Why Does My Golf Cart Jerk When I Accelerate? (and how to fix)

Lately, I’ve been noticing that my golf cart jerks when I try to accelerate.

It will suddenly lurch forward as if there’s some sort of mysterious force resisting my efforts to move. Why does my golf cart jerk when I accelerate?

Typically, the problem is a loose connection to the battery, low power from the battery, a faulty solenoid, an alignment issue at the front end of the golf cart, or a speed controller issue.

In this post, we’ll take a look at a few specific reasons for what’s causing the problem and explore some possible solutions.

golf cart jerking

What causes a golf cart to hesitate when taking off?

Hesitation problems include sluggish start times, sluggish acceleration (particularly uphill), and sluggish acceleration gains.

Connection is Loose

Make a thorough check of the cables to ensure that they are all properly connected. The speed controller can malfunction if the wire is slack.

All wires must be connected properly and securely. In addition, examine the quality of the existing wiring. Are there any signs of deterioration, rust, or a cut wire?

Solenoid Going Bad

A faulty or failing solenoid could be the cause of your golf cart’s sluggish acceleration.

It handles getting battery power to your starter, the golf cart’s generator, and the traction motor. Solenoids can fail more frequently on an electric cart than a gas powered one.

Replacing Your Solenoid
9.4/10 Recommended

This replacement solenoid works best with EZGO Electric Golf Carts. This will usually fix any jerky issues you have if your problem is indeed the solenoid. 

  • 36 Volt 4 Terminal 
  • Heavy Duty
  • Replacing part numbers: 70-120224, 11761GA, 11761-G1, 27855-G01, 27855-G02, 3016, 31680-G1, cole hersee 24080

Acceleration and Deceleration Speed Control Issues

A speed controller controls the golf cart’s speed and acceleration. Even if the speed controller malfunctions, the cart should still start and drive forward in most circumstances. However, after some time, it can malfunction and put you in a predicament and not move forward at all.

Electric golf cart accelerator problems can occur frequently… but don’t be scared to take your golf cart to a mechanic if you can’t figure out what’s wrong with the accelerator, and it will save you a lot of time and trouble.

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Why is my electric golf cart jerky?

The most likely reason for an electric golf cart jerking is usually battery-related. However, while this is a common reason, there are other causes like bad tires, suspension issues, clutch problems, front-end problems, poor beads, etc…

There should be no bouncing, jerking, or wobbling in a high-quality golf cart. Therefore, these are the likely scenarios and their causes:


Low power batteries or a faulty battery can cause your cart jerk when accelerating. The cart might jerk as it speeds when power or if electricity is not distributed appropriately.

Fortunately, changing the battery should solve this issue quickly and easily. However, if this solution does not repair the cart or make it operate properly, you may have an issue with adapters or resistors on the cart.

The Motor Controller Output Regulator

The Motor Controller Output Regulator, is another possible source of failures. The pedal mechanism is located under the cart’s floorboard and can be accessed by lifting the mat, however, a mechanic is preferable.

Replacing Your MCOR
8.9/10 Recommended

This replacement MCOR will solve a hesitation problem in your Club Car

  • Translates power to motor when you press the accelerator
  • 100% Warranty and Exact OEM Match
  • Replacing OEM: 103327901

Golf Cart’s Front End is Bouncing

Front-end wobbles can be extremely annoying and tough to deal with while driving a cart.

Off brand or improperly installed tires are frequently the cause of such issues. As you drive, you’ll notice bouncing if your tires aren’t both at the same height. The tires will have a harder time running on the route or making sharp turns.

Front Suspension and Golf Cart Front Tires That Are Always Bouncing

This problem is distinct from a bouncing front end since you’ll watch the tires rise and fall without feeling full cart motion.

Your cart may operate erratically and may even destroy the frame. YIKES!

Many factors contribute to this issue: Tires, for instance, may deform if the cart rests for an extended period. Tires can get disfigured if the weight in the cart greatly increases and decreases repeatedly.

With a decent pair of durable tires, once they have warmed up from driving around a bit, they can return to their normal original size, but should still be monitored.

The cart’s suspension may also be a problem. You can’t even drive the cart for too long in this circumstance; instead, you should have it serviced by a professional. If you drive on it too long with bad suspension, you can cause other issues with the cart.

Why is My Golf Cart Sputtering?

Sometimes “jerking” is confused with sputtering. so if your electric golf cart hesitates when accelerating there are a few things it could be.

A spark plug failure, dirty fuel filters, or low-octane fuel usually causes sputtering and cause an undesirable performance.

In addition, a cart’s fuel system may malfunction as a whole. The golf cart’s filter, pump, and fuel injector may be filthy, thus causing the sputtering.

Other than that, a dirty mass airflow sensor can cause your golf cart to sputter. Water mixed with your cart’s gas can also cause it to sputter and spit, as this reduces the gas’s volatility.

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If your golf cart is jerking, it’s most likely the battery. However, if you’ve ruled that out and are still experiencing this problem, there may be other issues to consider.

Check the connections, solenoid, speed controller, and alignment of the cart. If you’re still having problems after addressing these potential issues, it’s time to have it looked at by a mechanic.

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