How to Refurbish Golf Car Batteries

By Larry Parr

The problem with golf cart batteries is that they are not recharged as they are being used. This constant discharging causes a sulfur buildup on the lead plates in the battery, which can reduce the battery's ability to take a charge. This can make what is potentially still a good battery appear to be virtually dead. Fortunately you can clean the sulfur off the plates relatively simply and very inexpensively. This can restore an otherwise perfectly fine battery and extend the life of your batteries several months or even a year or more.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Step 1
Disconnect the battery cables from the battery using your crescent wrench. Use your crescent wrench to remove the nut holding the battery strap in place and then lift the battery out of the cart and place it on a flat surface in a well-ventilated area.
Step 2
Remove the plastic caps from each cell of the battery. If one or more cells are low on fluid, use your turkey baster to fill the cell(s) with distilled water. Do NOT use tap water as the chemicals in tap water can ruin your battery.
Step 3
Plug in your battery charger and connect it to the battery. Be certain to connect the red cable to the positive (+) terminal of the battery and the black cable to the negative (-) post. Set the charger to 2.3 or 2.35 volts and then turn the charger on and allow it to charge the battery overnight. If you are lucky this is all you will need to do. If your battery still will not accept a charge go to Step 4.
Step 4
Mix 10 full tablespoons of Epsom salts into one quart of water that has been warmed in the microwave in a glass container. Stir until the salts have dissolved.
Step 5
Remove approximately half of the fluid from each cell of the batter with your turkey baster and then refill the cells with the Epsom salts mixture. Replace the battery caps and shake the battery to mix the Epsom salts in each cell.
Step 6
Remove the plastic caps from each cell and reattach the battery charger just as you did in Step 3. Follow the directions in Step 3 for recharging your battery overnight.
Step 7
Check to see if your battery has taken a charge. If not, then it is probable that the lead plates in your battery are too old and dissolved and the battery is no good. However, if the battery has taken a charge you will want to turn off the battery charger and remove approximately three-fourths of the liquid from each cell using your turkey baster. Refill each cell with new battery acid that you purchased from your local hardware store or car parts store.
Step 8
Follow the directions in Step 3 for charging your battery overnight. Turn off the charger and remove it from the battery. Replace the filler caps and then place the battery back into your golf cart, using your crescent wrench to reattach the battery strap. Reattach the cables to the battery, being certain to attach the red cable to the positive (+) battery post. Your cart should now be ready to drive. Recharge the battery each night using a trickle charge in order to maintain your battery.

Tips & Warnings

Wear eye protection whenever charging a battery.
Wear gloves whenever working with a battery.
Do not let the acid solution from the battery cell touch you or your clothing as it can burn.
Always leave plastic caps off of the battery's cells when charging to prevent gas build-up.

About The Author

Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for TV, everything from SMURFS to SPIDER-MAN.

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