News / Golf Cart Repair
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
When you own a golf cart, it's essential that you keep it well maintained so that you can use it for as long as possible. As is the case with all vehicles, golf carts will degrade over time unless you actively maintain them. You never want to find that your golf cart won't start when you need it to. By utilizing the following checklist of maintenance tips and guidelines, you'll be able to keep your golf cart in prime condition, ensuring its long-term health.
Golf Cart Maintenance Tips for Winter
The type of maintenance required on your golf cart depends primarily on the season. What you need to do during the winter is entirely different than the maintenance that's necessary during the warmer spring and summer months. Winterizing your golf cart is necessary once the fall season is at an end so that it will remain in good condition while in storage. Even when not in use, golf carts can quickly degrade during the wintertime unless you take some precautions.
If you have an electric golf cart, the most important aspect of winterizing the vehicle is to keep the battery in prime condition and make sure that it survives the winter. Before placing your cart in storage, charge the battery to full power, as this reduces the chances that the battery will freeze over the winter. The battery should also be cleaned so as to reduce the buildup of corrosion. This can be accomplished with a simple hosing down of the battery and its racks. Spraying the battery with additional substances such as acid neutralizer and anti-corrosion gel will extend the life of your battery.
Once you're finished winterizing the battery, make sure that your tires are inflated to a PSI level of anywhere from 20-25, as a deflated tire will eventually lead to an instance where the sidewall cracks, which either requires costly repairs or buying an entirely new tire. Since you won't be using the cart while it's in storage, your maintenance requirements are somewhat lessened in comparison to the spring and summer checklist.
Golf Cart Maintenance Tips for Spring and Summer
Once you've taken the golf cart out of winter storage, you'll want to make sure that it's ready for the next golf season. Check the PSI in your tires and inflate to the level mentioned in your owner's manual. You should also take a look at the tires and rims to inspect them for any excessive damage. Next, it's time to inspect the cart's suspension. First, you need to check underneath the cart for any oil leakage, which would be coming from the strut. If you notice any loose or missing hardware in this area, make sure to get it replaced. If the bushings have been worn down, these should be replaced as well.
You should also check the electric components of your golf cart. Make sure that the speed controls work properly and that reverse warning buzzer operates as it should. When you're inspecting the steering, the wheel should never feel loose. If it does, you'll want to get it checked out. The battery should be checked again for any signs of corrosion and the brake pads and cables should be inspected for any excessive wear and tear.
If you have a gas golf cart, the gasoline engine will need to be inspected every six months and certain parts should be replaced occasionally. Replace spark plugs every three years, the fuel and air filters annually, and the drive belt anytime you inspect it and find cracks or missing chunks. If you follow these checklists, you'll extend the life of your cart and avoid costly repairs.
Golf Cart Cleaning Tips
It is advisable to give your cart a good rinse constantly. You should give it a thorough cleaning that includes even the batteries. Water will not affect the vehicle if it is turned off. The only thing that you should avoid is the dashboard area or where there are any electronics. Some corrosion is likely to occur on the battery terminals when it is used continuously. You can get rid of this by getting them wet and adding a bit of baking soda. A toothbrush may come in handy if you want to scrub the corrosion off.
Golf Cart Brake Maintenance
The brakes are one of the most important components of the cart. You can place a jack at the bottom rear end of the car and lift it up to check if they are okay. You can remove the wheels after making sure that it is supported. You can easily check the thickness of the pads after doing this. You can use a blower to blow out any dust that has settled on the brakes.
Screws and Bolts
It might be time to check visible screws and bolts if the golf cart starts to sound squeaky or gives off a funny noise. You should go over them and make sure that they are tight.
DIY Gas Golf Cart Tips
A gas golf cart works like a typical car. You are likely to face some of the issues that you get with your car. It’s a good idea to pull the dip stick and check oil every so often. We also recommend inspection the air filter to be sure its clean. We usually recommend once a year to go ahead and change the oil and filter.
Golf Cart Spark Plug Service
You may have a hard time starting the cart if the spark plugs are not clean. It is also good to make sure that they are spaced apart well. The wires could get fried if they come into contact.
Electric Golf Carts Batteries
Winter is not the season for golf. Most people leave their carts in their garages. It is important that you keep them charged during the cold season. It is Important to note that lead acid batteries need to be stored when they are charged. It is possible to cause serious damage to the batteries if they are stored for a long time without charging. One of the effects is that the batteries might not be able to charge normally. The battery level could be very low that it is not able to activate charging.
A solution to this is to find another cart that has a battery with the same voltage as yours. You can then connect the two with jumper cables and then connect the charger. This will fool the charger into thinking that the battery pack is charged and allows charging to resume. It is important to be cautious when doing this because you might damage the electronics with too much power.
DIY Golf Cart Charger Tips
The issue lies with the battery whenever you feel like your golf cart is not performing well most of the time. The golf cart might be taking too long to charge to full capacity in some cases. You should try and check the state of your charger from time to time. The current should range between 15 and 20 amps when the cart is charging. The charger might have an issue if it does not fall within this range.
ELECTRIC GOLF CARS AND LEAD-ACID BATTERY CARE
Batteries: “RMI’s Three Rules of Battery Maintenance”
Rule #1: “Keep ‘em Clean.” (Keep the top of the battery cases clean and dry. Sprinkle some baking soda on the cases and rinse them off when dirty with hose water; clean the green corrosion off the battery posts and cables with a wire brush whenever corrosion starts to form. Treat the posts with spray terminal protector, not “axle grease.”)
Rule #2: “Keep ‘em Watered.” (Check water once a month in each cell. DO NOT let the electrolyte level fall below the top of the “plates” inside the cell! Use distilled or reverse-osmosis filtered water if possible, to remove harmful minerals from the water you put into the batteries. Do your final water level check after the batteries are charged, and fill only to 1/8” below the bottom of the neck of the filler cap opening. Over-filling causes the electrolyte to be ejected through the battery caps on to the top of the battery case.)
Rule #3: “Don’t let ‘em Freeze.” (This means keeping the batteries charged. A fully-charged set won’t freeze until the temp falls to -92F. A discharged set will freeze at 19F above. The best care for an electric golf car is to play at least one round of golf every month. If you cannot take your golf car out in the winter, check your charger every 30 days for a “green light,” and force a charge cycle by unplugging the charger from the car and plugging it back in. Make sure your “run-tow switch” is on tow whenever the car is not in use!
Charging Frequency: “Charge your car only Three Times!”
With modern fully-automatic chargers, your batteries like to be charged, and there is little danger of over-charging your batteries. Charge your electric car three times: “SOON, OFTEN, …. and at EVERY OPPORTUNITY!” Lead-acid batteries do NOT have a “memory!” When you get a chance, “double charge” your batteries—run a second charge cycle before using your car. Manufacturers call it “equalization charging,” and it forces a full charge on every cell. (Normally the charger shuts down when the battery pack meets specifications, and one or more cells are left under-charged). If you can “equalize” once every month, you are “getting it done!”
New Batteries: “Season” with care!
New batteries like to be “seasoned” if possible. If you can, just play nine holes before charging. Repeat for several days. And then play no more than 18 before charging, for as many times as possible. Always charge your batteries after play. The batteries will get better and better “run time” capacity for the first 50-100 charge cycles. Finally, remember to bring your golf car in at least every two years for a “discharge test,” which will often detect a faulty battery before you have to replace the full battery set.