A very real frustration among golfers is the performance of their golf cart. Golf cart batteries can be fickle and may not last long if cared for improperly, but we’re here to help.
Read on to learn how to extend your golf cart battery lifespan.
Why Is Golf Cart Battery Lifespan Important?
Trouble-free golf carts can enhance a round of golf. They make getting around the course easy and comfortable. They can make a significant difference to the pace of golf on a course by speeding up play, something that’s important to all golfers.
All kinds of people use golf carts and they are especially helpful to people with limited mobility. A golf cart can make it possible for older and less mobile golfers to enjoy golf for many more years that if they had to walk or carry clubs. Having reliable golf carts is important to all golfers.
The investment that a golfer makes in a golf cart is significant. Keeping it running reliably is important. The batteries are a significant component in the investment and so it’s important to get the best performance from them.
Why Do Golf Cart Batteries Fail?
Golf batteries fail for a number of reasons. Sometimes the batteries themselves are unsuitable or of poor quality. More often the batteries are not charged properly and lastly, battery maintenance is inadequate.
The right batteries charged properly and looked after should give long and reliable service.
Buy the Right Golf Cart Battery
The batteries used in golf carts are different from the type used in a car. These deep cycle batteries are designed to be discharged and recharged many times. They are specifically designed so that they can be used for a round or two of golf and then charged up again before the next round of golf.
Golf cart batteries provide a regular current over the duration of the round of golf. They usually come in groups of 6-volt, 8-volt or 12-volt batteries. These batteries work in combinations so that a 36-volt cart can have six 6-volt batteries.
Make sure you get the right voltage batteries for your cart. Some take 6-volt and others 8-volt batteries.
Buy a quality battery for longer life. Lower quality batteries degrade faster and they have shorter lives. Don’t expect a premium quality battery to last any longer than a cheap one if you don’t take care of it.
Check and compare the cycle life of any brands you are considering. The cycle life describes the number of times the battery can be discharged or used and then re-charged before it will fail.
How long do golf cart batteries last? Work out how many times a month you play golf and you can calculate how many months the battery is expected to last.
Charging Your Golf Cart Battery
Although golf cart batteries are designed to be deeply discharged and re-charged the battery life is improved if they are charged at about 50% discharge.
Keep your golf cart battery in the top 50% of charge so that it takes less time to re-charge it. Long re-charge durations cause the battery to heat up and it is this heat that degrades the battery components and shortens the battery life.
How do you know what the discharge percentage is for your golf cart battery? Buy a digital charge meter that can measure the battery status for your golf cart.
For most practical purposes you will need to re-charge your golf cart batteries after every game of golf. Make it part of your post-game routine. Clean your shoes, put away your clubs and put your golf cart on charge.
If you leave your battery for long periods between using it then you need to maintain the charge. Charge the battery every month or so, even if you are not using it.
Maintaining Your Golf Cart Battery
Extending your golf cart battery life is as much about looking after the batteries as having the most expensive brand. Clean the terminals on your battery. Don’t allow any corrosion to build up.
Use a hard-bristled brush. Dip it in a solution of baking soda and water and scrub the terminals. Rinse the solution off and dry everything with a cloth.
Check the cables and replace any that are in poor condition. Coat terminals in petroleum jelly to protect them from corrosion. Fix any loose connections.
Check water levels in your batteries. Underwatering and overwatering can cause problems for your battery and reduce golf cart battery life. If the water falls below the top of the plates, the exposed part can be damaged.
Use a flashlight to inspect the water level and don’t charge the battery if the water level is too low. Top up the battery with distilled water first.
If the plates are not exposed then fill the batteries after charging. Top them up to 1/4 inch above the plate unless your golf cart battery manufacturer’s instructions are different. Always use distilled water and never water from the mains supply.
Wear gloves and goggles before you open the battery cells. They will protect you from the corrosive acid. Use an automatic shut off battery filler if possible for maximum safety.
A Long and Happy Life
The biggest cost on a golf cart is the batteries. The cart may go on for years but poor golf cart battery care and maintenance will mean you are constantly replacing batteries. This is expensive and unnecessary.
Follow these simple care instructions for a long and happy golf cart battery lifespan and many rounds of golfing pleasure.
To learn more about golf carts, click here.