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Refurbish Golf Cart Battery-Introduction, Storage and Methods
Golf enthusiasts know why golf carts are very important. Especially when it comes to moving you from one hole to another, but apart from golfing, these carts can also be used in other areas where there is a need to cover short distances easily and faster.
Golf carts do not charge themselves when they are in use as normal vehicles. So you need to charge them constantly every day. But this constant charging and discharging cause sulfation which reduces the capacity of the battery. Sulfation occurs when salts or esters of sulfuric acid are formed around the lead plates. A good battery can appear dead virtually because of too much build-up of the salts of the sulfuric acid.
Can you revive old golf cart batteries?The good news is that you can revive the old golf cart batteries. Do not be fast to throw the batteries away because you can refurbish and continue using them. You can do that by cleaning the lead plates to get rid of the sulfates blocking the terminals.
But not all golf cart batteries can be revived. If the battery has reached its lifespan then reviving it will be a waste of time because it will not hold enough power required to run the golf cart. So not every old battery that can be revived.
If the battery has lived its full life, then you need to replace with a new one. This is because even after refurbishing it will only cover a few holes. The average life cycle of a golf cart lead acid battery lies in between 150-200 cycles.
When the sulfates react with the atmosphere for so long, then cleaning the lead plates becomes even harder. If that is the case, then I highly recommend getting a new battery. Otherwise, you can revive the golf cart battery by the following means.
Refilling the battery cells
Cleaning and inspecting the battery
Recharging the battery cells
Charging the battery overnight
Does Epsom salt restore batteries?You can restore a golf cart battery by the use of Epsom salts. The build-up in the lead plates is the main reason why the acid batteries fail. This build-up prevents sulphuric acid from coming into contact with the plates. In addition, the lead-acid crystals that build upon the lead plates harden hence causing a chemical imbalance. To remove the hardened crystals, you need to use magnesium sulphate solution (Epsom salt).
But using the Epsom salt does not restore the batteries back to their original conditions. The restoration will be about 70-80%`which is a great save than buying a brand new. Besides the restored battery can last a few more years. Sometimes it will take more than using the magnesium sulphate solution to fully restore the golf cart battery. For example, you will need to top up the acid with distilled water. When the electrolyte is low, then the battery will not produce power. That is why you need to add the electrolyte. Add distilled water to all the cells if you want to restore the battery.
Do not use tap water because it will shorten the lifespan. Distilled water is the preferred additive because it does not contain any minerals that can potentially harm your battery. Also, it’s important to make sure that the distilled water covers the plates.
Adding chemicals to improve the performance of old batteries is a trend that has been practised for more than 70 years. They help by dissolving the matter that has accumulated around the lead plates. But if the plates have worn out due to shedding, then the battery cannot be restored by adding Epsom, salt solution or distilled water.
How do you refurbish a deep cycle battery?A deep cycle battery is developed to withstand the regular deep discharges. Other batteries cannot be used for the same function as they will not last for long. But in order to use the deep cycle battery for many years, you will need to do some maintenance every now and then. If it has deteriorated in its capacity, then you can refurbish it by performing some specific tasks. This section will guide you step by step on how you can refurbish a deep cycle battery.
What you’ll need
Step 1: Disconnecting the battery
Disconnect all the cables from the battery. You can use a crescent wrench to make your work easier. Next, unstrap the battery from your golf cart and place it on your work station. It should be well ventilated. Now remove all the caps from each cell. Pour out some acid onto a plastic container from each cell.
Step 2: Cleaning
Dip the paintbrush in a solution of baking powder and use it to clean the battery. Now rinse it with plain water carefully without getting any of it in the cells.
Step 3: Filling the battery with Epsom salt solution
To make the solution, you need to mix about 8 ounces of Epsom salt with some 2 quarts of warm distilled water. Fill this solution in the cells using a turkey baster.
Step 4: Charge the battery
After following the above steps, put the battery on the charger overnight. The Epsom salt solution will work its magic to clean the build-up on the plates. This build-up is the one that prevents full charge on the old batteries. On the next day, leave it to extend charging for some ours before disconnecting it from the power. If you notice that it hasn’t charged fully at this point, then you will need to replace it with a new deep cycle battery. But if it has changed completely, you can take it for a test ride
Final ThoughtsAlways make sure that your battery water level is enough for maximum performance every month. That way, it will serve you for many years. Also, if you have an old battery, do not throw it away without trying to refurbish it by an Epsom salt solution and charging overnight. It might save you some time and money before purchasing a new one. But remember that if the lead plates have worn out, then Epsom solution will not help.