When you have a fleet of golf cars, a poorly functioning car can take a lot of time out of your busy day. Most fleet managers often take that golf car out of service and try to find the problem. It is not uncommon to have one battery in a pack that is bringing down the performance of the entire vehicle. Here are a few ways to quickly find that one battery and determine if it needs service or replacing.
Finding The Defective Battery
Once you’ve detected a poorly operating golf car, you may need to determine if there is a single battery causing the unsatisfactory performance. There are some simple steps that can help you single out the battery(s) that is causing the problem.
Step 1: Fully charge the batteries and check each one with a hydrometer and multi-meter. If the data indicates the pack is undercharged, try repeated charge cycles to bring the state of charge up. If after repeated charges the batteries begin to increase in specific gravity readings, the problem is not the batteries and further investigation is required.
Step 2: If the specific gravities indicate charged batteries (1.260 or higher in all cells) and the voltage readings are good on each battery, discharge the battery pack on the vehicle in question. If one cell is significantly lower than the rest of the cells in the pack, mark that battery as a suspect battery. Use a load tester or run the golf car though its typical routine. Battery packs that give less than 50-percent of the rated runtime are usually considered bad.
Step 3: Measure the voltage at the end of your discharge test to locate the bad battery. The one with a significantly lower voltage than the rest of the pack at the end of discharge is usually the culprit.
Step 4: If all the batteries have a low voltage, and your hydrometer readings on all the batteries do not show a single defective cell, then the entire battery pack may be at the end of its service life.
Replacing Defective Batteries
Once you’ve found a bad battery in your golf car’s battery pack, it is okay to replace the single battery in the pack with a new one if it’s under six months old. If the battery is over six months old, it’s best to replace it with another battery from your fleet that has a date within six months of the rest of the pack or replace the entire pack.
For more information on golf car batteries, run-time ratings, and maintenance tips to keep golf car batteries running longer, visit www.usbattery.com.