How to Test Golf Cart Batteries

by Karen Miller
Regularly check if your golf cart batteries are in good condition.

Regularly check if your golf cart batteries are in good condition.

A golf cart is a small vehicle used for transport of passengers around a golf course. It is specifically designed to carry two golfers and their golf clubs at the back. Since golf courses cover large areas, these carts make it easier and faster to move from one place to another. Also, since golf carts are small vehicles that move at a speed less than 15 mph and cover short distances, they are mostly electrically powered. If you want to assure that your golf cart is working properly, you may want to know how to test its batteries.

Inspect the outside of the golf cart battery and look for any damage. If there are cracks on the battery container itself or signs of erosion, the battery should be replaced. Check all vent caps to see if they are tightly screwed and use a wrench for this task. If the battery looks fine, simply wipe the connections and posts with a clean, dry cloth and proceed with the process.

Clean the top of the battery with a mixture of baking soda and distilled water. The solution should be made from 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 8 ounces of water. Use a clean cloth to apply the solution, then rinse with clean water and dry with a towel. Clean the battery terminals with a clamp cleaner, reconnect the clamps and then coat them with petroleum jelly.

Charge the golf cart battery with an automatic or manual charger. This is an essential step when it comes to both testing the batteries and maintaining them. Proper maintenance of golf cart batteries has to include daily charging after every use.

Set the voltmeter to 200v dc while the charger is still on. Since you will check each of the individual 6 or 8 batteries in your golf cart, start with battery number one, where the positive cable leads to the cart.

Connect the positive lead of the voltmeter to the positive end of the golf cart battery and do the same for the negative one. Do the same for each of the batteries, one at a time, since there are usually 6 to 8 batteries in a golf cart.

Read the voltmeter to see if the batteries are proper and healthy. If your golf cart has a 36v motor and six 6v batteries, each one should read at least 7.0v on the meter. If it has a 48v motor and six 8v batteries then the meter should read at least 9.3v. If any of the values are below the determined voltage, replace the battery in question.

Charge the battery again after you finished the testing. Make it a habit to charge the battery in your golf cart as often as possible.

Items you will need

  • Wrench
  • Cloth
  • Baking soda
  • Distilled water
  • Clamp cleaner
  • Petroleum jelly

Tip

  • Check the cells to see the level of fluid and refill it with distilled water if necessary.

Warnings

  • Wear protective clothing, working gloves and plastic goggles when dealing with batteries, since battery acid can be extremely dangerous.
  • Wear disposable latex gloves when working on golf cart batteries and dealing with baking soda, especially if your skin is sensitive.

About the Author

Based in Marlboro, New Jersey, Karen Miller has been writing business- and health-related articles since 1980. Her work has appeared in “Business Week” magazine and “American Health” magazine. Miller holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and theater from Mount Holyoke College.

Photo Credits