Nothing is more frustrating than to be out playing a great round of golf with friends only to find yourself stranded at the 12th hole because of dead batteries! The same goes for a fun-filled afternoon cruising around with friends and family on the cart, only to find yourself stuck far from home with dead batteries, how embarrassing! The number one reason for premature battery failure is LACK OF MAINTENANCE. Maintaining batteries is definitely not on the top of the list of fun things to do but if you follow these few simple steps your batteries will perform reliably for many years!
Get Rid Of That Corrosion
All of that powdery white stuff on your batteries is corrosion. Corrosion forms due to the chemical reaction that takes place between the lead battery post and the gasses being emitted from the batteries during the charging process. Over time, corrosion can eat away at your battery cables and battery terminals causing extensive electrical issues with your golf cart.
Clean the corrosion from the terminals using a SMALL amount of baking soda. Sprinkle the baking soda on the terminal connections and add a small amount of water to it. The baking soda will foam up and then you can rinse away the corrosion. If the build up is heavy, a small brass brush can help. Take care to not get any baking soda INSIDE the battery, it will neutralize the acid and damage the battery.
Checking The Water Level
Checking the water level inside your batteries is probably the most important step to get the maximum amount of life from your batteries. Once a battery gets low on water, the damage starts immediately. While it may not be completely ruined right away, a battery that is charged while low on water has had it's life reduced SIGNIFICANTLY. Furthermore, a battery that is extremely low on water can EXPLODE if the battery shorts out internally!
Remove the battery cell caps if your battery has them. The water level should be up to the bottom of the lip that extends down into the golf cart batteries. DO NOT overfill your batteries as the acid that spills out could damage battery trays or anything else it comes in contact with.
Keep Those Connections Tight
Making sure your battery connections are tight can prevent possible catastrophic battery failure! A loose battery connection can create an extreme amount of electrical resistance at the battery terminal. With electrical resistance, comes HEAT! That extreme heat will melt the lead battery terminal and ruin the battery.
Over time, vibration can loosen the battery connection causing intermittent electrical problems and possibly damage the battery terminals. DO NOT over tighten the connection as this could cause damage to the battery post or terminal.
Keep The Batteries Charged
DO NOT store your cart with discharged batteries. Keeping your batteries fully charged at all times will help prevent sulfation from forming inside your batteries.Discharged batteries will start to sulfate immediately, that process is only slowed down by charging them after EVERY use!
Also, regular charging (even when a battery is only slightly discharged) will create less heat and use less water. This means your maintenance will be reduced and your batteries will be happier! Once a battery has sulfated, it will never recharge and perform at full capacity and will fail prematurely.
Let's Wrap This Up
Batteries are by far the most expensive part of owning an electric golf cart. Following the above tips and battery maintenance steps will ensure you get the most life from your batteries! Should you have any questions regarding proper battery maintenance or would like us to take care of it for you, feel free to contact our expert staff at Performance Golf Carts. Remember, take care of your batteries and they will take care of you!