How to Make Golf Cart Batteries Last Longer

By Larry Parr

Golf cart batteries are lead acid batteries, much like those found in everyday vehicles. There are two main differences between a golf cart battery and the battery in your car or truck. First, golf cart batteries are generally 6-volt batteries rather than the 12-volt variety found in your standard car or truck. Second, unlike your car or truck battery, a golf cart battery is not recharged as you use it. Constant use throughout a day can completely drain a golf cart's battery, which can shorten the battery's life, but you can help your golf cart battery last longer and provide reliable service.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Step 1
Working in an area with plenty of ventilation, remove the battery from the golf cart with the small crescent wrench and set the battery on a level surface. Remove the plastic caps from the cells of the battery. Top off any low battery reservoirs with distilled water. Always wear eye goggles and gloves when working with a lead acid battery, and keep away from open flames.
Step 2
Attach a three-phase battery charger to your golf cart battery, making absolutely certain that the positive lead from the charger is attached to the positive (red) pole of your battery and that the negative is attached to the negative pole. Set the charger's voltage to 2.30 or 2.35 volts, and turn the charger on.
Step 3
Allow the battery to become fully charged. Most chargers will have a green light that glows when the battery is ready. It could take anywhere from an hour to overnight for your battery to become fully charged, depending on how deeply it was discharged.
Step 4
Turn the charger off and then replace the plastic caps on the cells of the battery. Return the fully charged battery to the golf cart and tighten the clamps with your crescent wrench. Reattach the golf cart's electrical wiring to the battery, being careful to attach the positive (red) lead to the positive pole of the battery and the negative to the negative, using your crescent wrench.
Step 5
Recondition your battery if it fails to accept a charge. Batteries that have been fully discharged too often may have sulfur deposits on the copper plates inside the battery, preventing the battery from charging. If this is the case, you will need to remove the sulfur deposits by removing the plastic caps from all of the cells and using your turkey baster to remove approximately half of the liquid from each cell of the battery. Be careful not to let any of the battery solution touch your skin or clothing, as the acid will burn.
Step 6
Mix 10 tablespoons of Epsom salts into 1 quart of warm distilled water. Stir until all (or most) of the salt is dissolved. Top off each cell in your battery with the Epsom-salt water. Replace the plastic caps on the battery's cells and then shake the battery gently to mix the Epsom-salt solution into each cell.
Step 7
Remove the plastic caps from the cells of the battery and charge the reconditioned battery following Steps 1 through 3. Replace the battery in the golf cart following the directions in Step 4.

Tips & Warnings

Always work in a ventilated area when working on a battery. Always wear eye goggles and gloves when working with a lead acid battery. A battery that is going to be stored for a long period will last longer if a trickle charge is kept attached to it while in storage; many people use a solar charger for this purpose.
Always work in a ventilated area when working on a battery.
Always wear eye goggles and gloves when working with a lead acid battery.
A battery that is going to be stored for a long period will last longer if a trickle charge is kept attached to it while in storage; many people use a solar charger for this purpose.
Never use tap water in your battery, as the chemicals found in tap water can damage a battery.

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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