Most golf carts run on lead-acid batteries (although this is changing), much like other normal vehicles do. However, the difference is that a battery for a golf cart is usually of 6, 8, or 12 volt deep-cycle lead acid battery, whereas a normal vehicle uses a 12-volt starter or ignition battery.
Moreover, the battery for a cart does not recharge itself as the vehicle runs like batteries in cars do (cars have alternators). Therefore, regular use will drain the battery which, in turn, may shorten its life. That being said…
Here are 6 Tips to Making Your Golf Cart Batteries Last Longer.
1. Always Use Distilled Water
Battery maintenance is best done in a well-ventilated area on a plain and level surface. After removing the battery cells’ plastic caps, top off each cell’s reservoirs with distilled water. Never use plain or tap water. Also, never allow the cell’s fluid level to dip below its plates. In addition, never let the level of water in the battery be too high. As in, it should never be touching the plastic lip that goes down into the battery from the plastic cap. Just enough to make the batteries submerged is perfect. Too much can lead to acid overflow on to the top of the batteries and potentially damaging the garage floor below.
2. Use a Proper Battery Charger
Attach the battery to a 3-phase charger, ensuring that the charger’s positive lead is attached to the battery’s red or positive pole and negative lead is joined with the negative pole. It’s also prudent to charge the battery after every time the golf cart is used.
3. Trickle Charge the Battery
If you’re going to store your battery for a long time, use a trickle charger to keep charging it while it’s being stored. Using a solar charger also works and prolongs the battery’s life. For a good trickle charger, we recommend a Battery MINDer produced by VDC Electronics.
4. Prevent Corrosion
Corrosion of the battery’s connections and posts is a major factor in shortening its life. That’s why you need to ensure that the battery is never discharged for more than seventy percent of its rated reserve capacity. This is because the longer it takes to recharge, the more it creates heat and destroys itself gradually by eroding its plates.
5. Pay More to Last More
Quality matters. Cheaper batteries have much shorter life spans compared to quality golf cart batteries that cost more. The latter may last up to 10 years if maintained properly. So, you end up gaining in the long run even if your initial investment is high. Also, be on the lookout for tax cuts from time to time. These batteries are often used in renewable energy projects.
6. Use Anti-Corrosion Lubricants
The acid in a golf cart battery is one of the main agents for corroding its internal parts. In order to prevent this, coat its wire lugs, terminals, nuts, and bolts with any quality non-hardening sealant. A thin layer of pure Vaseline or petroleum jelly on the battery’s terminals also provides extra protection. Finally, sealing any exposed wires at the terminal lugs with submersible rubber tape also extends the battery life. These products can typically be found at your local auto parts store.
Though vehicular batteries are made similarly and out of similar materials, when used in golf carts, the way they are used is different. The maintenance of golf batteries will be somewhat similar to maintaining other batteries. However a couple of things are different. Follow the above mentioned tips to keep your golf cart batteries, in turn your golf cart, in prime working condition.