Golf cart battery maintenance is very important to get the best possible performance out of your golf cart. Whether you have an Evolution, ACG, EZ GO, Club Car, Moke or Yamaha golf cart, or any one of the other golf cart models available, below are our what we feel are the top eight golf cart battery maintenance tips to keep any golf cart or golf car batteries in excellent operating condition.
1) Charge your batteries for 8 to 10 hours with the proper style of golf cart battery charger. This is based on an 80% discharge, so at the time of charging the golf cart batteries would still be 20% charged. 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. If you are looking to buy a high quality golf cart charger that you can plug in and forget about overnight (no manual shut off needed), check out the large selection of automatic Golf Car Chargers, or with many of the ACG and Evolution golf cars just plug the cart in and walk away.
- Newly purchased batteries require a full charge before use.
- New batteries need to be cycled several times (20 – 50 cycles, depending on type) before reaching full capacity.
- Usage should be limited during this period.
2) Proper golf cart battery maintenance is essential to proper operation of your car. 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 (no jewelry).
You can also spray the cables with anti-corrosive spray to prevent corrosion and rust.
- Battery connectors should be kept tight at all times.
- Periodic inspection is recommended.
- Vent caps should remain in place and tight at all times during vehicle operation and charging.
3) During golf cart battery maintenance, remember to fill all golf cart battery cells ONLY AFTER charging, and do not over fill. Fill battery cells (aka water fill holes) with distilled water (not tap water) ¼ to ½ inch above the plates. With ¼ inch of water you will have to check your batteries more often, but at ½ inch you’ll likely have more acid accumulation on the tops of the batteries. Either level is acceptable; it’s really your call.
- Distilled or treated water should be used to replenish batteries. Care should be taken to avoid metallic contamination (iron).
- Battery should be kept clean from all dirt and corrosion.
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 in to your golf cart while you are away.
- Batteries should not be discharged below 80% of their rated capacity for best battery life. Properly charging your batteries will help avoid excessive discharge.
- As batteries age, their maintenance requirements changes as well. Usually older batteries needed watered more often and require longer charging times. The capacity also is reduced.
5) Do not over charge 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 there capacity and shorten their life span.
6) 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. Imbalance could mean the need for equalizing, and is also 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.
7) Do not charge frozen batteries.
Also avoid charging batteries above 120°F or ambient temperature, whichever is higher.
8) Record the battery voltage of each golf cart battery cell for future reference.
- 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.
- An oversized charger will cause excessive gassing and heat which could cause explosions or other damage to the batteries or to your golf car.
Golf cart batteries should last for 5-6 years. So after 5-6 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 Powertron or Trojan Battery brands for best results.