Golf Cart Battery Maintenance — Watering
- July 17, 2015
- Golf Cart Maintenance
- Posted by Samuel
- Comments Off on Golf Cart Battery Maintenance — Watering
If you’re running an electric golf cart (which most of you reading this probably are), then your batteries are the heart and blood of your cart. That being said, the most important aspect of maintenance is HOW and WHEN you water them. There are two things to consider when watering your batteries and they’re going to seem like no-brainers but it’s the two things that can completely ruin them and thats 1) Over-watering and 2) Under-watering.
Over Watering Mistakes
Filling Discharged Batteries
NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER (should I use another one?) EVER fill discharged batteries (by discharged I mean batteries that need to be recharged). As you discharge your battery the level of electrolyte will decrease, which is normal, and as you would think, when you recharge the battery you’re bringing the electrolyte back up. This in return causes the water to restore to it’s full state and if this full state is not actually “full” then that is the time to fill those batteries to their optimum level. So Again I say, wait until your batteries are fully charged AND THEN check the water levels. The only time you should water your discharged batteries is if your plates are exposed. If this is the case, water them just enough to cover the plates and then let it charge before checking them again.
Do not use tap water in your batteries
USE DISTILLED WATER. Tap water can be very harmful to your batteries. The reason being is there are a number of minerals (especially in softened water) that can hurt your batteries including chloride, nickel, nitrates, copper and many others. New batteries for your golf cart will run you upwards of $800 and more so why not just spend a little bit of extra money on distilled water and save yourself the hassle of your batteries expiring early?
Do not fill cells to overflowing
Obvious, but DON’T DO IT. Overfilling will cause not only corrosive acid to spill out, but you will also deplete the electrolyte of the acid and water. This will then prevent the battery from delivering its necessary level of energy.
Trojan has a great resource for Battery Care found here.
Under Watering Mistakes
What happens when you underwater your batteries
Especially here in the desert, under watering is the most common problem. The Coachella Valley is a vacation town where most people only spend a quarter to half the year. What happens? They leave their golf cart in the garage during the summer months (which are brutally hot) and the batteries start losing water. It doesn’t matter if they’re not using it because the plates in the battery, which are supposed to be submerged in the electrolyte, become “dried out”. This is called sulfation and it’s irreversible. To put it bluntly, that part of the battery is gone for good which will then short out the entire battery. I also want to be very clear that this isn’t limited to just desert cities like the Coachella Valley, this can happen anywhere so ALWAYS check your batteries and maintain the water, no matter where you live. There’s no set formula as to how often you should water them. Check them every few weeks and if they need it, water them.
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