The electrical systems on your golf car are designed to operate in a wide range of environments and last for many years if well-maintained. Routine checks should be performed to ensure that a small problem does not become a major repair or cause injuries. This post is not about performing the maintenance, but about safety while using and servicing your electrical system.
Electrical connectors need to be checked regularly to make sure they are tight. Loose terminals and connectors cause heat build-up and therefore are a safety concern. In the case of this picture, the connection got hot enough to melt lead. Luckily there were no injuries in this case, but this malfunction could have caused a fire and/or explosion. Unfortunately, however, this battery must be replaced prematurely for the sake of safety.
Any time you work on the electrical system, you should disconnect the main positive and negative battery power leads. As careful as you may be, accidents still happen, leading to personal injury and damage to the system. Many controller systems we repair are damaged as a result of an electrical short overloading the electronics due to lack of safety.
It’s also important to remember that not all components are dead because the key is in the “off” position. In the examples above and below, the solenoid burned because the person tried to remove the power connector while the batteries were still connected. This solenoid was stuck in the closed position (meaning electricity was flowing through it) as the terminal was loosened, causing a small fire.
Along with the tips above, always use common sense when working on your electrical system. Remove all jewelry from your hands, double-check all connections before powering the system, and if a connection looks burned or damaged, don’t trust it. Stay safe.