Golf cart batteries can get damaged over time and this affects the amount of energy they can store on a single charge, and as such the golf cart will have a shorter range as a result. In order to ensure golf cart batteries, perform as intended and last a really long time, it is advisable to recondition them in order to ensure they retain their original performance. Reconditioning can also be very a cost effective and cheap alternative as opposed to buying new golf cart batteries. This also ensures less waste and junk since golf cart battery normally use lead acid batteries and these can be difficult to discard and cause environmental disasters if the battery acid leaks out. They can also cause serious health risks if not properly taken care of. It important whoever to ensure one follows the correct rules when reconditioning golf cart batteries, so as to ensure one does not create safety hazards and further damage to the batteries themselves.
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Advantages Of Battery Reconditioning
One good advantage of reconditioning golf cart batteries is that the process is not as complicated, and it can extend the life of the battery by as high as 2 years, thus allowing the golf cart to work on the golf course and other soft roads for a longer time. Most people throw away these batteries when they are not functioning properly however, they can be rejuvenated and reconditioned to ensure they work as intended. Reconditioning batteries is also a lot cheaper than buying new golf cart batteries and also is environmentally friendly. It can cost as high as $800 to $1500 to buy new golf cart batteries but reconditioning can be done for as low as 25% to 50% of the price.
Golf carts normally use wet deep cycle 6 volt and 12-volt lead acid battery packs. These have a tendance to leak sulfuric acid if not handled correctly, as such proper care is needed when handling them to ensure they do not leak. Using safety gloves and googles is highly recommended when reconditioning golf cart batteries to avoid contact with the battery acid. If one is exposed to the acid, wash with soap and water and seek medical attention if there are any serious wounds. These batteries also tend to produce explosive and toxic gas when charging, as such ensure charging is done in a properly vented room. Reconditioning golf cart batteries is precise work and hence there is need to follow the correct sequence of instructions in order to ensure they last a long time and one does not create hazards. This will also ensure the right amount of power is obtained from the reconditioned golf cart battery. Golf cart batteries normally measure 50 to 52 volts and if they measure below 48 volts collectively, they may be need to check and recondition the individual batteries.
Prepping The Golf Cart Batteries For Reconditioning
The first step in reconditioning golf cart batteries is removing them from the golf cart. The golf cart batteries are normally placed under the front seat and depending on the golf cart model, the seat could be hinged and as such may need to be lifted straight up to take the golf cart batteries out.
Cleaning The Batteries
Old golf cart batteries normally can develop some rust especially on the terminals and as such they may need to be cleaned when reconditioning them. In order to clean the golf cart batteries, mix two table spoons of baking soda in to water. Ensure this is done while one is wearing gloves and googles in order to ensure one is not exposed to any harmful liquids. Using a paint brush that has been dipped into baking soda solution, brush over the potions with corrosion. It is important to be careful when brushing over the area around the golf cart battery terminals, as the baking soda solution will normally generate bubbles or fizz if the battery acid and the baking soda solution come into contact. After washing the golf cart battery with soda solution, it is advisable to use clean fresh water to wash off the golf cart battery in order to avoid any further corrosion from developing on the battery. Also ensure to check for any signs of cracks or defects when reconditioning the golf cart batteries. The batteries may need to be replaced if there are any signs of the battery acid leaking.
Steps In Reconditioning Golf Cart Batteries
After cleaning and inspecting the golf cart batteries for any leaks, one needs to remove the cap covers of the battery cells using a tool such as a screw driver. The caps may be held tight and as such a little pressure may be needed to remove the caps. Once the caps have been totally removed, the next step is to use a funnel to pour distilled water in to the battery cells until full. Once this reconditioning process is done the golf cart batteries may need to be charged for about 12 hours using a three-phase battery charger. It is of paramount importance to ensure one is using the correct voltage, which is normally 2.3 to 2.35 volts. Also ensure the positive wire is connected to the positive terminal of the battery and the negative wire to the negative terminal of the golf cart battery. This is to avoid permanently damaging the battery and avoiding hazardous sparks when reconditioning the golf cart batteries. The charging process can be done overnight for convenience. After charging the golf cart batteries check to ensure if any of the battery plates are exposed to the air. If there are refill with distilled water and replace the battery caps. Check the voltage to ensure the batteries are fully charged. If the golf cart batteries are not fully charged after this reconditioning process, there may be need to use Epson salt.
Using Epson Salt
If the batteries are not fully charged the problem could be due to sulfation. Sulfation is the formation of solid calcium sulfate on the surface of the battery and the plates. Also inside, the lead sulfate crystals could grow too big. This impedes the flow of current and affects the performance of the battery. When reconditioning golf cart batteries, the next step is tipping the battery to one of the edges and letting approximately half of the golf cart battery acid to drop out from the cell into a container. Extreme caution is needed since the acid is corrosive. Also ensure no water enters the batteries cells and use a paint brush dipped in soda solution to clean of the battery in the reconditioning process.
Epson Salt Mixing
The next step in reconditioning the golf cart batteries is to mix about 8 ounces of Epsom salt with 2 quarts of warm water then filling this solution into the battery cells until full and then covering them. After this charge the batteries, preferably over night for 12 hours on a trickle charger. The Epson salt used should remove any deposits on the battery plates which normally prevent the battery from charging fully. Recheck the battery voltage if there is need, otherwise the battery should be restored to normal operation. Epson salt neutralizes the acid and prevents corrosion. The right proportions however are of paramount importance when reconditioning golf cart batteries, add 1 cup of Epson salt crystals into a clean 5-gallon bucket and add 1/2 a gallon of water before stirring until dissolved.
Other Methods Of Reconditioning Golf Cart Batteries
There are other methods to recondition golf cart batteries, which include the use of a golf cart battery disulfate, which will help remove the sulfate from battery cells. Other methods may also include using a battery repair liquid however it may not work for some batteries.
In conclusion reconditioning golf cart batteries is a wonderful way to ensure one restores the performance of their golf cart without the need to buy expensive new golf cart batteries. It is also environmentally friendly and easy to do, however care is need to ensure one is not exposed to the harmful acids in the golf cart batteries. Safety gloves and googles are recommended when reconditioning golf cart batteries to prevent contact with the battery acid.