Due to their low top speeds and mechanic simplicity, golf carts seem like they wouldn't require much maintenance. The truth is that they need as much TLC as any other vehicle especially if they're driven hard in all kinds of conditions. If you've ever wondered how to clean golf cart brakes or how to adjust golf cart brakes, this quick guide will answer those questions and more.
How to Clean Golf Cart Brakes
To clean your cart's brakes, you'll need to elevate the axle you're working on with a standard floor jack. Remove the wheels and the brake drums from the studs. Next, take an aerosol brake parts cleaner and blast the entire area free of dust and rust from the shoes. Finally, use a clean rag soaked in WD-40 to wipe away accumulated grime.
How to Adjust Golf Cart Brakes
Older carts have an adjusting screw or bolt on the backside of the drum. Turn it so that the screw presses the shoes against the drum. Spin the wheel by hand as you go and back off when you feel resistance. Newer carts have self-adjusting shoes with springs that should be cleaned with a solvent and lubricated to ensure smooth braking action.
How to Replace Golf Cart Brakes
Eventually, a cart's brakes will wear down to the point where they can't operate properly. To replace old shoes or drums, you'll need to remove the brake drums and the two shoes on each wheel hub. Spray down the whole wheel hub assembly with brake cleaner before proceeding. Slap the new shoes into their pistons and replace the drum.
Long-Term Golf Cart Brake Maintenance Tips
Ultimately, proper tire inflation is one of the best ways to get the most life out of your golf cart's brakes. Keep those tires at the manufacturer's recommended pressure to avoid uneven wear. Furthermore, you should lubricate the moving parts in the suspension on a yearly basis. Last but not least, address symptoms of brake problems like squealing or locking immediately as they arise.
The Keys to Golf Cart Brake Health
Ultimately, golf cart brakes aren't complicated or hard to maintain. Awareness, attention to detail and prudent brake parts purchases will save you loads of time and money in the long run. Buy quality parts when necessary, do the job right when repairs are required and the brakes should last forever under normal circumstances.
In some climates, you may not be able to play golf year-round. As a result, you will have to store your golf cart. It is important that you perform proper maintenance to ensure that it is ready for the next season before placing it in storage. This also prolongs the cart’s service life. Along with instructions provided in your owner’s manual, consider the tips contained in this guide on how to winterize a golf cart.
- Thoroughly clean the golf cart with soap and water as well as a degreaser or other recommended cleaning products to remove dirt and grime. If not cleaned now, it will be harder to remove later.
- Inspect the brakes. Check the cart for damage or other issues like loose nuts, bolts and screws. Make any necessary repairs before placing the cart in storage.
- Verify that the tires are properly inflated. The recommend inflation level is on the tire’s sidewall and in the owner’s manual. Replace worn or damaged tires.
- Tune up the engine if you own a gas-powered golf cart. The steps include:
- Replacing the fuel and air filters
- Changing the oil and filter
- Removing the old spark plug, pouring a half-ounce of clean oil in the hole and installing a new plug
- Draining the fuel tank and running the engine until it stops in order to remove gas from the system as old gas can gum up the fuel lines.
- Checking and topping off other fluids
- Disconnect the battery cables. Clean the terminal connections, and coat them with anti-corrosion gel. If present, remove the battery caps and check the water level inside each cell. Add distilled water as necessary.
- Park the golf cart, and set the transmission switch to neutral. If the cart has a tow/maintenance switch under the seat, set it to the tow position. Release the parking brake to relieve pressure on the cable. Block the tires with bricks or wood chocks.
- If possible, store your golf cart in an enclosed garage or climate-controlled storage unit. This will help protect it from the elements. If this is not an option and the vehicle must remain outside, invest in a high-quality cart cover.
Taking the proper steps outlined in your owner’s manual as well as these tips on how to winterize a golf cart will ensure that you are ready for a round when the new season arrives.
Golf is one of the most relaxing sports in the world. It is a way to get away from all of the pressure and stress of daily life while working on a worthwhile hobby. Many golfers can agree that the use of a golf cart during a round is the way to go. Eliminating the strain of walking 18 holes makes golf an easier game on the body that can be played well into old age. Golf cart technology has advanced to the point where golf courses and individuals no longer have to rely on gas powered motors. Lithium powered golf carts are the way of the future. E-Z-Go golf carts now offers the Elite Lithium model that is changing the golf cart industry. Here are just a few of the many advantages of lithium powered golf carts.
Batteries that do not require maintenance
As most golf courses know, traditional golf cart batteries can require quite a bit of maintenance. However, with lithium ion golf cart batteries, you do not need to water your batteries, clean the terminal posts, and check for power holding on a regular basis. Your golf course will be able to save countless hours of maintenance work by using lithium ion golf cart batteries. Your staff will be overjoyed at the new found freedom they have to devote to other important golf issues on the course.
Your golf carts will be lighter
One of the heaviest parts of a golf cart is the clunky battery underneath the seat. On days that are wetter than most, this extra weight can cause the tires of a golf cart to dig into fairways and other areas. When switching over to lithium ion batteries, your golf carts will weigh hundreds of pounds less due to the removal of lead acid. The turf is one of your most valuable assets on your course. Having lighter carts will help you protect your fairways while giving your golfers a much more rewarding golf experience.
A battery that doesn't quit
One of the biggest detriments to a golf course is any down time. Most golfers are very busy businessmen who need to get out onto the course as quickly as possible. When your carts are down for service, this can cause hold ups that will give your course a bad reputation. Samsung SDI lithium batteries are controlled by a battery management system that ensures performance day in and day out. Efficiency, the state of charge, temperature, and the health of the battery are all easy to access. The same lithium ion technology that is being used in these golf carts has also been tested in electric cars, power tools, scooters, and other electronic devices.
Get the power you need
In mountain golf courses especially, one of the biggest complaints of golfers is the lack of power that golf carts have during hill climbs. With lithium technology, you will be able to give your golfers the power they want and need. No longer will you have carts that are struggling to get up those steeper hills on your course. This will also speed up play which will allow you to book more groups each day.
Become an eco-friendly golf course
Battery recycling can be pretty damaging to the environment. However, with lithium ion batteries, you will be able to spend less time in the recycling process and more time driving on the course. Batteries are always going to be more eco-friendly than the gas powered alternative. This zero-emissions option will be a great way to market your course as a forward thinking course that is protecting the natural environment.
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.
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ELECTRIC GOLF CARS AND LEAD-ACID BATTERY CARE
A short check-list of how to take care of your electric golf car and its batteries, prepared by RMI Golf Carts, Olathe, Kansas.
Batteries: “RMI’s 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”.
Battery Cables: It is very important to remove corrosion and keep the cable connections tight and a clean terminal with a tight connection is critical to the efficient and safe operation of your golf cart. You should check the battery cable connections on the top of the batteries each month when you water your batteries. Remove any corrosion, replace any damaged cables, and tighten the nuts on the cable terminals.
Rule #2: “Keep’ em Watered” Although they need significantly less maintenance than automobiles, golf carts still require a certain amount of upkeep. You may not realize it, but your golf cart batteries require maintenance throughout their life to keep them running reliably. One integral aspect of this maintenance is battery watering. Unless you have a sealed battery, you should check the water level of your battery at regular intervals, usually about once a month, to ensure it is within the recommended range. DO NOT let the electrolyte level fall below the top of the “plates” inside the cell!
Use distilled or reverse-osmosis filtered water if at all possible, to remove harmful minerals from the water you put into the batteries. Using non-distilled water results in a buildup of minerals in the batteries that can negatively affect performance and lifespan. Do your final water level check after the batteries are charged, and only fill 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. Throughout their lives, electric vehicle batteries may use up to a full 16 quarts of water. Also, to avoid corrosion keep the plates from being exposed to the air. For best results, clean all vent caps before replacing them. Be sure they are tightly secured into place. Under normal conditions you will never need to add acid.
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 you 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 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!”
Undercharging – Leaving the golf car inactive for over 2 months will reduce the battery life. Continually operating the battery in a partial state of charge, or storing the battery in a discharged state result in the formation of lead sulfate compounds on the plates. Sulfating reduces the battery’s performance and may cause premature battery failure.
Under-Watering – In a deep cycle lead acid battery, water is lost during the charging process. If the electrolyte (water/acid) level drops below the top of the plates, irreparable damage may occur, as the plates will get hot, warp and crack leaving the battery weak and inefficient. Water levels should be checked and maintained routinely.
Over-Watering - Excessive watering of a battery results in dilution of the electrolyte, overflow, reduced battery performance, and unnecessary maintenance which may be messy and damage the floor.
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. (We know this will be a hardship) 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.
Choosing a Golf Cart: Gas versus Electric Power
If you're in the market for a golf cart, one of the first decisions that you'll need to make is the choice between gas and electric power. While both models will get you across the green, one may suit your style or budget more than the other, so you'll need to consider the pros and cons of each type to make a fully-informed purchase decision.
But what if you've never bought a golf cart before? How can you be sure which features are better or cheaper than others? What should you look for in terms of power, performance and precision?
If you're new and confused in the world of golf carts, consider this your comprehensive guide to gas versus electric power.
How do golf carts work?
Gas-powered golf carts run on combustion engines. These engines are usually four-stroke, but older models might use two-stroke instead. They're fueled with regular gas like any car or truck.
Electric golf carts run on battery cells. Most of them are 36-volt or 48-volt. The batteries need to be regularly recharged to keep the cart going.
Price difference between electric and gas golf carts
It's difficult to give a price range for golf carts since there are so many factors that go into their cost, but speaking very generally, used gas-powered carts are more expensive than electric ones.. They're also harder to find good used gas carts since there are fewer of them coming back in on trades.
On the flip side, electric carts can be cheaper depending on the condition of the batteries. At RMI Golf Carts, we sell every used golf cart with a set of brand new batteries. We are unique in that aspect. Many of our competitors will sell used carts with used batteries. That’s something to be mindful of when shopping
Think carefully about your budget before you decide on your chosen golf cart. The decision that you make today could have a big impact on your expenses tomorrow.
Strength and durability of each golf cart
This too also depends on make and model. The common thought with most first time buyers is gas carts are more powerful than electrics. This can be true when looking at the older 36v carts, however the newer 48v carts, specifically the Yamaha and EZGO AC Electric carts have a ton of power and will actually pull hills just as well, or even better than many gas carts.
Pollution from golf carts
Gas-powered golf carts run on traditional fuel and produce carbon monoxide emissions. They do have a “gas smell” especially in confined area like a garage or shed. A lot of the newer gas models do a better job of routing exhaust and minimizing the gas smell.
Electric golf carts, on the other hand, produce no fumes or emissions. They run on rechargeable batteries that don't harm the surrounding environment. They're the "green" option for buyers concerned about their carbon footprint. When it comes to eco-friendliness, electric golf carts have a clear edge over gas ones.
Noise level of each golf cart
Electric golf carts accelerate quickly and quietly. They make very little noise on the green, so they're an attractive option for golfers who don't like to announce their presence on every hole.
Gas-powered golf carts are relatively noisy. Newer models are better in this regard than older ones, but even a high-tech gas vehicle can only muffle so much of the combustion engine's natural rumble. If noise level is an important concern of yours, you'll probably want to avoid a gas-powered golf cart.
Golf cart maintenance
All golf carts require regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly, but the type and duration of this upkeep will vary depending on your cart's model, brand, size and power source.
Gas-powered golf carts need things like oil changes and replacement parts. You might need to repair anything from a spark plug to a starter belt, and if you aren't able to DIY it, you'll be on the hook for both labor and material costs. Gas carts also require a steady stream of fuel, and that will cost you every time that you're at the pump.
Electric golf carts require charging. Golf Carts need to be charged after every single use. If the cart is not being used regularly then they should be charged every few weeks. We normally don’t like going over a month without a good charge on the batteries. All electric carts do come with a charger. However, batteries will need replacing at some point. Again, this varies on usage and maintenance. Most of our customers get on average 4-5 years out of a set of batteries before they will need to be replaced. Finally the most important thing for maintenance on an electric cart is checking the water on the batteries. It’s a good habit to check the water level in the batteries once per month. Do this year around if possible! Doing this will significantly increase the life on the battery pack!
Golf cart considerations
Gas-powered golf carts can come with a fuel gauge that will let you know when you're running on empty. Electric carts don't always offer a battery gauge like this, though they can be purchased and installed as an extra.
Some electric golf carts are "street legal." They can be driven on roads and boulevards with speed limits less than 30-35 miles per hour.
With the purchase of any golf cart, it's important to look at their features and functions to ensure that you're making the right choice. How many passengers can sit comfortably? How much storage space do you have for your clubs? Does the cart's aesthetic match your personality?
Finding the right golf cart for you
Gas-powered golf carts are strong, steady operators. Electric golf carts are more convenient to use and better for the environment. There's no right or wrong answer when deciding which of these sounds more appealing to you; it all depends on your personal needs and preferences. No matter what you're looking for in a golf cart, just make sure that you give the matter plenty of thought before pulling out your credit card!
Please feel free to reach out to us anytime with any questions!
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