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Golf Cart Slowing Down?

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Battery operated golf carts are user friendly, economical, convenient and fun. They promote clean air and quiet communities. More than two million are in use in hotels, resorts, industrial complexes, convention centers, airports, schools, mobile home parks, and retirement or “golf cart communities.”

Their only drawback is that over time, they slow down and don’t go as far.  Batteries weaken, they don’t hold as much charge, and you have to purchase new batteries. New batteries, $90-$220.00 each (4-8 of them on a cart), are expensive, messy and troublesome to replace. This article explains what you can do so you won’t have to purchase new batteries every 2-5 years.

It explains what is causing your batteries to weaken and your cart to slow down and not hold a charge – the formation of lead sulfate on the battery plates. 75 to 80 % of lead acid batteries – the kind used in golf carts – fail prematurely because of the formation of lead sulfate crystals. If your batteries sit in disuse, it even makes matters worse, as this crystal buildup makes batteries unusable in a matter of months, especially in hot weather.

The solution is easy to use, doesn’t require a mechanic and is about the cost of one battery! 

BASICS

The purpose of the battery: Golf cart batteries provide the power to propel the cart and operate any other electrical devices installed on the cart from a radio to air conditioning. An electrical current is generated in the battery by a chemical reaction between the lead plates and sulfuric acid electrolyte. Most golf carts use 6 six Volt batteries for 36 Volts total to power the motor, or 6 eight Volt for a total of 48 Volts. To determine the voltage of other golf carts, please reference this page, What is the voltage of my batteries?

Golf cart batteries are a special type called deep cycle.  A deep cycle battery must provide a moderate amount of current for a long period of time and may go days before getting recharged.

A car battery, otherwise called a starter battery,  provides very high current for a few seconds and is recharged immediately. You never want to use a starter battery in a deep cycle battery application.

How a battery works:

In a normal battery we have three basic elements: one plate made of lead, an electrolyte of sulfuric acid and another plate made of lead oxide. When the battery is discharged, the sulfuric acid in the electrolyte reacts with the lead and lead oxide releasing electricity, forming lead sulfate. This leaves a watery electrolyte solution. When a battery is completely discharged, what is left is lead sulfate and water. When you recharge the battery, the electrical current causes the lead sulfate to break apart, returning the system to the original elements of lead and lead oxide on the plates and sulfuric acid in the electrolyte, for the most part.

What’s the problem? Why do batteries fail?

When the battery is recharged, a small amount of lead sulfate maintains its sulfate configuration (sulfate crystal). These sulfates crystals cannot be reconverted using a regular electric current. Every time the battery is discharged then charged, more of these crystals are produced and the electrolyte solution becomes more watery. Like layers of snow on a garden, the crystals will continue to accumulate until you can no longer see the garden. These crystals interfere with the flow of electricity in and out of the battery. The battery will take longer to charge and a charge will last less time. A perfectly good battery will seem dead because lead sulfate has built up on the plates.

The BLS is the Solution

The Battery Life Saver electronic desulfator (BLS) solves this problem by dissolving the buildup of lead sulfate crystals. The BLS sends a wave² through the battery or battery bank, targeting the lead sulfate crystals (even those that could not be dissolved by recharging), converting them back into lead and sulfuric acid. Each crystal is like a tiny radio receiver. In fact, when the radio was invented, a lead sulfate crystal was used for the receiver. The BLS action gradually restores the battery back to its original condition and allows the electrical charge to be drawn from the battery.

Deep cycle batteries are especially prone to sulfate buildup because they work for extended lengths of time before being recharged. This and heat (temperatures over 70 degrees F) accelerate the buildup of sulfate. You should never use car batteries for a golf cart.

A perfectly good battery will seem dead because lead sulfate has built up on the plates. Lead sulfate crystals form as a result of the chemical reaction that produces electricity. These crystals interfere with the flow of electricity in and out of the battery. Until now, there has not been an effective way to remove sulfate crystals. Over 75 million batteries are thrown away ever year, 80% of which could have been recovered. There is a solution. It is called the Battery Life Saver (BLS).

Which BLS do I need?

BLS-48N for 48 volt carts

BLS-36N for 36 volt carts

BLS-72A for 72 volt carts

BLS-12N for 12 volt applications like RV's, boats or vehicles. 

Don't know what the voltage of your system is? Visit this page.

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Other factors that cause battery failure:

The first and most common cause of premature battery failure is sulfate buildup on the plates. It acts as an insulator, it interferes with the charging and discharging of the batteries and is responsible for 75 to 80% of premature battery failures. This buildup is accelerated by the following:

  • high temperature -- over 70 degrees
  • discharging the battery below 80% State of Charge.
  • extended storage without charging

The best way to prevent and remove this buildup is to use a BLS.

The second most common cause of premature battery failure is loss of electrolyte (the liquid chemical that causes electricity to flow) due to overcharging or heat caused by sulfate buildup. Although the BLS will reduce water consumption, be sure to keep your batteries filled. Fill batteries only when fully charged.

The third most common cause is undercharging. Undercharging accelerates the buildup on the plates. Use the BLS to over come this problem and make sure that you recharge your batteries frequently.

The fourth most common cause is typically called "old age." The plates shed material which falls to the bottom of the battery and eventually shorts the plates or creates an open cell. This shedding is accelerated by sulfate buildup, which can be reduced with the BLS.

BATTERY MAINTENANCE POINTERS

Perform regular maintenance to prolong the life of your batteries, especially during hot weather.

  • Check the electrolyte levels, be careful not to overfill.
  • Clean the battery tops. This eliminates conductive paths that reroute and waste electricity.
  • Check the battery voltage. Recharge if necessary.
  • Recharge your battery after every use.
  • DO NOT mix old and new batteries in the same bank (unless you use the BLS).

FAQ's

1. Why don’t batteries last as long as the warranty states? This is a ploy by battery manufacturers to guarantee that you will buy another battery from them. Your warranty is based on the number of months you used the battery. This is called prorated. The prorated price you pay is the actual price of the battery. They also need your battery back to get the leadfrom it. 98% of the lead they use has to be recycled.

2. My golf cart has 6 batteries. Which BLS should I use? Count the filler holes to determine the voltage of your system. Eighteen holes is 36 Volts, so you need a BLS-36N. Twenty four holes is 48 Volts so you need a BLS-48N.

3. Do I need a separate BLS for each of my batteries? NO! Never connect more than one BLS to the same bank of batteries.

4. Will the BLS harm my batteries? No. The BLS puts out a low voltage signal that will not harm the battery or any electronics attached to it. Inadvertent discharging will not cause permanent damage since the BLS prevents the damage normally associated with deep discharging.

5. Why haven't I heard about the BLS before? The battery manufacturers and most dealers do not want you to know about the BLS. Why would they? It doubles or triples the life of a battery!

6. If I use the BLS, how long will it extend the life of my battery? The typical life of a golf cart battery is three to five years. Some people have estimated that a battery used in automotive applications in North America, without sulfate buildup, would last nine years. The BLS will double and sometimes triple the normal life of your battery. We have customers that have batteries that are still going after 11 years with the BLS in Florida. 

7. Why shouldn't I just buy new batteries when my old ones go bad? You can, especially if you own stock in a battery company. It will cost you more money in the long run. You still run the risk of being stranded by battery failure as new batteries go bad quicker than you realize. This means you should replace all six when one goes bad unless you are using BLS. New batteries are frequently not very fresh – i.e. they may already have sulfate buildup from sitting on the store shelf toolong.

8. Can I use my BLS on my car as well? Yes. The best model for a car is the BLS-12N. It is designed specifically to be installed permanately on the car. This will assure a worry free use. If you have multiple vehicles you may consider rotating the BLS from one to another.

9. How can I tell if my BLS is working?It is ON and working when the LED is illuminated. An hydrometer is the best way to determine if the BLS is effectively working on your batteries. Check the batteries before installing the BLS, then recheck every month. Reference the state of charge chart to determine the condition of the batteries. This will tell you how the batteries are doing. Also, you will notice you can go farther and faster as your batteries are brought back to life.

10. If I have one bad battery, do I have to replace all of them? When using the BLS, you only have to replace the bad batteries. The BLS will prevent the damage that usually occurs when mixing old and new batteries.

  

Purchase a BLS for your Golf Cart

 

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FEATURES

  • Only one unit is needed per cart.
  • Attach it and forget it.
  • Can be installed permanently to the cart. Dimensions are 4 x 2 x 2.5 inches
  • When rejuvenating old cart batteries, you should start to see the results within the first 2 weeks.
  • Reduces water evaporation.
  • Shorter charging times.
  • Longer run times.
  • Sturdy & weather resistant.
  • Installation time less than 15 minutes.
  • Produced since 2002. Over a 99% satisfaction rate
  • 120 Day money back guarantee
  • 5 year limited warranty

 

Questions? Call Us at 727-446-8400

 

IMAGES, VIDEOS AND LINKS

   

Golf Cart BLS Video

All About the BLS