- by Bryan Veldboom - updated on 2/11/2021
Groundhog's Day has come and gone, which means that spring is getting closer. As you get ready for warmer weather, now’s the perfect time to prep your golf cart, motorcycle, boat or personal watercraft for another exciting season. Follow these tips to help get your seasonal toys ready and keep them performing all summer long.
Vehicle lights play an important role in ensuring the safety of yourself and others. As you take your golf cart, motorcycle or boat out of storage, be sure to check the performance of headlights, turn lights, brake lights and any interior illumination. If you notice the headlights on your motorcycle or golf cart appear dimmer than normal or that they are flickering during operation, it's a good sign that they need replacing. When swapping out headlights be sure that you always replace them in pairs. That way, you won't have one burning out before the other, giving you an uneven vision of the road or course.
We carry headlight, taillight and brake light bulbs for all major motorcycle manufacturers, makes and models, as well as golf cart headlight bulbs too. You'll also find bulbs for the interior lights in your boat, including 1157-sized and 194-sized lights.
The second thing you'll want to check is the status of your motorcycle, boat or personal watercraft battery, starting with its charge. You can test this yourself using a multimeter or bring it into any Batteries Plus location and we'll test it for you free of charge.
Please note that the deep cycle batteries used in golf carts and some boats can't be quick-tested like other batteries. If you have a deep cycle battery that you think might be dying, take note of its typical voltage and run time. The experts at your nearest Batteries Plus can compare this to the performance of a new battery and help you determine if it's time for a replacement.
You'll also want to examine the exterior of your battery's case. If you notice cracks or signs of swelling, be sure to have your battery replaced as soon as possible. Also, check the battery's terminals for corrosion, which can disrupt the flow of current. If you do have corrosion, you can remove it using a battery terminal brush and a solution of baking soda and water.
Using an anti-corrosion spray on the terminals will help prevent corrosion buildup in the future. A battery box is another wise investment. These sturdy boxes will help keep your battery clean and dry when it's time to put them back in storage.
Ideally, you should have been maintaining your battery’s charge throughout the winter. If not, you'll want to pick up a charger and make sure your battery is fully charged before you use it.
The Schauer 36A 20A Charger is perfect for golf carts, charging your battery 15% faster than a conventional automatic charger. For motorcycles and personal watercraft, we recommend the Duracell Ultra 0.8 Amp Charger. This automatic charger works with both 6V and 12V batteries and is compatible with flooded, AGM, gel and lithium battery chemistries. The NOCO GENIUS10 is perfect for 6V and 12V boat batteries, while the Duracell Ultra 7.5 Amp Charger will charge 12V and 24V boat batteries.
Lithium batteries have different charging requirements than other battery types. If you have a lithium battery in your motorcycle, boat or personal watercraft, you should keep it at around a 50% charge when storing it for the season. Since lithium batteries have a very low self-discharge rate, you will most likely not need to charge it during off-season storage. Even so, you should still check the battery's charge every few months and if it drops below a 30% state of charge, charge it back up to around 50%.
After testing your battery, you may find that you need a replacement. Keep in mind that each of the applications we've been discussing require different types of batteries. Motorcycles and personal watercraft require powersport starting batteries, while golf carts take deep cycle batteries. In order to find the right battery for your golf cart, you'll need to calculate your cart's voltage. Boats often rely on a combination of a starting and deep cycle battery or a dual purpose type. The good news is that your local Batteries Plus has all of these batteries in stock and ready for your favorite toys.
A little preparation will help ensure that your vehicle is ready for the start of a new season. Visit us online for additional power and lighting solutions or stop in to your nearest location where our experts can help answer your questions face to face.