You go-kart’s battery is a very important component, as without it, your kart wouldn’t operate properly. It’s key to charge your battery regularly, as otherwise you risk losing performance, and the battery can suffer too. But you may be wondering how to properly charge a go-kart battery.
To charge a go-kart battery, remove the battery from the kart, connect your battery up the charger for at least 12 hours, then reconnect your battery in the standard procedure you would use for a car battery. You need to recharge your kart’s battery at least once a week.
The battery in a kart is often overlooked and not charged as often as it should be. Having a battery on low charge can mean that your next karting session will have to be delayed or cancelled. We take a closer look at key things you need to know about charging your kart’s battery below.
Why Should You Regularly Charge Your Go-Kart’s Battery
Your kart battery is extremely sensitive. Unlike those in regular road cars, your kart can’t recharge the battery while the engine is running. This means that if your battery is not charging, it is depleting. Being a sensitive piece of equipment, your battery will begin to struggle once its charge level falls below 50%.
Kart engines were designed with reliability and performance in mind. Choosing not to implement an alternator or charging element to the kart means that there are fewer parts that can break, therefore making the engine more reliable and easier to maintain. Having fewer parts also means that the engine is lighter, and therefore it improves the performance of the kart.
Charge It After Every Race
There is no built-in way to check your battery percentage level, so it’s best to just regularly charge the battery. Many drivers charge their batteries once a week, but I found that it is best to just take the battery home with you after a day of running. This way you will make a habit of keeping your battery charged at all times and you won’t show up to the next race day with a dead battery!
Always take note of the correct storage temperatures for batteries. These can normally be found written on the front of the battery itself. Always make sure it is kept away from moisture and direct sunlight too, especially when it’s charging.
How To Find Out How Old Your Kart Battery Is
If you need to check how old a battery is, you can typically find the production date on the top. You can use this to check how old a battery is if it comes with your second-hand kart or if you are buying a second-hand battery from someone else. The code on top of the battery will show you the year and the month of production.
How To Charge Your Kart’s Battery
Charging your kart’s battery is a simple process, but if you don’t do it right, you could damage the battery or even get a nasty electric shock. Luckily, there is a simple way to charge your battery without disconnecting the battery from the kart.
If you have a power output in your storage unit where you keep your kart, you can simply connect the kart’s battery up to the charger without disconnecting it from the kart. This is usually fine, but always make sure that your storage unit is safe. Make sure that it’s protected from extreme temperatures or any moisture or water leaking in.
Removing Your Go-Kart Battery
The way that most people charge their batteries is by disconnecting it from their kart and taking it home with them. The steps to remove your kart’s battery are the same as with a car battery.
WARNING: You must make sure you know what you're doing when handling your kart's battery. As with a car battery, these are dangerous if you don't know what you're doing, and you proceed at your own risk.
The first step is to unscrew the housing for the battery. Each engine type is slightly different, but it will normally be the same simple procedure. There will most likely be a bar or a metallic element over the top of the battery that can be unscrewed from one side. Newer karts may have a hard plastic housing cover. Once you do this, the battery will be loose.
Disconnect The Negative Terminal First
Next is the important part. When removing the battery, disconnect the negative terminal first, then the positive cable. When reconnecting the battery, you do the opposite, and connect the positive terminal first and then the negative terminal.
Most Rotax and other major kart engines will have an adapter that you can simply plug the battery into, but some much older batteries don’t have an adapter and will require you to use a trickle charger. In this case, use the same procedure in terms of connecting and disconnecting the battery from the charger.
KEY POINTS• You should charge your kart battery after every day at the track
• This will ensure your battery offers peak performance and remains in top condition
• Always take car when handling your kart battery
Kart Battery Tips
Go-kart batteries can vary in price depending on what kind of battery you want to go for. You can find some cheaper brands for around $30, while the official Rotax battery can cost you up to $300-$400 depending on where you buy it from.
You need to make sure that you are buying a good quality battery. Of course, it does not have to be the best of the best since it won’t affect your kart’s performance that much, but quality is still important.
The Rotax battery chargers will cost you around $30 and can be ordered online or most likely also found in your local karting store as well. There are some other chargers on the market for different prices, but most are around the same range and quality.
Have A Spare
It’s also best to have a backup battery ready in case your main one lets your down in the middle of a race meeting. You could even use a cheaper battery for testing sessions and the more expensive and better-quality battery for races and qualifying sessions.
Many kart drivers often overlook basic battery maintenance, and most will not charge their battery often enough. The battery is a crucial element of your kart, and since your kart can not charge the battery while the engine is running, it’s important that you take care of it.
Batteries need to be connected and disconnected the correct way in order to do it safely, and to preserve the lifespan of the battery. These steps are important to follow when changing batteries in cars and in karts.
Always ensure that your battery is fully charged and that it does not drop too far below 50% battery life. Running the battery below half charge can cause damage to it and significantly reduce its lifespan. Finally, it’s best to have a backup battery ready and not need it, rather than risk being stranded without a working battery on race day!