Charging your golf cart in short bursts can drastically shorten the life of your batteries. Aim to get a full charge after each and every use. The amount of time this takes can vary depending on how depleted the batteries are. It is best to pug it in every night, and your charger will automatically shut off when the batteries are full. Keep in mind the hotter the temp the quicker the set of batteries will discharge.
Allowing your golf cart's batteries to become completely discharged can lead to significant damage. Additionally, you run the risk of not being able to recharge them as chargers have to detect a charge to turn on. If this happens, call your local golf cart company to request a service call. Though their overall lifespan may have already been shortened, it is likely that a professional can get them up and running again.
Most importantly, avoid charging your golf cart in an enclosed space. Deep cycle batteries produce hydrogen gas and at a 6-7% level, hydrogen gas can be explosive when in an enclosed space like a garage, particularly if in the same garage there is an ignition source like a gas water heater, a gas furnace, and perhaps even an electrical outlet. Newer batteries that are maintained properly and that are coupled with a charger that has a properly functioning auto-shutoff feature, do not normally represent a significant hazard even in an unventilated garage. That being said, it is always better to be on the safe side.
Check the Battery Water Level
The lead plates inside your batteries need to be completely submerged at all times. This requires the regular addition of distilled water in each cell. Water levels should be checked at least twice a month to ensure proper operation. We even recommend checking once a week for carts used daily. The older the batteries, the more frequently you need to check your water levels as older batteries use more water.
It is best to refill your batteries once they have been fully charged. During the charging process, the acidic water can boil over, causing damage to the battery terminals and your golf cart's frame. However, if the plates are not fully submerged, add enough water to cover them before charging to prevent from damaging the batteries.
When checking the water levels, take note of the state of the batteries. Dirt and buildup can increase the batteries' self-discharge while not in use. Clean the battery top with a cloth or brush and a solution of baking soda and water. When cleaning, do not allow any cleaning solution or other foreign matter to get inside the battery. Rinse with water and dry with a clean cloth. Additionally, clean battery terminals and the inside of cable clamps using a post and clamp cleaner. Clean terminals will have a bright metallic shine. Reconnect the clamps to the terminals and thinly coat them with an anti-corrosive spray or silicon gel. Keep the area around batteries clean and dry.
Maintain Sufficient Tire Pressure
Make sure to maintain sufficient tire pressure before each use. Letting them get low on air, or inflating them too much, can cause uneven wear and a shorter life span. The tires also absorb a large amount of the forces when driving on rough services. In bumpy driving conditions, flat tires put more stress on the suspension and potentially lead to more costly damages. You will find the recommended tire pressure, or psi, on the tire’s sidewall. The standard golf tire should ideally remain at 20 psi.
Be aware that sometimes what may seem like a battery issue is, in fact, a tire issue. Low tire pressure causes an increased load on deep cycle batteries which will not only slow down the golf cart but also decrease the distance one can go before recharging.
Your average speed can also affect the life of your golf cart's tires. Standard golf tires are designed for factory set speeds. You might consider purchasing specialized tires if you will be operating your cart at higher than normal speeds. It may result in more upfront costs but it will reduce wear on your golf cart saving you money in the long run.