Properly Maintenance Your Golf Cart Battery
Golf cart battery maintenance is very important to get the best possible performance out of your golf cart. Whether you have an Evolution, ACG, EZ GO, Club Car, Moke or Yamaha golf cart, or any one of the other golf cart models available, below are our what we feel are the top eight golf cart battery maintenance tips to keep any golf cart or golf car batteries in excellent operating condition.
1. Charge your battery for 8 – 10 hours with the proper style of golf cart battery charger.
This is based on an 80% discharge, so at the time of charging the golf cart batteries would still be 20% charged. The best practice is to charge overnight after you are done using your cart for the day. Even if you only used the cart for 5 minutes, you’ll want to give the golf cart batteries a good charge. If you are looking to buy a high quality golf cart charger that you can plug in and forget about overnight (no manual shut off needed), check out the large selection of automatic Golf Car Chargers, or with many of the ACG and Evolution golf cars just plug the cart in and walk away.
- Newly purchased batteries require a full charge before use.
- New batteries need to be cycled several times (20 – 50 cycles, depending on type) before reaching full capacity.
- Usage should be limited during this period.
2. Keep the top of each golf cart battery dry, clean and tight.
Keep the tops of each golf cart battery dry, clean and tight. You can clean the batteries with a bristle brush and a solution of baking soda and water, but definitely wear eye protection and rubber gloves (no jewelry). You can also spray the cables with anti-corrosive spray to prevent corrosion and rust.
- Battery connectors should be kept tight at all times.
- Periodic inspection is recommended.
- Vent caps should remain in place and tight at all times during vehicle operation and charging.
3. Remember to fill all golf cart battery cells ONLY AFTER charging, but do not over fill.
Fill battery cells (aka water fill holes) with distilled water (not tap water) ¼ to ½ inch above the plates. With ¼ inch of water you will have to check your batteries more often, but at ½ inch you’ll likely have more acid accumulation on the tops of the batteries. Either level is acceptable; it’s really your call.
- Distilled or treated water should be used to replenish batteries. Care should be taken to avoid metallic contamination (iron).
- Battery should be kept clean from all dirt and corrosion.
4. To keep your golf car battery at maximum capacity, use golf cart batteries often.
Always remember to do a refresh charge every 45 to 60 days, and even more frequently in hotter climates. This can be difficult to do if you use your golf cart only on a seasonal basis, but if you use a golf cart battery charger with an advanced storage mode feature you’ll get an automatic refresh charge on a regular basis as long as the charger is plugged in to your golf cart while you are away.
- Batteries should not be discharged below 80% of their rated capacity for best battery life. Properly charging your batteries will help avoid excessive discharge.
- As batteries age, their maintenance requirements changes as well. Usually older batteries needed watered more often and require longer charging times. The capacity also is reduced.
5. Do not over charge your golf cart battery.
It is best if you have an automatic golf cart charger, in that way this is not a concern for you!
Batteries should be brought up to full charge at the earliest opportunity. Avoid operating batteries in a partially charged condition. This will reduce there capacity and shorten their life span.
6. Do not discharge golf cart battery beyond an 80% discharge.
We recommended that you discharge your golf cart batteries to between 50-80 percent, do not go beyond 80 percent or to the point where your golf cart batteries are completely dead since this is not beneficial for the battery life. Periodic testing is an important preventative maintenance procedure. Hydrometer readings of each cell while fully charged gives an indication of balance and true charge level. Imbalance could mean the need for equalizing, and is also sign of possible improper charging or a bad cell. Voltage tests (open circuit, charged and discharged) can locate a bad or weak battery. Load testing will pick out a bad battery when other methods fail. A weak battery will cause premature failure of companion batteries.
7. Do not charge frozen batteries.
Also avoid charging batteries above 120°F or ambient temperature, whichever is higher.
8. Record the battery voltage of each golf cart battery cell for future reference.
- Always remember to use a matched voltage charger and battery pack system. An undersized charger will never get the job done no matter how long the battery is left on a charge.
- An oversized charger will cause excessive gassing and heat which could cause explosions or other damage to the batteries or to your golf car.
Golf cart batteries should last for 5-6 years. So after 5-6 years if you’re finding your golf cart is getting sluggish, it may be time for a new set of batteries. We suggest purchasing BravaBattery Golf Cart series for best results.
9. Test The Golf Cart Battery Occasionally
Take a minute or two to test your golf cart battery every so often. All you need is a hydrometer to test the battery cells, which measures the electrolytes’ density compared to the weight. A higher specific weight tells you that there is a higher state of charge and denser presence of electrolytes. As the golf cart battery gets used, it discharges and the electrolytes’ weight decreases.
10. Use Proper Replacement Strategies
Eventually, the time will come to replace a golf cart battery. Often, you’ll notice repeat performance issues that indicate the need for battery replacement. It’s tempting to only replace the one battery that is no longer working, but try to resist that urge. When new and old batteries are charged at the same time, they do charge at different rates. Old ones charge slower, which results in the new batteries overcharging (and facing a reduced lifespan because of it). It’s best to replace all the batteries at the same time, which extends the lifespan of the new batteries.
10 Tips for Golf Cart Battery Maintenance
Properly caring for your golf cart battery will save you time and money in the long run, and provide better performance.
Golf carts are as essential as golf clubs for most golfers. Few can imagine playing the game without the convenience of a handy golf cart. And while golf carts first appeared in the 1930s, it wasn’t until two decades later that their popularity really caught on. Fast forward to 2022 and golf carts are everywhere. Besides golf courses, many golf carts also show up zipping along in smaller residential communities.
For today’s modern golf cart owner, keeping the battery at top performance is an ongoing task. One of the chief complaints golf cart owners have is how frequently their golf cart battery must be replaced. To solve this problem and save time and money, it comes down to understanding the care and maintenance of a golf cart battery that makes all the difference.
2 power features to purchase Golf cart batteries.
- The voltage (Volts or V) translates to how much power.
- The current (amps or A) translates to how fast the power goes.
Amperage is distance and time left on the charge. The higher the amperage, the further the drive per charge. For long leisurely rides, go for high voltage. For short but highly responsive rides, choose amperage.
Your electric cart will take 6, 8, or 12V batteries. Its volt electrical drive system will have a 36V or 48V system. To find out which type your cart takes, check the battery compartment. There will be 3, 4, or 6 holes. Multiply by two, and that is your cart’s voltage capability.
Don’t use Car Battery for your Golf cart
Golf cart batteries and car batteries have different requirements, standards, and maintenance needs. It can be dangerous to use car batteries in a golf cart.
Battery Water Level
- Low water level is a common problem.
- Running your cart too hard will cause the battery to heat up causing evaporation.
- Pour a proper amount of distilled water into the container that holds the battery, covering up the tops of the cells as you do. Stop when you reach the proper fill line or just when the cells get covered.
Don’t Overcharge the Battery
- With a trickle charger and other types of low-voltage options, you can leave iton longer, as they turn off when the battery reaches a full charge.
- A battery needs to discharge occasionally to keep its full power and keeping it fully charged will damage cells.
Avoid Driving Too Hard
- It’s not a good idea to push too hard up hills, for instance, as this causes the battery to drain too quickly.
- Staying on a straighter course is easier on your cart’s battery.
Cold Weather Can Drain Your Battery
- You probably don’t run your golf cart too often in cold weather, so use a trickle charger to help keep your battery healthy.
- Even with a trickle charger cold weather can cause your battery to drain more quickly, so keep your storage area temperature above freezing.
Battery Charger Failure
- Sometimes, issues with the battery are due to battery charger failure. The charger may be old and in need of replacing.
- It can also happen if your charger is not appropriate for your cart or if you try to use one that does not have the proper voltage.
Dead Cells in the Battery
- Sometimes a battery can have dead cells within its container causing it to drain too fast. Test for this problem by using a hydrometer attached to your terminals to create a load test to gauge where weaknesses may exist in your battery.
- If more than one cell is dead or if the cell is an important one and your battery cannot take on a full charge, you will need to buy a new battery.
Use A-Gauge Battery
- Battery gauges are a helpful tool for monitoring the depth of discharge. Using this information can help you recharge the battery in a timely manner (before it fully drains).
- If you own an older model, however, battery gauges do not always give the most accurate reading. A better tool for you will be a battery load tester.
Loose Contacts in Your Terminals
- The terminals on your golf cart battery are designed to control the electrical flow, but these terminals only operate well if they’re properly connected.
- Loose connections on the terminals cause your battery to drain quickly which could leave you stranded on the road.
- Often simply tightening the connection on your wires will fix the draining issue.
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