7 Tips for Long-Term Golf Cart Storage
Golf carts have many uses in good weather. Not only are they excellent modes of transportation in small towns and beaches, but they’re also essential for avid golfers who live in golf communities. Spending time on the golf course is a relaxing activity that allows you to connect with people too.
While renting a cart is an option, residents of golfing communities prefer to bring their own cart to their favorite local courses. There’s nothing like the freedom of knowing you can keep personal effects in your cart and care for it comfortably, then take it home when you’re done.
But what do you do when the season is over and it’s time to pack up your golf gear? Tucking away your clubs doesn’t require much room in your garage, but a golf cart can take up a lot of space. Renting a seasonal storage unit to protect your golf cart for a few months can free up space in your home and protect your property in ideal, climate-controlled conditions.
But before you store your golf cart long term, there are a few steps that need to be done. Following the right preparation methods will preserve your cart and bring out its maximum potential so that you have a dependable ride year after year.
Step 1: Fully Charge the Battery
The typical golf cart is run by a 6-volt battery. Maintaining this will keep it primed during the off-season so that it turns the vehicle on when you need to use it again. The first step to winterizing your cart is to take care of the battery.
Remove the battery, making sure that the battery cables are clean. If they are dirty, then clean them with baking soda and water. Even newer batteries can have some signs of corrosion, which is normal.
You don’t have to replace them, but instead cleaning them will restore their functionality. Likewise, disconnect all 12-volt accessories so that they don’t continue to pull current from the battery. Then, fully charge the battery.
Step 2: Disconnect the Battery
The next step is to preserve the battery so it doesn’t lose its charge. Your golf car will either have a tow/run or maintenance/run switch. Check your user’s manual to make sure what type you have. Then, follow the directions for your cart.
Generally, you should flip the switch to “tow” or “maintenance” to reduce battery drain, unexpected starts, and decrease fire risks. Finally, disconnect the battery charger from the AC outlet before unplugging it from your golf cart.
This process requires you to disconnect the main positive and negative connections. To remember how to reconnect them, tape the connections together so they can be easily identified and found. This will save you a lot of time and hassle when you’re eager to get back to the game.
Note: If you prefer to leave the battery connected, then you must charge the battery and check the water levels every month.
Step 3: Refill Water Level
After fully charging the battery, most carts require that you refill the water levels to 1/4th of an inch above the plates, but check the specific guidelines from your cart's manufacturer for exact watering and charging practices.
Do not go to this step if your cart’s battery isn't fully charged because adding water before charging can lead to electrolyte overflow. Also, you should only use distilled water.
Step 4: Secure the Cart
When you store your cart, you must make sure that you take as much stress from it as you can. Place it on level ground and leave the forward or reverse switch in “neutral”. This will cause the cart to roll if the ground has a slight slope, so use bricks or other heavy, stable objects to keep the golf cart in place. Don’t use the parking brake because leaving it engaged can damage your cart.
Step 5: Take Care of The Tires
It’s important to keep the tires at the recommended pressure in storage to prevent flat spots from forming. You can either inflate the tires every two weeks, moving the car slightly to apply pressure to a different part of the tire.
Or, if you prefer to be more hands-off during storage, jack up the golf cart by putting jack stands in the front and back of the vehicle. This will take all pressure off your tires.
Step 6: Make Sure it’s Clean
Cleaning the cart is an often overlooked step, but it’s an important one that ensures that it stays in good condition all winter. Check all your cart’s compartments and remove any perishables.
You’ll be surprised to find forgotten snacks, drinks, and crumbs that can grow bacteria during storage. Also, check for other personal belongings like spare keys and cash. As a finishing touch, clean the flooring and upholstery so that the cart smells extra nice.
Step 7: Store it in a Secure Place
When storing your cart, you have a few options, but putting your cart in a climate-controlled storage unit is the most ideal option. You can also keep your cart in your garage, though this takes up space you could use for parking a vehicle or storing other items.
If you plan on using a storage unit, measure your golf cart to see what kind of unit will work the best. Generally, most carts can fit a 10x10 drive up storage unit. Make sure that you remove the keys and store them in a safe and memorable location.
If you must store it in a semi-enclosed area or outdoors, which isn’t recommended, know that the cart will be exposed to harsh weather like snow, sleet, hail, and rain — not to mention below freezing temperatures. For the best possible results, protect the cart with a waterproof cover. Secure the cover so that strong winds won’t blow it away.
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