There comes a time each year when mother nature deems your electric golf cart unusable. The wet weather turns your otherwise enjoyable ride, into an off road journey into the unknown! When the weather turns cold, it’s time to store your golf cart in a safe place.
Storing Your Electric Golf Cart For The Winter Season
Prepping The Cart (End Of Fall)
During the end of fall season is when you will want to wind up your use of your electric golf cart. The leaves are dropping, the temperature is falling, and you can feel the end is near.
Fall is a critical time to start preparing the storage of golf cart for the coming winter months ahead. A small amount of cleaning and maintenance is required in order for your cart to survive being locked up in the freezing winter conditions.
Step 1 – Check Tire Pressure
The first thing you’ll need to do is check the tire pressure on all four tires. Your tires will need to inflated between 15-25 PSI, but check your owners manual for the correct amount of pressure. Alternatively, check the side of your tires, and you can probably find the correct PSI number written on them.
You’ll want the tires inflated as high as allowable, in order to protect your wheels. Remember that your cart will be sitting stationary for a few months, therefore your tires will naturally deflate due to the weight of the cart itself.
It’s critical that you don’t over inflate your tires. Over inflated tires have known to explode, and they also cause other issues like less stability while driving your cart. Over inflation is more dangerous if you plan on using the cart near-term, compared to during storage time, simply avoid it if you can.
On the other hand, under inflating your tires is more problematic during long term storage. Your tires won’t be rotating when they’re sit stationary, so you create the risk of ruing your tires formation, and even your metal wheels.
Step 2 – Battery Maintenance
Keeping a well maintained battery will do wonders for your electric golf cart. A few simple maintenance tips will ensure your cart is ready to go as soon as it’s removed from storage.
Before you do anything with your battery, you must give it a good clean. Prior to cleaning, make sure the battery terminals have been all been disconnected.
Clean The Battery
There are battery cleaning solutions available, however they’re only needed if a lot of corrosion can be seen on the battery and connections. A clean cloth, warm water and baking soda is perfect to clean the battery. The baking soda will neutralize any acid corrosion found. Use a 3 parts baking soda to 1 part warm water for best results.
If you don’t have any baking soda, a white vinegar and water mix can be used instead.
Fully Charge The Battery
It’s essential to fully charge your battery just prior to placing your golf cart in storage. Batteries will self discharge if left sitting for long periods of time. Therefore in order to give your battery the best possible life cycle, you’ll want to keep the battery topped up as often as possible. Ensure your battery cables are screwed on tight.
During the winter months when you won’t be using the cart, it’s a great idea to charge up the battery once every 2 weeks. Avoid having the battery level run too low, or even worse, having it completely dead.
Can I Leave My Golf Cart Plugged In?
While some will disagree, it’s never a safe idea to leave your golf cart plugged in charging for long periods of time. This principle goes for any electronic device that uses a battery, or battery pack. We instead recommend that you come back to your cart every 2-4 weeks and give it a full charge.
How Long Do Golf Cart Batteries Last?
Depends on how well you maintain your battery, golf cart batteries should last you 5 years on average. Expect greater life if you keep the terminal contacts clean, and keep it charging as much as possible when not in use.
My Battery Is Wet. What Should I Do?
If for any reason you battery has gotten wet, do not use it until you have dried it out. While your battery may work even it has gotten soaked in the rain, you will end up drying the circuit. What you need to do is simply let it dry out in the sun for 1-2 days, and then continue using it as normal.
Step 3 – Set The Switches
Many golfers forget to set the correct switches when storing their electric golf cart during winter.
Turn It OFF
It may be obvious but you’ll be surprised the amount of people who will disconnect but forget to turn the key switch to the off position. Remember: The key switch shuts everything off in the cart!
Run/Storage & Run/Tow Switches
If the Run/Tow switch is found on your model of cart, it’s very important that you set it to the Run/Storage switch instead. Keeping your cart stored and set to Run/Tow is a great way to drain your battery completely!
Step 4 – Look For Rust Spots
It’s good practice to give your cart a detailed inspection. You won’t need a mechanic, you can do this yourself.
Look for any rust spots on the inner and outer cart shell, and use fresh paint to cover up the spots of rust.
Winters especially in the US, can reach extremely cold temperatures. If not careful, moisture from the cooler weather can cause havoc on your golf cart. The moisture from rain, ice and snow will exacerbate the amount of rusting if the issue isn’t taken care of beforehand.
Step 5 – Clean & Wash Your Cart
Great! So we now have our tire pressure checked, our battery in optimal condition, and cart repainted. What we need to do now is give our golf cart a thorough cleaning.
Just like washing your car, washing a golf cart is much the same. You’ll want to clean both the outside and inside of your cart. Remember moisture will be produced during storage. Any markings will worsen under extreme temperatures. Therefore everything must be cleaned, to ensure optimal life of your cart.
Things You Should Clean
- Dirt & grime
- Bird poop
- Cut and polish any scratches
- Remove any rugs/carpet
- Clean mirrors
- Cables and connectors
- Fuel, oil and air filters
- Replace spark plugs if required
Final Step – Covering Your Electric Golf Cart
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations. Your electric golf cart is now ready to be stored over the winter break. We have now checked and maintained all the important parts of your cart. We have also performed all the steps to optimize our battery and ensure it’s going to perform well once the spring and summer months arrive.
Use A Cover
I was once guilty of storing my cart without using an actual cover! I came back to my cart to find a great build up of dust and dirt all over my cart. I had to learn the hard way, something I want you to avoid. There is no point going through all this work, to then cheapen out by not covering your cart. Golf cart protective covers are a wise investment, and can be bought online for $30. If this is not an option for you, any large canvas cloth will better than not covering it at all.
Where To Store Your Golf Cart
You’ll want to store your cart in a cool, dry and air tight place. A golf cart storage shed is an ideal place, but not everyone has this luxury. At the very least, make sure you place it under shelter, and away from the rain.
Extra Tip: Rodent Repellent
Rodents such as mice and rats can cause havoc on the wiring of your cart. Rodents love to chew on the wiring of any electrical system and have ruined many vehicles. It’s wise to place just one anti-rodent repellent control device nearby for some added protection.
We here at Golf Storage Guide recommend that you follow this step by step guide from start to finish. Your golf cart does require regular maintenance, especially if not being used for months at a time. As carts are not a cheap investment, it’s certainly worth the couple of hours it takes to prepare for storage.