As you may already know, charging golf cart batteries is exceptionally important to their continued reliability and durability. Besides keeping the battery tops clean and clear of debris, there are many things you can do to get the most for your dollar and keep them performing at peak for an extending time period. Some steps you can take to extend the life of your battery ensure they perform at their highest level, and keep your home, business, and/or family safe include:
- New golf cart batteries require 20-50 cycles before they reach peak performance and capacity, so limit use during this time.
- Fully charge new batteries before initial use, and charge the golf cart battery after each use. New batteries may require up to four hours more charging time than batteries that have been in use, and they may have less capacity.
- If batteries fall to 20% discharged, charge them as soon as possible. Never allow batteries to become more than 80% discharged, as this can cause severe damage. A solar canopy golf cart charger is a viable choice to maintain the charge in your batteries.
- If a battery is dead, be sure to fully charge it before use again to increase its lifespan. If a dead battery does not trigger an automatic charger, try a non-auto charger and check to see if the voltage has increased after an hour. Just because it doesn’t trigger the automatic one doesn’t mean its dead forever.
- Keep battery cables and connectors intact and tight at all times, and regularly inspect them to make sure they’re kept in good shape.
- Use the proper chargers for your golf cart batteries. Improper chargers can damage the batteries, resulting in poor performance and shorter lifespans. Be sure to contact your golf cart manufacturer or battery manufacturer for information on the proper charger.
- If you use more than one battery, replace batteries with ones of the same size, usage level, and age as the existing batteries in the system. If necessary, replace all batteries rather than adding one incongruent one. Never put a brand new battery into a system that has gone through 50 or more cycles.
- Check and maintain the water level of your battery. This should be done weekly.
- Charge in a well-ventilated environment.
- Keep charging golf cart batteries away from sparks, flames, and other potential fire hazards
- Be sure all vent caps are fully tightened before charging.
- Avoid over-charging the battery, as it can reduce the life of the battery as well as the water in the battery to breakdown and heat to build up.
- On the other side, avoid under-charging the battery, as this can result in stratification. (Acid Stratification – The electrolyte of a stratified battery concentrates at the bottom, starving the upper half of the cell. Acid stratification occurs if the battery dwells at low charge (below 80 percent), never receives a full charge and has shallow discharges.)
- If your battery is frozen or above 120 degrees Fahrenheit, do not charge it. Heat is especially important to consider during a Florida summer, when temperatures in an un-air-conditioned environment can quickly skyrocket.
- Accommodate for the changing needs of your golf cart batteries as they age. For example, older batteries must be watered more frequently, and they may also require more time to charge fully.
What are common mistakes made by lead acid battery owners?
Undercharging: Generally caused by not allowing the charger to restore the battery to full state of charge after use. Continually operating the battery in a partial state of charge, or storing the battery in a discharged state result in the formation of lead sulfate compounds on the plates. This condition is known as sulfation. Both of these conditions reduce the battery’s performance and may cause premature battery failure. Undercharging will also cause stratification.
Overcharging: Continuous charging causes accelerated corrosion of the positive plates, excessive water consumption, and in some cases, damaging temperatures within a lead acid battery. deep-cycle batteries should be charged after each discharge of more than 50% of the batteries rated capacity, and/or after prolonged storage of 30 days or more.
I hope above information has been helpful and informative. If there are other areas of golf cart repair you would like to read about please let me know