Can golf cart batteries be refurbished? Yes.
If your golf cart battery is not charging properly or storing enough power, you don’t have to replace it. You can save your money and refurbish it. Besides, even if you buy a new battery, it will still need refurbishing after some time.
Generally, a golf cart battery will serve for about 3 to 5 years, depending on how you use and maintain it. And after the battery performance goes down, you can restore its original power.
Refurbishing a golf cart battery is simple. You can do it even without prior experience if you’re confident enough.
In this article, we’ll share with you a step-by-step method for doing the work yourself. But before we dive into the process, let’s first discuss some critical things that you’d need.
Everything You Need To Refurbish Golf Cart Batteries
Before you begin the actual work, you must have everything ready. The following is a list of everything you need to get started.
- Rubber gloves
- Safety goggles
- Baking soda
- Distilled Water
- Epson Salt
- Flathead screw
- A toothbrush
- Battery reconditioning chargers
- Steel wool or sandpaper
Step By Step Guide To Refurbish Golf Cart Batteries
Once you have everything ready, follow the steps below to get the job done. Don’t skip any step, even if it appears to be unnecessary in your battery situation. Follow the process to the latter to get better performance.
Step 1: Wear Protective Gear
Before you begin doing anything, wear your protective gear. This includes an apron, gloves, and goggles. These safety gear will protect you from the splash of any acid that could be harmful to your body.
Step 2: Open Battery Compartment and Remove the Battery
Start by accessing the battery in your golf cart. The batteries are placed under the front seat. So, to open the compartment, lift the front seat out of the cart. Check how your front seat is mounted on the cart and remove it carefully. Some cart models have their front seat hinged with a mechanism that can lift it up easily.
After opening the compartment, use a wrench to remove the battery from your golf cart.
Step 3: Clean The Battery Corrosion
Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with a quarter litter of water. Use your toothbrush or paintbrush for the cleaning. All you need to do is dip the brush in the solution and brush off the corroded areas. The main focus should be mostly around the terminals.
Expect the cleaning process to fizz and bubble when soda and battery acid come into contact.
If the corrosion is stubborn, use steel wool to scrub it from the battery. Steel wool or sandpaper will give it an abrasive texture and peel off the corrosion.
Lastly, dip your brush in plain water and wipe all the battery surfaces after cleaning.
Step 4: Inspect The Battery
Batteries get cracks or other defects. Thoroughly inspect it and ensure it’s in the right condition. Check if the case is leaking any acid or if any area is not well enclosed. If you find any battery cracks or defects, replace them. It doesn’t matter how good you’ll repair it. It will still be defective.
Step 5: Remove The Plastic Caps
Plastic caps cover the cells of the batteries. Remove them. All you need to do is push the end of the flat screwdriver under the cap and try to push it upwards. The cap will come out with a lot of ease.
Step 6: Prepare A Distilled Water Solution
Add 13% Epson salt into distilled water. Stir thoroughly to get a good solution. Then inspect every battery cell. And if everything is alright, add distilled water to the battery. You should add enough water that would cover all the plates.
After refilling the battery, return the caps to their places.
Step 7: Charge the Battery
Charging the battery for about 8 to 12 hours is advisable using a three-phase charger set for 6-volt batteries. Ensure the recharging is set at a slow amp rate. But most importantly, ensure you have a proper terminal and wiser connection between the cell and charger. The red wire should go to the positive terminal, and the black wire should be placed on the negative terminal.
The best way to do it is to get yourself a smart battery charger. This will take a lot of hassle and ensure you charge the batteries effectively.
Step 8: Inspect The Charge
After about 12 hours of charging, check the charge. If the battery shows that it has charged, open the caps and inspect the cells again. Add more distilled water in cells that have exposed plates. If all is well, then your battery will be ready to use.
What If the Battery Doesn’t Charge Even After Following These Steps?
If you follow all the above steps properly, your battery should be able to charge fully. But if it doesn’t, you didn’t add Epsom to the distilled water. Follow the steps below to re-do it again and get it charging.
Step 1: Drain The Battery Acid
Tip your battery on one edge. Allow up to half of the battery acid to run out of every cell. Drain the acid in a plastic container. And after draining the acid, use the baking soda solution you had prepared clean it. Also, remember to rinse with plain water while careful that no water gets into the battery cells.
Step 2: Add Epsom Salt Soltuon
Warm 2 quarts of distilled water and add about 8 ounces of Epsom salts. Stir well to get a mixed solution. Then add the solution into the cell until all places are covered.
Step 3: Charge The Battery for About 12 Hours
Repeat the charging process. Ensure your battery is charged at a slow amp rate for about 12 hours. It’s advisable to leave the battery charging overnight and check it in the morning.
After 12 hours, check if the battery is fully charged.
But it can’t be saved if the battery doesn’t charge even after repeating this process carefully. Forget about it and replace it with a new one.
However, we are confident if you followed the steps later, you’d easily refurbish your golf cart batteries.
Precautions When Refurbishing Your Golf Cart Batteries
The following are simple precautions and tips that will help you get effective battery refurbishing.
- Never fill your battery with tap water. Always use distilled water. This is because the chemicals and minerals in the tap water will react with the acid and destroy your battery.
- Always be careful not to contact yellow/white corrosion or battery acid. It can easily burn your clothing and skin. It would cause serious health issues.
- Never forget to wear protective gear. Always have your gloves and eye protection on when working with lead-acid batteries.
- For better battery performance, always maintain your golf cart.
Tips For A Lasting Golf Cart Batteries
It’s not fun to always be refurbishing or replacing your cart batteries. It’s tedious and would cost you some money you could save and do other things with.
But to keep your batteries lasting longer, you can always follow the tips below.
- Buy Good Quality Batteries
Never buy a battery because it’s cheap. Always look for batteries that offer good quality performance. Find batteries that give you many years of warranty. With those, you can be sure they will last longer. Besides, if they die before the warranty expires, you can get an exchange from the manufacturer for free.
- Seal Your Battery
Get sealant and use it on the terminals, wire lugs, bolts, and nuts. Use submersible rubber tape to seal any wire that’s exposed. And for terminals, apply petroleum jelly. These seals prevent corrosion and any other issue that could destroy your battery.
- Always Check And Fill The Water Levels
Overwatering or underwatering your battery decreases its lifespan. So, always ensure the water is just at the right levels—covering the plates.
Always Charge At Right Time
Never allow your battery to run until it’s empty. It’s recommended to charge your battery once it hits 50%. And this will ensure the battery cells will last longer to hold enough charge.
Can golf cart batteries be refurbished? The simple answer is yes. And now, we have provided you with the best easy-to-follow procedure to refurbish your battery. This will save the environment and money you would have spent buying another battery. So, if you have got a defective battery, don’t rush to replace it. Start by inspecting and refurbishing it. And you can do all that by yourself without any help.