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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Golf cart problems




Florida is the land of golf carts. There are times when it feels like they are the main form of transportation. That's great. I use my dad's around the park all the time. Word got out that I fixed it when it died on me so now I'm some sort of expert.

Okay, here's my advice on gold carts. Seems like 90% of the problems with golf carts are the batteries. My house uses similar batteries so I know a little about their care and maintenance. There are some basic things that a golf cart battery bank needs.

Keep an eye on the water levels in the individual cells in the battery. Top off if needed with distilled water. Don't over fill. Check them on a regular basis. Write down their condition and how much water you had to add so you have an idea how often they need to be looked at. Checking them every month is a good place to start.

Keep the batteries fully charged. Many people think that keeping a golf cart plugged in will somehow damage the batteries. The opposite is true. Leaving the batteries discharged will shorten their life. By keeping the batteries fully charged they will last longer.

Check all the connections on the batteries. Look for lose wires and/or corrosion. Keep them cleaned up and tight. My dad's golf cart died on me when the end of one of the cables corroded and burned off. There was an electrical smell and then the cart died. An $8 cable fixed the problem.

Water. Charge. Connections. Simple maintenance takes care of most of the problems.

There are no deals on batteries. Good ones cost more. Cheap ones are too expensive to buy as they'll fail way too soon.

One more thing. Check the air pressure in the tires. The required pressure is written right on the tire. It's usually between 18 – 22 pounds. You would not believe the number of golf carts running around with either barely any air or so much air they are in danger of blowing up.

-Sixbears

16 comments:

  1. A golf cart is similar to a off grid solar system. They just have a charger instead of panels and a motor in pace of the inverter. Years ago I read a article of an off gridder that had a solar panel bank for charging his golf cart for farm use .He also could plug it into the cabin for extra power if needed. If you get bored charge 25$ to residents for a battery cable clean and checkup on Golf carts this winter.

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    1. If I'm not careful this could turn into a small business . . . but I'm a careful guy. :)

      If I had a golf cart and lived down here I'd never plug it into the grid. Would not take much to hook up a solar electric system for charging one.

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  2. Sounds like a Golden opportunity for a little extra pocket change to me.

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    1. Another opportunity I'll most likely let slip through my fingers. By the fourth golf cart I'd be bored.

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  3. You are so right about those cheap batteries, Sixbears. Hubby's golf cart is street legal and licensed, with lights and seat belts. Goes up to 31 mph, and those cheap batteries are a killer for sure. The expensive ones are a killer, too, but to the pocketbook. Worth the extra in the longrun, though. Maintenance is the holy grail ...

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  4. Getting bored won't be much of a problem if you are getting paid! (you can buy the sailboat you both really want) Something to think about!

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    1. I find money to be a poor motivator. Story of my life.

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  5. I was keeping my motorhome plugged in to shore power but it burned up the batteries. Had to get them replaced. This time I got sealed batteries because I can't get to the ones in the rear to add water. I can't even get the caps off.

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    1. You must have had the wrong kind of charger. Good ones are supposed to taper down to a trickle charge.

      I have a sealed battery on my boat. It is nice to not have to worry about acid spilling out. However, they are even more sensitive to overcharge so be careful.

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  6. Good, timely advice on the golf cart batteries, Sixbears. Same thing could be applied to autos as well.

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    1. I'm a big fan of quality batteries in my vehicles too. Nothing worse than a dead battery when you need to bug out.

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  7. We don't see many golf carts here. Too steep.

    We do have a lot of people driving those little all terrain two seater things with a bed on them. I almost ran one down the other night, he was on the road after dark with no lights in the back.

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    1. ATVs are allowed on many of the roads back home. It started out as a few routes to connect trail systems. Now there are whole towns that allow them. Sometimes it's like Road Warrior out there.

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  8. Sadly it sounds like we have a long way to go to get people to understand solar power and how to use it..:-)

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    1. These things take time, but it will happen. Might happen when the lights go out of we don't get our butts in gear.

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