As summer approaches, many golf cart enthusiasts will be confronted with the question of what to do with their batteries. One of the best ways to store them is to disconnect them, but some owners may not want to leave their batteries completely disconnected. Below are a couple of other alternatives for handling your batteries during the summer.
Disconnect the batteries
Disconnecting your batteries will prevent them from being used, but this procedure should be done only if you're sure that no one is going to use them during the summer. One benefit of disconnecting your batteries is that it will prevent their remaining charge in the battery cells from starting to leak out. If the batteries are disconnected, then you will have to charge them before they can be revived and used again.
Put your batteries on a trickle charger
Another option is to put your batteries on a trickle charger. This will prevent their cells from draining and may be preferable if you intend to use the cart during summer months but do not want to disconnect your batteries.
Leave the batteries on a continuous charger
If you don't plan to use the cart often during the summer, then you may prefer leaving it on a continuous 100 amp or 200 amp hour battery charger that can be purchased from your local golf cart dealer. This will maintain the cells and keep them charged for your subsequent use.
Try an automatic maintainer
Alternatively, you can also buy a battery maintainer, which may be easier and more convenient to use than the continuous charger. One advantage of using this kind of device is that you don't have to worry about running out of electricity or having to manually check on the cart to see if the batteries need recharging.
Drain the batteries until they are dead
Drain your batteries completely before storing them for the summer. The idea behind this method is that you want to keep the cells from developing a charge that you would then have to remove later when it's time to use them again. If this sounds like something you'd be inclined to do, then you may want to consider storing the batteries outside.
Keep your batteries in a dry location
In addition, if you do choose to store them inside, then make sure that they are kept at room temperature and in a dry environment. One reason for this is that heat can shorten their life-span or even cause some of the cells to fail.
Consider purchasing a battery box
Another option is to purchase a storage box, which can be either mounted or portable for moving the cart around your property if you need to do so. If you choose this option, however, make sure that it's specifically designed for golf cart batteries and has enough space for all of them.
Insure your cart and batteries against theft
Some insurance policies may cover any damaged, stolen or lost golf cart batteries under their policy. Be sure to check with the company before storing them for the summer so you know whether or not you'll need to take out another policy specifically for this purpose.
Store your cart in a dry shed or garage
One thing that you might want to avoid doing is storing your golf caddy inside if possible because humidity can form and potentially damage the batteries. All of this will require a bit more consideration than you might give at first glance, but by carefully choosing where to store your golf cart for the summer, you'll be able to enjoy it even on hot days in the future with peace of mind.
Wash the caddy down to remove unwanted debris
Another thing that you might want to do before storing your golf cart is wash it down. By doing this, you'll also be removing any dust or grit that's accumulated on its exterior over time, which can cause damage to the vehicle's body work. While this isn't essential, it does prevent damage and is something that you might want to consider if you have the time.
Remove the battery access panels
As part of your preparations to store your golf cart, you may also want to remove the battery access panels and take out any batteries. This way, if there are any leaks, at least it won't damage other parts of your vehicle. Keep an eye on them for several weeks or months after removing the batteries. If the batteries do leak, then you might want to do something as simple as placing a sump pump in your storage area.
If you choose to store them inside somewhere such a dry garage, then make sure that they are ventilated (have adequate airflow). Keeping your golf cart outside in the sun during the summer will help keep it cool and ventilated too.
These are just some of the best practices that you should follow to make sure your golf cart batteries live a long and healthy life. There are other things that you can do to extend the life of your batteries, so remember that there's more than just storing them. These methods will help prevent damage to your golf caddy, preserve the battery life and also keep you from having to spend money on new batteries.
If there are any tips I've left out, please let me know in the comments below.