What Happens If Golf Cart Batteries Run Out Of Water | 2023

When you think about it,what happens if golf cart batteries run out of water, golf carts are pretty ingenious. They have the ability to cut through grass and keep their drivers from having to walk more than a few feet at a time. These motorised carts also give golfers the ability to move faster during their game and hit the ball from tee to green with much ease. Give our how to play 18 holes of golf with a cart for a better understanding.

However, there is one tiny detail that often goes overlooked. What happens if there is no water in the golf cart batteries? While some golfers may see this as an opportunity to take up drinking water instead of juice or soda, other golfers know it’s a potential safety hazard waiting to happen. 

That’s because in order for your golf cart battery not only last longer but also operate more efficiently, you need to put in just the right amount of water. The different types of batteries used in these motorised vehicles can require anywhere between one and three quarts of water. 

Hence, in this article we’ll look at all the possibilities and what to do in such situations. 

What Happens When Golf Cart Batteries Run Out of Water?

what happens if golf cart batteries run out of water

If you don’t keep your batteries sufficiently hydrated, you’ll notice your car will either not turn on at all or simply not go as far. If you run your golf cart battery dry, you can permanently damage the cells inside your battery. 

Without water, the acid inside your battery will evaporate and cause the battery to overheat. This can lead to a complete breakdown of the battery, causing permanent damage. Golf cart batteries are no different than your car battery. 

Is a battery ruined if it runs out of water? Actually, they run on a combination of acid, water, and lead. The lead plates inside the battery are positively charged, and the acid and water inside the battery are negatively charged. This charges the battery and provides the power to turn on the golf cart. 

However, batteries will lose some water over time, which is why you need to add water. Batteries also lose water when you recharge them, which is why you should drive your golf cart until it’s completely out of power before charging it.

Why Is water So Important for Golf Cart Batteries?

As we just noted above, water is an essential component of a battery. Without the water inside the battery, the acid and the lead plates inside would simply oxidize, causing the battery to break down. 

The water inside the battery provides an electrolyte that keeps the plates from oxidizing and dying. It also helps regulate the amount of charge and power given off by the battery. 

Additionally, water helps to cool the battery, keeping it from overheating and causing permanent damage. A fully charged battery can be extremely hot, so simply adding water to it can act as a cooling mechanism that preserves the life of the battery.

Why Is Your Golf Cart Dried & Out Of Water?

There are numerous reasons why a golf cart battery can get entirely dry. The following are a few reasons why you can have a golf cart battery with no water at all.

  • The charger can overcharge the new dry battery if it is coupled with older batteries in order to keep the voltage level for the older batteries constant. Because the water tends to boil off, this could lead the new battery to be completely discharged.
  • Regardless of the charge level in the batteries, the batteries are being overcharged and the charger does not shut off after the predetermined amount of time due to a defective OBC.
  • If the golf cart has been sitting dormant for a while, so the batteries are totally dead. Fill the water to the correct level and fully charge the batteries. You might wish to partially charge each battery first, and then fully charge the pack as a whole.

How To Add Water to a Golf Cart Battery 

The first thing to remember is that you should not always refill your golf cart battery when the water level is low. When a battery discharges the water level is intentionally low. It will overflow if you refill it and then charge the battery. 

It will cause corrosion by leaking battery acid everywhere. When a battery is discharged, never add water to it.

Another factor to consider is the water type required to recharge your battery. Regular tap water is not suitable. It contains minerals, chemicals, and other contaminants that will interfere with the chemical processes that occur within the batteries. 

You must instead use distilled water. This is due to the fact that distilled water is essentially pure water, devoid of any contaminants that could harm your battery.

The Process of Adding the Water 

Now comes the procedure. Check the water levels in your battery after it has been fully charged. You’re primarily interested in whether the plates are covered or exposed. You’ll need to add water if they’re exposed. 

You can do this directly from the bottle, but it is preferred that you use a channel as well. You could even buy a battery water filler, which is designed to shut off when the battery is full.

Fill the water to a level above the battery plates but below the vents. Aim for a level of 14 – 12 inches above the plates.

Additionally, remember to keep in mind to not overfill as it will eventually leak acid and cause unplessant scenarios for you.

Correct Water Level 

Make sure the water does not spill over onto the battery as you are pouring it. Remember that protecting the plates from exposure is the primary goal of replacing the batteries.

It is advised that you fill the tank with water until it is slightly below the vent level and just over the battery plates.

It’s vital to remember that both under- and over-watering your golf cart batteries can have negative effects.

Overwatering can stop gassing, however underwatering can lead to sulfation since the plates are exposed to air. The electrolyte may then leak onto various golf cart components as a result. The metal components of the cart may corrode since the electrolyte is acidic.

How Often Should You Refill the Tank?

Why do golf cart batteries lose water?


Do golf cart batteries need water?

It largely depends on how frequently you use it. The more you use it, the more frequently you will need to refill it.

If you’re an average user, who uses their golf cart three times per week, should check the water levels in their batteries once a month or so. However, if you have a few minutes to spare, it’s a good idea to check them more frequently than that.

The battery quality itself is another factor that influences how frequently you should recharge it. Simply put, better quality batteries are more effective at retaining water and thus require less frequent refilling.

Tips For Refilling 

  • Only when a battery is fully charged must it be examined to see if the water level is low or not. Only when batteries are fully charged should they be replenished. If you recharge them after they have been discharged, the battery fluids may spill.
  • The frequency of battery replacement directly correlates with how frequently you use your golf cart. Your golf cart’s batteries will require more water the more you use it.

The Dos Of Tank Refilling 

  • Make sure you only add water to your golf cart batteries after they have been charged. Water should be added until the level is approximately half an inch over the top of the battery plates.
  • Maintain your golf cart batteries every six months to a year.
  • Use only distilled water to ensure that there are no contaminating elements.

Don’ts Of Tank Refilling 

  • If you see corrosion on your battery that is green or gray-brown in colour, put off getting it serviced.
  • When replenishing charged batteries, let the water overflow since doing otherwise risks depleting the electrolytes in the necessary acid-water mixture.
  • When batteries are discharged, water the batteries because this can lower the electrolyte content.
  • As it may decrease battery efficiency, let the water level get below the top of the battery plates.

Why Is Your Golf Cart Water Boiling?

The fact that the water in golf cart batteries frequently boils is one of their main issues. These and other potential causes are listed below.

  • You should think about switching to a slower-charging charger with a regulated flow. A charger that shuts off automatically when the batteries are fully charged is also a smart investment.
  • You can be filling up empty batteries with water. The discharged batteries in this instance expand due to the heat they produce. The hydrogen created by the acid charge in the battery won’t be able to escape through the vents in the battery caps, leading to a boil-over. One reason for this is that you should never refill the water in your golf cart’s batteries before they are fully charged. Adding too much water to batteries might potentially cause them to boil.
  • Your golf cart batteries’ charger is broken or not functioning correctly. It’s possible that it’s charging at a higher voltage than necessary since the ideal setting may have become out of synchronisation. The batteries may become heated as a result, and the water within may begin to boil.
  • It’s possible that non-distilled water was used to replenish the batteries instead of distilled water. Contaminants in tap water and other similar sources may interfere with battery electrolytes and cause boiling. Always replenish the batteries with purified water.
  • One or more batteries in the battery pack have the wrong voltage rating. Replace the defective battery or batteries after checking the voltage reading for each battery separately. It is advised to utilise used batteries in their place if only one or two batteries need to be replaced. This is because mixing fresh and old batteries can reduce the lifespan of the latter.

Golf Water Level Indicator

The need for water fluctuates from time to time for golf cart batteries. A distinct water level indication to show the amount of water in the batteries is typically absent from golf carts.

However, you can fill the batteries with pure water up to the amount specified in this page. The water level should ideally be checked once per month. You will need to check the water level more frequently, such as once every two weeks or more frequently if the batteries require water refills more frequently.

Water use frequently depends on a number of variables. The battery’s age is a significant factor. The amount of battery discharge between charges is another factor. When the batteries need to have their water refilled, the environment’s temperature is also very important.

You might only need to add a little water to the batteries in a few months. On the other side, if there are very hot months, there will need to be extra water added.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all of the batteries will need water at once. For instance, you might just need to top off the water in a few batteries during a routine refill inspection. Higher boiling risks are associated with longer charging times for batteries.

But if you have to add water to your batteries every two to three days or more, your charger might not be working properly and your batteries might not be charging at all.

Can You Use Tap Water for Golf Carts?

how to add water in golf cart batteries

The majority of people typically believe that it is fine to fill their golf cart batteries with tap water. However, as was already said above, this can have the opposite effect. Even though tap water may seem to be pure, this is not always the case. For this reason, numerous reputable battery manufacturers, including Trojan, etc., strongly prohibit using tap water and expressly warn against it in their user manuals.

Tap water frequently contains different minerals that can harm your batteries. Even though the minerals might only be minutely present, using tap water consistently might cause them to build up on the plates over the course of four to five years. Your golf cart batteries may suffer damage as a result of these impurities.

One of the most damaging elements in tap water is water softeners. They include chlorides, which can significantly shorten the life of your batteries. As a result, you might need to get a new battery.

Iron and calcium in the tap water might cause it to grow heavy. The battery lead plates are most negatively impacted when such water is utilised a few times.

The lead plates may also be harmed by tap water that contains alkaline minerals like lime. Minerals dissolving in water deposit as a layer on the plates. They can also cause issues by reacting with the battery acid and changing the electrolytes’ colour.

Shot batteries can also be produced using tap water. The batteries have a tendency to swell and begin to heat up, which will quickly render the device useless. For batteries loaded with tap water, the charging may also be in jeopardy.

Solutions to Help Battery Operated Golf Carts Stay Dry

So, what happens if golf cart batteries run out of water? And its Solution

  • Use distilled water: If you’re not sure how much water your battery needs or you want to be extra cautious, it’s recommended that you use distilled water rather than tap water. It will help to make sure there isn’t any minerals or impurities that could damage the battery. 
  • Use a hydrometer: You can test the water level inside your battery with a hydrometer. Simply place the hydrometer into the battery fluid and read the level mark to see if you need to add more water. 
  • Keep your golf cart clean: Other than adding water, you should also make sure you keep your golf cart clean and free of debris. It’ll help prevent dirt and debris from falling into your battery and damaging the internal components.

Final Tips to Maintain Your Battery and Stay Dry

  • Charge your battery correctly: You should fully charge your battery and then not charge it again until it’s completely drained. It’ll prevent your battery from overheating and dying prematurely. 
  • Check your battery regularly: You should check your battery periodically to make sure it has enough water. If you notice any corrosion or unusual smells, you should clean your battery and check the fluid level.

How To Repair a Dried Out Battery 

If you’re out of batteries and money, you might think about repairing drained-out old battery. These batteries are inefficient and can only be used for a short period of time. They will take longer to charge and discharge, but something is better than nothing.

To get it up and running, simply add water inside the battery. First, remove the lids from the battery’s upper surface. This can be done quickly with a screwdriver. Now, using your phone’s flashlight, look inside the battery to determine how much water is needed.

If you have any distilled water at home, that’s a fortune. Fill the top with water and leave it to charge. Install it in your golf cart once it has been fully charged and enjoy the ride once more. However, make sure to replace it as soon as possible.

Bottom Line

Batteries are an important part of the golf cart and help power the cart when the driver decides to take it out for a spin. If the batteries don’t have enough water,what happens if golf cart batteries run out of water, they can overheat and cause damage. 

It’s important to keep the batteries fully hydrated to prevent this from happening. All batteries need to be properly maintained and kept clean in order for them to last for a long period of time. If you follow these tips, you can make sure your batteries last a long time.

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