WATERING - MONTHLY CHECK THE LEVEL IN
EVERY CELL AND FILL THE BATTERIES TO THE CORRECT LEVELS AS REQUIRED. The
use of a battery-watering gun will assist in accurately completing this
task. Water should be added, if needed, after the charging has been completed
unless the tops of the internal plates are exposed. In that case, water
should be added before charging.
sure that a water suitable for watering batteries (colorless,
odorless, tasteless, and suitable for drinking), preferably distilled
water, is utilized. If you have any doubt as to the suitability
of the water, have it tested and add an appropriate water line
filter, if required.
is most important that all battery cells be filled to the correct
level in order to obtain good battery life and minimize corrosion
to the electrical system and vehicle.
CLEANING - MONTHLY
WASH THE BATTERY TOPS WITH A SOLUTION OF 1/4 CUP (60ML) BAKING
SODA TO 1 1/2 GALLONS (6 TO 1) OF CLEAR WATER.
watering spray the tops and sides of the batteries, the battery
wiring and the battery racks with baking soda solution; let the
solution stand for at least five minutes to allow the neutralization
to take place.
the entire area with a low- pressure spray of clean water. Do
not wash electrical components with direct stream of high pressure
any evidence of corrosion is evident (green powered foam), spray
again with baking soda and let the solution stand for at least
5 minutes before rinsing; repeat if required.
on battery tops must be removed because they are conductive and
cause self-discharge of the battery. Scrub the battery tops with
a bristle brush soaked in baking soda solution. Rinse with clear
Never wash batteries without first neutralizing the entire battery area
with a baking soda solution.
CHARGING - DAILY
RECHARGE THE BATTERIES AFTER USE. Golf car batteries should
be charged between rounds if possible.
charging batteries, inspect all termination for frayed conductors
and loose or damaged connector. Inspect all termination to assure
that they are both clean ( corrosion free ) and securely fastened
to battery post.
fully charged battery will not freeze in winter temperatures.
the "off season" the batteries should be fully charged, disconnected
from the charger and stored in an unheated covered area. Check
the batteries during the "off Season" at thirty - day intervals,
recharge and disconnect charger after charging. DO
NOT leave the charger connected
to the vehicle during "off season" storage.
Cars equipped with DCS feature must be stored with the tow/maintenance/run
switch in the tow/maintenance position.
has been my experience that batteries in an
electric golf car are often the most misunderstood
of all the vehicle’s components. What
makes a battery operate still seems to mystify
a good many people whose jobs are to maintain
large fleets of electric golf cars. Recharging,
watering and cleaning are the fundamentals
for proper battery preventive maintenance.
An intimate knowledge of battery design and
operation isn’t a maintenance prerequisite,
but a working understanding of what’s going
on the inside of one surely will help.
golf car manufacturers have provided in their
maintenance and service manuals and technical
training seminars, a basic outline of how lead–acid
batteries function. If
you haven’t read your manual or haven’t attended
a factory sponsored training class, you need
to do so, as soon as possible.
of the most misunderstood aspects of battery
maintenance is cold weather storage. In
many areas of the country where extreme cold
weather temperatures prevent winter play, golf
cars must be stored until the following season. In
some locations, this can be for up to seven
what needs to be done to prevent the batteries
in your golf car fleet from becoming damaged
during long periods of storage? Probably
not as much as you might think.
to what many believe, golf car batteries love
cold weather, for storage that is. I
have personally heard stories about golf courses
having their mechanic pull out all the batteries
in a fleet, place them on pallets and move
them into a heated storage facility. There,
all the chargers were brought in, each group
of six batteries wired together complete with
a charger receptacle, and then charged periodically
throughout the remainder of the winter. Can
you imagine the work involved in doing that
with an 80 to 100 car fleet? None of this is necessary! Batteries can be stored while still
in their cars and will survive even in subfreezing
temperatures if a few simple rules are followed.
placing any batteries in a storage situation,
understand there is a condition called stand
loss discharge (loss of electrolyte specific
gravity) that will affect their life span and survivability. Batteries,
without the benefit of frequent recharging,
will rapidly self-discharge, especially in
warm weather. The
higher the ambient temperature, the higher
the degree of self-discharge. I
have included a chart (Stand
Loss Capacities) that demonstrates the
severity of this situation by showing how quickly
batteries stored at various temperatures can
go from a fully charged condition to becoming
deeply discharged and possibly damaged, often
permanently. Notice that batteries stored at
a temperature of 42°F (6°C) display much less
stand loss discharge than the other two examples
shown at higher temperatures. Even
after 19 weeks, the batteries are at approximately
1.245 specific gravity, well above the sulfation
threshold of 1.220. This
means the lower the storage temperature,
the less the batteries will self-discharge.
And the lower the temperature, the better.
Even at 0°F (-18°C), batteries will maintain
their charge for an extended period of time. Of
course, this is all predicated on the batteries
condition, and being fully charged prior to being placed into storage. These
conditions are imperative, and they are the
keys to successful winter storage. Unless
your fleet is equipped with a charging system
that will automatically turn on and assess
battery condition and perform a periodic “maintenance
charge,” I highly recommend you disconnect
the battery pack wiring after the full charge
prior to storage if the chargers are not going
to be used. I
would also advise you to inspect the batteries
monthly, taking sample specific gravity readings
and checking chargers and circuit breakers
if the chargers are to be used during
storage, just to be sure there are no problems.
is always concern that batteries will freeze
during cold weather storage. They
certainly can and will unless a sufficient
charge is maintained. Take
note of the charts listing temperatures at
which batteries can freeze (Electrolyte
Freezing Point @ Various States
of Charge). As
long as the proper specific gravity (state
of charge) is maintained, batteries will not
you compare stand loss discharge at the temperature
ranges listed, you’ll see batteries stored
at temperatures even well below 0°F (-18°C)
will maintain their state of charge for an
extended period as long as the temperature
remains at that level.
that wasn’t so difficult, was it? Now
when someone asks if your batteries are ready
for cold weather, you’ll know the answer.
my batteries do go dead from storage,
what do I do?
to a safety circuit in most
chargers, the charger will
not turn on if the pack voltage
is lower than 25-30 volts on
a 48 volt car (about 40 volts
for a 72 volts car). Turn off
disconnect or remove 36/48
GND, and charge each battery
individually with a 12 volt
automotive type charger. Use
a medium current (10-40 Amps)
for about 30 minutes to 1 hour
per battery. Once the pack
voltage is high enough, turn
on disconnect and plug in charger.