BATTERY CARE GUIDE
Answers to the most asked
Questions about battery care and maintenance.
What kind of batteries are used in Golf cars?
Golf cars use 6 “deep-cycle” six-volt batteries. Deep-cycle batteries can be discharged deeply and recharged several times without any major damage. A regular car battery cannot withstand this severe cycling without having its life significantly shortened.
How should I care for my batteries?
Batteries should be kept clean, charged, and have water added when required.
How do I clean my batteries?
Clean batteries once a month. Use a fine spray with your garden hose. Use caution around the control mechanisms. This will help prevent corrosion of the battery cables, terminals, and frame of your golf car. Washing should not be done in the garage or driveway. The acid will cause permanent stains on the concrete.
Should I put baking soda or grease on my batteries to make them last longer?
It is not necessary to do this if you clean the batteries regularly. If you need to remove acid and clean your battery pack mix a solution of 1 part baking soday to 15 parts water, ideally in a spray bottle. spray this mixture on tops of your batteries and down the sides and onto the battery cage which holds the batteries in place. You want to keep the batteries clean so that you do not lose power across the tops of each battery - you can lose 2 volts per battery if your tops are dirty. Spraying down the sides and onto the cage nutralizes the acid and prevents it from eating away at the battery cage. Wash this mixture off with water from your garden hose set about half. Do this over gravel or on the street to avoid staining your garage or driveway.
How often should I charge my batteries?
For chargers with a manual timer usually 6 – 8 hours after 18 holes of golf or 4 – 6 hours after 9 holes. As a rule of thumb if used for 1 hour charge for 2, if used for 2 hours charge for 4 hours etc. If you have an automatic charger, just plug it in. It will shut off when the batteries are fully charged. To get the longest life from your batteries avoid deep depths of discharge more that 40%. You should ensure your car is in the neutral position and the key is turned off when charging your batteries. As batteries age, you will need to increase the time needed to charge them.
How often should I add water?
You should check the water level in the batteries after you clean them or, once a month every two weeks during our hot summers in Phoenix especially if the batteries are older. Check the battey cables for tightness every time you water your batteries. If these cables work loose it creates an air gap, an air gap means resistance, resistance means heat and you could end up with a melted post. See the picture below for an example. By the way it is a relatively easy fix. Give us a call or bring your battery into us and we can fix it on the spot. It won't necessarily look the prettiest but it beats buying a new battery!
What kind of water should I use?
Use distilled, purified, ionized, filtered or reverse osmosis water. Do not use tap water. Tap water contains minerals that will build up in the batteries and could short out the battery plates and the battery.
How much water should I add?
The plates inside the battery should be covered with water, but the water should be below the indicator or the fill well. You should see an air gap between the fill well and the battery electrolyte. Never fill the batteries clear to the top
Overwatering is one of the most common causes of battery and other component failure leading to.
- Corroded brake cables – a safety issue
- Corroded controllers if the golf car is a poor design
- Corroded battery cages and corrosion removal - needle scaling
- Battery cage rebuilds and as above more expense to you See pictures of this in our gallery
Note the corrosion build up on the battery cage picture, this corrosion needs to be cleaned before new battery installation - an extra charge to you. See gallery pictures
The controller had to be replaced because acid crept into the case and destroyed the units ability to control speed again a needless expense because of overwatering your batteries. See gallery
Proper watering of your batteries will contribute to a longer lasting battery pack. If you want to water your batteries precisely and in far less time – which means you will probably check your batteries more often – which is a good thing – consider purchasing a Single Point Watering System In 20 seconds your batteries are watered correctly and precisely, what more can we say. www.batterywatering.com.
Give us a call for a quote on a single point watering system believe me once you have used it once you will call and thank us.
What do I have to do to store my car for the summer? I don’t want the batteries to get ruined.
When your car is not going to be used for several weeks, or months, there are a few things you can do to help keep the batteries healthy:
· Make sure the batteries have enough water
· Charge them completely just before you leave
· Try to store your car where it will be out of the direct sun
· If possible, get a friend or neighbor to check your water and charge your batteries for 6 to 8 hours every two weeks.
(Consider how much of a friend you are if you ask someone to remove 18 to 24 battery caps, check the water level, add water if necessary and then replace the 18 to 24 battery caps – while the temperature is 120’F and then charge the cart and do this every two weeks for 4 to 6 months)
Also remember batteries do not like to be charged at temperatures over 110 F to 120 F, it’s not good for them. Make sure they open the garage door a bit to allow some circulation of cooler air during the night.
More importantly place your batteries in cold storage, if charged they will not freeze and last longer. At 70’F batteries will self-discharge down by 30% in 140 days; at 110’F (A Phoenix garage or car port in the summer) it only takes 20 days. Avoiding a deep discharge will help your batteries to last longer.
Ask us about our cold storage program and how you can lower your annual cost of owning a golf cart!
How long will a set of batteries last?
Batteries will last three or four or more years if they are properly maintained. We have seen battery packs last 5, 7 or even 8 years. Without good care we have replaced in battery packs within 6 months (no water and not charged regularly) Even if watered properly two, three or four years is the norm because of our hot Arizona climate. Battery pack longevity is dependent upon your maintenance habits. Improper storage and charging of these battery packs during the summers by our permanent residents dramatically reduces longevity. – it’s hot so hot we do not use the open air golf carts so – out of sight out of mind - Reality is- as expressed above our battery packs need to be serviced more often and more diligently in the hot summers. This is especially true for our winter visitors. Most winter visitors simply let their battery packs “cook” in the hot summers while they are away. This practice simply costs you more money because you will have to replace your battery pack prematurely.
SUMMER COLD STORAGE BATTERY PROGRAM
Summer heat can drastically reduce the life-span of your batteries
We will remove the batteries and place them in your freezer
Before you return, we will reinstall your batteries
$85.00 Plus Add an Annual Service for $80.00
(Includes pickup and delivery for most zip codes)
Ensure your cart is ready to go when you return in the fall!
(All you need to do is make arrangements with us to access your golf cart)
Your Total annual cost is $85 & $80.00 for a total of $165.00 and your batteries will last longer
If you would like you can purchase a freezer from us and we deliver or buy direct at Sears for the same price (And you will have freezer storage for the winter season)
5 cu ft Freezer $169.00 (We will not be held responsible for the freezer)
According to our research - check out the website listed below- a 30% depth of dischareg DOD equals 2100 battery cycles, a 40% DOD equals 1500 cycles and 100% DOD is 700 cycles. So it would seem we should charge our batteries often and limit the DOD.
Heat plays a tremendous factor in DOD at 70 F it takes 140 days to reach a 30% DOD at 110 F it only takes approximately 20 days. So it would seem we want to eliminate excess heat if we can.
Source: “Electropaedia” a research information site of WoodBank Communications Ltd., a battery consultancy.
Visit http://www.mpoweruk.com/ for detailed research and battery information.
Give us a call for your battery needs, we have a quality 6, 8 and 12 volt product at competitive prices. We shop our competition monthly! us a call for your 6, 8 or 12 volt deep cycle battery needs we offer the best product at the most competitive prices – we shop our competition monthly.
I have been away for the summer (or for some time) and my battery charger will not come on when I plug it in to the cart - there must be something wrong with my charger?
Your battery charger needs to recognize a certain voltage to turn on. Your battery pack has self discharged in the heat such that your voltageon your battery pack has dropped to the point where your charger will not come on or recognize your battery pack. This is effectively a 100% depth of discharge and you have reduced the life of your battery pack to the norm mentioned above.
You can avoid this in the future by subscribing to our cold storage program or by booking an annual service while you are away and just prior to your return. You will get your cart charged, lubed and checked over before you return.
Meantime back to your current problem, you have three alternatives
1. Book an annual service now and probably wait in line (There are over 100,000 winter visitors returning within a 30 day period)
2. Book a quick service call – we utilize a specially modified charger to jump charge your battery pack – current cost is $45.00 depending upon location or zip code
3. Hook up a trickle charger, grab a lawn chair etc. and charge each battery individually until your golf cart charger turns on.
Some other helpful hints:
· Keep your tire pressure at 25 psi
· Clean your windshield with water and a soft cotton cloth or use pledge furniture polish. Do not use any ammonia based products.
If you need additional information about your batteries or golf car, please call us at Apache Golf Cars at 480/832-3420. Advice as always is courteously and freely given!