Properly caring for your golf cart battery will save you time and money in the long run, and provide better performance.
Golf carts are as essential as golf clubs for most golfers. Few can imagine playing the game without the convenience of a handy golf cart. And while golf carts first appeared in the 1930s, it wasn’t until two decades later that their popularity really caught on. Fast forward to 2022 and golf carts are everywhere. Besides golf courses, many golf carts also show up zipping along in smaller residential communities.
For today’s modern golf cart owner, keeping the battery at top performance is an ongoing task. One of the chief complaints golf cart owners have is how frequently their golf cart battery must be replaced. To solve this problem and save time and money, it comes down to understanding the care and maintenance of a golf cart battery that makes all the difference.
While it may seem like a simple thing to care for your golf cart battery, the fact is there are many details. Knowing how a battery functions will help you maximize its life. The following guidelines will help you keep your battery at its best.
Battery Water Level
- Low water level is a common problem.
- Running your cart too hard will cause the battery to heat up causing evaporation.
- Pour a proper amount of distilled water into the container that holds the battery, covering up the tops of the cells as you do. Stop when you reach the proper fill line or just when the cells get covered.
Don’t Overcharge the Battery
- With a trickle charger and other types of low-voltage options, you can leave iton longer, as they turn off when the battery reaches a full charge.
- A battery needs to discharge occasionally to keep its full power and keeping it fully charged will damage cells.
Avoid Driving Too Hard
- It’s not a good idea to push too hard up hills, for instance, as this causes the battery to drain too quickly.
- Staying on a straighter course is easier on your cart’s battery.
Cold Weather Can Drain Your Battery
- You probably don’t run your golf cart too often in cold weather, so use a trickle charger to help keep your battery healthy.
- Even with a trickle charger cold weather can cause your battery to drain more quickly, so keep your storage area temperature above freezing.
Battery Charger Failure
- Sometimes, issues with the battery are due to battery charger failure. The charger may be old and in need of replacing.
- It can also happen if your charger is not appropriate for your cart or if you try to use one that does not have the proper voltage.
Vapor Lock in the Fuel Line
- This occurs in gasoline-powered golf carts when too much vapor builds up in your fuel line and causes it to lock up, making your battery discharge quickly.
- To fix this problem clear up the vapor lock in the fuel line using an appropriate cleaning tool. It’s best to have a professional handle this step for you.
Dead Cells in the Battery
- Sometimes a battery can have dead cells within its container causing it to drain too fast. Test for this problem by using a hydrometer attached to your terminals to create a load test to gauge where weaknesses may exist in your battery.
- If more than one cell is dead or if the cell is an important one and your battery cannot take on a full charge, you will need to buy a new battery.
Loose Contacts in Your Terminals
- The terminals on your golf cart battery are designed to control the electrical flow, but these terminals only operate well if they’re properly connected.
- Loose connections on the terminals cause your battery to drain quickly which could leave you stranded on the road.
- Often simply tightening the connection on your wires will fix the draining issue.
Power Is Drawn When Engine Is Off
- When you turn your golf cart off, the engine should not draw any more electricity from your battery because nothing is turned on.
- It is possible, however, your battery could still be drawing electricity and causing it to drain too fast. There may be a short in various parts of the engine that cause the battery to drain quickly.
- Use a voltmeter set to DC amps to figure out where this drain may be occurring, attaching it to your battery and checking your engine to spot any errors.
- You can fix these problems yourself, if you feel comfortable doing so, or get a mechanic to do them for you to avoid any mistakes.
Malfunctioning Voltage Regulator
- The voltage regulator is a critical part of your golf cart’s operating system and helps to ensure voltage levels remain consistent and stable.
- If it malfunctions at some point, it can trigger a host of issues.
- For example, damage to this part may cause the starter solenoid to act up and cause your battery to use too much of a charge when starting up.
- In this scenario, you need to make sure you charge the voltage regulator regularly to keep the battery voltage from getting too low.
Continental Batteries power everything from golf carts to big rigs and all the stuff in between. If it runs on a battery, contact Continental, we’re “Leading the Charge”!