batteries that Trojan seems to have changed their placement of the date code.
It appears that as of September 2019, they do not etch the posts on the battery any longer. Instead, the date code is stamped (or written) on the battery casing as illustrated in the picture.
That’s it. You now have enough information to determine the age of the batteries. This should be one of the first pieces of information you collect when evaluating the life expectancy of a used set of batteries.
- Find the negative post
- Read the date code
- Interpret the month and year that Trojan shipped the battery from the facility.