With 7% of the Australian population golfing, the number of people traversing the courses of the country is growing every day. As more people hit the course, it puts a higher demand on golf cart batteries. It’s important to use electric golf carts with rechargeable batteries to enjoy golf without increasing our carbon footprint.
However, you need to make sure you know when to recharge your batteries. Here are six signs to look for when batteries need replacing.
1. Charge Times Are Out of Hand
Just like any rechargeable battery, the repeated cycles of draining and charging your battery can take a toll on it. Batteries are made up of chemicals that have a specific shelf life. When used a lot, they won’t give you the kind of power they did when they were new.
Your charger will be doing everything it can to hit those maximum power levels regardless of how old your battery is. Your golf cart could find itself taking longer and longer to charge whenever the battery dies.
If it can’t deliver when you need it or if you’re waiting several times longer than you used to for a charge, you do not imagine things. You’re dealing with a golf cart battery that’s reached the end of its life.2. You Don’t Get As Much Distance
At the very least, your golf cart should be able to last through the length of a golf course. On average, this should cover a few miles. When a golf cart battery is at its peak, it should easily be able to cover seven miles without needing to be recharged. No game of golf should be interrupted by a dying battery.
If you notice batteries starting to weaken after those first nine holes, you need to check out your battery. The last thing you want is for your cart to die before you can get it back to the clubhouse. Golf carts are heavy and pushing one up a hill won’t be an option.
When you see a sign of trouble, consider turning back and calling it quits for the day. You’re better off interrupting a game and moving your tee times back than having yourself or other golfers be stranded halfway through the course.
3. No “Get Up and Go”
When you hit the gas on an electric cart or a golf cart, you expect it to start whizzing off fast. It should move gently when you softly press the pedal, but it should be able to hit top speeds when it’s down.
When batteries start to lose their strength, they’ll take longer to accelerate and might not reach the speeds you want at all. They’ll dive in acceleration and maybe have difficulty climbing hills.
If you’re not getting the power you need when you expect it, it might be time to switch out your batteries. A cart that’s fully charged should get you across the greens and over hills without any trouble at all.
4. You See Visual Signs
When issues arise, they’ll likely be more than one problem. Batteries that are still relatively new shouldn’t be showing you signs of slowing down. If you see issues this soon, look for visual evidence.
Batteries that are having issues will bulge, expand, or even show cracks. When this happens, handle them with care and also wear gloves. Batteries that have corrosion on top or along the sides will need to be cleaned or even replaced.
Battery corrosion can cause connections to be spotty. If you notice that when you hit a bump, you lose or gain power, clean off your battery.
Batteries can even leak acid when they have signs of deterioration. Leaking acid can be dangerous or also damage your property.
To best protect your batteries, make an effort to wipe down golf cart batteries every month or so. Get a brush for cleaning off corrosion and rags for wiping off leaking acid.
If you see leaking acid, remove the battery immediately and replace it. Dispose of your battery carefully as lead-acid batteries can be an environmental hazard.
5. Driving Until They Die
If you’re charging your batteries when they’re super low or about to die, you might find that they’ll need replacing more often. When you drain your golf cart batteries or leave them near empty before you charge them, you risk doing damage to them.
Letting them die over and over can be as bad as overcharging them.
Every kind of battery has its limitations when it comes to how much it should ideally be charged and drained. Follow the manufacturer’s regulations to ensure that you treat your batteries.
6. People Are Always Running The Radio
If your carts have radios, lights, or any additional electrical components, they shouldn’t be on when the cart isn’t operating.
Just like driving a car, electrical components can take a lot of energy from your battery when the whole engine isn’t running.
If you have petrol-powered carts, you’ll have to jump-start them to get them running after the battery is dead. This situation is less than ideal for any fleet of carts.
Remind anyone driving your cart that they should never run electrical components when the cart is turned off.
Golf Cart Batteries Can Be Sensitive
When its time to replace your golf cart batteries, you need to make sure that you replace them with a high-quality option. Knowing what the best batteries are for a golf cart can require research an understanding of the basics of rechargeable batteries.
Check out our guide for maintaining battery life for an overview of the basics of electric vehicle batteries.