Electric golf carts will have either 6 or 8 lead-acid batteries. The batteries are installed under the seat. Most of the batteries used in golf carts are not maintenance free as owners usually assume. There are some items needed to properly care for your golf cart batteries. The suggested items are:
- a wrench
- distilled water
- voltmeter to measure the voltage of the batteries
- a hydrometer to measure the electrolyte solution
- a post cleaner to make sure you have good contact points
- baking soda
- petroleum jelly
- goggle and gloves for safety
The water and baking soda will neutralize the acid. You want those materials nearby when working on batteries should a spill occur. As indicated above, goggles and acid proof gloves are important to protect your eyes and skin. Old clothes should be warn because even a small splatter of the acid will eat through cloth.
Inspect the Golf Cart Batteries
The first and easiest thing to do is inspect the outside of the battery visually. The battery should have no cracks on the outside of the container. The posts and the connections should be clean. There should be no corrosion on the posts. The posts should also be dry as there is no reason for fluids to exist on the post.
Clean the Golf Cart Battery
It is important to clean the top of the battery before opening the vent caps. Use a solution of baking soda and water to clean the battery. Do NOT use cleaning solutions as these can react with the acid and cause some nasty reactions. It’s a good idea to put a thin coat of petroleum jelly on the posts before reconnecting them.
Charging the Batteries
Before charging the batteries make sure that there is at least enough water to cover the plates. The batteries can then be fully charged. At that time the water can be topped off in the batteries. The water being used should be distilled water. Most tap water is not recommended because of the high mineral content. Those minerals will shorten the life of the battery.
The most important thing is to follow the manufactures directions for maintenance.
Testing the Charge
Leave the battery set for at least twelve hours. It is recommended that the surface charge be discharged. The best way to do this is to leave the headlight on for several minutes. Turn the light off and the battery can be tested. Use the hydrometer to measure the specific gravity of the waster inside the battery. The voltmeter can be used to measure the voltage. The table below shows the acceptable battery levels.
|State of Charge||Specific Gravity||Voltage|
If the battery is no longer usable, proper disposal of golf cart batteries is highly suggested from both a legal and ethical standpoint. We have included a video to show some of the proper maintenance needed for a golf cart battery. Remember to bookmark this page to come back later and view the video numerous times.