Everyone’s guilty of some mistakes with their batteries. The results of these well-intentioned actions are often dead batteries, including lead-acid models used for golf carts.
Short story: golf-cart batteries need to be replaced on a regular basis. But, you can fix those mistakes you might be unknowingly making. Avoid common habits and mistakes by understanding the science behind the power. Prolong the battery’s lifespan with just a few simple changes.
Don’t: let the battery drain down
There’s a common misconception about batteries that involves charging frequency. Many people believe they must drain the battery before it can be charged. The battery creates a memory otherwise, if it’s charged at the midway point. You’ll actually lose out on power if you don’t drain it.
This typical mistake has killed off a lot of batteries. Golf-cart batteries work better when they’re charged after being used. It doesn’t matter how long or far you drove either. If the machine was used at all in a single day, it’s time to give it a full charge.
Resting the battery on a charger
Golf-cart batteries require a specific charger. It can be either manual or automatic. Hook up the battery, and let it charge overnight. However, you’re killing the battery if the charger runs for too long.
For manual chargers, you must remove the power source as soon as it indicates a full charge. Automatic chargers are easier to use because they shut the power down with internal programming. If you continuously leave the charger on, the battery’s internal cells will break down over time.
Using an improper charger
Some people pride themselves on being able to jury-rig a charger to the golf-cart battery. However, improperly charging the battery is a sure-fire way to break it down.
In fact, these issues might occur to a battery matched to the wrong charger, such as:
- Breaking down the internal cells
- Heating the battery to an unsafe temperature
- Possible fire hazard
Ideally, use the charger designed for the battery. Purchase an extra charger so that you always have one on hand otherwise.
Forgetting to wipe the battery down
It may not seem important to wipe down the battery, but make this quick task a monthly priority. Taking a rag to the battery’s exterior and wiping it down engages your eyes. The task forces you to inspect the battery, especially when it comes to evaluating corrosion. Any white residue is suspect as corrosion. Batteries die back at rapid paces when corrosion grows out of control.
Overlooking the water aspect
Your golf-cart battery depends on a level of water to keep up with electrical flow. If the electrolytes don’t have enough water, the battery will break down and fail to start. As you wipe the battery down each month, take a look at the water level. Fill it with distilled water if the level is too low. The battery lasts much longer when it has the resources to continue charging and powering up your vehicle.
Off-Roading with the golf cart
It’s a fact that some golf carts can go as fast as 25 miles per hour. With this speed, the cart might be taken on less-than-ideal terrains, such as:
- Bumpy rides
- Uphill areas
- Downhill sprints
Golf-cart batteries are designed to work on a level surface, however. You can certainly take the battery off-roading at some point, but it may not bring you back from your journey. The battery can break down under such pressure.
Leaving the accessories on
Both car- and golf-cart batteries have the same issues with electrical accessories: leaving the items in the “on” position kills the battery over time. Be a responsible driver by shutting off every accessory before turning off the golf cart. Upon ignition next time, the battery simply needs to power the motor instead of the auxilary devices.
Don’t forget to pose your questions to our team at Northeast Battery when you aren’t sure of the answers. Our team searches for the most honest answers to your complex queries. Saving your golf cart batteries for another run is our goal. Leaving you without power isn’t acceptable in our world.