|How should I care for my golf cart batteries?|
|Written by Ed Arnold - LaPorte, IN|
Open the battery caps and check the water level. If low, fill with distilled water only. No tap water for best battery life. Do not over fill and keep just below the inner indicator rings of the battery. When charging, the fluid heats and expands and you could have a boil over if you overfill. Be careful not to flush grass or dirt into the battery cell, and it is best to fill them AFTER you have cleaned the batteries. There may be acid residue on the surface of the batteries so do not touch your clothing. Wash your hands thoroughly when you are finished.
Cleaning your batteries and its compartment are important. Use a garden hose to flush the batteries off, wire brush the terminals, and use baking soda sprinkled on the top of the batteries to neutralize any acid residue. A mixture of dirt and acid can actually make an electrical connection between your battery posts that drains the batteries as if the cart is running. You should clean your batteries and compartment and check fluid every 30 days.
Your golf cart batteries should be charged with each use and not be allowed to fully discharge or “deep cycle” for longest life. If you use your cart all morning, consider a boost charge while you are eating your lunch for maximum battery life and range. An 80% recharge can be accomplished in 2 hours but the last 20% can take 6 hours or more.
If you interrupt a charge mid term, be sure to unplug the AC cord before you unplug from the cart.
Most chargers today are fully automatic, but if you are using a manual timer model, charge the cart three times more than you actually drive the cart.
1. Fully charge the batteries in an environment of greater than 45 F.
In the Midwest, if you do this in October or November, you can leave the cart in an unheated storage area till March with no other attention needed. If you are storing the cart in a heated storage area, you must recharge every 30 days.
Due to the potential of lighting or power surge damage, we do not advise leaving the charger connected to the cart for an extended period.
On older resistor controlled golf carts, try to operate with the pedal to the floor for best range. On newer, solid-state carts, it is not important.
When replacing batteries, do not go to the local auto parts store, Sears or Wal-Mart as these batteries are inferior to the to the brands your golf cart professional carry and you can expect substantially less life and a higher overall cost.