Don’t Run Dry: how to Check and Maintain your battery’s Water Level

Too often, we think of battery issues as monolithic: it’s either (1) good or (2) past its lifespan, and the time has come for a replacement. Furthermore, we tend to think of these issues as insulated, in that the battery is good or bad, and that’s simply that.

Unfortunately, golf car batteries are not that simple. But with a little knowledge – and a couple minutes of proactive care – maintaining them can be.

Quick Facts

Golf cars are powered by lead-acid batteries, which require periodic maintenance, such as checking and maintaining the water levels inside them. Suppose you don’t keep an eye on your battery’s water level. In that case, it can cause severe damage to the internal components of your golf car battery and even affect the overall performance. Without enough water in the cells, acid can build up around the plates and cause corrosion or even permanently damage them. Low water levels also reduce the life of your battery and can lead to unexpected power outages while using your golf car.

Why Do Water Levels Decrease?

The water level in your battery can decrease for several reasons. The most common is simply from charging it. Every time you charge up, the electrolyte solution heats up and the battery electrolyte experiences water loss due to evaporation. This affects the density of the battery water level and increases the concentration of sulfuric acid at the same time. It’s a lot of science, but all you have to know is that it’s completely normal (although it’s also important not to overcharge your battery, which exacerbates the problem).

If water levels are affected by heat, you may see where this is going as a denizen of the Grand Strand. This issue is increasingly prevalent during the summer due to the heat and increased usage. So remember, when the sun’s out for the summer and your golf car becomes your primary mode of beach transportation, checking the water level in your battery is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your golf car continues to run smoothly and safely.

But how do you do it?

How to Check Your Water Level

We’re glad you asked.

Checking your battery’s water level is incredibly simple! All you need to do is remove the vent caps from each cell on top of the battery and inspect each cell individually. You should fill the cells with distilled water just below their vent caps. You don’t want to fill them all the way up, though. This can cause overflow or leaks. If any of your cells are low on water, simply pour some distilled water into it until it reaches just beneath its vent cap. Be sure not to overfill any cell — just add enough so that you can still see a small amount of space between the top of each cell and its vent cap.

While you’re in there, you should also check for sediment at the bottom of each cell. If there’s any sediment present, you may need to replace or clean out that cell before refilling it with distilled water. Again, checking and maintaining all cells correctly as one unit inside your golf car battery is essential.

And that’s it (we told you it was simple)! Checking and maintaining your golf cart battery’s water levels is essential in ensuring it runs optimally. By taking a few minutes each month to inspect each cell’s water level, you’ll ensure maximum performance from your vehicle without risking any damage due to improper maintenance. So grab a flashlight, open those vent caps, check those levels, and prepare for another unforgettable summer in Myrtle Beach! Still have questions? Feel free to drop by any of our three locations.