Golf cart battery maintenance is very important to get the best possible performance out of your golf cart.
Whether you have a Club Car, Yamaha, EZGO or any one of the other golf cart models available, below are the top golf cart battery maintenance tips to keep any golf cart or golf car batteries in excellent operating condition.
1) Charge your batteries fully after each period of use. Charge your batteries for 8 to 10 hours with the proper style of golf cart battery charger. 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.
Allowing your batteries to sit in a low state of charge for extended periods will decrease their capacity and life. 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.
2) Cleaning Proper golf cart battery maintenance is essential to the proper operation of your car. Batteries seem to attract dust, dirt, and grime. Keeping them clean will help spot signs of trouble when they appear and avoid problems associated with grime.
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.
You can also spray the cables with anti-corrosive spray to prevent corrosion and rust.
- Battery connectors should be kept tight at all times.
- A periodic inspection is recommended.
- Vent caps should remain in place and tight at all times during vehicle operation and charging.
3) Water your batteries regularly.
Flooded, or wet cell batteries require watering periodically. Check your batteries once a month after installation to determine the proper watering schedule. Add water after fully charging the battery and use distilled water.More importantly, watering must be done at the right time and in the right amount or the battery’s performance and longevity suffers.
Water should always be added after fully charging the battery. Prior to charging, there should be enough water to cover the plates. If the battery has been discharged (partially or fully), the water level should also be above the plates. Keeping the water at the correct level after a full charge will prevent having to worry about the water level at a different state of charge.
Depending on the local climate, charging methods, application, etc., We recommend batteries be checked once a month until you get a feel for how often your batteries are need watering.
4) To keep your golf car batteries 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 into your golf cart while you are away.
- Batteries should not be discharged below 80% of their rated capacity for the best battery life. Properly charging your batteries will help avoid excessive discharge.
- As batteries age, their maintenance requirements change as well. Usually, older batteries needed water more often and require longer charging times. The capacity also is reduced.
5) Storage Periods of inactivity can be extremely harmful to lead-acid batteries. When placing a battery into storage, follow the recommendations below to ensure that the battery remains healthy and ready for use.
NOTE: Storing, charging or operating batteries on concrete is perfectly OK.
Step-By-Step Storage Procedure
- Completely charge the battery before storing it.
- Store the battery in a cool, dry location, protected from the elements.
- During storage, monitor the specific gravity (flooded) or voltage. Batteries in storage should be given a boost charge when they show a 70% charge or less.
- Completely charge the battery before re-activating
The Most Important Things to Avoid
- Freezing. Avoid locations where freezing temperature are expected. Keeping a battery at a high state of charge will also prevent freezing. Freezing results in irreparable damage to a battery’s plates and container.
- Heat. Avoid direct exposure to heat sources, such as radiators or space heaters. Temperatures above 80° F (26.6º C) accelerate the battery’s self-discharge characteristics.
6) Do not overcharge your golf cart batteries. 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 their capacity and shorten their life span.
7) Do not discharge golf cart batteries 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. An imbalance could mean the need for equalizing and is also a 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.
8) Record the battery voltage of each golf cart battery cell for future reference.
Important Things to Remember
- Do not let the plates get exposed to air. This will damage (corrode) the plates.
- Do not fill the water level in the filling well to the cap. This most likely will cause the battery to overflow acid, consequently losing capacity and causing a corrosive mess.
- Do not use water with high mineral content. Use distilled or deionized water only.
Golf cart batteries should last for 4-5years. So after 4-5 years if you’re finding your golf cart is getting sluggish, it may be time for a new set of batteries. We suggest purchasing either Trojan or US Battery brands for the best results. An oversized charger will cause excessive gassing and heat which could cause explosions or other damage to the batteries or to your golf car. Store and operate your batteries in a cool, dry place. For every 18° F (10° C) rise above room temperature (77° F or 25° C), battery life decreases by 50%.