Why do golf cart batteries corrode and how to prevent it?

Owning a golf cart comes with yearly maintenance to keep it running for years to come. Golf cart batteries can easily corrode under certain circumstances so it is important to know what you need to do to prevent it.

Why do golf cart batteries corrode?

Golf cart batteries corrode by releasing acid due to incorrect water levels, overcharging, over-discharging, and general lack of battery maintenance. Additional products like a corrosion inhibitor spray to treat the terminals will greatly reduce corrosion.

Golf Cart Battery Corrosion Basics

Golf Cart batteries often corrode due to the gases that are released as your batteries lose their charge and release sulfuric gases. These gases will gradually cause corrosion and cause issues with your golf cart batteries so make sure to check and clean your batteries often.

The sulfation of batteries typically begins when your battery is at 50 percent capacity or lower so charging your battery after every use is imperative. If you keep your battery low, you will often see more corrosion on your golf cart batteries.

Golf Cart batteries are imperative to take care of, keep charged,  and watch for corrosion to prolong the life of both your golf cart and its batteries.

How to care for your golf cart batteries?

Caring for your golf cart batteries will prolong the life of your golf cart and allow you plenty of use for years to come. In order for you to get the most life out of your golf cart batteries, there are a few maintenance steps to take.

Always make sure to check the water level on your golf cart batteries and fill them regularly. By taking the extra step to fill your golf cart batteries with distilled water, you help keep corrosion away and make your batteries last longer.

You can check the water level simply by lifting up your seat where the batteries are located and you can take off the caps with a pair of gloves. Once the caps are taken off, look inside and see if the water rises above the plates, if it doesn’t you need to add more distilled water.

Some batteries will have floats installed so you will only need to visually look to see if they are full or not.

Keeping your golf cart water level lower than it should be will keep your battery from charging fully whereas over filling your battery will create more corrosion on the outside  of your battery. Filling your battery directly in between the max and min markers will be perfect to fill your battery effectively.

Another aspect of your batteries you should always be aware of is inspecting for cracks or broken pieces of your battery. You should never use a broken battery, and replacing one can cost upwards of $300 dollars so maintenance is incredibly important.

Temperature can also affect the life of your batteries. Choosing a spot that is out of the sun will allow your golf cart batteries to last significantly longer. At the same time, if you have cold or freezing temperatures in your area, it is wise to disconnect your battery and store it in a warm and dry place so it doesn’t freeze.

Taking the time to check your batteries often will help you catch corrosion early as well as see any cracks or issues before they are a major issue. Getting in the habit of checking your golf cart will help you catch issues early and prolong the life of your golf cart.

How to Clean Corrosion off of your Golf Cart batteries?

After you have had your golf cart for some time, you may begin to see corrosion or build up on your batteries. To clean your batteries and golf cart well, you can simply remove your batteries for easier access.

To clean batteries make sure you have a clean space to work that will not be damaged by anything that comes off of your battery such as battery acid. Preparing a place to work will help you keep everything safe as well as allow for easy clean up.

You can use cardboard from all those packages you receive to protect your workspace.

Next, prop up the seat of your golf cart to access the battery and make sure the seat is secure before you begin, or remove it altogether. You can easily clean your golf cart batteries while they are still attached to the cart.

One major thing to remember is to never try and clean your batteries after you go for a ride, as they will be way too hot to work on.

Lastly, make sure that you have hand and eye protection anytime you have the possibility of coming in contact with battery acid. Grab some rubber gloves and eye goggles to clean your golf cart safely and effectively.

Steps to clean corrosion off Golf Cart Batteries:

Once your area is prepped and ready, grab some baking soda and water as well as a wire brush and scrub away. The action of the baking soda and water mixed with the scrubbing should get your battery back to pristine condition. You can also purchase a terminal protector to protect your battery from corrosion in the future.

  1. Mix equal parts baking soda and water
  2. Spray on corrosion
  3. Let sit 5 minutes
  4. Scrub with a wire brush
  5. Rinse with water well
  6. Apply terminal protector

Besides corrosion on the connections of the golf cart, it is also wise to check your cables and remove any corrosion from those as well. Having Golf Cart battery cables that are in good shape and work properly will be the difference between having your batteries run for years or having to replace your batteries and battery cables.

While you are cleaning your battery cables, always make sure to replace any cracked cables and inspect them frequently to ensure they are in good shape.

Many Golf Cart stores also have a spray cleaner as well as a terminal brush that is made specifically to care for and clean battery terminals and connectors. No matter if you decide to go the homemade route or store bought, purchasing a good and reliable cleaner will keep your Golf Cart in working order.

What products are best to prevent golf cart battery corrosion?

Corrosion on golf cart batteries is caused by sulfation which releases gases when the battery is charged to 50 percent or less capacity. There are chargers as well as special products that will reduce the chance of corrosion and keep your battery in great condition for years to come.

There are smart chargers you can purchase that turn off and on depending on when your golf cart batteries need to be charged. The ability to charge the batteries as needed, allows the battery to be used to its full potential and keeps corrosion away.

A good 4 stage charger will protect your batteries and make them last a lot longer than stock. Here are three common chargers, but you may need to find the charger package with the correct cable for your cart.


Yamaha G19/G22

Club Car DS, IQ, and Precedent

One of the best ways to clean your golf cart batteries is simply baking soda, water, and a sprayer. You can pick up all of the supplies you need to clean your batteries at your local store as well as any place that sells golf carts.

Baking soda neutralizes battery acid and when mixed with water and left alone for 5 minutes, you will have new batteries. Using baking soda on batteries will allow connecting the battery cables easy and keep connections secure.

If you want to protect your battery terminals after cleaning, this spray works wonders for any batteries.

Why is it important to use distilled water to refill your Golf Cart batteries?

Making sure to check the water level on your batteries will ensure that they will last for years to come. You should always check water levels on your battery after it reaches a full charge and before you take it out for a drive. It is important to specifically use distilled water anytime you refill your golf cart battery fluid.

Many people wonder why they cannot simply use regular tap water to refill their batteries since it is readily available and easy to use. Using regular tap water will oftentimes produce buildup inside your battery that will ultimately gravely affect the life of your battery. It is smart to grab some distilled water and have it handy to refill your battery as it is needed.

It is also very important to know how full to fill your batteries when you fill them with distilled water. Overfilling or underfilling your batteries can cause multiple problems with your batteries over time. Overfilling your batteries can cause overflow on the outside of your battery which can cause corrosion over time and can damage your garage floor. It is wise to fill below the fill cap and to the top of the metal plates that are inside.

Taking the time to refill your battery water throughout the use of your golf cart will greatly affect the life of your battery as well as the life of your golf cart.

Should I keep my Golf Cart plugged in at all times?

Knowing when to charge your golf cart simply depends on how often you use it. If you are using your Golf Cart occasionally, such as a couple times a month, then you should make it a habit to unplug your battery every so often.

On the other hand, if you use your golf cart daily then you should always plug your golf cart after any ride you take to ensure proper charging.

You can also buy an automatic golf cart charger such as the ones we recommend above that will shut off when your battery is fully charged, allowing you to make the most of every charge. Once you use your golf cart you can simply plug it in and the automatic charger will do the rest.

The Accusense model will sense if voltage dips and charge it back up.

According to multiple dealerships, you should charge your golf cart after every time you use, but not if it is just a short ride as short charges will harm the life of your golf cart battery.

Is corrosion a sign of a bad battery?

Your Golf Cart batteries usually can tell you something is wrong or needs to be fixed by showing you multiple different signs. The care of your golf cart battery will be the difference between having issues with your golf cart over and over or having a working golf cart for years to come.

One major sign that there may be an issue with your golf cart batteries or system is if you begin to see corrosion on your battery. Corrosion can lead to more problems with your golf cart if not taken care of properly. If you see a powdery substance or signs of corrosion, if you do not clean it off and take care of it your battery cables can become unresponsive and will in turn not power your golf cart. Corrosion can be a sign of a bad battery if you do not inspect or fix the problem early, early detection is imperative.

Corrosion on your battery cables can cause extreme resistance causing additional heat which then can shorten the life of your golf cart batteries.

Besides visible corrosion, you may also see other effects or signs of a bad battery. Loss of electrical power and your golf cart being unable to part is a sign that the terminals, battery, or cables have been corroded so much by corrosion or have suffered cracks and need to be fixed as soon as possible.

If your golf cart is having issues, you will usually quickly begin to see the effects by spotting visible corrosion. Doing regular checks of your battery and golf carts electrical system for cracks, corrosion, or issues will help you fix the problem quickly and effectively.

How long do golf cart batteries last if taken care of and cleaned properly?

Golf Cart batteries life completely depends on how well they are taken care of over the years.

There are multiple factors such as heat and use that will greatly affect the life of your battery. If you leave your battery uncharged and in the heat or cold, your battery will likely not last more than a year. If you charge your battery regularly and keep it out of harsh weather conditions, it can last you up to 7 years.

One extra step to make sure your battery lasts for years to come is to find optimal parking for your golf cart, especially during harsh temperatures. A golf cart parked in extreme cold or hot temperatures will greatly damage your battery. Choosing a location that is covered will help prolong the life of both your battery as well as your golf cart.