How Do You Rejuvenate Golf Cart Batteries?
As golf cart batteries age and naturally run into some wear-and-tear damage, their lifespan will start decreasing.
Their maximum amperage and output voltage may also drop and make the battery less effective. However, battery rejuvenation is a process that can restore much of a battery’s power and help to keep it healthy.
Interestingly, DIY battery rejuvenation is a process that many cart owners can handle on their own.
While professional help may be a wise decision, those who are confident working with a battery can use the information contained below to restore their cell to a more powerful and active state.
What is Battery Rejuvenation?
While a cart battery operates and produces electricity, small sulfate crystals start building up throughout the interior of its surface that interfere with its operation.
These crystals are a natural part of the aging process of a battery but can be very devastating to the operation of the battery, the strength of its fluid, and the quality of the electrolytes contained within the battery.
A battery rejuvenation works by dissolving those crystals and cleaning the interior of the battery.
Most specifically, the battery plates – where the electrical reactions occur – will be washed to keep them stable and reliable. And just as importantly, the electrolytes can be improved, and their capacity for producing chemical reactions boosted.
Performing this process typically requires opening up the battery, safely handling battery acid, cleaning the interior properly, and putting the battery acid back inside of the case.
Though this process may sound too hard to perform without help, DIY golf cart battery rejuvenation can be done if you are careful and approach the situation correctly.
DIY Golf Cart Battery Rejuvenation is Possible
When trying to rejuvenate your battery, you need to have the right items available.
Thankfully, many of these items are something that most people are likely to already have in their home.
Any that you don’t have can typically be purchased fairly cheaply from a hardware shop or even a supermarket store. These include:
- Safety goggles
- Battery charger
- Distilled water
- Epsom salts
- Baking soda
- Turkey baster
- Acid-safe storage container
After putting on the safety goggles and gloves, the battery owner must open the top of the cart battery and remove about half of the battery acid out of each cell in the battery.
Removing the acid makes it safer to work in the battery without getting damaged. It is also necessary because you’ll be placing a cleaning mixture in the cells.
The inside of the battery must then be washed with water using the toothbrush to break apart the crystals. Make sure to focus heavily on the battery plates where most of the damage is likely to occur.
Next, mix eight-ounces of Epsom salts with two quarts of water in a large bowl and suck up a small amount with the turkey baster.
Carefully add the Epsom-salt water into the cells until they are filled.
This salt mixture is designed to recharge the acid in the battery cells and to remove any deposits or crystals on the side of the plates.
After finishing up this cleaning process, place the battery on a charger and let it charge fully.
If the battery refuses to charge up to 100 percent again, the rejuvenation process cannot save it.
But if the battery does charge all the way back up again, close the caps and put the battery back on the cart.
Wipe down the surface of the battery to remove any lingering residue from the cleaning process.
Ride the cart around for a few hours to see how well the rejuvenated battery maintains a charge. If the rejuvenation was successful, there is a good chance that the battery will last almost as long as it did at its peak.
A renewal does not restore the full capacities of a battery, though, so don’t expect a miracle. However, a successful restoration can add years to a battery’s life.
Safety Concerns When Rejuvenating a Battery
While a battery renewal is a pretty safe process if you follow proper safety procedures, there is a small chance that you might splash battery acid on your skin or in your eyes.
This acid – and its fumes – are corrosive and can cause real severe physical problems. For example, getting acid in the eye can cause temporary or even permanent blindness.
Therefore, proper safety procedures are necessary to ensure that you are safe.
You already know that you should be wearing safety goggles and gloves during this restoration process.
However, it is also a good idea to wear long-sleeve shirts and to button them up all the way to the neck.
In this way, you minimize your potential acid impact and avoid severe burns. While the acid might cause some burns on your shirt if it lands there, it won’t burn through quickly enough to get to your skin.
Just as importantly, you need to seal up the leftover battery acid in a plastic container with a lid that snaps shut. In this way, you can prevent spilling the acid when you handle it or throw it away.
These concerns are just one reason why getting a professional battery rejuvenation is a wise decision for cart owners who feel uncomfortable with this process.