Although there are plenty of new options and technologies out there for electric golf carts like lithium, a large number of electric golf carts are still powered by 6 lead-acid batteries.
A 36 volt system has six 6 volt deep cycle batteries and a 48 volt system has six 8 volt golf cart batteries. This type of golf cart battery must have distilled water added on a regular basis. Each golf cart owner uses their cart differently and this pattern will determine how often the batteries will need to be maintained. You can read more about deep cycle batteries and see what they look like.
If you utilize your golf car 5 – 7 days per week playing golf, working around the house, or on the job then you must check the water level in each battery every 10 – 14 days. If you use it less than that then it is important to check your batteries at least once a month. It is not recommended that you add any additional acid to any battery.
1. Don’t Overfill the Batteries
Do not over fill the batteries. Fill each battery cell to within about one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch from the lower lip of the fill hole. This will allow the battery to “breathe” during the charging process. Distilled water should be added, if needed, after the charging cycle has been completed unless the tops of the internal plates are exposed. If you over fill the battery it can cause the battery to overflow during the charging cycle and allow acid from the battery to get on the golf carts body, chassis, frame work, and more then the corrosion and rusting process could begin.
To help with the watering of your golf cart batteries many people utilize a battery watering system that can be purchased from your local dealer or from the many online dealers. Before charging you should inspect the batteries. Visually check all terminals for frayed contacts and loose or damaged terminals. Inspect all battery terminals to insure that they are clean (free of corrosion) and each battery wire is tight and securely fastened to battery post.
2. Keep Batteries Fully Charged in Off Season
During the “off season” the golf cart batteries should remain fully charged. Once the batteries are charged then the golf cart should be stored in a covered area. Check the batteries during the “off season” at least once every 30 days. The batteries should be recharged and the golf cart charger should be disconnect once charging is complete.
3. Do Not Leave Battery Charger Plugged In
It is not recommended that you leave the battery charger connected to the golf cart during “off season” storage. It is also important to keep your golf car batteries clean and free of all debris. They should be washed and neutralized with a water and baking soda solution.
Types of Batteries
What other types of golf batteries are out there? There are four major types, and flooded lead acid batteries are the most popular. Other types include AGM lead acid batteries, gel lead acid batteries, and lithium-ion golf cart batteries. It should be mentioned that golf carts that use flooded lead batteries can also use lithium-ion batteries. All that’s required is a little retrofitting.
When comparing lithium-ion batteries and their more popular counterparts, it’s important to notice the differences. One con to lithium-ion batteries is they simply cost more money. Yet there are many benefits to lithium-ion batteries, including the fact that they require absolutely zero maintenance. They also weigh less, last longer, and they don’t lose power when voltage dips.
When you are buying golf cart batteries, you want the best. Therefore, it is imperative that you know about the two power features you need to be on the lookout for when making your purchase decision. These two power features are amperage and voltage. Voltage options were discussed, and it’s important to know that voltage means how much power the battery provides. Amperage is about how fast the batter power is used.
A golf cart battery that provides high amperage means it is going to last longer on a charge. You don’t have to worry so much about the golf cart dying on you mid-round. When looking at golf cart batteries, it’s also important to make note of a golf cart’s electrical drive system. It was mentioned that golf carts either take 6V, 8V, or 12V batteries. How many volts does an electrical drive system include? An electrical drive system is either going to be 36V or 48V.
When it comes to the charger for your golf cart and the golf cart itself, voltage needs to match. Underpowered and overpowered chargers are going to cause you problems. For example, overpowered chargers cause corrosion on positive plates, and underpowered chargers cause corrosion on negative plates. Both are going to have a negative impact on the durability of batteries and their chargers.
How long do golf batteries last? Ultimately, you can expect golf batteries to last between 5 and 6 years. Naturally, regular maintenance is required to help them achieve their expected life span. You want to prevent oxidation, and always be on the lookout for frayed cables.
Purchasing the right golf cart batteries is important when replacements are required. Remember the four types, and take a look at the increasingly popular lithium-ion batteries. They are taking over the market. Always use a soft bristle brush and an anti-corrosive cleaner when performing maintenance on your golf cart batteries. Additionally, never overcharge or deep charge your batteries.
Seasoned cart owners would agree that it really only takes a few minutes of your time to maintain your golf cart batteries and when properly cared for they’ll give you many years of quality performance which, in return, will save you a lot of money by not having to buy new golf cart batteries or a charger for many years.