Golf Cart and Street Legal LSV Maintenance, Service & Repair
Golf carts are now used for a number of transportation purposes aside from golf.
There are two primary kinds of golf carts: gas and electric. Gasoline golf carts work like small cars, with the exception that the cart uses an “on demand” engine. The engine begins when you step on the gas pedal, and it shuts off when you take your foot off the gas. That feature saves cuts down on emissions, and helps to keep the golf course silent, too.
Most golf carts which are used exclusively for golf are only basic two-seaters. But, modified golf carts can be found which can carry two or more people and move supplies.
Gasoline golf carts are also fitted with more powerful motors, beefed-up suspensions, and four-wheel driveway, making them perfect for work in rugged places.
Golf cart maintenance differs for the gas and electric; however, they also share many common service requirements. Regardless of which sort of golf cart you have, for your do-it-yourself mechanic it’s highly recommended you buy a maintenance manual before you begin making repairs.
Kinds of Manuals
- Golf Cart Owner’s Manual: Usually included with the purchase of a brand new golf cart, it has instructions for operating your golf cart securely, general maintenance, and, occasionally, tips on simple repair problems nonetheless, it’s not a golf cart repair guide.
- Golf Cart Parts Manual: Normally not required for DIY maintenance and repair.
- Golf Cart Repair Manuals: Though they run from $50-$150, if you need to do your own golf cart repair, the golf cart repair guide is crucial.
The golf cart batteries in your golf cart constitute its nerve center and provide the power required to complete 18 holes of golf, run down to the community grocery store, or spend a day of lightweight off-roading. They also power all of the electric accessories you’ve added to the cart to make your trip more pleasurable. As powerful as a battery pack could be, they’re vulnerable and the most typical source of golf cart issues.
While they have the exact same look as the shallow cycle batteries (starting, lighting, ignition) found at a road car, golf cart batteries are significantly different.
Deep cycle (flooded or wet) battery attributes:
- Contain electrolytes composed of a lead, acid, and water solution
- Create an electrical current for long periods of time
- Require regular maintenance to maximize battery life
- Eat a Significant Amount of water over their lifespan
- The shallow cycle batteries (SLI) found at a road car produce a high current of power for a brief period, required for starting the motor. SLI batteries can’t be used to substitute the shallow cycle batteries at a golf cart.
- Proper charging is essential for optimum battery performance and endurance.
- Read the battery charger manual
- Recharge the batteries after each use. Batteries last much longer if you use the top half of the battery charge as opposed to over-discharging the batteries
- Use a heavy-duty 15-amp charging cable
- Charge the batteries at a well-ventilated location. Lift the seat for best ventilation
- Inspect the charger connections for debris, dirt, and cable fraying
- Make Sure That the lead plates are submerged in water
- Don’t add water to the proper level before charging
- Ensure all vent caps are tight
- Make sure the charger connector is firmly connected to the receptacle
- If you suspect your charger is not working properly, take it into an expert
- Troubleshooting a possible poor battery charger can be hard
Wear protective clothing, gloves, and goggles until you work on your own batteries. The Run/Tow switch on many newer golf carts is used to protect the On-Board Computer (OBC) for towing, maintenance, and long-term storage. Before doing any upkeep, place the Run/Tow button at the”Tow/Maintenance” position and the key switch in the OFF position.
- Make sure that the wrenches and tools you’re using are wrapped in vinyl electrical tape to keep the chance of shorting a battery that could result in an explosion.
- With appropriate maintenance, golf cart batteries can provide decent support for 6-10 years. Developing a monthly maintenance program and adhering to it will prove beneficial to the lifespan and performance of your batteries. The Perfect schedule should include the following:
- Check for wire fraying, terminal corrosion, battery leaks, and any loose cable connections
- Clean the batteries, the area around the batteries, as well as the terminals
- Check the electrolyte level and add water when needed
For winter storage or extended periods of non-use, these procedures will help keep the batteries in good shape:
Neutralizing Battery Acid and Fixing
Throughout a charging cycle, the batteries discharge hydrogen gas, water, and acid droplets into the atmosphere that eventually make their way onto other elements. As time passes, those droplets, if left alone, will lead to damage to the frame and whatever else they touch. Before working on the batteries, use a battery acid neutralizer and eliminate battery rust on the batteries by spraying them with a combination of sodium bicarbonate and water. Use a plastic spray bottle with the following mix:
Two tsp (10ml) of baking soda + 1 quart (liter) of water
Measures for neutralizing and cleansing your batteries:
- Cover other electrical parts before you spray and wash them.
- Ensure all vent caps are shut tightly.
- First, neutralize and enable the mixture to sit for at least 3 minutes.
- Use a cloth or soft bristle brush to wipe down the bolts (top and sides).
- Rinse off the batteries with clean water to eliminate the neutralizing solution.
- Clean the battery terminals with a battery pole and terminal cleaner.
- Spray terminals using a battery terminal protector.
Golf cart batteries need the right amount of electrolytes to properly do the chemical process of producing electricity. The solution that makes electricity is made up of electrolytes and water. Batteries consume a substantial quantity of water over their lifespan because of the charging process.
Overfilling or having too little water on your battery cells may negatively impact the batteries. Too much water will cause the electrolytes to float during the billing procedure. To avoid overfilling, use a golf cart battery watering system or a watering gun. Both choices are fast and precise since they automatically stop filling the batteries when the suitable level is achieved.
Too little water from the battery will lead to sulfation, which is a direct effect of the lead plates not being covered by water during the charging procedure. Sulfation will cause irreversible damage to the lead plates.
The proper time to fill up the cells with water into the right level (1/2″ over the plates and 1/4″ into ⅜” below the port ) is after the batteries have been charged. The charging procedure raises the electrolyte level, and that’s the reason why it’s ideal to add water to the right level after charging. The exception is when the plates aren’t covered by water.
If that’s the case, add just enough water to cover the plates, charge the batteries fully, and then continue to add water to the right level. Don’t use regular tap water to fill your batteries. It contains contaminates that can lead to damage. Distilled water is suggested.
A hydrometer is suggested for testing the condition of charge for each battery cell. The hydrometer measures the density of the electrolyte by means of its gravity. A higher specific gravity suggests a milder electrolyte and a higher state of charge.
When it’s time to replace your batteries, it’s ideal to replace all them at precisely the exact same time. If you put a new battery in having an older bunch of batteries, the old batteries will decrease the life span of battery. Since the old batteries take longer to control, the new battery becomes overcharged and damaged.
Check the tire pressure frequently to keep the recommended level. Partially deflated tires absorb more energy, decrease the cart’s range, and wear out the tires quicker. You’ll see the recommended pressure on the tire’s sidewall. If you utilize your cart mainly on roads, buy street-legal tires with tread. Balloon Turf Tires wear out earlier and don’t stop well on wet streets. Appropriate toe-in ensures that the front wheels are pointing slightly inward to decrease wear.
Golf Cart Brakes
Most golf carts may travel at speeds between 15-25 miles, which makes an efficient and functioning braking system an absolute requirement. Inspect the brake shoes, wires, and hydraulic brake fluid semiannually.
For street-legal golf carts equipped with a light bundle, check turn signals, brake lights, and headlights frequently. If all your lights aren’t functioning, inspect the 12-volt fuse first. Consult the operator’s manual for the fuse place.
Ask your golf cart manual for specific lubrication recommendations. The Club Car manual, for instance, recommends lubricating front suspension quarterly. Remove the plug and put your finger inside and see if you draw oil.
Mirrors (side and rearview)
Secure the screws to be sure they remain in place.
The steering wheel rack and pinion ought to be greased annually. Inspect the steering yoke system to be sure all bolts are tight.
Gauges & Instruments
- As the batteries get older, these gauges are less precise. Use a battery load tester for an accurate reading.
- Engine inspection and maintenance require special tools and a basic understanding of an engine tune-up.
- Inspect the motor for any signs of oil leaks
- Regularly check engine oil levels and change oil at appropriate intervals
- Check and adjust valve clearance on engines which allow it
- Inspect drive, starter, and generator straps for excess wear. Tighten if desired
- Inspect linkages in the accelerator pedal to the carburetor
- Check engine compression (requires engine compression tester)
- Check spark plug for wear or replace
- Clean or replace the air filter
- Replace the oil filter
- Check the fuel filter for debris or replace
- Look for starter/generator brushes use. Replace if needed
- Assess the points and condenser on older versions. Replace if needed
- Assess and correct timing, as required, if conducting demandingInspect, test, and maintain the batteries as recommended for an electric golf cart
- In addition to routine maintenance processes, the gas golf cart engine might sometimes require troubleshooting. Here are some tips for solving fundamental engine problems:
- For an engine that doesn’t turn over when you attempt to start it, check the gas .
- Then check the battery cables for fraying or rust. Be sure they are tightly connected.
- Check the spark plug wires for cracks, fractures, or disconnects. Remove the spark plugs and make sure that the gap is set properly. If they’re blackened or burnt, then replace them.
- Check the air filter element to be certain it’s not clogged with dust.
- Finally, check all of the gas lines coming from the gas tank and moving into the engine. If these lines have leaks, the motor might not be getting enough gas to keep it running. Inspect the gas filter. A clogging filter can cause the motor to operate roughly or not run in any way.
- Even though a DIY mechanic can manage preventative maintenance, servicing your golf cart yearly with a trained technician guarantees that no maintenance procedure was overlooked.
A golf cart requires routine maintenance to ensure trouble-free functionality. Whether your cart is used for golfing or as a utility vehicle or is electric or gas, after a regular maintenance schedule is quite important. It will protect against downtime and costly repairs and provide you years of dependable service. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for your home garage maintenance, but do not be afraid to seek advice from an expert when required.