Most electric golf cart batteries last for 5-7 years. As you may already know, golf carts are powered by multiple batteries (4,6 or 8) to meet the specific voltage system.
There will come a time when some of these batteries will lose their capacity and start dying off too early. Being the smart person that you are, reconditioning golf cart batteries is the best course of action in this situation. It can save you around $800 to $1500. Reconditioning batteries is not only a cost-effective but also an eco-friendly option.
Battery reconditioning means reviving the dead batteries, improving their charging capacity, refreshing the electrolytes, and desulfating to remove the sulfur crystals from the plates.
Before you start the battery reconditioning process, you must take appropriate safety measures to avoid accidents. The acid in lead acid batteries is highly corrosive and can damage skin, eyes, and clothing.
Ensure you have taken necessary safety precautions by wearing goggles, gloves, and an apron. The working area must be adequately ventilated. Before proceeding, check that the batteries are not fully drained to prevent sulfation. Additionally, avoid refilling the water levels prior to charging, as doing so could lead to spillage.
Material needed to carry out the reconditioning process for golf cart batteries includes a funnel, distilled water, baking soda, Epsom salt, and the safety equipment mentioned above.
To recondition golf cart batteries, first, wear protective gear (goggles, gloves, apron). Remove batteries, clean terminals with a baking soda solution, and refill cells with Epsom salt and water mixture. Recharge slowly for about 12 hours, then perform a load test using a battery load tester.
Reconditioning Golf Cart Batteries | Step-by-Step Guide
- Safety equipment like rubber gloves, goggles, and apron
- Distilled water
- Baking soda
- Epsom salt
Follow these steps to recondition golf cart batteries
Step 1: Safety Gear
- Put on protective gear: goggles, gloves, and an apron.
Step 2: Battery Removal
- Use a wrench to remove the batteries from the golf cart.
Step 3: Corrosion Cleaning
- Prepare a baking soda and water solution (2 parts baking soda to 1 part water).
- Dip an old toothbrush in the solution and brush the terminals to remove corrosion.
- Use steel wool or sandpaper for stubborn corrosion.
Step 4: Electrolyte Drainage
- Remove battery caps using a flathead screwdriver.
- Drain the old electrolyte solution into a bucket.
- Repeat for all golf cart cells.
Step 5: Electrolyte Replacement
- Prepare a solution of 12-15% Epsom salt and distilled water.
- Refill each golf cart cell with the new electrolyte solution.
- Lock the battery caps securely.
Step 6: Charging
- Recharge the golf cart cells using a battery charger.
- Set a slow amp rate for approximately 12 hours.
- Ensure proper wire and terminal connections (red wire to positive, black wire to negative).
Step 7: Load Testing
- Conduct a load test using a battery load tester.
- Ensure the battery meets the required standards.
Following these steps will help you recondition golf cart batteries effectively and safely.
Tips and Warnings for Reconditioning Golf Cart Batteries
- Exercise caution when dealing with battery acid. Avoid contact with skin, eyes, or clothing, and handle in a well-ventilated area.
- To avoid sulfate salt accumulation in battery cells, refrain from fully draining the charge of your lead-acid battery.
- Check and maintain the water level in golf cart cells. Only refill water after charging the battery to 100 percent capacity to prevent spillage during the charging process.
- Work in a well-ventilated area during reconditioning to prevent fume build-up, ensuring a safe and comfortable environment for both you and the batteries.
- Securely lock the battery caps after refilling to prevent any leakage or spillage of the new electrolyte solution.
Benefits of Reconditioning Golf Cart Batteries
1. Cost Savings
Reconditioning golf cart batteries is a cost-effective alternative to purchasing new ones. It extends the lifespan of the battery, saving you money in the long run as you won’t need to invest in brand-new batteries as frequently.
2. Environmental Friendliness
Reconditioning batteries promotes environmental sustainability by reducing the number of batteries discarded into landfills. Lead-acid batteries, common in golf carts, contain hazardous materials. Proper reconditioning ensures these materials are reused and not released into the environment, mitigating potential harm.
3. Waste Reduction
Reconditioning minimizes waste generation associated with disposing of old batteries. By rejuvenating the battery’s performance and extending its life, less waste is produced, contributing to a cleaner and more sustainable environment.
4. Resource Conservation
Reusing and reviving golf cart batteries through reconditioning conserves valuable resources. The process involves replenishing the electrolyte solution, cleaning the battery, preserving the components, and reducing the need for new raw materials.
5. Energy Efficiency
Reconditioned batteries often exhibit improved energy efficiency compared to poorly maintained or aged batteries. This efficiency translates to better performance and longer usage between charges, optimizing the overall efficiency of the golf cart.
6. Sustainable Practices
Choosing to recondition golf cart batteries aligns with sustainable practices, emphasizing the importance of responsible consumption and reducing the ecological footprint associated with battery manufacturing and disposal.
7. Extended Battery Life
Through reconditioning, the lifespan of golf cart batteries is extended, allowing for more cycles of use before replacement. This longevity provides better value for the initial investment in the battery.
How to Revive Golf Cart Batteries
To revive golf cart batteries, follow these steps: Check water levels and specific gravity, build up voltage, clean terminals, charge for 8-10 hours, test voltage (36-48 volts for full charge), and maintain with regular cleaning and charging after use.
Reconditioning golf cart batteries is a cost-effective and eco-friendly way to extend their lifespan and optimize performance. By following careful steps such as cleaning, replenishing electrolytes, and ensuring proper charging, you can rejuvenate these batteries, saving money and reducing environmental impact. Regular maintenance after that will further enhance their longevity and maintain efficient golf cart operation.