Here in Canada it is getting to be that time of year again where the golf carts get put away in exchange for snowmobiles, and the golf clubs are put in the back closet while the skis are taken out of storage!
Since we have been winterizing several carts as of late, we thought it might be helpful for those of you who want to tackle it yourself, or if you just want to know what goes on when you drop your cart off to see how we at SC Carts handle the task of winterizing your electric golf cart!
The first step we take in preparing an electric golf cart for winter storage is to pressure wash the entire cart. That means the under carriage the body, the battery compartment, the roof, the dash area etc… You want to get all the grass and dirt build up from the season off so you have a nice clean vehicle to work with. Next get it in a suitable work environment. For us that means in the shop and up on the work table.
The first thing we do is get the lift under the rear end and get the tires off so we can access the brakes.
We like to then take compressed air and blow the brakes off along with the brake drums. Next we inspect for any damaged or loose parts that need to be addressed. We also pay close attention to the brake pads to see if they are hard surfaced and also if they have sufficient pad material left.
While we have the rear tires off and the cart in the air we inspect the rear suspension and tighten everything up.
We then clean and scuff the brake drums to allow a nice coat of paint to adhere. This will protect them from rust developing over the winter.
The next important thing to check is the oil in the rear end, you want to make sure it is clean and topped up. IF you have dirty oil it is best to drain it and add new fresh oil, if you did it already during the season or have had little use of the cart and know the last time it was changed then you may be able to go one more season without changing it.
Once we have all the brakes and lower drivetrain tended to we move onto to the motor. Here we give the motor and connections a good cleaning, check the connections for tightness and then add a protective grease to them.
We then move onto the front of the golf cart. This particular cart was not one that SC Carts built, here you can see the headlight wiring harness is ran down beside the steering shaft. When we turn the steering shaft the steering knuckle clicks against the harness plug!
Here you can see the headlight wiring harness re routed, this will ensure that there is no wear on the harness. We also secured the loose wires with tie straps.
Next we inspect the hubs for any excess play or worn bearings.
We then inspect all the front suspension bolts and bushings to ensure they are tight with no excess movement, and then we grease the front spindles.
With the front end tight and inspected we degrease and clean all the components.
We re install the front wheels and then check all the tires for proper pressure. Here you can see the tires were fairly low. It is important to store the tires at proper air pressure so you do not create any flat spots. Also come spring you should re check the air pressure.
With that portion of the cart service done, we clean and detail the rims and tires and get the cart on the ground.
Now onto the batteries. Many people are intimidated by this part, and in all honesty if you don’t feel comfortable with it then it is best to have this part done by someone who is comfortable and knowledgeable with batteries.
These batteries were in rough shape, as you can see the plates are dry. This can really take life off of your batteries. This is why it is so important to check your battery water level throughout the season.
Lucky for this customer we were able to save these batteries with a bit of SC Carts special battery water and some charging techniques. These batteries are looking good now, however the long term effects of poor battery maintenance will still take their toll on this pack.
This is also the time when we remove the controller cover and clean out that area as well. Also it is important to check that the connections are secure and that there is no wear or abrasion.
We then do a final clean and detail in the battery compartment and apply a protective spray over the entire pack.
This is also the right time to check the battery cables and change them if they are looking worn. A bad battery cable or loose connection will melt a battery post right out of a battery before you know it. So with everything tight, clean and inspected we apply a protective grease to each connection.
With our hand held computer reader we scan the Club Car Precedent computer to see how everything is doing internally on the electronics. Also this is the time that we look to see if there are any faults in the system, we look into each fault and then clear the computer. Finally we do a complete final detail of the cart, we wax the body and polish the windscreen. This cart is now ready for winter storage.
When storing over the winter months it is important to keep the batteries charged, we suggest charging them once a month, and also checking the water levels throughout the storage season. Another important thing to do is to not set your park brake on during the storage period. You could potentially have seized brakes and also stretch the cables if you leave them locked on all winter long.
Follow these easy steps and you will ensure a long healthy life for your cart and its components, this will also give you the best resale value when you are ready to upgrade your cart!
We hope this has helped take some of the mystery out of caring for your cart!