Some analysts have touted golf carts and their cousins to disrupt the auto market a few years ago. And their case is easy to broker: light, eco-friendly, and cost-effective that golfers and enthusiasts can appreciate.
Indeed, for as long as you, or all golf-cart drivers, take care of your vehicle, you will reduce the likelihood of your golf cart running into problems and prolong its usefulness, especially the battery life. Here are some tips for maintaining your golf cart in tip-top condition effortlessly.
Image by Christopher Strolia-Davis
Getting to Know Your Golf Cart
Golf carts are generally easy to figure out and understand. When it comes to caring for them, they can be like cars. Think about how your golf cart can benefit from preventive maintenance to save you from future headaches and costs.
For starters, there are two types of golf carts currently in the market.
- The gas-powered golf cart utilizes a gas engine recommended for driving more than two hours nonstop.
- The electric golf cart works with heavy-duty batteries and charger, ideal for roaming short distances noiselessly.
So which type do you own, and how do you care for it?
The battery is the centerpiece of your electric vehicle, making it probably its most-used component. The best golf cart batteries can last for years and, depending on usage and handling, can run for longer.
Your primary objective is to extend the battery’s lifespan to minimize costs on any repair or replacement. Do the cursory check and take the necessary steps.
1. Make sure the battery voltage and golf cart voltage match. Golf carts can house four to eight batteries and run on 36 or 48 volts. A 38-voltage golf cart, for instance, will have six battery cells with 6 volts each. Accordingly, use the appropriate charger for your golf cart to avoid damaging the cells.
2. Check the batteries, including terminals. Corrosion, dust, dirt, ordebris buildup is a cause for a cleanup. Mix water and baking soda, and with a spray or wire brush, get to the sides, top, and other surfaces of your battery cell. Ensure the mixture does not seep into the cell. Rinse and let dry. For cables, you may have to replace worn or damaged ones.
3. Check the water level of each battery cell. Refill with distilled water to restore the electrolyte level. Do this watering only after charging to determine the water level, which should cover the plates. You may do the refilling weekly or as stated in the manual, particularly during warm months when the water evaporates faster.
4. Ensure your batteries’ position. Check that they are secure in their places so they won’t move when the golf cart is in motion.
PRO TIP: Wear protective gear for your eyes and hands when handling or servicing golf cart batteries. Avoid wearing jewelry or anything made of metal.
For a gas-powered golf cart, the engine takes the brunt of the action and requires an annual tune-up. For other tasks related to usual engine care, take a look at these:
5. Check for fuel leakage. Cracks, leaks, holes, etc. can cause this issue. So look into the fuel pump, gas tank, distributor cap, fuel lines, and carburetor of the golf cart.
6. Monitor engine oil level. The oil lubricates, cools, seals, and protects the engine’s moving parts, among other functions. Check that the engine oil is adequate and light in color as residues and contaminants can darken it. You or a mechanic can change the oil once a year, together with the dirty air filter and worn spark plugs.
7. Check the battery. Unlike the battery cells in electric golf carts, the battery for gas-powered ones does not require high or frequent monitoring. It will need cleaning, charging, and water refilling, although not as often as the battery cells for the electric vehicle. As noted earlier, adequately protect yourself when handling the battery.
General Maintenance Tips
8. Check the tires. Clean the golf cart tires and make sure they contain the right amount of air pressure for a smooth ride—consult the user manual for the ideal tire pressure. Take note that overinflated tires can wear the middle treads and potentially cause road mishaps. In cases of underinflated tires, it is the outer treads that will wear the most.
9. Monitor the brakes. Your golf cart might be in for a check if the brake pads squeal or its brake shoes worn. The brakes are critical to your safety, so check the golf cart’s model and year for proper maintenance. Have a mechanic service and verify the brakes’ integrity.
10. Inspect the lights. With golf carts used anywhere outside of golf courses, headlights and taillights provide safety and boost design too. Replace burnout or dimmed lights with LED lights that last longer.
If you haven’t done so, read your manual, refer to online sources, and talk with mechanics regarding the proper TLC and service for your golf cart. A daily check will go a long way to maintain your golf cart.
Image Credits: Golf Cart from Torychemistry/Shutterstock