Follow-up on Golf-Cart charger


So, where were we?
Even though the manager said I could throw away the chargers, I would never get rid of parts for anything until the original problem is resolved.
Today I got a call from the other manager that they got the new charger and it didn't work, and there may have been a bad wire in the golf cart and I should bring back the chargers.
In my defense, I tend to believe what people say and they said the charger was bad (well, maybe that's not a defense), plus it was 90 or 95+ degrees out and humid when I was there, and crowded in their little golf cart garage, and in general I'm running on only 5 cylinders anyhow.
Also the charger they had is supposed to signal when there are battery problems, but I didn't know about that before I took the charger home, and at home I never took the current charger out of my trunk, only the one that broke 10 years ago that does nothing. I don't remember if the flashing lights earlier matched "Battery Problem" or not.
Details They had received the new charger by UPS and the ammeter never moved. The owner called the vendor and was told to look under the seat, where the batteries are, and she or her manager or her manager's buddy who hangs around sometimes noticed a wire from one battery to the other had come out of the crimp connector. So he put it back in the connector and crimped it some more.
Then they used the new charger which she checked every hour and it was always off, and she'd have to unplug the golf cart and plug it back in to get it started again. When she said this it sounded really bad, and I'm very impressionable so I thought it was bad, but even while I was there I started to have doubts and now I realize that I don't know how early in the day the golf cart failed, two weeks ago. It might have been early so the batteries were mostly charged, and those few minutes early today were enough. In fact it occurs to me now that she said things which indicate that it rarely takes more than 30 minutes to charge at the end of the day, so the new charger is good, but it's a cheap model (see question in previous or next post) and she says she has 30 days to return it, for any reason I guess.
So we reconnected the charger they were using until 2 weeks ago and it seems to work fine. Unlike the el cheapo, it shows how many minutes it takes before before it turns itself off, unles the time is under 31 minutes. In that case it just shows 30. We left the garage for a while and when we came back it was off and said 30, but the time was probably less.
The golf cart has 6 6-volt batteries, big like the size for a car. I showed her where there was battery "salt" on the batteries in two places and told her how to clean it. She already knew about water level, but I don't know if they use distilled or not.
Also, catalog said that if you have 24 battery caps, you have 48 volts worth of batteries, but the drawing showed six 4-cell batteries. It turns out they do they make 8-volt rechargeable batteries the size of car batteries. But the drawing confused her anyhow and she thought she had 48 volts. It was hard to count the battery caps because they came with a device that loosened all three of them at once, and made it hard to see the actualy caps. Apparently golf cart batteries are also used in some electric cars still. http://www.electric-cars-are-for-girls.com/8-volt-golf-cart-battery.html
Her father owned and ran this business until about a year ago, and died, and now she's learning to run it.
Anyhow, they have the chargers now and other than giving her a little more advice, I'm out of it. Fine.
Thanks for all your help you guys.
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Seems like none of you know what the f you are doing, start by going to www.batteryuniversity.com, try googling Battery maintenance, get a quality V meter and quality Prism gravity hydrometer. You are ruining batteries if you dont take care of them, you are not taking care of them by guessing and relying on a charger.
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On Thu, 19 Aug 2010 04:47:28 -0700 (PDT), ransley

Thanks. Very difficult reading, but I"ll look some more. The new owner will never read this stuff; she wasn't happy when I told her she had to set the voltmeter at 20 to measure one battery and 200 for all 6. She said she'll leave it at 20 and measure each one. I didn't get into the reasons that might not work as well.

The other manager used to have an electric golf cart but now has a gasoline one. Maybe I'll ask her how long the batteries lasted, but she might have forgotten by now.
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Its not very technical, its about how much voltage each cell has and if the charger gets each cell 100% charged. Call the charger manufacturer and ask how it works. A volt meter just confirms the charger is calibrated and checking each cell once in awhile tell you if a battery is going bad and ruining the whole pack. I bet your charger is a good one but knowing what it does will save alot of money over the long run by letting you know when things are not 100% right by catching problems before a bad charger ruins a whole pack of batteries. Its the same as your car, mine charges to about 13.25v just when the car is shut off, then settles to about 12.8 in about maybe 30 minutes and the next day may be at 12.5. my alternator when the car is running is about 14v + . Once you learn about this stuff it makes battery care and diagnosing easy, the point is catching a failure early. Have you cleaned all terminal connections, thats part of regular maintenance as well.
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Now that you were the new owner of the chargers. Did you offer to sell them back, at a reasonable price?
I've found with all repairs, that it's wise to hang onto the old parts for at least a week. Learned this after I did a tune up on a truck I used to have. I threw out the old parts. The truck didn't run very well after the tune up. Find out the new spark plug wires were junk. Of course, I didn't have the old ones to put on. Ended up replacing all kinds of things (air filter, fuel filter, carburetor) cause after all, the wires were brand new, and 3 year warranty. Shoulda kept the old ones, they worked just fine.
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On 8/19/2010 9:27 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

It's not unusual to have car repairs linked to the last work/change. A good place to start.
Jeff
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wrote:

"if it ain't broke, don't fix it" is sometimes a good policy. And "experienced" parts are very often better than "virgins"
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