|The warmer months are here and it’s time to take your golf car out of winter storage. You could be planning to hit the links on the golf course or the strip at the beach, either way, the first ride of the year is a great feeling. Be sure to take the steps that are necessary to maintain your golf cart and keep it running smoothly all year long, and hopefully, you took the steps back in December to winterize your cart to make this process clean and simple.
Start With Your Golf Cart’s Battery
If you have a battery-powered golf cart, and even if you have a gas-powered one and just use the battery to get started, keeping your golf cart’s battery in good working order is key.
Do you remember the famous line in Caddyshack, admonishing the caddies, “If you want to be replaced by golf carts, just keep it up”?
To paraphrase, if you want to avoid telling your repair person, “It just quit on me!” then get into the battery maintenance groove. The Caddyshack Golf Carts sales and maintenance outlet in Palm Desert, California, offers these pieces of advice for maintaining the batteries, “the heart and blood of your cart,” as Caddyshack says.
1. Clean Your Cart: Roll that dusty cart out of your garage and give it a good rinse. Don’t be afraid to spray the batteries, just be mindful of the electronics
2. Clean Batteries: Have a look at your battery terminals and make sure they are clean. If you have corrosion on the terminals, most maintenance/repair shops suggest just getting the terminals wet (if you haven’t already with that garden hose) and then adding a bit of baking soda to the terminals. Then you can give them a good rinse, a toothbrush may also come in handy.
3. Check the Water Level: It is important to check the water level on your batteries before you start charging your batteries. Good advice is to open the caps and if you cannot see any water in your cells, then you must add distilled water until the water just starts to cover the cells.
4. Charging the Batteries: Hopefully, you have been keeping your batteries charged up over the winter months, as lead-acid batteries need to be stored and charged. If you have stored your batteries for a long period of time without charging them you can cause serious damage to them. If the cart won’t move and your charging won’t turn on, typically this is because your battery packs are so low that it won’t turn the charger on.
5. Check Your Tire Pressure: With the cart charging it is a great time to check the tire pressure and make sure they are all even and at the proper operating pressure.
6. Grease & Check Your Fluids: You will also want to grease any fittings and check your differential fluids at the same time.
7. Check Your Brakes: Next, it is a good idea to check your brakes by jacking up the rear of the cart, safely supporting it, and then removing the wheels to access your brakes. It is a great time to take some compressed air and blow out the brake dust. Then you can check the thickness of your pads.
8. Check Your Brake Pads: Also check the play in your brake pedal, you may need to adjust it so that you don’t have any excess play.
9. Tighten Your Screws & Bolts: Have a look at any visible bolts and screws ensuring that they are tight.
10. Check Your Battery Cables: Also be sure to check your battery cables and make sure the connections are tight. A loose connection or bad battery cable can burn up a battery post in no time.
Signs Your Golf Cart Battery Is Failing
Normally, you’ll get 20 to 25 miles from a charge. Over time, as batteries age, they provide less power. If yours isn’t getting you around the links and back to where you park and charge it, then maybe it is time for a replacement.
Here are other signs you have serious battery trouble:
You step on the pedal and not much happens: When a battery is past its prime, the cart won’t accelerate like it once did. The fix is easy, but expensive — a new battery pack.
Test your battery using a voltage meter: Normally, a golf cart battery will show a few volts higher on the charger than its rated voltage. Even if it seems to be in good shape, test it again once the batteries are fully discharged. Test each individual battery. Even if only one battery is bad, it will probably make the most financial sense to replace them all because it will be cheaper to buy the pack as opposed to buying one at a time.
You have to turn the key several times before it starts: This could be a problem with the battery, but it also could be that the ignition key switch is worn out or the wiring to the ignition is frayed. It’s not a tough fix, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, hire an expert.
Lithium batteries have an extensive list of advantages over lead-acid but come with a higher retail price. They are more efficient than lead-acid, have outstanding performance, and boost the overall driver experience.
They are less than half the weight, which makes them easier to install and an easier load on your cart, creating less wear and tear on the fairways. Lithium golf cart batteries have zero maintenance duties related to them, which means no water or cleaning acid residue from the connectors. They provide higher, sustained power so they are never sluggish. They’re difficult to damage, unlike lead-acid batteries that often see premature failure due to improper charging. Just charge them up and hit the links! On top of these benefits, lithium golf cart batteries last up to 10 times longer than lead-acid, which means you don’t have to replace batteries every couple of years.
How To Switch Out Your Lead-Acid Batteries And Install Lithium Batteries
Before starting the removal and installation process, be sure you have the right tools for the job. A socket set is needed for the hardware, gloves, a wire brush for cleaning any corrosion, and a hand strap with hooks so you can get the heavy lead-acid batteries out of the tray easier.
● First and foremost, disconnect the main positive and negative connections
● Then go ahead and disconnect the interconnecting cables on the battery pack. Discard those cables and input new cables.
● At that point, you can go ahead and start removing your mounting straps. Some carts actually run the cables underneath the mounting brackets.
● Take the mounting brackets out. Use a hand strap that hooks to the batteries, and progressively pull the heavy lead-acid batteries out of the cart.
● Clean the tray that they were sitting in with a brush and knock off as much debris as possible. Check the main cables to make sure there isn’t any corrosion. Replace the cables if they are corroded because corrosion causes resistance and more heat on the cables.
● Drop in some new 48V lithium batteries which will fit perfectly into the slots.
● Reverse the process of installing the mounting brackets and straps to install the lithium batteries.
● With BSLBATT 48V lithium batteries, you’re going to install the batteries in parallel. Make sure your cables are going from positive to positive. Lead-acid batteries are wired in series, so you don’t want to replicate that.
After your conversion is complete your new lithium will batteries offer several advantages over lead-acid batteries:
● They are much lighter weight, offering a quick and smooth ride.
● They offer a no-maintenance solution.
● Lithium batteries charge much faster than lead-acid.
● They retain charge far longer
● They have up to 10 times more battery life
● A Direct drop-in replacement
Getting your golf cart out of storage and ready for warmer days will take a little bit of basic maintenance to get it running in top shape. You may want to look at upgrading your cart’s power source to a much more efficient option so that you can spend less time worrying, and more time riding. Contact our team if you have any questions on how to get started, we would be glad to help!
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