Golf Cart Batteries - A Maintenance Guide
Golf Cart Battery Maintenance Safety
The modern golf cart usually has 6 batteries but can easily have 8 batteries. The maintenance of golf cart batteries is quite simple but steps need to be taken for proper safety. Golf cart batteries contain sulfuric acid which is extremely caustic. This material can easily cause severe skin burns and blindness if it contacts your eyes.
To start doing any kind of maintenance on a golf cart battery it is recommended that you start with obtaining safety glasses, distilled water, acid resistant rubber gloves, old clothes, and baking soda. A hydrometer and voltmeter will also be extremely useful in determining the health of the battery itself.
Sulfuric Acid in Batteries
Create Your Own Wiring Diagram
It's important that before you start doing maintenance on the golf cart batteries is to write up your own wiring diagram before you you start disconnecting wires. You can find general wiring diagrams for your golf cart but your exact diagram will probably differ if you have any kind of peripheral devices attached to your cart.
You really should only have to do this exercise once because you can keep the diagram for future reference....just don't lose it.
Cleaning and Check for Cracks
Disconnect the wires. it is important to clean the exterior of the battery before opening the vents. Used golf carts can collect dirt in the battery compartment. Clean off the batteries by using a combination of distilled water and baking soda. The baking soda will neutralize the acid. As you work on the battery, its a good idea to have the baking soda and distilled water available in case there are any spills.
Once the battery has been cleaned, look the battery over carefully to see any visible cracks. Any imperfections to the integrity of the battery case means you need to replace the battery. Do not attempt to fix, fill or cover the cracks.
Fill the Battery
The battery needs to have the proper amount of water inside. Carefully remove the vents on top of the battery and use a flashlight to check the liquid level. If the level is below the core you need to put enough distilled water in the battery to cover the core. Do not fill the battery, just cover the core. You need to fully charge the battery before filling the battery. The act of charging the battery causes gases to form and the liquid to expand so filling before charging can be dangerous as the battery could overflow.
Check Your Manual
The preceding directions will work with most batteries. However, it's always a great idea to check your owners manual for more exact specifications.