WATERING - MONTHLY CHECK THE LEVEL IN EVERY CELL AND FILL THE BATTERIES TO THE CORRECT LEVELS AS REQUIRED. The use of a battery-watering gun will assist in accurately completing this task. Water should be added, if needed, after the charging has been completed unless the tops of the internal plates are exposed. In that case, water should be added before charging.

Be sure that a water suitable for watering batteries (colorless, odorless, tasteless, and suitable for drinking), preferably distilled water, is utilized. If you have any doubt as to the suitability of the water, have it tested and add an appropriate water line filter, if required.

It is most important that all battery cells be filled to the correct level in order to obtain good battery life and minimize corrosion to the electrical system and vehicle.

CLEANING - MONTHLY WASH THE BATTERY TOPS WITH A SOLUTION OF 1/4 CUP (60ML) BAKING SODA TO 1 1/2 GALLONS (6 TO 1) OF CLEAR WATER.

After watering spray the tops and sides of the batteries, the battery wiring and the battery racks with baking soda solution; let the solution stand for at least five minutes to allow the neutralization to take place.

Rinse the entire area with a low- pressure spray of clean water. Do not wash electrical components with direct stream of high pressure water.

If any evidence of corrosion is evident (green powered foam), spray again with baking soda and let the solution stand for at least 5 minutes before rinsing; repeat if required.

Deposits on battery tops must be removed because they are conductive and cause self-discharge of the battery. Scrub the battery tops with a bristle brush soaked in baking soda solution. Rinse with clear water.

Never wash batteries without first neutralizing the entire battery area with a baking soda solution.

CHARGING - DAILY RECHARGE THE BATTERIES AFTER USE. Golf car batteries should be charged between rounds if possible.

Before charging batteries, inspect all termination for frayed conductors and loose or damaged connector. Inspect all termination to assure that they are both clean ( corrosion free ) and securely fastened to battery post.

A fully charged battery will not freeze in winter temperatures.

In the "off season" the batteries should be fully charged, disconnected from the charger and stored in an unheated covered area. Check the batteries during the "off Season" at thirty - day intervals, recharge and disconnect charger after charging. DO NOT leave the charger connected to the vehicle during "off season" storage.

EZ-GO Cars equipped with DCS feature must be stored with the tow/maintenance/run switch in the tow/maintenance position.


Winter Weather -- 
Can Your Batteries Stand the Cold?

by Rick Farris
Manager of Technical Reliability, Club Car, Inc.


It has been my experience that batteries in an electric golf car are often the most misunderstood of all the vehicle’s components.   What makes a battery operate still seems to mystify a good many people whose jobs are to maintain large fleets of electric golf cars. Recharging, watering and cleaning are the fundamentals for proper battery preventive maintenance. An intimate knowledge of battery design and operation isn’t a maintenance prerequisite, but a working understanding of what’s going on the inside of one surely will help. 

Most golf car manufacturers have provided in their maintenance and service manuals and technical training seminars, a basic outline of how lead–acid batteries function.  If you haven’t read your manual or haven’t attended a factory sponsored training class, you need to do so, as soon as possible.

One of the most misunderstood aspects of battery maintenance is cold weather storage.  In many areas of the country where extreme cold weather temperatures prevent winter play, golf cars must be stored until the following season.  In some locations, this can be for up to seven months.  So what needs to be done to prevent the batteries in your golf car fleet from becoming damaged during long periods of storage?  Probably not as much as you might think.

Contrary to what many believe, golf car batteries love cold weather, for storage that is.  I have personally heard stories about golf courses having their mechanic pull out all the batteries in a fleet, place them on pallets and move them into a heated storage facility.  There, all the chargers were brought in, each group of six batteries wired together complete with a charger receptacle, and then charged periodically throughout the remainder of the winter.  Can you imagine the work involved in doing that with an 80 to 100 car fleet?  None of this is necessary! Batteries can be stored while still in their cars and will survive even in subfreezing temperatures if a few simple rules are followed.

Before placing any batteries in a storage situation, understand there is a condition called stand loss discharge (loss of electrolyte specific gravity) that will affect their life span and survivability.  Batteries, without the benefit of frequent recharging, will rapidly self-discharge, especially in warm weather.  The higher the ambient temperature, the higher the degree of self-discharge.  I have included a chart (Stand Loss Capacities) that demonstrates the severity of this situation by showing how quickly batteries stored at various temperatures can go from a fully charged condition to becoming deeply discharged and possibly damaged, often permanently. Notice that batteries stored at a temperature of 42°F (6°C) display much less stand loss discharge than the other two examples shown at higher temperatures.  Even after 19 weeks, the batteries are at approximately 1.245 specific gravity, well above the sulfation threshold of 1.220.  This means the lower the storage temperature, the less the batteries will self-discharge. And the lower the temperature, the better. Even at 0°F (-18°C), batteries will maintain their charge for an extended period of time.  Of course, this is all predicated on the batteries being clean, in good condition, and being fully charged prior to being placed into storage.  These conditions are imperative, and they are the keys to successful winter storage.  Unless your fleet is equipped with a charging system that will automatically turn on and assess battery condition and perform a periodic “maintenance charge,” I highly recommend you disconnect the battery pack wiring after the full charge prior to storage if the chargers are not going to be used.  I would also advise you to inspect the batteries monthly, taking sample specific gravity readings and checking chargers and circuit breakers if the chargers are to be used during storage, just to be sure there are no problems.

There is always concern that batteries will freeze during cold weather storage.  They certainly can and will unless a sufficient charge is maintained.  Take note of the charts listing temperatures at which batteries can freeze (Electrolyte Freezing Point @ Various States of Charge).  As long as the proper specific gravity (state of charge) is maintained, batteries will not freeze.  If you compare stand loss discharge at the temperature ranges listed, you’ll see batteries stored at temperatures even well below 0°F (-18°C) will maintain their state of charge for an extended period as long as the temperature remains at that level.

See, that wasn’t so difficult, was it?  Now when someone asks if your batteries are ready for cold weather, you’ll know the answer