What you need to do to keep your golf cart healthy for the long haul
Like anything with a motor or engine, there are a few specific things you need to routinely do to ensure a long performance life. The maintenance schedule varies depending on what kind of golf cart you own – electric or gas.
This section is intended for general information only. For service information particular to your model cart, please consult your owner’s manual.
Electric Golf Carts
For electric golf carts, there are three steps that will take care of most of the general maintenance.
KEEP IT CHARGED
- All modern golf carts come with automatic chargers. When you are done using your golf cart, plug it in. The charger will do what it needs to do and shut itself down. (The vast majority of battery chargers are not weather proof. Treat them as you would any other expensive electronic device.)
- Do not run your cart ‘dead.’ Repeated deep discharge of modern batteries will lead to premature battery failure.
MAINTAIN THE WATER LEVEL IN THE BATTERIES
- Use DISTILLED water – ALWAYS AND ONLY
- Most manufacturers recommend checking your water levels at least monthly.
- HOW TO FILL GOLF CART BATTERIES
- Start with a full charge. (Water levels are at their highest in a charged battery.)
- Pop the caps off of the batteries and fill each cell, as necessary, until the water level is 1⁄8 to 1/4” below the neck that protrudes down inside the top of the battery.
- Water should be removed from overfilled cells to prevent leakage during charging.
- Replace the caps securely on the batteries
CHECK AND CLEAN BATTERY TERMINAL CONNECTIONS
(Do this on the same schedule you use to maintain the water level in your batteries.)
- Visually inspect the battery compartment.
- Look for excessively corroded cables, nuts, battery hold down rods, battery trays, etc. Repair or replace as necessary.
- Make sure all of your terminal nuts are snug.
- Use an insulated wrench or a wrench wrapped in electrical tape to prevent accidental arching.
- Terminal nuts should be nice and snug, but not too tight.
- Loose terminal nuts will cause arching that will melt down a battery terminal, or worse.
- A mixture of baking soda and water will neutralize battery acid and clean corrosion in your battery compartment.
Special instructions for winter storage of an electric golf cart.
Keep it charged. That’s it.
Every spring we replace dozens of sets of batteries that fail due to improper winter maintenance.
Golf cart batteries will naturally lose 1% to 3% of their charge daily. Furthermore, the carts’ controller and many optional accessories draw small but constant power from the battery pack. Dead batteries can freeze. Batteries that have been frozen are junk.
So, keep it charged. Remember, most battery chargers will not come back on after they finish their charging cycle. You must physically unplug the charger from the cart and plug it back in to start a new cycle.
Gas Golf Carts
Maintenance for gas golf carts is a lot like a lawn tractor.
Give the golf cart an annual tune-up. Check the oil level routinely. Use non-ethanol fuel. Service the clutches. (Not all clutches are serviceable.) Inspect the drive and starter/generator belts for wear.
If you don’t use your cart during the winter, make sure to prepare it for winter storage. Drain or add stabilizer to the fuel. Put the battery on a maintainer; or, at the very least, disconnect the battery.
For all carts, routinely inspect steering, brakes and tire pressure. If you have any questions, give GT Carts a call. We also offer service and winter storage. Give yourself the extra space and give up the worry.