Maintenance: Prepping Your Golf Cart Battery
When the sun comes out, avid golfers start thinking about the season's first round. They clean their clubs and turn to their garages to unleash the golf carts. But, before turning on that cart and its EV battery lose on the course, take a moment to make sure your golf car battery is as ready as your swing.
Following our simple tips before turning the key to your vehicle for the first time will ensure their FLA, EV AGM batteries are ready to go when you are:
Optimize Battery Storage: Charge, Check, and Activate the Switch
It's important to note that your battery should have been stored fully charged and periodically checked to ensure it maintained that charge. If your vehicle's battery voltage is too low when connected to the charger, the charger may not even turn on. You will also want to make sure that you flip the Tow/Maintenance switch to "Run" before getting started. If this switch has been left in the run position all winter, the car's battery voltage may be too low to move the car or even hold a charge.
Watering Your Battery: Do It Right
CHECK THE WATER LEVELS
The fluid levels in your battery are significant and should be checked before running or even charging your battery. When watering your battery, you should take advice from Goldilocks and get it just right. Overwatering and underwatering can both be detrimental to your battery.
Before attempting to fill your battery, it should be completely charged. Only add water to a discharged battery if the battery plates are exposed. In this instance, only add water to cover the plates. During charging service, a battery's electrolyte density solution will increase, so if you add too much water before charging, the increased electrolyte density will cause the battery to be overfilled. After the battery is fully charged, check the electrolyte levels, then add water as needed to bring them up to the correct level.
DO NOT USE TAP WATER
Regular tap water isn't going to cut your battery when filling it. Your tap water contains minerals that are harmful to your battery, and even if the amounts are small, adding it consistently over a long period can slowly cause damage. This is particularly true for water softened by water softeners which contain chlorides. Always use distilled water, a much less significant investment than a new battery, to be safe.
Inspecting Your Battery
Before powering up your golf car, take a look at the battery. Is there corrosion on the terminal? Your terminals should be clean and free of corrosion - so any discoloration or residue could indicate that the terminals are beginning to corrode. If they look dirty, remove buildup or corrosion by cleaning with water and baking soda, and try a toothbrush to get the real tough stuff. The terminals will often corrode long before the battery fails, and this corrosion can lead people to think their battery is dead when it just needs to be serviced.
You will also want to check the cables for corrosion; inspect each battery terminal, cable, and connector to ensure they are clean and secured. During the inspection, ensure no free or loosened movement of the connections to the battery terminals. Loose connections or corroded terminals can contribute to a low energy flow, create excess heat, and create safety issues.
Remember your battery's vent caps and your vehicle's battery compartment. To ensure safe and reliable performance from your car, you must provide both caps and batteries are secured and free of any damage that may affect operator safety.
And finally, keep in mind these final recommendations:
- Get safety pointers and suggestions on personal protective gear for battery maintenance.
- Learn what to look for during a visual inspection and how to properly and safely clean your battery.
- Discover which battery type requires refilling and why you should only use distilled water when refilling.
- Become familiar with battery charging tips and which chargers can optimize battery life.
- Determine if a battery watering system is right for you.
- Download the Crown Battery Spring Start-Up Guide to prepare your batteries and help them perform at their best when spring fever hits.
If you've entirely inspected your deep cycle battery, your golf cart will be ready to carry you and your golf game through the Golfing Season!
Note: the Crown Battery Spring Start-Up Guide is not intended to replace your battery's manual, which offers specific maintenance guidelines and schedules for your exact model, but as a quick general reference guide to help you get the most from your investment.