Mike Tolley has been selling and servicing golf carts in Spokane for 30 years. The owner and general manager of Ott Knott Golf Carts will tell you the secret to golf cart performance and durability has more to do with a properly maintained battery than anything else.
Here are Tolley’s top five battery tips.
1. Get what you pay for.
“The cheapest batteries are just that — the cheapest,” Tolley said, adding the correct algorithm battery for your cart from U.S. Battery Manufacturing Co. will enjoy 10 times the life of a cheaper brand, negating any upfront savings.
2. Water your batteries.
Fill the batteries to the fill line (one inch below cap) with distilled or filtered water every 30 days. Battery lead plates exposed to air are ruined.
3. Keep it clean.
“Keep batteries clean enough to eat off of at all times,” Tolley said. “Dirt, debris and moisture suck voltage out of your batteries when you are not even using them.”
4. Schedule a shine.
Tolley recommends pulling the battery cables off the terminal every 90 days and clean everything until it looks like “shiny new metal” before resealing. As this is often overlooked (hint: a turquoise colored corrosion at the end of the cable means you’re too late), he recommends adding it to your calendar so you don’t forget.
5. Congratulate yourself.
If you follow the above tips and keep things properly maintained, your battery will not only hold a longer charge, but it will last years longer.
“A well-maintained quality battery will last eight to 10 years, non-maintained one year,” Tolley said.
NOTE: A version of this article first appeared in the 2020 Liberty Lake Yearbook.