|04-20-2008, 12:12 AM||#1|
Join Date: Jun 2007
Electric Cart Owners Read This Before Posting
Electric Golf Carts
So you just bought your first electric golf cart but you don't know anything about maintainance OR you have a golf cart that is sluggish or just won't run. The following will give some very important information as well as some basic troubleshooting tips to help you with your electric cart.
Basic troubleshooting an Electric Golf Cart:
First thing you need to do is make sure all your battery cable, F/R switch and motor connections are clean and tight. Connections that are severly corroded or burnt are pretty much toast and need to be replaced. Once a connection is burnt its just a matter of time before it completely fails. Give them a good pull and twist or better yet take them off ONE AT A TIME, clean the connection and the battery terminal and put it right back on. Taking them off one at a time and cleaning them ensures 2 things....You will KNOW the connection is good and you KNOW you got it connected right.(unless someone else mis-wired it) There is an abundance of forum cart guestions can be tracked back to a bad connection or a cart that is mis-wired. When you get them all clean use a battery terminal protectant on the terminals. Wheel bearing grease works real well too. DO NOT TAKE THEM ALL OFF at the same time unless you are upgrading and/or feel confortable enough to rewire the whole cart.
Basic Electric Golf Cart Maintainance:
Cleaning your batteries:
Always neutralize the battery acid first before rinsing off with water. You can use a mixture of baking soda and water or get some battery acid cleaner from an auto parts store. Cleaning your batteries once a month is a good practice. If you minimize corrosion to the electrical system battery life can be increased and properly maintained batteries can last as long as 5 years or longer.
Let the cleaner set for 5 to 10 minutes and rinse off with clean water. Be careful not to spray water directly into electrical components like your speed controller.
After rinsing if there is still deposits of battery acid spray again with the baking soda solution or cleaner and let it sit for at least 5 minutes before rinsing; repeat if required.
These deposits on the batteries must be removed because they can cause your golf cart batteries to self discharge. If there is still evidence of corrosion get some protective gloves and a stiff bristle brush and scrub the deposits off. Dirt and debris can build up quicker on lifted golf carts because they are typically used off road.
These basic cleaning tips also work on gas golf cart batteries.
Watering your golf cart batteries:
Only add distilled water AFTER fully charging. The only time you should add water before charging is if the lead plates are exposed. Only then fill just above the lead plates. (about 1/4 inch) The reason for this is to keep the batteries from boiling excess electrolyte out of the batteries while charging. Battery acid will eat away at just about everything it touches.
It is important that all battery cells be filled properly to obtain good battery life. The water should completely cover the plates inside the battery, but should be about a quarter inch below the bottom of the fill tube.*Using a battery fill bottle will eliminate the quess work. Again, always use distilled water. Check the water level at least once a month, more often if you charge frequently
Use only distilled, deionized or demineralized water to replace the lost water in batteries. Using tap water from homes or buisnesses can produce calcium or magnesium sulfate crystals that can fill the pores and coat the plates therfore reducing battery life. (No, running the water through a filter will not filter out the impurites and minerals)
Charging your batteries:
Charge the batteries daily after each use. If you play golf; charge between rounds if possible.
Before you plug in the golf cart battery charger, inspect all battery cables for frays or corrosion and make sure the terminals are clean and tight. A 6 volt battery produces around 2.3 volts per cell. That is 7.2 volt for a fully charged, perfect battery. A 6 volt battery that reads 6 volts is considered to be a dead battery. If you have a volt meter guage on your cart try not to let the pack fall below 80%. If you run below 80% you can hurt the batteries if you do this for extended periods of time. Remember, A well cared for battery will give you several years of trouble free service.
Most chargers will not come on unless they sense a certain voltage coming from the main battery pack.....around 28 volts or so. They will vary from charger to charger. You can use an automotive type 12 volt charger to charge 2 six volt batteries at a time to get the voltage up enough for the golf cart charger to take over.
With an 8 volt battery system you have to use 3 batteries and a 24 volt charger. Using a 12 volt charger on a single 8 volt battery is not reccomended.
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