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Golf Cart Maintenance Tips

What is proper Battery Watering? • Although they need less maintenance than automobiles, golf carts still require a certain amount of upkeep. You may not realize it, but your golf cart batteries require maintenance throughout their life to keep them running reliably. One integral aspect of this maintenance is battery watering. Unless you have a sealed battery, you should check the water level of your battery at regular intervals, usually about once a month, to ensure it is within the recommended range. If it is below the plates, you should add water, since consistently low water levels can result in damage and necessitate replacement of the battery. Be sure to use pure, distilled water and don’t overfill. Also, to avoid corrosion, keep the plates from being exposed to the air.

When should I water my batteries?

• Brand new batteries will use very little water at first, but with average use, will need water about every other month. During the summer please check your batteries once a week. The humidity and extreme weather will evaporate water at a faster rate than during cooler months. As the batteries get older, it takes longer for them to reach a full charge, thus using more water more frequently.

• To ensure you correctly and effectively fill your battery, follow these steps: 1.)Open the vent caps to check the fill wells; the minimum level for the solution is the top of the plates

- If the level is below the plates, then add just enough water (distilled preferred) to cover them. 2.)Charge the battery completely, and check the electrolyte level again 3.)Add distilled water (the level should end up about 1/8” below the bottom of the fill well) 4.)For best results, clean all vent caps before replacing them. Be sure they are tightly secured into place. Use only distilled water (preferred) for golf cart batteries. Throughout their lives, electric vehicle batteries may use up to a full 16 quarts of water. Using non-distilled water results in a buildup of minerals in the batteries that can negatively affect performance and lifespan. Adding Water to your Battery

Do you ever add acid to a battery? • Under normal operating conditions, you never need to add acid. Distilled water is recommended but tap water works just fine if distilled water is unavailable. Once filled, a battery will only need water added periodically.

Common Golf Cart Battery Mistakes Undercharging: • Leaving the golf car inactive for over 2 months will reduce the battery life. Continually operating the battery in a partial state of charge, or storing the battery in a discharged state result in the formation of lead sulfate compounds on the plates.

Sulfate: • Sulfating reduces the battery’s performance and may cause premature battery failure.

Overcharging: • Golf cart chargers sometimes do not turn off and may need repairs. Over-charging can result in accelerated corrosion of the positive plates, excessive water consumption, and in some cases, damaging temperatures within a lead acid battery. Deep cycle batteries should be charged after each discharge (after a minimum of an hour of use, a round of golf and or if applicable ½ on digital meter) of more than 50% of the batteries rated capacity, and/or after prolonged storage of 30 days or more.

Under-Watering: • In a deep cycle lead acid battery, water is lost during the charging process. If the electrolyte (water/acid) level drops below the top of the plates, irreparable damage may occur, as the plates will get hot, warp, and crack leaving the battery weak and inefficient. Water levels should be checked and maintained routinely. • If used for golf 4 to 5 times a week (check every week) • If used for golf 2 to 3 times a week (check every other week) • Anything less than mentioned above (check once a month)

Over-Watering: • Excessive watering of a battery results in dilution of the electrolyte, overflow, reduced battery performance, and unnecessary maintenance which may be messy and damage the floor.

How can I tell if a battery is bad? • The first indication of a battery problem is reduced performance. The most common items are water boiling on one or more batteries, corrosion build up, charger doesn’t turn off and or if you have a battery indicator that appears to not register correctly then you may have a charger issue. Please consult AC Electric Vehicles to do a proper diagnostic.

Can I mix new batteries with used? • Yes, although we highly recommend that you replace a battery with a new one if the set is less than 18 months old. Always match the Amp Hour ratings, and if you are using a used battery to replace in a set over 2 years old, try to use a battery of the same vintage, or as close as possible. Make sure the battery you replace, is at the same voltage, and the charge level is the same as the other batteries, so they are equal. Once again, call AC Electric Vehicles.

Can I put a protective coating to reduce corrosion build-up? • Yes, we highly recommend that a non-lead paint is used, or a product that was designed specifically for that use is called Battery Coating Spray. Clean before you apply.

Battery Cables: • Is it very important to remove corrosion and keep the cable connections tight and a clean terminal with a tight connection is critical to the efficient and safe operation of your golf cart. • You should check the battery cable connections on the top of the batteries each month when you water your batteries. Remove any corrosion, replace any damaged cables, and tighten the nuts on the cable terminals. • We recommend this to be done at least once a month. • You can see the corrosion that accumulates on the battery connection, but there is also corrosion going on in the cable under the insulation. The best way to check is to try to bend or flex the cable. Healthy cables will be flexible. Internal corrosion will make the cables very stiff. If the cables are stiff, chances are they are corroded inside and need replacing.

Tire Care: • Golf cart tires are no different than your car tires, and require periodic inflation. All standard 8” tires can be inflated to 28-30 lbs. All 10” – 12” tires can be inflated to 30 psi if they are street legal tires. If you are going to use a tire sealer, do not use the type out of a pressurized can, as that type of sealer is designed for automotive use to inflate and seal, and will cause corrosion to the inside of the rim. This is a temporary emergency fix, and should be cleaned and removed as soon as possible.

Paint and Body Care: • The paint we use on the golf cars is the same paint being used on automobiles. We recommend a high quality wax. Make sure its non-abrasive, and is approved for ClearCoat finishes. Just like any other wax, make sure that is not applied in direct sun-light, and is not over 100 degrees when applying. After a good polish is applied, then you can use a duster to clean in-between washes.

Service and Lubrication: • All golf cars will require some type of service and lubrication. • -There is several grease fittings located on the front end (for all steering linkages and balljoints) that need to be greased, recommended every 6 months or a minimum of 1 year. • -Brakes should be cleaned and adjusted, recommended every 6 months or when you feel the vehicle is not stopping with normal brake pedal pressure. • -The differential should be checked for proper oil level, and the linkages and wear points need to be lubricated with light oil on a recommend annual basis.

Battery Charger: • Your battery charger weighs approximately 45-50 lbs. make sure that if you are setting it on a shelf that it can handle that extra weight. You can set the charger on the floor, but we recommend that you elevate off the ground 4 inches or so. This is to be on the safe side, as sometimes the hot water-heater can overflow, or a pipe can break, or you may hose the floor down on occasion. • IMPORTANT: Do not get the charger wet!

Key Switch: • Always remember to turn off your key switch when you are finished operating your golf cart. Your accessories (stereo, air top, blowers, brake lights, etc) may drain the batteries if the key is left on for any extended period of time. This will result in having to separately charge the two accessory batteries. This may result in not completing a full round of golf. Always keep your golf cart in the neutral position with the key off when the cart is not being used.

Key Points: • 70% of golf cart issues are related to batteries and or connections.

• Check battery charge before use of cart. We always recommend a battery meter be installed on your cart to give you a better idea of the state of charge of your batteries.

• Keeping a clean set of batteries can help extend battery life. One way of doing this is to add battery protector to you battery post once a month.

• Tire pressure can put a drag on the speed of your cart and stress on your electrical components.

• When cart is not in use, remember to turn your key switch in the off position, engage park brake, and set forward and reverse switch to neutral.

• Let us service your golf cart at least once a year to insure proper service. Preventative maintenance means less money out of your pocket in the long run. (See Service and Lubrication section on page 4) Thank you so much for choosing AC Electric Vehicles for your purchase or service of your golf cart. We hope these helpful tips have helped answered questions that you may have. If you require additional information we will be happy to help. Call AC Electric Vehicles at 760-325-0070. Our professional sales staff is here to help. Email us at Arrive Unique!

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