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Common Golf Cart Problems

The old saying goes that the best two days of a boat owner's life are the day they buy the boat and the day they sell the boat. Luckily, this is not the same for golf cart owners. 

Inevitably though, your golf cart is going to need some level of service outside of the routine maintenance. When it comes to golf cart problems, typically they fall into one of three categories:Electrical, Brakes, and Throttle. 

 

Electrical 

For electrical issues, the most typical problems revolve around the battery and a lack of maintenance. It’s important to keep the cables to the battery tight and the battery dry. 

Additionally if you neglect your golf cart battery you’ll likely find corrosion just like on any other vehicle’s battery. Keeping the corrosion off of the battery terminals and cables will prevent battery connection issues as well as rust. 

Besides a failing battery, a bad connection is your most likely golf cart issue. 

 

Brakes 

When it comes to common golf cart problems, brakes are also at the top of the list. Golf cart brakes are some of the most simple parts of the machine, but given the frequent stops and starts it’s important to keep the brakes clean and make the necessary adjustments. 

Here’s a quick guide on how to do some of that maintenance. 

 

Throttle 

The throttle linkage adjustment is a standard problem seen in many golf carts. Many adjustments can be found with a little research, especially when it comes to the battery and brakes. When it comes to the throttle linkage, that often will require a trip into the shop. 

 

No matter how basic or advanced of a maintenance need you have, RMI can help. Visit our service page to set up your appointment. 

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4 Common Questions About Buying A Golf Cart

Maybe it’s because we are all staying at home more, that we notice it. Perhaps it’s because families aren’t going on vacation and are looking for some new way to get around the neighborhood. Whatever it is, you may have seen more golf carts around your neighborhood. 


When you are ready to make the jump into having a golf cart, you may think about buying a used one. Here’s some questions you may have as you start the process:

  1. Does an electric golf cart come with new batteries? 

    While you may find a great deal on a used golf cart, if it’s an electric golf cart, having to replace a battery can suddenly make it not such a great deal. How long a golf cart battery can last depends on many things, including how hard the cart was used before you bought it. A three-year-old cart that was used for hours every day at a golf course won’t have the same battery life as a golf cart that was used just a few times a week to drive to the dock and back. 
  2. Have the golf carts been serviced?

    One benefit of buying from a top golf cart dealer, like RMI, is that your used cart will be serviced before you buy it. Examples of used carts services can include things such as general tuneups, testing and potentially replacing batteries. Additionally, it's important to make sure your used cart has had an inspection to correct any safety issues before you make the purchase. 
  3. Do golf carts come with any kind of warranty? 

    Just like when you buy a car, a warranty is important. Depending on the age and condition, the golf cart could be sold “as-is” or could include limited warranties. Many reputable dealers will include a one-year warranty on new batteries and chargers. 
  4. What kind of golf cart maintenance am I responsible for?  

    Many times a small problem can be fixed more economically if it’s found early on compared to letting it turn into a big problem. RMI offers a service package that helps take the burden off of you for the general maintenance of your golf cart. The annual service package includes a top to bottom inspection of everything from brakes to connections to batteries or fuel. 

Do you have more questions? We are happy to answer them. Give us a call the next time you need some answers.

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How Much Does A Golf Cart Cost

 

Buying a new golf cart can feel a lot like buying a new car. And while golf carts don’t offer options from self crank windows to air conditioned seats, there’s a wide array of features you can choose or ignore that can impact the price you’ll pay for a new golf cart. Just like when it comes time to go to a car dealership, the better prepared you are, the happier you will be with your new purchase. 

As you choose your next golf cart there’s plenty to keep in mind. And much of what you choose can impact the price you’ll pay. Let’s say you’ve got your heart set on a new E-Z-Go model.

It goes without saying, the make and model you choose will determine where the price begins, a new Ford F-150 is going to cost more than a Dodge Dart.  


Gas or battery

While both power options have their benefits, going with a lithium battery option will typically increase the price of your E-Z-Go golf cart by about 20%. The cost savings however can be recouped by having no future fuel costs. 

Color

Cost can also be impacted when it comes time to choose your color. For example the new E-Z-Go Freedom RXV Elite comes with standard color options of blue, black, red, gray and white. When it comes time to see an upgrade though is when you decide to change your color to something like Almond or Metallic Charcoal. Pricing increases can range anywhere for $300 to $500. 

Wheels

If you want to have your golf cart flash, depending on the model, upgrading from the standard wheels can bump the price up from the standard model by as much as $500. 

Tops/Enclosures

Unless you plan on taking the convertible approach where you store your golf cart in the garage and only bring it out on sunny days, you’ll want a top on your cart. Depending on your model and brand, a top will likely be $400 or more. It’s something you’ll be glad you had the first time you are driving the neighborhood and a spring shower pops up. 

Windshields can also be included and also have the ability to be tinted. 

Other features

If you can dream it, chances are RMI can deliver it. Besides the previously mentioned, there’s some other features that are available from the factory. 

Some of those include: 

  • Premium or two-toned seats

  • Audio systems and speakers

  • LED Lights

  • Glove boxes

  • Turn signals

It’s hard to say exactly what the right fit for you is in terms of a new golf cart. The best way to find out what you need is to head into our showroom or website and look around. With our years of expertise, we’re happy to help guide you to a golf cart you’ll love for years to come.

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Top 25 FAQ's about Bad Boy Buggies

We get lots of questions about Bad Boy Buggies, so we put together the top 25 that we get. Hopefully you will get your Bad Boy Buggies questions answered below.

1. How far can I drive on a charge?

Test runs in ideal conditions have produced run times of up to 30 miles on a full charge; however, in typical hunting conditions which consist of a mixed terrain, realistic run times of 15 to 25 miles per charge can be expected. Terrain, weather conditions and payload directly affect the run time of all electric vehicles.

2. Where do I go for service work?

Take you buggy to any authorized Bad Boy Dealer for service work. We have a dealer locator on our website to assist you in finding a dealer near you.

3. How long does it take to charge the batteries?

It takes 8 to 10 hours to complete a full charge on the batteries.

4. Can I charge the buggy with a generator?

Yes, the Bad Boy Buggy can be charged with a generator. The generator must be a minimum 2500 watt output, however, a 3500 watt output or larger is recommended.

5. How do I change the fluid in the differentials?

To change the fluid in the differential you have to remove the pan from the bottom of the differential. After the fluid has drained, clean the old silicone from the pan edge and bottom of the differential. Apply a new bead of silicone, and reinstall the pan. Remove the fill plug from the bottom of the pan, and using an injector style pump, fill the pan with 12 to 14 ounces of SAE85-140 wt. gear oil, and replace fill plug.

6. How much water should be in the batteries?

The fluid level should barely cover the lead plates in the batteries. Fluid should ALWAYS be added before charging batteries, USING ONLY DISTILLED WATER. If the batteries are overfilled they can boil over when charging, or if the water level is too low, exposed plates can be damaged.

7. What size tires and wheels are on the buggy?

Standard tire size for Classic, Stretch and LT Models - 24 x 11 x 10 Directional Tread Standard tire size for XT Model - 25 x 10 x 12 Directional Tread

8. How do I add 12 volt accessories to the buggy?

Any accessories that require power must be run directly from the batteries, not spliced into other wires. DO NOT USE THE CHASSIS FOR A GROUND, as this will damage the electrical system of the buggy. All grounds must terminate at a battery.

9. Where do I order parts and accessories for my Bad Boy?

Parts and accessories should be ordered through your authorized Bad Boy Buggies dealer.

10. How do I locate my closest dealer?

Go to www.badboybuggies.com click on the Locate a Dealer link. There you can click on your state to find a list of dealers for that state.

11. Where are the fuses located on the Bad Boy?

On the XT Model, the fuses are located in driver’s side storage compartment. On all other Model Bad Boy Buggies, the fuses are located beneath the cup holder on the dash panel. You must remove the cup holder to access the fuses. To do this, press inward on the warning label plate, while pulling outward on the cup holder. This will release the 3 locking tabs, allowing the cup holder to be removed from the dash panel. The fuse box will then be visible.

12. How fast will the buggy go?

The speed of the 2009 model Bad Boy Buggy ranges from 18-22 mph, depending on the payload and ground condition.

13. How much water can I safely go through?

It is recommended that the Bad Boy not be driven in water deeper than the center of the axles, or 12 inches.

14. I am getting shorter than normal run time, what could cause this?

Assuming that the charger is functioning properly, the only two things that cause a decrease in run time are defective/weak batteries, or a defective cable or cable connection. A defective cable or cable with a poor connection will be hot to the touch after running the buggy for a few miles. A digital volt meter is required to detect weak or defective batteries. Batteries voltages should only be checked by qualified personnel.

15. Is there a technical manual available?

Service manuals are available on CD for $55.

16. I hear a humming sound when the buggy is on, is this normal?

This question should only pertain to the older “Series” units, with directional contactors. A slight humming sound is normal while the buggy is in operation. The high amount of voltage required to operate the system produces a slight electrical hum and is a normal characteristic of electric vehicles.

17. What is the towing capacity of the Bad Boy?

Towing capacity is rated at 800 lbs, with a 150 lb maximum tongue weight.

18. What is the Bad Boy load capacity?

Load capacity for the Classic and XT Models is 1000 lbs. Load capacity for the LT is 800 lbs.

19. How much air pressure should I run in the tires?

The recommended air pressure is 12 psi in the front tires and 14 psi in the rear tires.

20. My buggy will not run, who should I contact?

Contact your authorized Bad Boy Dealer for all service questions.

21. Where is the controller located?

On the Classic and LT Model, the controllers are located beneath the black plastic cover behind the front seat. The cover is secured to the buggy with five Phillips head screws. After removing the five screws, pull the cover toward the front of the buggy, which will allow you to access the controller. On the XT Model, the controllers are located at the rear of the battery compartment, underneath the front seat.

22. Where is the directional contactor (double Contactor) located?

This question pertains only to the “Series” units. Flip up the front seat and look to the passenger side of the battery compartment. There will be one battery by itself. Between this battery and the rear fender well is the directional contactor. It is low set with several large gauge wires attached to it.

23. Where is the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) located on the buggy?

On the Classic Model, the V.I.N. # is located on the left side of the driver’s side storage compartment. The VIN will be printed across the bottom of a rectangular shaped silver foil tag, and is a 17-digit alpha-numeric number beginning with the letter/numbers “BBE514”. On the XT Model, the V.I.N. # is located on the “Warning Plate” mounted above the cup holder.

24. How much ground clearance does the buggy have?

Ground clearance is 16.5” at the frame.

25. What kind of oil goes in the differentials?

The differentials use standard SAE 85-140 wt. gear oil.

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How Often Do You Recharge Golf Cart Batteries?

Electric golf carts are the most common and energy-efficient mode of transporting golfers and their equipment around a golf course. Nearly all golf carts used for recreational purposes are designed to carry two people on the course or around the neighborhood.  

Battery configurations are typically 42 volt systems, which consists of seven 6-volt batteries, or 48 volt systems, which consists of six 8-volt batteries. Some newer carts house 12-volt batteries. Golf cart manufacturers usually provide a two-year or limited four-year warrantee on new sealed lead-acid cart batteries, which are meant to output approximately 20,000 energy units--about 1,000 rounds of golf--when properly maintained. 

Recharging Batteries
Golf course maintenance personnel recharge institutionally owned golf carts after every 18-hole round of golf, which lasts approximately four to five hours, and measures approximately 6,000 yards (3.5 miles). Individuals who own personal recreational golf carts should also recharge batteries after every round of golf. Depending on the slope of the terrain and the weight of the load, golf carts can travel up to 6 miles on one full charge. 

Street legal
When licensed, golf carts are also used for short-distance street commutes, especially in retirement communities and residential golf settings. A standard twi-passenger golf cart travels at about 5 miles per hour on flat ground. Some street golf cart models feature four seats, rather than two plus an equipment rack. Still, golf cart batteries should be recharged after four hours of use. Nobody likes to be stranded. 

Prolong battery life
It takes several hours to re-charge golf cart batteries that have gone completely dead. To lengthen the lifespan of batteries, make sure they are fully charged before each use. Also check the water level in each battery cell at least once a month, refilling with pure distilled water as necessary. Fill only to the plate level. Water levels that are too high cause the acid mixture to overflow and corrode surrounding parts. A good preventative battery regimen frees golfers from worrying about transportation and enables them to focus on their game. 

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How To Properly Charge A Golf Cart Battery

We've already gone over the value and advantages of powering your cart with a lithium battery, but to make sure you treat your transport with as much TLC as it deserves, learning to charge those batteries requires you to learn a little more about doing it properly. 


What battery type does your cart use? 
You’re in luck: there are only two types of batteries made for golf carts, so identifying the proper power source is your first job. Your vehicle may be engineered for a 36-volt system (that’s six 6-volt batteries) all the way up to a 48-volt system that is driven by either six 8-volt batteries or four 12-volt batteries, all of which belong in what’s called the deep cycle lead-acid battery family. 

The first relies upon electrolyte levels maintained within each cell, while the second, lithium-ion, offers limitless benefits via power-pushing conductive cells that rely upon ion production to keep these batteries cranking out power at an efficient rate. Since lithium batteries don’t rely upon liquid electrolytes, you won’t be burdened with constant fuel level monitoring or refilling if your golf cart is powered by energy-efficient lithium. 

Is one superior to the other? 
That can depend upon the cart you drive, the replacement battery cost and your cart’s age. If you’re driving a dinosaur that just keeps going, you’ll spend less cash on a lead-acid unit when compared to its cousin. Plenty of duffers stick with this lead-acid because they resist change. Folks who already complain that they spend too much on their favorite sport may balk at spending even more on the lithium upgrade. On the other hand, lithium has so many benefits, plenty of golf cart owners have become converts once they learn that lithium-ion batteries deliver on these 4 points: 

1. They’re small, compact, light and efficient (on average half the size). 
2. They charge faster and stick around 5-times longer than lead-acid units. 
3. They’re more reliable and environmentally friendly. 
4. In the end, they deliver more cost-efficient rounds of golf (or trips to your neighbors house). 

An industry in flux 
According to members of the battery industry, this is an industry in flux because the only thing you can count on is that you’ll have to take a pass on your game until your cart is recharged. A lead-acid battery can slow a cart down and take 8 hours to get up to speed, while lithium can get you to around 80-percent capacity in an hour. Replace a lead-acid battery with lithium and you could see a nice performance boost, but you will have paid a price to do it. 

But, here’s the quandary: cart owners have relied upon lead acid batteries for so long, they are almost conditioned to choose them. In fact, the demand for cart batteries is expected to continue to increase and lead-acid models generally make up the majority of those, so never underestimate consumer preference.


How to charge a lead-acid cart battery 
The process of charging this type of battery isn’t uncomplicated, so do it correctly and extend the life of the battery and cut back on the number of times you seek golf cart repair. Follow these steps: 

-Read all of the instructions that came with your battery twice. 
-Plan to routinely charge your battery after every use so it’s always ready to go. 
-Charge in a well-ventilated area to avoid gases that build up during charge time. 
-Take a pass on charging your golf cart in high temperatures. 
-Understand that ion batteries needn’t be fully discharged to take a new charge. 
-Double check voltage settings and compensate for temperatures above 80-degrees F. 
-Check water levels and tighten vent caps. 

How to charge a lithium-ion cart battery 
First: the gorilla in the room. You may wonder if you can replace a lead-acid battery with a lithium battery and in fact, it’s done-—as long as the replacement doesn’t operate on what’s called automatic “equalization mode.” If the motor can't be permanently turned off while charging, a battery could sustain damage, sending you to the land of golf cart repair. Your best bet is installing a product designed with a specific algorithm that protects your battery’s health, performance and life span and then follow these steps: 

-Read the instructions appearing on the literature that came with your battery. 
-Don’t charge the battery if the temperature is extreme; either too cold or hot. 
-Turn the cart off while undertaking the charging process so the battery reaches a proper saturation point. 
-Don’t fully-charge because less is always better when it comes to lithium-ion. 
-If the battery or charging unit starts to heat up in mid-process, give it a rest. 
-Become accustomed to the way your cart battery indicates readiness. When in doubt, read the manual. 

Is it time for you to change the battery in your golf cart? 
Properly diagnosing the health of your cart batteries before deciding to replace your unit is important so you don’t spend money and time to change battery in golf cart that doesn’t need changing. Consult a battery hydrometer if you’ve a lead-acid battery. All you may need is an assessment of electrolyte gravity. On the other hand, if either battery type is over the age of three, look for signs that your battery has given all it has to give and needs replacement. 

Gather up your tools, battery carry straps, rags, a scrub brush, safety goggles, a good corrosion block product and situate yourself near a water source. Disconnect and remove the old battery, clean out the battery hold with a hose and let dry (you can use a hair dryer). Apply corrosive block to the frame so it comes into the best contact with the new battery and install it. Hook up the cables and once everything looks good, take a test drive so no surprises await next time you’ve got your clubs ready for 18 holes. 

Need more info about batteries? Give us a call at any time and we would be glad to help you out.

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How to Trouble Shoot & Repair a Golf Cart Starter Generator

It's the 1st of the month so that means it's time for another "how to" video for you DIY golfers out there. Many of our customers own gas golf carts. Every week we take calls from people that are having a hard time getting their carts to run. Sometimes they run intermittently. One minute the cart runs great, they other they can’t get the engine to turn over.

Lots of times people will mistake this for a dead battery; they will replace it and still have the same issue. Many times when this is a problem the brushes in your starter are worn out and need to be replaced.

This is a really common problem and an extremely easy fix! In this video we will show you how to troubleshoot and replace the starter generator brushes in your gas powered golf cart!

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Easy instructions on how to change oil on your E-Z-GO Golf cart

How To Change The Oil On An E-Z-GO Golf Cart

Need help changing the oil on your E-Z-GO golf cart? We have outlined the instructions below in addition to all the tools and supplies needed to change the oil on your golf cart.

 

Things You'll Need:

  • Lint-free rag
  • Oil drain pan
  • Wrench
  • Engine degreaser and paintbrush, or compressed air
  • Funnel
  • 10W-30 grade engine oil
  1. Start the engine and allow it to warm. Park the golf cart on a level surface, apply the parking brake and remove the ignition key.
  2. Clean the top of the engine's oil cap, as well as the area immediately surrounding the cap, with a lint-free rag to avoid having potentially harmful debris inadvertently enter the engine when the oil cap is removed.
  3. Place an oil drain pan underneath the oil filter. The oil filter is located within a triangular metal housing and is attached to the engine with three bolts.
  4. Remove the oil filter's three retaining bolts with a wrench, then pull the filter out of the engine and allow the oil to drain into the pan. Do not lose the large rubber O-ring that surrounds the filter.
  5. Clean the oil filter with either an engine degreaser, available at most automotive parts stores, or with compressed air. If using a degreaser, brush the degreaser onto the filter with a paintbrush and allow it to air dry. If using compressed air, direct the air through the filter at no more than 30 pounds per square inch, and from a distance not less than 3 inches.
  6. Wipe the area surrounding the engine's oil filter mount with a lint-free rag, then slide the oil filter into place within the engine and install the filter's three retaining bolts with a wrench.
  7. Twist off the engine's oil cap from the top of the engine, and insert a funnel into the opening. Pour 10W-30 grade engine oil into the funnel in small increments, periodically stopping to check the fluid level on the engine's oil dipstick. The dipstick has two lines and the letter "F" stamped into it. The line just under the letter "F" represents the full mark, while the bottom line represents the minimum quantity of oil the engine requires to safely operate. Pour oil into the funnel until the oil level on the dipstick is between the two lines.
  8. Remove the funnel from the oil cap opening, and install the oil cap
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E-Z-GO Powerwise Charger Troubleshoot and Repair Guide

There doesn't seem to be a day that goes by at RMI Golf Carts that we don't receive phone calls or emails on the topic of battery chargers. Many times folks ask "do you guys sell chargers"? The answer is of course "yes"! But like we tell everyone that calls, more than likely you don't need to buy a new charger. Many people are shocked to know that most of the time they can be repaired.

Once this has been established, the next question is “How do I determine if it’s bad”, and "I’m pretty handy, what parts do I need"!!

So, we’ve decided to put together a "How to" video on repairing the E-Z-GO Powerwise Charger. This is the charger that works on all E-Z-GO PDS 36 volt carts. It seems to be the most popular charger out, and it’s the one we see the most.

Items you will need to repair and troubleshoot your E-Z-Go Powerwise Charger

 Tools Needed

Parts You May Need

Philips head screw driver Diode Stud Type - 2010
Needle nose pliers E-Z-Go Powerwise Control Board
7/16 wrench Powerwise 50 Amp Fuse
Voltage meter with buzzer

E-Z-Go Powerwise Charger troubleshooting quick guide

Did you check the end of the Powerwise charger handle?

More often than not the issue is with the charger handle. Inside the charger handle there's a little clip. These clips wear and get pushed out of place. Pull the clip back out, so that it is grounded to the post.

Did you check the charger cord?

People have a tendency to yank the cord out when they’re done charging, this can damage it. With power supply plugged in, lift up on the cord rotate it different directions to see if the charger comes on. If the charger doesn’t come on, then you have a bad connection somewhere else.

Did you check the fuse on the Powerwise charger?

Unplug the charger. Use the voltmeter and ground it to the screw next to the fuse, and press the other end to the opposite side of the fuss. If it was a bad fuse you voltmeter wouldn’t buzz or beep. If you have a bad fuse, here is the part number for the E-Z-Go Powerwise charger: replacement 50 amp fuse part number is 2810601G01

Did you check the diodes on the charger?

Ground the heatsink board. With the other wand, touch each diode separately. If any of the diodes beep or buzz, then all of the diodes need to be replaced. The part number for the Powerwise replacement diodes is 18488G1.

Did you take a look at the motherboard of the Powerwise charger?

If the charger comes on by pressing a screwdriver to the black connector, you know it’s bad (see video for details). The replacement part number for the Powerwise charger motherboard is 28667G01.

Did you check for current continuity along the charger handle and cord?

Use your voltmeter to test the positive end of the charger handle. Press the other end to the negative line coming in (near the fuse). This is just one last check to be sure, since often the handle of the E-Z-Go Powerwise Charger is where people tend to have issues.


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Which should you choose Gas Golf Carts vs. Electric Golf Carts?

Thousands of golfers drive golf carts each day as they maneuver the many courses in the United States and around the globe. Thousands more use golf carts for regular transportation. Anyone who has considered buying a golf cart knows the first step is to decide whether to buy a gas or electric golf cart. Each of the two main varieties offer a range of benefits and drawbacks, and understanding them plays a key role in the selection process.
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