Looking for easy golf cart maintenance tips to keep your golf car running smoothly? We’ve gathered the top 13 things you can do to make sure your golf cart is in peak performance.
Keep in mind which type your golf cart you’ll be performing routine maintenance on. Electric golf carts are more versatile when it comes to fuel conservation, but tend to have long recharge times and are a bit more pricier to fix.
Gas powered golf carts, on the other hand, are much easier to perform maintenance on – that is if you’re savvy with automobiles. Also, make sure to read the user’s manual that comes with your select cart; there may be defined tools or instructions in regards to disassembly/reassembly.
1.) Check the Water Levels
If you own an electric golf cart it is advised that you check your water levels once per month. On top of that, only insert distilled water into the drain – mineral water can deteriorate the inside of your machine if used continually. Add just enough water to cover the plates, no more.
The consequence can cause an electro-chemical reaction that charge of the batteries; a battery without water can start to smoke and catch fire – or worse. Keep a proper fill, as well as routine cleaning around the drain.
2.) Check The Connectors
The connectors can corrode over time, especially when unused for certain seasons. During colder times of the year, such as winter or spring, corrosion tends to be very natural – and detrimental. Also check for any loose bolts or screws, which could result in reduced charge time.
To minimize corruption, it is suggested that a 50/50 solution of baking soda and water are carefully sprayed over battery connections and screws. Keep in mind that it is crucial to avoid any debris or clutter around the battery connectors. There have been cases where minor explosions were present due to the negligence of their golf carts, especially in electrical versions.
3.) Inspect Brakes and Rear Differentials
Inspecting brakes and maintaining a protective cushion on the pads will save you lots of money. About every six months, it is wise to check if both front brakes and rear differentials need any upkeep, and if so, continue accordingly. The average golf cart goes about 20-25 mph, so it is very important that brakes are checked and secured to prevent collisions.
The oil level on the rear differential, which drives the golf cart, should be checked every 12 months. If you find puddles of oil under the golf cart, it could mean that corrosion is present and should be repaired immediately.
4.) Check for Proper Air Pressure in Tires
Checking the tire’s proper air pressure sounds easy enough, and fundamentally, it is. Just like in your average car, an over-inflated tire can and will lead to wear on your golf cart unevenly if riding for long periods. It is best to purchase an air pressure gauge, which will inform you of the tire’s exact mass. You should also check the air pressure monthly, as well as filled to the manufacturer’s recommended specification, which is usually between 18-22 PSI.
5.) Check the Solenoid (more specifically for gas powered golf carts)
The solenoid is a wire acting as a magnet when carrying an electric current and is primarily found in gas powered golf carts rather than electric. This ignition is key – literally – for starting your engine.
You will need a voltmeter to make sure the solenoid is working properly. A voltmeter works by moving a pointer across a scale in proportion to the voltage of the circuit; in other words, it detects the amount of electricity flow from the ignition to the engine. Weak flow equals weak start-up. Over time, this will ruin your battery. This is the most important component in regards to the gas powered golf cart and should be routinely checked every two months.
6.) Cleaning the Terminals
Terminals are the electrical contacts used to connect to a load or charger, whether it be to a single-cell or multi-cell battery. For example, if your golf cart needs to be jumped, clean terminals will assure great potential. Ensuring that these dials are clean is pretty important, DO be cautious, though. Wearing gloves can prevent electrocution, and will also leave your hands less dirty. A 50/50 baking soda and water solution should be able to clean the debris off of all terminals, securing a clean flow of electricity.
7.) Check Your Lights
Checking whether your lights work or not may not seem like a big deal – but it is. Street legal golf carts and electric carts alike have street legal lights included onto them. Check your turn signals, brake lights, and headlights; if all your lights are not working, usually it is a 12-volt fuse that has gone out, which can be simply replaced.
8.) Check the Mirrors
The mirrors to your golf cart seem unnecessary due to such little traffic on the golf lanes, but it is illegal to operate the vehicle with non-working mirrors. Observe the side mirrors and wing mirrors on the windshield, as well as making sure the thumbscrews are tightened so no visible obstruction is present.
9.) Check For Steering Wheel Alignment
The steering wheel rack and pinion need greasing each year, as well an annual tune-up. Making sure that the alignment is well set is also another important factor you have to consider. Driving the golf cart with improper alignment may result in faulty consequences. To check this, put both hands on the steering wheel allowing both wheels to appear straight. Put the golf cart in park and step outside the vehicle. If you notice a slight a slight alignment with the wheels, you might be in need of a tune-up. You may also notice this mishap when driving straight and suddenly feel your cart veering in a certain direction.
10.) Inspect Your Gauges
Inspecting the state of your gauges is important in regards to proper readings. As the batteries get older, these gauges become less reliable. When charging a cart, you may find the charging meter sometimes resets itself to full after being plugged in for short periods of time; this may be a red flag for misreadings. The only manual way to check the gauges is to put an extreme load on the cart, then drive the cart quite a distance to see if the meter depletes. Battery load testers are another great option to test gauge activity. They provide you an exact reading, alerting you of any problems your battery may be having.
11.) Keep Your Cart Charged Everyday (applicable to electric golf carts)
This goes for all electrical golf carts. Keeping your golf cart charged every day can and will have positive results on your battery’s life. The battery has a memory unit installed into it, allowing it to both optimize and reconfigure itself if needed. Addition to that, the battery will last much longer if charged at a half dial. Doing this will extend playtime while eliminating charge time.
With this in mind, it is best to know which power supply cord you need in order to reap the most effects. Your user’s manual should contain the proper requirements. If a lightweight extension cord is used, heat detention is created and a fire could start. Always be attentive on this issue.
12.) Maintaining Golf Cart Batteries
There are two main areas of maintenance for golf cart batteries: water levels and making sure there are properly tightened connections. Keeping a regulation on these two factors will greatly determine your battery life. New batteries range anywhere from $400 to a whopping $1,200, causing any sound-person to take good care of their batteries. They’re supposed to last five years, but with abusive methods, the average person has to buy a new golf cart battery every two years.
13.) Keep It Clean
Finally, you want to keep your cart clean, both externally and internally. Keeping a balanced look to it will increase both impressions and the cart’s overall life. Wash the tires, underneath the axis, and make sure to polish the windows every now and then. Clean the inside as well, such as the battery compartment – it is best advised that an air pressure is used to do this. Make sure not to leave water on the cart too long or it may result in shortages.