Golf Cart Battery Tips

By Bill Herrfeldt

If you rent a golf cart each time you play a round of golf, the routine maintenance is not your job. But if you own your own electric cart, even if it is so-called "maintenance-free," you should routinely check the batteries to keep your cart in good working order. Most electric carts are powered by six batteries that are easily reached under the seat. If you play golf often, or use your golf cart every day for other purposes, you should check the batteries about once each week.

Exterior

The first thing you should do is check the outside of each battery. Most batteries tend to develop cracks over time, and they can begin losing battery acid. If you suspect this, look for puddles of acid around the battery and on the ground beneath it. If you find that a battery is damaged, dispose of it properly and replace it. Then you should make sure the battery posts and all the connections are not covered by corrosion or any other foreign debris. Finally, make sure that all the vent caps are on tight, and with a solution of baking soda and water, gently clean the tops of your batteries, then dry them.

Cables

Each battery in your cart is attached by cables, which will often come loose or have corrosion around them. Each cable is usually screwed onto the post, so loosen each of them. Using a wire battery clamp cleaner, which you can find in most auto parts stores, clean the cables to remove any corrosion. Then use the same tool to clean the posts. Once they are clean, replace the cables onto the battery posts, and tighten them with a screwdriver.

Water

Remove the caps on your batteries and make sure that the steel plates inside are completely covered by water. If the water level is low, add as much distilled water as is necessary to completely cover the plates. Under no circumstances should you add water beyond what is necessary to submerge each plate, or you might either do damage to your battery or cause an explosion.

Protect Yourself

Stay safe while working with batteries by wearing goggles and gloves that repel acid. The solution in the battery is highly toxic and contact with the skin should be avoided. Never try to add battery acid and, under no circumstances, should you smoke near the batteries because you might cause either a fire or an explosion.

About The Author

Bill Herrfeldt specializes in finance, sports and the needs of retiring people, and has been published in the national edition of "Erickson Tribune," the "Washington Post" and the "Arizona Republic." He graduated from the University of Louisville.

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