Consumer Tips

The AC Edge: Alternating Current

What does all this mean? Simply put, an AC induction motor is more efficient than its DC counterpart by a factor of 20 to 40%, depending on the load. It creates a lot more torque, faster acceleration and since it has no mechanical connections, other than the ball bearings at each end of the rotor, maintenance is minimal. In short it is a simple, rugged and reliable design. Furthermore an AC motor is more receptive to electrical regeneration-it naturally wants to regen-and this helps with downhill speed control, which is one of the main reasons we are using it here. Another reason we considered an AC system is its ability to climb hills with a load. It pulls with speed & authority and maintains downhill speed limits. Available DC systems just can’t deliver all these features.

Advantages of AC electric motors in Golf Carts

 *   Faster acceleration

      *   More power under a load
           (think 4 passengers, climbing a hill)

     *   Improved downhill braking

     *   More efficient regeneration

     *   Higher top speed

     *   Less Maintenance Cost

     *   Less energy used to recharge and to operate

Tips for Charging Deep Cycle Batteries

1. Batteries need to get fully charged between uses.

Using your golf cart when your batteries aren't fully charged leads to hard sulfation and can affect battery performance and the longevity of your batteries. Make sure your batteries have enough time to complete a charge cycle before using your cart. 

2. Be sure to check the water level of your batteries frequently (more often in the summer).

The hotter the temp, the quicker the set of batteries will discharge. The older the batteries, the more frequently you need to check your water levels. Older batteries use more water.  Correctly watering your flooded lead-acid batteries is the most important battery maintenance tip.  Water loss must be replaced to prevent battery plate damage.  Never allow the electrolyte level to fall below the plates. 

3. Dry batteries are the number one cause of premature failure.

If the batteries are new or fairly new use distilled water rather than tap water.

4. Water should be added after charging (unless the water is below the level of the plates).

If you fill the batteries before you charge them, you risk overfilling. During the charging process the electrolyte level will rise and may bubble out of the cap.

5. Batteries need to be kept clean and dry to prevent self discharge. Dirty batteries can cause a trickle of small current that can slowly discharge your batteries.

6. When it comes time to replace your batteries, replace all of them. Do not mix new and used batteries.

A little warning if you are finding that your golf cart batteries are not holding their charge as long or as well as they used to, it may be time to get new batteries - Ouch! They keep jumping in price and it will cost you a couple hundred dollars.

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7. When you are pulling the battery charger plug from your golf cart, be sure to pull on the actual plug, not the cord.

If you repeatedly pull from the cord, which is what my wife does all the time, you can damage the wires inside the plug and pull them loose. If this happens your charge won't work.

I have found that after a few years, my batteries take a longer time to charge and don't hold a charge as long as the new batteries. The older they get, the more apt I am to check the water levels.

8. Only water your batteries, after they are fully charged...unless there is no water covering the plates.

Then add just enough water to cover the plates. Be sure to use distilled water.

After fully charging deep cycle batteries, perform the water maintenance program.

9.  Be sure the the ignition key is in the "off" position. 

Tip - Dirty Windshield?
 
Proper Care: Clean your windshield with a soft towel or chamois and water only. If necessary, use a mild soap. Plexiglass can scratch very easily. DON'T USE WINDEX.
 

Electric:

  • Never run the cart to 0% battery life. Once the batteries reach a critical level, they will not charge with a standard charger.

  • Plug in vehicle when not in use.*

  • Check battery water level on a weekly basis and refill as necessary.*

Gas:

  • Do not tamper with the drive train (or any other mechanical component)! This can cause injury to you and the vehicle.

  • Do not drive the vehicle at 1-2 MPH for extended periods of time. At low speeds, the cart is powered by the starter which rapidly drains the battery.

  • Check fuel levels daily.*

  • Check oil levels daily.*

What Year Is My Club Car® Golf Cart?

Since 1981 Club Car® Golf Carts have positioned their serial numbers just under the glove box on the passengers side of the vehicle. The serial number of each vehicle is printed on a bar code decal. The two letters at the beginning of the serial number "A" indicate the vehicle model. The following four digits "B" indicate the model year and production week during which the vehicle was built. The six digits "C" following the hyphen represent the unique sequential number assigned to each vehicle built within a given model year. (See chart below to find your model.)

This Example Serial Number is for a (PH)Precedent I2 Excel (0901)Year-2009 Made the 1st Week (123456)Unique Number For This Particular Cart.

On Club Car® Golf Carts prior to 1981, you can find the serial number by raising the seat and locating the aluminium, I-beam frame section closest to the batteries on the driver's side of the car. If the serial number plate has been removed, you can confirm it is a 1975-1980 model if it has two brake pedals and one accelerator pedal.

Tow Run Switches – Golf Carts

 by Michael Williams

There is a lot of confusion among golf cart owners regarding tow run switches in their carts. Often they do not receive the proper training from dealers to understand and use this switch properly. This confusion ranges from what it is, to what it does, how to properly use it, and when to use it.  Within this discussion, we’ll try to clear up all of those questions.

 

The tow run switch, also sometimes called a tow maintenance switch, is present in many brands and models of modern golf carts.  This switch is only installed into golf carts with a separately excited motor which produces regenerative braking.  They are not used in traditional golf carts with a series wound motor. The tow run switches are typically found inside the battery compartment of the cart in plain sight.

The tow run switches are used in golf carts with separately excited motor and corresponding controller.  The electronic speed controllers used in this application have a bit of logic memory within, similar to your automobile’s stereo when it saves your favorite preset stations.  In a golf cart application, a separately excited controller draws a very small amount of power at all times, even when the vehicle is not in use.

To disable this feature, you must flip the tow run switch into the “TOW” position.  This minimizes its power draw over time.

 

When would you need to “kill” the power to the controller to minimize power drain? The most common scenario is when you go on vacation or leave for your seasonal home.  Any time the cart is going to be stored for significant periods of time without being attended or charged, the vehicle should first be fully charged, and then the switch should be turned to “TOW”.  This will ensure that your charge lasts as long as possible during your absence without the controller draining them.  Depending on the length of time you are away, the batteries may still be very dead upon your return, but this process will certainly help minimize the drain.

There is also another use for the tow run switches used in golf carts with a sepex controllers and motors.  Most carts with this type of system also have a special feature built into the programming of the controller, called the “Roll Away” feature.  For example, if you park the cart to hit your next fairway shot and forget to set the parking brake, the cart will start to roll away.  Once a specified rpm is reached, the cart uses the controller to cause the motor to slow the vehicle down to a very slow speed.  This allows the driver to easily walk to catch up with the vehicle before it hits something.

Any time your cart dies or is in need to being towed, you MUST utilize the tow run switch and flip it to the “TOW” position.  Otherwise, the cart will think it is rolling downhill and will try to activate the roll away feature described above.  Basically, you’ll be trying to tow a cart which is fighting you to slow itself down. If you do not flip the switch to “TOW” prior to pulling the vehicle, you can cause serious and even catastrophic damage to the controller, the motor, or both.  The most common component to sustain damage by towing the cart without flipping the switch is the controller.  And, if you’ve never priced electronic speed controllers, they are expensive.

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club car golf carts
Tomberlin Dealer
Columbia