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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 18 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. 


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