Charging Deep Cycle Batteries
| Charging deep cycle batteries correctly can improve and extend the life of your golf cart battery.
Electric Golf Cart Batteries
If you are a new golf cart owner, you simply plug the charger into your cart and 2-5 seconds later, you will hear it automatically turn on.
It is important to charge the batteries completely before you use your electric golf cart - especially when it is new.
By running the new golf cart until the battery charge is way down, you shorten the life of your new batteries.
The charger will turn off automatically when the batteries are fully charged. There is nothing to turn off. Simply unplug the charger from the cart when the charger has shut off. Depending on how much the golf cart batteries are discharged will determine how long it will take to fully recharge them.
You can certainly run your batteries down to 80% or so if you are using it for several rounds of golf or for a long trip on your golf cart but this may shorten the life of your batteries. Avoid deep discharging whenever possible.
Be sure to charge the batteries fully after every use.
When you have a new golf cart or a new set of batteries, they will need to be fully charged around 20-50 times before they've reached their full capacity.
Golf Cart Battery Charging
Good golf cart battery charging practices can lead to to a longer lifespan.
Charging deep cycle batteries needs to be done after every use for optimal care of your batteries. Even if you only use it for 10 minutes or 9 holes.
This is especially important for those of you who live in a golf cart community like I do - many times we use our golf cart just for a few minutes each day to go to a neighbors house or to run to a store.
The worst thing you can do to your electric golf cart batteries is to let them sit in a hot garage without ever charging them.
Avoid running your golf cart on a low charge as this can be very hard on your batteries and can shorten their life span.
A few times after 36 holes of golf, my battery charge indicator is flashing, which means, it could die at any moment. This is what you are NOT suppose to do.
Also do not plug your golf cart battery into a plug that is shared with a refrigerator or other electric appliance. It can interfere with the consistency of the flow of electricity which also affects the health of your batteries.
Understanding Golf Cart Batteries
By understanding golf cart batteries you may save yourself some serious money. Because we live in a golf cart community and I love to play golf, our golf cart gets used (and abused) a lot.
I have done everything good and bad to my golf cart. The one thing I have not yet done is to run it so long and so far that the cart will no longer run. This can really shorten the life of your batteries and in fact, you risk the possibility that the batteries will not accept the recharge if it is completely discharged.
So understand that the deeper the discharge the harder it is on your batteries.
The amount of time it takes when charging deep cycle batteries depends on how much they are used and how old they are. Make it a habit to plug in the charger every evening and let your golf cart batteries recharge over night.
Tips for Charging Deep Cycle Batteries
1. Batteries need to get fully charged between uses.
2. Be sure to check the water level of your batteries frequently (more often in the summer).
The hotter the temp, the quicker the set of batteries will discharge.
The older the batteries, the more frequently you need to check your water levels. Older batteries use more water.
3. Dry batteries are the number one cause of premature failure.
If the batteries are new or fairly new use distilled water rather than tap water.
4. Water should be added after charging (unless the water is below the level of the plates).
If you fill the batteries before you charge them, you risk overfilling. During the charging process the electrolyte level will rise and may bubble out of the cap.
5. Batteries need to be kept clean and dry to prevent self discharge. Dirty batteries can cause a trickle of small current that can slowly discharge your batteries.
6. When it comes time to replace your batteries, replace all of them. Do not mix new and used batteries.
A little warning if you are finding that your golf cart batteries are not holding their charge as long or as well as they used to, it may be time to get new batteries - Ouch! They keep jumping in price and it will cost you a couple hundred dollars.
7. When you are pulling the battery charger plug from your golf cart, be sure to pull on the actual plug, not the cord.
If you repeatedly pull from the cord, which is what my wife does all the time, you can damage the wires inside the plug and pull them loose. If this happens your charge won't work.
I have found that after a few years, my batteries take a longer time to charge and don't hold a charge as long as the new batteries. The older they get, the more apt I am to check the water levels.
Golf Cart Battery Maintenance
Only water your batteries, after they are fully charged...unless there is no water covering the plates.
Then add just enough water to cover the plates. Be sure to use distilled water.
After fully charging deep cycle batteries, perform the water maintenance program.
Electric Golf Cart Battery Guide
I purchased this electric golf cart battery guide and have referred to it many times. Golf cart batteries are the single, largest expense in owning an electric golf cart. Replacing them can cost between $500 - $600. If they are not charged and maintained correctly, the lifespan of lead acid batteries will be shortened. Likewise, knowing how to charge correctly and when to water your batteries can greatly extend your battery life.
If you need help understanding deep cycle batteries, how they work and how to maintain them so that they last a long time get yours here:
Golf Cart Battery Guide
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