How to Clean Golf Cart Batteries
Golf cart batteries can potentially last you for years, provided you take proper care of them. It’s important to regularly check them for signs of trouble – if you notice a build up of corrosion around your battery terminals, you should clean them off immediately.
Cleaning golf cart batteries isn’t difficult, and it can be done with a couple of household items. In this guide, we’ll take you through the precautions and steps you should take to clean your batteries.
Before You Start
Battery acid is dangerous stuff. If spilled or splashed, it will destroy clothing and burn your skin on contact.
That’s why you should always wear safety glasses or goggles, as well as heavy-duty acid proof rubber gloves. It’s also a good idea to remove all jewelry, such as rings, watches, and bracelets.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re working in a clear, open space where you won’t do too much damage to the ground. When you start cleaning, battery acid can potentially leak out onto the ground, which can damage grass and stain concrete. If possible, clean it on top of some gravel or stones, as these will be less affected.
In terms of the cart itself, make sure all of the battery vents are tightly shut, and that the batteries themselves are not plugged into a charger. You do not have to fully disconnect the batteries (unless they are in particularly bad shape). Just make sure the golf cart is turned off, with the key removed. Don’t clean the batteries if you’ve just been for a long drive, as they will be hot and trickier to work with.
How To Clean Golf Cart Batteries (In 6 Steps)
- Grab some baking soda, and mix it with warm water. You don’t want the mixture to be pasty, nor should it be pure liquid – somewhere in between is ideal. You will also need a toothbrush and a hose.
- Put your hose on a light setting, and start spraying off your batteries. As long as you don’t use too much water, you shouldn’t have to worry about shorting the electrics.
- With the batteries all sprayed, you should now pour your water and baking soda mixture over all of the terminals. Let the solution sit for around five minutes.
- Next, you’ll want to scrub all of the terminals with an old toothbrush. Scrub with moderate force, and feel free to dip the brush into any leftover baking soda/water solution if you need more cleaning power to get rid of the corrosion.
- Once you’ve removed as much corrosion as you can, rinse everything off with the hose on a light setting. Then let it air dry.
- Finally, it’s time to protect your battery from any further corrosion. This step is optional, but it’s highly recommended if you want to support the long-term health of your golf cart battery. It simply involves spraying some Battery Terminal Protector onto your clean battery terminals, which will work to decrease long-term corrosion and keep your batteries operating at a high level.
Tips For Making Your Golf Cart Batteries Last Longer
Now that you’ve got them nice and clean, you’re probably wondering how you can keep them in the best possible shape for years to come. As well as applying a battery terminal protector, there are a few things you can do to achieve just that.
- Keep the fluids topped up with distilled water. Once every two months or so, it’s worth checking the water levels of your battery cells. The optimal water level is above the lead element, and about an inch below the top of the cell. If the water levels are too low, the plates will start to burn out, causing irreparable damage. If they’re too high, it can cause the acid to overflow, creating all kinds of problems. When you’re topping up the fluid levels, make sure you use distilled water – never use plain or tap water.
- Recharge your batteries every time they are used. Even if you only use 25% of their charge with one outing, you should always fully recharge them. This is good for the batteries, and it means that your cart will always be ready to go when you next need it. However, try to avoid overcharging, as overtime this will shorten the life of your battery. Most chargers automatically switch off once the batteries have reached full charge.
- Charge your batteries in a well-ventilated area. This will prevent them from overheating, which would be very damaging. You should also avoid performing any kind of maintenance on your cart while the batteries are charging.
Keeping your batteries clean is a great way of prolonging the life of your golf cart. And with a simple mixture of baking soda and water, you can have them looking spick and span in no time.
Just make sure you take all the necessary precautions, as battery acid can be pretty nasty if mishandled.
By keeping them clean, charged, and sufficiently watered, your golf cart batteries are sure to last you a lot longer.
(This article was written by Nick Lomas at GolfSpan.)