Golf cart springs, struts, and shock absorbers ensure your ride on the golf course is as smooth as possible. Shocks absorb the impacts of spring bouncing and don’t dissipate energy. How do you know if a golf cart’s shocks are bad?
The easiest way to tell bad golf cart shocks is leaking oil or other signs of damage. Look out for peeling, cracking, or off-center rubber shock covers found at either end of the shocks. Shock absorbers use gas or oil to soak in the spring’s excess energy.
Physical damage means the absorbent liquid or gas is escaping, making the shocks ineffective.
Please make yourself comfortable as we dig deeper into the topic.
How Do You Know When Your Golf Cart Needs New Shocks?
A golf cart with the front part diving into the ground and the rear end lifting more than usual is asking for new shocks. It may also prove hard to drive the cart into reverse.
If left unattended, nose-diving creates several other problems, including wheel sagging and rubbing. Changing the shocks as soon as possible prevents these secondary problems.
A sagging suspension, especially in newer golf carts, is a cause for alarm and may point towards worn-out shock absorbers.
The case is a bit different for old golf carts because the suspension system has been broken down by use and age.
When the shock absorber cylinder deflates, the distance between the wheels and the suspension system reduces, causing the wheels wells to grind the tires.
Strange or Funny Noises
If the cart produces funny noises accompanied by a leaking in the rear bumper and squeaking in the front, it’s time to get your golf cart new shocks.
Leaking deflates the cylinder, making it useless to absorb excess energy from the shocks.
Having a keen, sharp hearing ability and regularly inspecting the shock absorbers should alert you when they are worn out.
Bad shocks can negatively affect vehicle handling and potentially lead to accidents when not replaced soon enough.
The problem might be worn-out shocks when the vehicle leans too heavily when taking corners or curves.
It is time for shock replacement if you feel the entire golf cart roll over when driving too fast or taking a sharp corner. But why wait that long?
Did you know bad golf shocks can negatively affect steering?
This indicator is much scarier than the rest because the golf cart’s steering does the exact opposite of what you wanted it to do.
Defective shock absorbers can cause the vehicle to turn in the opposite direction when you apply brakes to take a corner.
It feels like the body roll discussed above, but much worse.
Trying to compensate doesn’t work, and you may fishtail or drive across the road.
Whenever you’re trying to slow down the golf cart, but the process is taking longer than usual, check the condition of the shock absorbers.
It may sound absurd, but worn-out shocks and struts can negatively interfere with braking.
The only problem is that most people cannot associate them with braking and check elsewhere.
A longer slowdown time could be connected to the shock absorbers. They interfere with the piston rod length, making picking slower than normal. The vehicle takes more distance and more time to stop.
Golf cart components are often more interconnected than you think, and a problem on one component sends a ripple effect to the other. Surprisingly, unusual tire wear is not only an indicator of bad driving bad also of bad shocks.
Uneven tire wear should tell you to inspect the shock absorbers and replace the worn-out ones. The reason is simple. A bad suspension makes the tire grind the road on and off unevenly.
The result is the golf cart bounces the tires on the road more times than other vehicles.
If your golf cart tires are balding in some areas more than others, it’s time you got new tires from a certified dealer.
How Often Do You Replace Shocks on a Golf Cart?
Some golf cart owners wait until the ride becomes too uncomfortable to bear before replacing the shock absorbers.
The damage has been going on by this time and probably affected other vital cart operations. How often should you replace shocks on a golf cart?
There isn’t one single criterion for telling when shock absorbers need replacing.
The manufacturers insist on shock replacement after every few hundred miles. However, this is inaccurate and largely benefits the golf cart manufacturers because, in most cases, the shocks are still intact.
The rule of the thumb is to have a professional golf cart mechanic inspect the shock after every few hundred miles. After that, an annual inspection will do. This ensures that you only replace when necessary, saving you the money you could have purchased new shocks multiple times.
Replace your golf cart shock absorbers when you notice something unusual with the suspension system. For example, the ride may be unusually rough.
The cart may lean forward more frequently or have an extended braking distance. In summary, there are no laid out rules.
What Do Bad Shocks Sound Like?
The shocks and the struts make a knocking or clunking sound. Bad shocks can be irritating to the ear and make the ride uncomfortable.
And you can hear a golf cart driving on bad shocks from a mile away.
When the cart hits a pothole, bump, or any other rough surface, strut bottoms, and shocks hit each other, and irritating noise is produced by metal surfaces hitting against each other.
The noise may also emanate from worn shock accessories such as the mounting components.
Will Newer Shocks Make My Golf Cart Ride Smooth?
The answer is a resounding YES!
The primary and sole reason manufacturers fit golf carts with shock absorbers is to make the ride smoother than when using springs alone.
You need to replace the defective shocks when the ride becomes too rough when hitting bumps, potholes, or when driving on the uneven road surface.
New shocks translate to better shock absorption properties, hence a smoother and more comfortable ride.