To keep your golf cart running smoothly, golf cart battery maintenance is a must.
It is wise to develop and keep a schedule for maintaining golf cart batteries because the lead plates in batteries must be submerged in the correct amount of water — at all times. If the water level is not maintained regularly then the batteries may catch on fire.
Depending on how frequently the golf cart is used, a battery maintenance check may be a weekly or monthly routine. If a golf cart is used occasionally, then battery maintenance every 10-14 days may be adequate.
If a golf cart is being stored during the “off season” and not being used, then a monthly battery check would probably be adequate. It is best to determine your own schedule for your golf cart battery maintenance based on how frequently you use your cart.
Most golf carts are powered by six lead-acid batteries stored underneath the front seat.
The acid from the batteries is poisonous and can cause severe burns, avoid contact with clothes and skin. Also, the acid is extremely corrosive, so take care to avoid spilling the acid on the body and chassis of the golf cart.
When preparing to clean golf cart batteries, it is important to take the necessary precautions, including:
- Wearing protective clothing, including goggles and acid proof gloves
- Taking off all jewelry, including rings and watches
- Working in a well ventilated area
- Refraining from smoking within the vicinity
Make sure that the vent caps are secure.
Examine the batteries to make sure that they are free of cracks, check the container and the top of the battery.
Battery connections should be clean, without dirt or any leaking fluid.
Replace damaged batteries immediately.
Clean the battery tops with a water and baking soda solution. This solution works as a neutralizing agent for any acid that spills to help curb further corrosive damage.
Make sure that when cleaning the battery tops that no cleaning solution or foreign substances (dirt, grass, etc…) get into the battery. When the battery tops are sufficiently clean, rinse with distilled water and dry off with a cloth.
Regular watering is needed for golf cart batteries because the water evaporates. The speed with which the water evaporates depends on the your golf cart usage and charging.
The water levels should be about 1/2 inch above the lead plates in the battery or to the level indicator below the fill cap.
Add water after fully charging the battery, unless the lead plates are not submerged in water prior to charging. Adding water after charging will account for the evaporation that occurs during the charging process.
Do not use mineral water or tap water — distilled water is best because minerals will damage the lead plates.
Do not overfill the battery with water. The liquid rises when gassing occurs and when charging; this could cause the acid in the battery to boil over and spill onto the metal plates, chassis, and framework of the cart — causing corrosion and eventually rust.
Note: To aid in golf cart battery maintenance, many people use a battery watering system that can be purchased from your local dealer.
You would clean the battery terminal and inside the cable clamps with a post and clamp solution.
After cleaning, lightly coat batteries with petroleum jelly (or battery terminal anti-corrosion gel) to help prevent corrosion.
Being diligent in keeping your batteries in good health is crucial to ensuring the best golf cart performance. It only takes a couple of minutes to make sure that your investment is properly cared for.
For safe and proper golf cart battery maintenance remember this list:
- Do wear protective clothing, including goggles and acid proof gloves
- Do take off all jewelry
- Do work in a well ventilated area
- Do not smoke in the vicinity of battery maintenance
- Do not use water high in minerals
- Do not over-fill the battery cell with water
- Do not expose your lead plates to air
- Do not add acid to the batteries – ever
- Do not use solvents or sprays or other chemical solutions