The water level in your golf cart batteries will affect the performance of your entire cart. So, it’s important to regularly check the water levels and take action if there’s a problem.
To help you, we introduce everything you need to know about the water levels in your golf cart batteries and explain the ideal type of water to use.
We also explain how to check the water levels in your batteries, so you don’t need to worry about your batteries corroding. So, let’s begin by looking at the ideal type of water for topping up your golf cart batteries.
- What Type of Water Do I Need for Golf Cart Batteries?
- Is Tap Water OK for Golf Cart Batteries?
- What Happens if Golf Cart Batteries Run Out Of Water?
- How Do I Check the Water Level in My Golf Cart Battery?
- How Full Should the Water Level Be in a Battery?
- Can You Put Too Much Water in a Golf Cart Battery?
- How Often Do I Need to Put Water in My Golf Cart Batteries?
- What Do You Do When Golf Cart Batteries are Dry?
What Type of Water Do I Need for Golf Cart Batteries?
When it comes to refilling the water in your golf cart battery, it’s best to use distilled water. Distilled water is the best option for lead acid batteries and ensures the battery contains the necessary electrolyte concentration.
Water is a key component of the functioning of your golf cart batteries, so you need to check them regularly to ensure that there are sufficient water levels. If your batteries run dry, they’re not able to function to the required standards and will affect the drivability of your cart.
So, to ensure that you fill your golf cart batteries with the right type of water and keep things ticking along, we explain everything you need to know about refilling the water in your batteries in this article.
Is Tap Water OK for Golf Cart Batteries?
You should never use tap water to fill up your golf cart batteries. This is because tap water may contain minerals and other substances that can negatively affect the performance of your golf cart batteries and may even damage them.
As such, while it’s a little more hassle, distilled water is the only safe option when it comes to refilling the water level within your golf cart battery. In fact, the same is true for any lead acid battery that you’re filling up.
Water from the tap can also contain debris and trace amounts of sediment, which can further complicate matters when you add it to your golf cart batteries. So, while it’s quicker to use tap water, we can’t stress enough the importance of only using distilled water.
To make distilled water, simply heat it to the point that it turns to vapor. Then, when it condenses back to water, it leads behind any mineral residue, meaning it is now safe to use. Alternatively, you can buy a water distiller online if you want to make the process that little bit easier.
What Happens if Golf Cart Batteries Run Out Of Water?
If your lead acid golf batteries run out of water, the lead plates will be exposed to the hydrogen gas and oxygen that are present within the battery. In most instances, it will lead to an exothermic reaction within the terminus, which will cause the battery to overheat.
Thereafter, the inside of the battery is likely to corrode, which can cause irreversible damage to the battery, meaning you will probably need to replace it. As such, you need to get into the routine of regularly checking the water levels within your golf cart batteries.
If you notice that your battery feels hot or isn’t performing as it should, it’s a sign that the water level might be low. Once you’ve checked, you should add distilled water to top the battery water level back up.
But how do you go about checking the water level within your golf cart battery? Let’s take a look now.
How Do I Check the Water Level in My Golf Cart Battery?
Fortunately, checking the water level of your golf cart battery is relatively straightforward. First, you need to open the filling caps, which you can find located on the top of the battery. Remove the caps and peer inside the battery to check the water level.
Depending on where the battery is located in your cart, you might find it easier to remove the battery first, as the water caps might be difficult for you to access. If this is the case, remember how the battery was situated, so you can easily return it to its position.
Once you have checked the water level, you can simply screw the caps back into place and return the battery to its starting position. This is a relatively straightforward job, but you can ask a golf cart mechanic to help you if you’re not sure of what you’re looking for.
It’s also really important to think about how much water is the right amount, as you certainly don’t want to overfill your golf cart batteries with water. Let’s find out how much water should be in a standard lead acid battery.
How Full Should the Water Level Be in a Battery?
While some batteries differ, most lead acid batteries used within golf carts should be filled to approximately 3/4 below the top of the cell. In other words, fill the water level until it reaches the bottom of the vent.
As mentioned above, you can easily discern the water level within your battery by opening the filling caps and peering inside. If you’re struggling to see the water level, you might need to remove the battery from the cart.
Also, you should be aware that you should only fill the water level after the battery has been completely charged. So, it makes sense to check the water levels on your golf cart batteries after plugging it in for a charge.
Then, add as much distilled water as you need so that the battery is about 3/4 full, as mentioned above. But adding too much water to your battery will have a negative impact on the functioning of the cart, as we explain below.
Can You Put Too Much Water in a Golf Cart Battery?
Yes, you need to be really careful not to put too much water in your golf cart battery. Adding too much water will dilute the electrolytes within the battery, which, of course, will impact the effectiveness of the battery when in motion.
Dilution can lead to a reduction of as much as 5% of the battery’s capacity, which will affect its day-to-day performance and its overall charging capacity. Therefore, when you check the battery level, bear in mind that you don’t need to fill it up to the top.
You should only add as much water as is required to get your battery to function, so don’t fall into the trap of filling it up excessively, as this will cause more harm than good.
If you’re not confident doing this job yourself, you can always take your cart to a repair shop and ask a pro to look at the battery for you. This will save you from making any mistakes that might cause you to buy a replacement battery.
How Often Do I Need to Put Water in My Golf Cart Batteries?
While every battery is slightly different, it’s a good idea to check the water levels within your golf cart batteries once a month. You might not need to fill the water levels each time, but it’s still worth checking the level.
Remember, if you notice that the water level has reduced, only add enough water so that the level is back up to 3/4. You should also remember that distilled water is best for your batteries, and it’s not a good idea to use water straight out of the tap.
If you find that you need to replace the water in your golf cart more frequently than this, it might be that you have an issue with the battery itself, and it might need to be replaced.
Lead acid batteries don’t have as long a life as the latest lithium-ion batteries, so you might need to replace them, particularly if your cart is old. Still, it’s worth getting your battery checked out by a professional before replacing it.
What Do You Do When Golf Cart Batteries are Dry?
If you check your batteries and notice that they are completely dry, you will need to fill up the battery (3/4) with distilled water. You can then charge the battery and take your golf cart out for a spin to check how it performs.
Hopefully, your battery will still work, provided that it hasn’t been dry for too long. As mentioned, dry batteries will eventually corrode, so if your batteries have been dry for a long time, they might not work as they ought to.
The best way to prevent your batteries from drying out is to check them at regular intervals. It only takes a few minutes and makes a big difference to the way that your cart performs.
If you own an electric golf cart, the quality of the batteries will affect the entire performance of the cart, so it’s not something that you can leave to chance! So, get into the habit of checking the water levels of your batteries to ensure your cart can function as it should.
When you invest in an electric golf cart, you need to remember to maintain its batteries. As well as charging it regularly, you need to check the water levels within the batteries at least once a month to prevent them from drying out.
You should always use distilled water to top up the water levels, and it’s vital that you don’t use tap water. Ultimately, if you follow the tips listed above, you shouldn’t encounter any issues when maintaining your golf cart’s batteries, and you shouldn’t need to worry about them drying out as a result.