They used to be Golf Carts. Now, they're Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs). And it used be that retirement communities were the only places you would see a Golf Cart or NEV on the street. But NEV communities are becoming a trend in the small neighborhood-upscale re-developing of America. Beyond communities devoted to the retirement lifestyle of places like The Villages in Florida, these new developments – which tout neighborhood living, charter schools, movies theaters, restaurants, miles of golf cart paths, and world-class golfing -- are cities unto themselves, with streets filled with NEV's, commonly referred to as Golf Carts, used as the major transportation. Some of these carts appear to be miniature street rods, pickups, or luxury automobiles built upon golf cart chassis, while some are simply tricked out golf-carts with every amenity you'd expect to find in the car in your garage. But whatever kind ofNEV, golf cart or golf cart driver, the basics are the same -- Most all of these cars are powered by 6 Volt or 8 Volt Deep Cycle Golf Cart Batteries. Sure, there are some gas versions out there; but the majorities - 60-70% by industry estimates - are all electric. Maintaining your Golf Cart Batteries to get the best performance out of your Golf Cart or Neighborhood Electric Vehicle is essential, and there are tons of articles written on the subject. In fact, basic maintenance for your batteries remains the surest way to ensure the longevity of your cart. However, very few remember other necessary maintenance to make your Golf Cart Batteries most efficient. And when you think about it, you would never simply fill your automobile with gas and make sure to use a fuel additive from time to time and expect your car to perform at its best; yet many Golf Cart owners to that very thing by only charging and maintaining their batteries! Well, fear not faithful reader! TBG offers the following list to help you keep your cart running smoothly and get the most out of your Golf Cart Batteries.
- Tires. Remember how Gas Mileage is affected by low tire pressure? Same thing applies to an Electric Vehicle… Check your tire pressure regularly and keep it inflated to proper levels.
- BatteryCables. Old, corroded or fraying battery cables and connectors may be preventing current from powering your motor. Cables should be replaced every time you replace your batteries.
- Solenoids and other switches, your “gas” pedal, Forward/Reverse, and the key switch may be old and malfunctioning. Some people who notice a diminished capacity or low run-time of their carts left in storage (but not on the charging station) may have inadvertently left their cart “On” and draining the batteries.
- Traction Motor. This is the “engine” of your cart. The brushes and brush holder of your traction motor must removed, cleaned, re-seated or in some cases replaced, every few years to ensure maximum performance of your electric motor. An ill-running motor may be causing you lower mileage, working your batteries extra hard, which could lead to premature failure of your batteries AND motor!
- Wheels and Axles. Make sure your wheels and axles are properly maintained and lubricated to ensure less friction and easy rolling!
- Other Bells and Whistles! Remember how we talked about some of these vehicles being really tricked out? Well, if you’ve got a premium sound system, auxiliary lights, air conditioning or a heater (Yeah, some people do) – you really need to make sure your wiring harness and power supplies are hooked up correctly. One guy I know had his installed BEER COOLER (I know, right?) running at UBER COLD off his 36 Volt System… Problem was, it was hooked up incorrectly so it zapped his car one day while he was out and about. Not fun in the Arizona heat.
Apr 17th 2012