We all want to have a golf cart that runs smoothly, and we’ve compiled a list of 13 maintenance tips to ensure your golf cart is running at its best.
Some pieces of advice may vary based on whether you have an electric or gas golf cart. Electric carts are easier when it comes to fuel conversion, but their recharge time can be long and electric carts tend to be more expensive to fix. Whereas gas powered carts are simpler maintenance wise, they require a handy owner to be able to perform maintenance themselves. This can help in your decision in which car is better for your interests, skills, and needs.
1. Do a Monthly Check on Water Levels
For those with an electric golf cart, checking water levels is an important task to be completed at least once a month. It is advised to only use distilled water since mineral water can cause deterioration. When filling with water, make sure the water is filled enough to cover the plates. If you don’t regularly check the water levels, then it is very possible an electro-chemical reaction may occur. This can lead to a battery smoking or even catching fire.
2. Take a Look at the Connectors
Like all things, overtime connectors can corrode. This is especially possible when unused. During some seasons corrosion can happen faster, such as winter and spring. Around these times, check connectors, or any loose bolts or screws that can cause reduced charge time.
One way to minimize corruption to to make a 50/50 solution of baking soda and water. Use this solution by spraying it over battery connections and screw. Avoiding debris around battery connections is important.
3. Check Your Brakes and Rear Differentials
To save money, inspect your brakes regularly and maintain a protective cushion on the pads. It is smart to check your front brakes and rear differentials every six months. In addition, check the oil level on the rear differential every 12 months. Check for puddles of oil under the cart, as this can mean corrosion is present and needs immediate attention.
4. Check Your Tires Air Pressure
If you don’t already own an air pressure gauge, now is a good time to buy one. It is wise to check your tire pressure on a monthly basis to make sure the air pressure is not too high or low. If you are unsure what the recommended amount of air pressure is, check the manufacturer’s recommended specification. This usually falls between 18-22 PSI.
5. Look at the Solenoid (more for gas golf carts)
The solenoid is a wire that acts as a magnet carrying an electric current. It is usually found in gas powered carts, and is key in starting an engine.
To check your solenoid, you will need to get a voltmeter. A voltmeter works by detecting the amount of electricity flowing between the ignition to the engine. If the flow is weak, then the start-up will be weak. This will ruin your battery over time, and is one of the most important aspects for gas powered carts. You should check this once every two months.
6. Make Sure the Terminals are Clean
Terminals connect electrical contacts to a load/charger (both for single-cell or multi-cell battery). It is important that these terminals are clean, since they are needed in instances of jumping your golf cart. These can be cleaned with a 50/50 baking soda and water solution, to ensure debris is removed and electricity will move easier. Always practice precaution by wearing gloves during this process. Electrocution is a possibility, and it is always better to play it safe.
7. Make Sure Your Lights are Working Properly
It is important to make sure that all of the lights on your golf cart are working. This includes: turn signals, brake lights, and headlights. If a light is out, it usually means a 12 volt-fuse has gone out, and this is a simple fix.
8. Mirrors, Check.
Did you know it is illegal to operate a golf cart with non-working mirrors? Make sure your side mirrors and wing mirrors have tight thumbscrews so no visible obstruction is present.
9. Check Steering Wheel Alignment
It is important to conduct an annual greasing of your wheel rack and pinion, along with a tune-up. In addition, check your alignment, as this can cause faulty consequences if improperly aligned. To check, put both of your hands on the steering wheel and adjust it to the point your wheels appear straight. Put the golf cart in park, step outside the vehicle, and inspect for any signs of alignment with the wheels. If you notice anything, it may need a tune-up. Another way of knowing if your alignment is improper is while driving if you feel your cart veering in a certain direction, it is time for a tune-up.
10. Look at Your Gauges
It is important to inspect your gauges to make sure you are getting proper readings. Over time, these gauges become less reliable with age. One red flag is if your charging meter immediately resets itself to full after being plugged in for a short period of time. Some ways of testing this include:
- Put a heavy load on the cart and drive a long distance. Check to see if the meter depletes.
- Get a battery load tester to test gauge activity. This will indicate any existing
problems and provide an accurate reading.
11. Charge Your Cart Daily
This is important for all electric golf carts. The benefits on your battery’s life is positive if charged daily. Your battery has a memory unit installed that allows it to reconfigure itself if needed, and can last much longer if charged at a half dial. This will extend your battery’s life while shortening charge time. Be careful with the power supply cord you use, and consult your user’s manual to decide which cord is best for your battery.
12. Inspect Battery Water Level and Connections
It is important to regularly check the water level of your battery and to check that connections are secure. If this isn’t kept up with, your battery life may be reduced dramatically. A battery should last up to five years with careful attention.
13. Clean, clean, clean
Lastly, keep your golf cart clean, internally and externally. This includes washing the tires, under the axis, cleaning the battery compartment, etc. This will help extend the cart’s overall life, and make it look sleek.