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Unread 10-07-2014, 12:38 PM   #1
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Default Cart sluggish after 2 weeks on charger

I have my 06 (sig pic) with 2013 batteries and powerdrive 2 charger and earlier this year I bought an 07 precedent with 2012 batteries and powerdrive 3 charger. I keep them both at my permanent RV site. When I leave there, I plug both carts in and leave them that way. Getting into the fall season, we don't visit as often and sometimes the carts sit 2 or 3 weeks with the chargers plugged in. Never had an issue with my 06, but on the 07, I'm noticing that the first time out after it sat for a couple of weeks, it seems sluggish to get going as if the batteries are weak. The lights still come on bright and the cart seems to get me everywhere I want to go on the first day, and then after plugging it in again that night, it's back to normal. The batteries in both carts seem to still be in good shape and strong and both fully charge after reasonable times. The 06 gets ridden much more on a daily basis than the 07, so the 07 finishes its charge much sooner than the 06. It's almost as if the 06 is being recharged as needed while it sits but the 07 is getting charged when first plugged in but then never recharging after that. Is there something I can check to see what the issue might be? I assume the first thing I should check is the pack and each battery voltage after it has sat for a couple of weeks but, so far, I have forgotten to take my meter with me. If the voltage is lower than it should be, is it likely an issue with something on the cart causing it to not recharge without being unplugged and plugged back in or could it be the charger?
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Unread 10-07-2014, 01:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cart sluggish after 2 weeks on charger

(1) I'm told that there is a timer in the charger that will cycle it on after sitting dormant for longer than a couple weeks... This I can NOT confirm....

(2) My cart was doing the same thing in that even though it was plugged into a charger if it sat for more than a few days (week?) is would lack power and seemed like it would strand the wife while I was away. Turns out that 3 of our 3 year old batteries were weak and loosing charge while sitting around for extended periods of time. If the cart were used and charged daily you where hard pressed to know there was any real issue.

(3) Only way to fool the charger and OBC is to disconnect the charger from the cart and plug back in again. It will then self test and start charging again.

(4) My intent is to switch to a DPI charger with float charge and do away with the OBC... New batteries are costly and I want mine to last as long as possible.
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Unread 10-07-2014, 04:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cart sluggish after 2 weeks on charger

Totally Unattended long term charging is subject to a few possible problems (although 2 weeks is not long term).

If you are using the OBC, it will automatically run a charging cycle every 2 weeks in order to top off the batteries.
The catch is that if the AC power goes off during a charge cycle and it stays off for 7 days or more, the OBC goes into 'error' mode. The only way to get the OBC out of 'error' mode and ready to charge again is to remove the DC cord from the cart, wait 5 secs and plug it again.

If you are using a smart charger with a 'float' mode, the catch is that if you have or develop a bad battery, since the charger only sees 'pack' voltage, a weak battery will force a higher voltage in the good batteries in order to maintain the chargers 'float' voltage. That can cause the lead plates in your good batteries being exposed due to excessive gassing.

The best insurance is to have someone come by and check the cart every few weeks. They should make sure the water level is above the plates in all batteries and if using the stock OBC/charger, unplug the DC cord wait 5 secs and plug it back again (or wait 20 secs and plug it again to start an equalize charge immediately).

Also, do not add water right before leaving it for storage, it takes a while for water and electrolyte to mix, club car says minimum 5 charge cycles.

Make sure any accessory negative wires come only from the controller side of the OBC so it can properly calculate battery drain.

Put the cart on Tow to power down the controller.

Other than that, I agree that you should check the specific gravity of the cells after the batteries are fully charged.
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Unread 10-08-2014, 09:52 AM   #4
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Default Re: Cart sluggish after 2 weeks on charger

Okay, as stated, I am using CC chargers - no special float chargers. This has happened several times and I know power hasn't been interupted because I have ways to tell if the power has gone out and back on. I check and top off water levels at least once a month. Therefore, when I add water, it's usually not much. I ALWAYS put the carts in tow mode before plugging in the chargers - should I not be doing this?

I'm not seeing any evidence of the any of the batteries boiling over while charging and the charge cycle on this cart is always reasonable. When the batteries in my 06 started getting weak, I would always notice some boil over and very long charge times.


I know it seems like I'm trying to argue that nothing is wrong while asking what could be wrong here. That's not my point - I'm just trying to narrow down what it could be. I'll make sure to do some battery testing next time I go down there at the end of this month.
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Unread 10-08-2014, 10:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Cart sluggish after 2 weeks on charger

When your battery charge voltage gets to approx 58 volts you should notice some bubbling in the cells. While it is charging remove the caps and check that all the cells are bubbling. I had a bad battery and I discovered it by checking the cells during charging for bubbles. Also does your battery indicator flash when you disconnect the DC cord. It's another sign of a bad battery. And one last thing. Unless you are only driving your cart once a week, filling your batteries once a month says something is wrong.
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Unread 10-08-2014, 06:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Cart sluggish after 2 weeks on charger

Putting it in tow is not required to charge, but a good idea if you are not going to use for a while, otherwise the speed sensor and a lot of the controller logic is still running in order to detect roll away.

Do you have a voltage converter connected directly to the pack? If so, remove the fuse next time in case it is draining the battery.
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Unread 10-13-2014, 11:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: Cart sluggish after 2 weeks on charger

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjance View Post
When your battery charge voltage gets to approx 58 volts you should notice some bubbling in the cells. While it is charging remove the caps and check that all the cells are bubbling. I had a bad battery and I discovered it by checking the cells during charging for bubbles. Also does your battery indicator flash when you disconnect the DC cord. It's another sign of a bad battery. And one last thing. Unless you are only driving your cart once a week, filling your batteries once a month says something is wrong.
Sergio - I don't have a reducer on this cart.

Jjance, I didn't say I have to fill the batteries once a month - I check them at least once a month and top off if/when necessary. Usually they don't need anything.

Next time I go down, I'll check the pack voltage and each battery. After riding it the first day, it will be plugged in again and I will check the pack and each battery voltage after charging and then go back and check everything after riding it a bit. My other cart had a bad battery and that is how I found it - it was discharging much faster than the others even though right after charging it showed full voltage.
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Unread 10-27-2014, 01:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: Cart sluggish after 2 weeks on charger

Okay, so I made my next trip to the campground this past weekend. It had been 3 weeks since I was last there and I made sure to bring my meter with me. Both carts were left on the chargers the entire time and there had been no power outages (no blinking clock on the microwave). I went to get the 07 out - put in in reverse and it went about 6 inches and wouldn't go any further. I plugged the charger back in and on it came. The next morning I went out and the charger had shut off. Took the meter out and tested the pack and it was already low. Checked each battery and 3 were at about 12.8volts - 1 was at 9.5v (#2). Took it for about a 5 minute spin and came back and checked each battery - the one that was 9.5v was now showing 6.2v. Culprit identified!

I had already gotten with a buddy that could load test the batteries for me but there was no need - it was sticking out like a sore thumb. I was able to find a shop that had a used battery about the same age as the rest of my pack. I put it in and connected it up and the thing ran like a spotted ape the rest of the weekend. Problem solved for now.
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Unread 10-28-2014, 05:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: Cart sluggish after 2 weeks on charger

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltLifeCC View Post
Culprit identified! Problem solved for now.
. . .
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