In the news, you may have heard of golf carts catching on fire and wondered if this was even possible.
Unfortunately, golf cart batteries can catch on fire and spread damage throughout the rest of your cart.
Understanding why this happens is critical because there are a handful of steps to prevent this issue.
Can Golf Cart Batteries Catch Fire?
Golf cart batteries may catch on fire and while these situations are quite rare, they can occur.
Most of the time, these fires are caused by the battery or the electrical elements of the cart.
In some gasoline models, there is a chance that a fire may be caused by their operation.
However, the most common issue that you’re going to find is caused by your batteries.
Most golf carts have what are known as lead acid batteries.
These batteries are among the strongest and most reliable on the market and should provide you with the power you need to work your cart with very little difficulty.
However, these batteries have a bad tendency of catching on fire if they are not properly maintained or if they are charged improperly – usually, this is more common with old batteries.
How does this situation happen?
It is triggered by the hydrogen that is created whenever you charge your batteries.
This gas is very flammable – the Hindenburg Disaster was caused by the use of hydrogen in the zeppelin – even in small amounts.
And while it is not a big deal most of the time, there are circumstances when this small amount of gas may end up causing a fire.
How Small Amounts of Hydrogen Cause Cart Fires
The scariest thing about hydrogen is that it is colorless and odorless – meaning that you won’t notice when it is being created in your golf cart battery.
And if you don’t properly charge your battery or maintain it, this hydrogen buildup can become larger and may end up triggering a fire.
For example, you may have your cart in run mode, which could cause an electrical spark that may cause the hydrogen to ignite and spread fire throughout your cart and your home.
The easiest way to avoid this danger is to keep your cart in open areas whenever charging.
If you do charge it in an enclosed area, keep a window open to let the hydrogen escape.
The amount of hydrogen doesn’t have to be very large to cause a fire – and even the simple act of flipping a light switch may cause a fire in an enclosed area and trigger many health dangers as well during the fire.
However, this is far from the only issue that may trigger a fire on your golf cart.
Some people end up performing basic maintenance steps improperly and causing a fire.
For instance,t here is a good chance that people managing the water levels on their golf cart battery may end up causing a fire if they aren’t careful with the amount of water they use – or if they use the improper type when filling.
How Water Use Can Cause a Fire
Some cart owners may make the mistake of overfilling or underfilling their cart’s battery with distilled water.
This problem can trigger fires in a few ways.
First of all, not adding enough water to your cart’s battery may make it run hotter and cause a higher production of hydrogen.
And this combination may cause the battery to get hot enough to cause a fire, leading to a spread of damage throughout your cart.
Overfilling the battery is not a good step, either, because this water may end up getting way too hot as a result.
And when this happens, your battery may end up getting hot enough to start a fire – some liken this situation to that of a coffee pop “percolating” – which is why you should only fill your battery to the line printed on the side.
This line should be quite obvious and easy to see.
Others may make the mistake of adding non-distilled water to their cart’s battery.
This mistake is common because owners don’t realize that non-distilled water contains trace elements of metals and other minerals.
These items will cause a high level of sparking throughout your cart’s battery that may lead to damage and a high risk of fire.
Other Cause of Cart Fires
Golf cart batteries may also catch fire if:
- There are shorts in the electrical wires
- When charged with an improper charger
- If water works its way into the battery’s electrical elements
Make sure that you avoid these issues by always using a proper charge, changing frayed wires, and avoiding excessive moisture.