Golf Cart Batteries – Maintenance And Replacement

It’s time to pop the hood and determine if the heart of your electric golf cart survived the slumber, or deep freeze, of winter. Most deep cycle 6 volt and 8 volt golf cart batteries will survive and lead a productive life for 2 to 5 years, but harsh conditions such as extreme cold, or heat, can significantly shorten the lifespan of even the most robust battery. Lack of “cycling” the battery, discharging and recharging, can also lead to an early demise.

There are a few tools that you will need in order to prepare to check and maintain your deep cycle, 6 and 8 volt batteries:

o Voltmeter
o Goggles and Gloves
o Post / Clamp Cleaner
o Hydrometer
o Distilled Water, Baking Soda and Petroleum Jelly

Be sure to wear protective gear while handling any battery and remove all jewelry, as the jewelry may create an arc between battery posts, resulting in serious injury. Do not allow battery acid that may have leaked from the batteries to come into contact with your skin. Rinse your skin immediately should contact occur. The use of baking soda will neutralize any spilled battery acid, and any corrosion on, or around, the battery posts. Never add acid to any battery, or smoke while replacing batteries. Batteries emit hydrogen gas that is extremely flammable and explosive in confined areas.

1) Examine appearance of batteries. Check for cracks. Battery posts should be free of corrosion. (Damaged, leaking, or bulging batteries should be replaced.)
2) Tighten vent caps and remove any dirt and debris from the top of the battery using baking soda. Rinse with water and dry with a cloth. (Never use cleansers or solvents.)
3) Disconnect clamps. Clean the battery terminals and clamps with a post and clamp cleaner.
4) Apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly to battery posts and reconnect clamps.

Add water only after fully charging your golf cart batteries. Before charging, water should be covering the plates inside the battery. If the battery is fully or partially discharged, the water level should be above the battery plates.

o Never over-fill your batteries or allow battery plates to be exposed to air.
o Only use distilled water.
o Routinely check your water level, adding just enough to cover the battery plates.

It is important to review the owner’s manual when performing maintenance on your golf cart. Routine maintenance of your batteries will ensure peak performance for years to come.

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