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Club Car

FAQ

Please take your time and browse through our Frequently Asked Questions. If you don't find what you are looking for in these FAQs, please feel free to give us a call at 828-884-4653.

  1. Batteries - Mysteries Unraveled
  Who cares if my batteries are dirty – no one sees them but me...
  I have a new cart. Should I let the batteries get completely dead before charging them?
  Does the battery pack perform differently over time?
  I only had one bad battery so I replaced it. My cart ran fine for a while but now it won’t hold a charge again.
  Does temperature play any part in the way batteries perform or are maintained?
  Is it true that you can put acid back into a battery and make it last longer?
  Recently I’ve noticed that I can only get about 18 holes out of a charge. Does that mean I need new batteries?
 

What happens during battery charging on an electric cart?

  2. Charging an Electric Cart
  What about leaving the charger plugged in?
  My charger keeps kicking off without charging my cart. What’s up?
  How do I “reboot the computer” in my cart?
  Charging a Cart – The Sequence of Events: 48-volt Club Car
  My charger is really loud when it is charging. Is that normal?
 

What does it mean when the battery warning light is illuminated?

3. Storage, Cleaning and Preventative Maintenance
  What is the recommended storage process for an electric cart?
  I went away for the winter and didn’t use my cart for 5 months. Now I am back and the cart won’t move. It won’t take a charge either. Is my charger broken?
  What is the best way to clean my cart?
 

What is the recommended service schedule?

  4. Changing Batteries in Your Cart
 

Process for Changing Batteries in a Club Car

  5. Systems in a Golf Cart - Where to Start Troubleshooting
  What are the electrical systems in an electric Club Car?
  Systems in Both Gas and Electric Carts
  Systems in Gas Carts
 

Systems in Electric Carts

6. Troubleshooting an Electric Cart
  My cart doesn’t run – where do I start to figure out the problem?
  My cart seems really slow – what can I do?
  I can’t find any problem with my electric cart but I would like it to go faster.
  My cart used to back up slowly but now it goes just as fast in reverse as it does in forward.
  My cart goes only in reverse – it won’t move in forward (or vice versa).
 

The tail light on my cart melted. Are the light bulbs really that hot?

7. Troubleshooting a Gas Cart
  My cart sometimes won't start right away - what should I look at?
  The cart will start but sputters and doesn't run smoothly - what can I do?
  I can hear the engine runs but it doesn't catch.
  The engine seems to be overheating.
  The engine is catching before I hit the gas.
  While driving my cart seems to lose power.
  The carburetor keeps flooding. What could cause that?
  I turn the key and hit the gas and get nothing.
1. Batteries - Mysteries Unraveled
Who cares if my batteries are dirty – no one sees them but me…
Batteries in your golf cart are connected in a series, one to another, by cables. In order to get the best performance from your cart (that is, all 36- or 48-volts) you need to have good connections across each battery.

Anytime you have dirt, grass or residual battery acid on your batteries, you have the potential for these to collect in areas where cables need to have good contact with terminals. That’s bad. On the other hand, dirt and corrosion could also provide a path for current to flow, thereby allowing the batteries to self discharge. Either way, it’s not good.

Wash your battery tops every week or so (more frequently if needed). Corrosion damage caused by poor maintenance is a major factor in cart failure. A little water under the seat won’t hurt other components of your cart, but don’t shoot water straight at electrical components. And be sure all battery caps are on tightly.
Speaking of battery connections…

Batteries are connected by 6 gauge wire with 5/16 terminals that hook onto the battery posts. Each negative connects to a positive. Cables should be kept intact and tightly connected to the battery posts at all times. Torque to 70 in-lbs initially and re-torque as needed to 65 in-lbs. If you have any room for vibration on the battery terminal at all, you can melt the post and render the battery useless, kaput, history.

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I have a new cart. Should I let the batteries get completely dead before charging them?
No. New batteries should be charged fully before you use them. Also, you will find that they need to be charged fully a number of times (around 30-40 times) before reaching full capacity.

In fact, batteries should not be discharged below 80% of their rated capacity as it can adversely affect battery life. Avoid this by charging your cart after use.

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Does the battery pack perform differently over time?
Yes. As your batteries age, they will require water more often and longer charging times. They may also have a higher finish rate (amperage at the end of the charge cycle). Capacity also decreases over time. To extend the life of your batteries, be sure to keep them free of debris, keep the acid at the appropriate level, charge your cart as needed and do not stress the system by running your cart on low charge.

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I only had one bad battery so I replaced it. My cart ran fine for a while but now it won’t hold a charge again.
When batteries are connected in a series as they are with golf carts, you will need to replace an entire set rather than single batteries. Each battery within the pack needs to be of approximately the same age, size and usage level. Do not put a new battery in a pack that has over 50 charge cycles on it. Instead replace with all new or with a good used battery of approximately the same age.

In these cases what happens is that the weak battery (or batteries) will draw down the power from the others in order to equalize the power across the pack. This is especially evident in carts that have accessories connected to a battery or two.

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Does temperature play any part in the way batteries perform or are maintained?
Yes, it does. Cold temperatures can retard charging. Heat can increase water usage and result in increased discharge of batteries. According to Club Car’s Rick Farris, “A healthy, fully charged set of batteries will go from 100% capacity to 50% capacity in just 9 weeks if left sitting idle at a temperature of 86 degrees. Imagine what happens at 95 or 100 degrees. Batteries are most vulnerable to sulfation when they are sitting idle and partially discharged.”

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Is it true that you can put acid back into a battery and make it last longer?
No. Adding acid to cells is dangerous. Sulfuric acid being poured into water can cause and explosive reaction. Spend the extra money and replace your batteries. It is less expensive than the potential hospital bills.

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Recently I’ve noticed that I can only get about 18 holes out of a charge. Does that mean I need new batteries?
Maybe. First of all, the mechanic will check to see the age and condition of your batteries. Then he will check the “rounds” that you have on your batteries using a special diagnostic computer. If there are no apparent problems with connections, corrosion, wiring, and if your cart is fully charged, he will then use a volt/ohm meter to check the individual battery voltage and the total pack voltage both at rest and under load.

This will help to pinpoint if you have a single bad battery or a more pervasive problem.

In addition, a hydrometer can help identify problems with individual cells within a battery. This is done when the battery is fully charged and gives an indication of balance and true charge.

A final test, and one which is performed only if absolutely necessary is a discharge test. If an entire battery pack, after having been fully charged, is then fully discharged in under 90 minutes, then batteries need to be replaced.

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What happens during battery charging on an electric cart?
This will require a somewhat lengthy answer since we need to give you a little background on how batteries work in general.

Deep cycle batteries as those used on an electric cart supply on average 56 amps on a 48 volt vehicle. In order to supply this energy, the batteries, unlike a car battery, must be recharged since there is no alternator/generator putting energy back into the batteries as they are used.

Inside the battery chemical energy is turned into electrical energy and electrical energy is turned into chemical energy. Key components of a deep cycle battery are:

  • Positive plates – PbO2 (lead dioxide)
  • Negative plates – Pb (lead)
  • Electrolyte – H2SO4 (sulfuric acid solution)

The negative and positive plates are separated by a porous material that allows charged ions to pass through but prevents the plates from touching each other and causing a short circuit.

When you are using the cart, the batteries are being discharged (energy removed) and sulfate (SO4) breaks away from the H2. The sulfate then attaches to the lead on both plates and forms lead sulfate. Oxygen from the positive plates combines with the hydrogen and creates water. So you end up with water and lead sulfate.

When you are charging the cart, energy is being put back into the batteries so the process is reversed. Lead sulfate is forced back from the plates into the water forming sulfuric acid. Oxygen returns to the positive plates to form lead dioxide.

Allow your charger to cut itself off. This ensures that your cart is not undercharged and that all cells receive an equalization charge, a process important to extending battery life.

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2. Charging an Electric Cart

What about leaving the charger plugged in?
You can leave the charger plugged in until it kicks off. However, there are some things you need to consider. First of all, don’t tempt fate by leaving your charger plugged in during a lightning storm. If you do, you will likely be visiting the charger troubleshooting portion of this site very soon.

We recommend purchasing, using and monitoring a very good surge suppressor. Good brands include Tripp-Lite and APC as well as others.

Another consideration is the length of time you will leave the charge plugged in. If you are going out of town for a while, you will likely want to unplug the charger. If you will be gone for over a month, we recommend that you follow the storage procedure for your cart.

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My charger keeps kicking off without charging my cart. What’s up?
First of all, be sure that your breaker switch is operating properly and that there is reliable power to the outlet.

If the circuit breaker on the front of the charger pops out, try resetting that by pressing it back in. Then monitor to see if your cart starts to charge.

If the circuit breaker on the front of the charger does not trip or resetting a tripped one does not help, you very likely need to replace the diodes (Part # 1015914) in your charger. If you have a new style "peanut" charger the Part # is 102273501.

In general this type of problem stems from electrical surge through the charger. The diodes are designed to absorb the energy and will provide the first point of failure. The circuit breaker on the front of the charger is generally the second point of failure. If either or both of these have failed, you can be suspicious that the computer or controller may have sustained some damage as well.

In some cases the computer and/or the controller may need to be tested and possibly replaced. Prior to this, you can attempt “rebooting” the computer and discharging the controller to reset the system. Rebooting only applies to standard electric carts – not IQ or regen carts.

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How do I “reboot the computer” in my cart?
This procedure will work on 48v series, IQ or Regen carts. If you simply flip the Tow/Run switch it does not clear the computer's memory.

  • Disconnect batteries #1 and #6 from the motor.
  • Turn the keyswitch on.
  • Put the Forward and Reverse handle in REVERSE position.
  • Press the Accelerator until the reverse warning buzzer goes off. When the buzzer stops the controller is discharged and the computer rebooted.
  • Turn keyswitch off, put the cart in Neutral and reconnect batteries.

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Charging a Cart – The Sequence of Events: 48-volt Club Car

  • Plug the charger in to the cart and the power source.
  • Watch the ammeter to see that it clicks up – the charger and the computer are communicating and performing a self diagnostic test.
  • The ammeter will then go back to 0.
  • Within a few seconds charging will begin. We find that the usual begin rate is around 15 or so. It will depend, however, on how much you have used your cart since you last charged it.
  • After 16 hours of charging or when the charge is completed (whichever comes first) the charger will kick off.
  • At the end of a charge cycle, the charger will go into a “trickle charge” (a low level charge over time) in order to equalize battery cells and help preserve your battery pack.

If you have charged your cart and try plugging the cart in again without moving it or unplugging the charger from the DC outlet, the self-diagnostic test will not begin.

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My charger is really loud when it is charging. Is that normal?
It is normal for a transformer in the charger to hum. Over time that hum will likely get louder as the charger ages. In general a hum will not indicate any problem with the operation of the charger. Some chargers will also get hot. In some cases, really hot. Typically we have found that the harder the charger is having to work to charge the cart (like when you've let it get really low on charge before plugging it in to charge again), the more likely you are to see this type of behavior.

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What does it mean when the battery warning light is illuminated?
There are several reasons that this light could be on. In any case, you should recharge your batteries. The possible reasons are:

  • There is no juice available from the outlet even though you have your charger plugged in
  • The charger ran for over 16 hours and cut off without a complete charge
  • More than 75% of energy has been removed from the batteries
  • Open circuit (no load) battery voltage is below 48 volts
  • If the light glows for 10 seconds, the charge was interrupted but you can use the car since it does have a partial charge. Charge the cart as soon as convenient.
  • The charge was interrupted and the cart did not receive adequate charge.

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3. Storage, Cleaning and Preventative Maintenance

What is the recommended storage process for an electric cart?
First of all, completely charge the batteries – let the charger kick off.

Then remove the two electrical connections from the battery to the motor. You can leave the ones that connect battery to battery.

Store the cart in as cool a place as you can to reduce self discharge. However, try not to leave it in a place that is regularly below 32 degrees fahrenheit.

When you return, be sure that the battery cables are reconnected tightly. This is a commonly overlooked detail and poorly torqued connections result frequently in melted battery terminals.

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I went away for the winter and didn’t use my cart for 5 months. Now I am back and the cart won’t move. It won’t take a charge either. Is my charger broken?
Most likely it is not your charger. If you did not disconnect your battery cables from the motor, then a Club Car will wake up every 15 days to check the battery level. This small bit of activity combined with the normal sitting discharge will often reduce the battery voltage so much that the charger will not even start up. In these cases, call your dealer will have the equipment and knowledge to get your cart back up to the minimum level for your charger to kick on.

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What is the best way to clean my cart?
Wash your cart with a professional auto wash liquid and a very soft clean sponge. Do not use dishwashing detergent, laundry soaps, or other cleansers not designed for automotive finishes.

Waxing your cart is a good idea from time to time. There are plenty of choices but be sure not to choose a wax that has abrasive compounds. One that does an excellent job is Meguiar’s Final Inspection. Only use a very soft, clean t-shirt type fabric to avoid scratching.

Clean your windshield using water. Do not dry with a cloth of any type. We generally use compressed air to dry the windshield if absolutely necessary.

Plastics can be renewed using Tire Wax. But do not use this on the rubber mat. Instead use Future floor wax to provide a sheen with a little bit of tack. This prevents your slipping as you get in and out of the car. Also, don’t use the Tire Wax on the steering wheel. It will make it slippery to steer.

Seats can be cleaned with a diluted solution of Purple Power or similar cleaner. In some cases we have used lacquer thinner (sparingly!) to remove stubborn stains.

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What is the recommended service schedule?

Appalachian Golf Cars recommends that you have your golf cart serviced every year - more often depending on the level of use.

Daily: Charge your cart if you have used it.
Weekly: Check the electrolyte level in batteries and add water as necessary, preferably after charging.
Monthly:

  • Wash battery tops and clean terminals.
  • Check air pressure in tires and add air if needed (4 ply tires – 18-20 psi, 6 ply tires – 30- 34 psi)
  • Check for cracks or other damage in the potentiometer (“pot box”). Make sure switch is securely fastened to frame. Check movable contact for correct operation.
  • Wash battery compartment and underside of vehicle.

Semiannual:

  • Check brake shoes and replace if necessary.
  • Lubricate brake slides. (Dry moly lube – 1012151)
  • Lubricate brake pedal shaft bearings. (Dry moly lube – 1012151)
  • Lubricate brake linkage and pivots. (Dry moly lube – 1012151)
  • Lubricate F&R switch contacts and charger receptacle (WD40)
  • Lubricate front suspension (5 fittings) with chassis lube EP NLGI Grade 2.
  • Check brake cables for damage and replace if necessary.
  • Check electrical wiring for tightness and damage.
  • Check condition of contacts and wire connections on F & R switch.
  • Check front wheel alignment and camber and adjust if needed.

Annual:

  • Check and fill transaxle to plug level (22 oz. SAE 30 Wt.).
  • Inspect front wheel bearings and repack as necessary (chassis lube EP NLGI Grade 2).

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4. Changing Batteries

Process for Changing Batteries in a Club Car

  • Note how all batteries are positioned and connected.
  • Inspect all new batteries for any damage and to ensure that they are the proper battery for your cart. On more occasions that one, customers have replaced 8 volt batteries with 6 volt batteries and then wondered why the cart would not perform. In at least one case the heat generated by this situation caused battery terminals to melt and wires to heat up. This could be a dangerous scenario so be sure you have the right type of batteries.
  • Ensure that your battery cables are still good (no fraying or melting, good crimps on the terminals, not corroded). If not replace them. If you have a little corrosion and want to clean the cables you can use baking soda (1 cup) dissolved in a gallon of water. With a bristle brush clean off the cables, being careful not to get any of the solution into the batteries.
  • Check all battery hold downs (also called J bolts) and the battery rack. Be sure that there are no rocks or other foreign matter in the battery rack. Even small pieces of metal can eventually rub a battery case to the point that a hole is formed and electrolyte leaks out. Replace corroded parts.
  • Install batteries, The hold downs should be tightened to 40 in-lb, alternating between hold down bolts.
  • Install battery cables in proper sequence. Install black wire to negative post of the #6 battery last. Make sure all connections are tightened to 70 in-lb.
  • Spray all terminals with battery protector spray (Part #1014305).
  • Fully charge the cart before operation. A full charge cycle will ensure that all battery cells have been equalized (during the trickle charge).

Wear protective gear including face shield and rubber gloves – batteries contain explosive gases.

Do not smoke and keep all flames and sparks away. Ventilate when charging or when using the cart in an enclosed space.

Use of tools or other metal objects near batteries can cause a short circuit. Resulting sparks could cause an explosion.

Battery acid is poison. Dispose of acid or batteries properly.

5. Systems in a Golf Cart - Where to Start Troubleshooting

What are the electrical systems in an electric Club Car?
There are four circuits:

Control circuit
  • Key switch
  • F&R anti-arcing limit switch
  • Accelerator limit switch
  • Solenoid activating coil
Power circuit
  • Solid state speed controller
  • Solenoid contacts
  • F&R switch
  • Motor
  • Batteries
Speed control circuit
  • Multi-step potentiometer with discrete resistors OR
  • Solid state potentiometer
Charge circuit
  • Onboard computer
  • Battery charger
  • DC charger plug
  • Charger receptacle
  • Receptacle fuse link
  • Batteries

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Systems Common to Both Gas and Electric Carts

    • Accelerator/Brake Pedals
    • Wheel Brakes
    • Steering and Front Suspension
    • Wheels/Tires
    • Rear Suspension

Systems in Gas Carts
The following system components and operations in a gas cart differ from those of an electric cart.

Electrical - In 1997 the torque converter and starter were reengineered and counter clockwise rotation instead of clockwise was introduced. Significant operational and component differences are found from 1996 to 1997.
  • Starter/Generator
  • Voltage regulator
  • Keyswitch
  • Solenoid
  • Fuse
  • Accelerator Pedal Limit switch
  • Kill limit switch
  • Neutral lockout cam
  • Reverse warning buzzer & limit switch
  • Oil Warning Light
  • Fuel/Hour Gauge (optional)
  • Fuel Level sending unit
  • RPM limiter (aka rev limiter)
  • Ignition Coil
  • Oil level sensor
  • 12 volt Battery - sidepost
  • Ground straps
Engine - The Club Car DS and Precedent Golf cart, the Villager 4 and the Carryall I utility vehicle are all equipped with the FE290 engine (after 1991). Prior to 1991 the KF82 (aka "flathead") engine was being used.
  • Engine mounting plate
  • Cylinder Head (including shroud, valves, guides, seats, rocker arm/shaft, etc.)
  • Crankcase (including oil level sensor, camshaft, and tappets)
  • Piston and connecting rods
  • Cylinder block
  • Ignition Coil and flywheel
  • Oil pump (including pressure relief valve)
  • Crankshaft and counterbalance (including counterbalance weight, oil screen, ball bearing, oil seals)
Fuel
  • Carburetor (including main jet)
  • Engine control linkage (including accelerator rod, governor cable, accelerator cable)
  • Choke and Air intake system (including choke button, air box, intake duct, and air filter)
  • Fuel Filter (Part#102003201)
  • Fuel pump
  • Fuel tank
  • Fuel lines
  • Fuel shutoff valve
Exhaust
  • Muffler
  • Unitized Transaxle
  • Axle shaft
  • Governor Gear
  • Differential Gear Case
  • Shifter Fork
  • Synchronizer Gear
  • Intermediate Gear
  • Idler Shaft
  • F&R Shifter Cable
Torque Converter (Clutch) - In 1997 the torque converter and starter were reengineered and counter clockwise rotation instead of clockwise was introduced. Significant operational and component differences are found from 1996 to 1997.
  • Drive Belt (1016203)
  • Drive Clutch
  • Driven Clutch

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Systems in Electric Carts
The following system components and operations in an electric cart differ from those of a gas cart. Also note that there are numerous differences across years and systems for electric carts. Some of the variations within Club Car include:

  • 36- vs. 48-volt carts
  • Variations on 48-volt systems
    • Standard - also called "series" motors
    • Regen - last produced in 2000 - a shunt-wound motor
    • IQ systems - first produced in 2001 - a shunt-wound motor
  • Variations on "Series" motors
    • 3.1 HP motor - aka "fleet motor". This motor works in conjunction with a 225 amp controller.
    • Club Car 3.75 HP motor - often seen in Private Owner applications. This motor requires an upgrade to 300 amps in order to perform properly.
    • Other aftermarket motor upgrades - includes 5.5hp & 11hp motors. These require an upgrade to the controller to enable the motor to perform properly.
  • IQ Type G transaxle vs. IQ Type K transaxle
  • Regen original controller and wiring harness vs. Regen converted controller and wiring harness - also known as Regen 1 & Regen 2.
  • F&R handle on standard 48-volt carts vs. F&R rocker switch on IQ and Regen
  • Tow/Run switch on IQ and Regen carts only

Batteries
Of course the batteries in a 36 volt cart (6 6 volt deep cycle batteries) differ from those in a 48 volt cart (6 8-volt deep cycle batteries on the DS model; 4 12-volt deep cycle batteries on the Precedent model), but other than that the batteries themselves have remained the same across systems.

  • Batteries (includes batteries, cables, hold downs, j-bolts)
  • Battery charger

Again, the battery charger for a 36 volt and a 48 volt cart differ. There are some operational differences as well. The 48 volt Club Car charger is outlined below.

  • Housing, plugs and cords
  • Heatsink assembly
  • Transformer
  • Ammeter
  • Fuse link
  • Charger relay
  • Charger AC circuit breaker - use the new style CCX8506 to replace the old toggle style.

Motor

  • 48 volt 3.1 or 3.75 motor (includes armature, field windings, insulators, brushes, springs, bearings, etc.)
  • IQ motor (includes armature, field windings, insulators, brushes, springs, bearings, speed sensor)

Transaxle

  • Axle bearing and shaft

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6. Troubleshooting an Electric Cart

My cart doesn’t run – where do I start to figure out the problem?
Do you hear a click (from the solenoid) when you have the keyswitch on and depress the accelerator?

If NO, the problem may be:
  • Batteries – check the connections and that they are not fully discharged
  • Keyswitch – check for loose wires and a failed switch
  • F&R – check for loose wires, a failed switch, and whether the cam is activating the switch (under the seat)
  • Accelerator – make sure the accelerator rod is not disconnected.
  • Accelerator Pedal limit switch – check for loose wires, disconnected or improperly connected wires, and a failed switch.
  • Solenoid – check for loose wires, a failed coil and a failed solenoid diode.
  • Controller electrical leakage – check for dirt or acid residue on the controller
  • Computer – check battery connections and onboard computer solenoid lockout failure
If YES, the problem may be:
  • Batteries – check the connections and that they are not fully discharged
  • Solenoid – check for loose wires and failed contacts.
  • F&R – check for loose wires and failed contacts.
  • Potentiometer – check for loose wires, improper wiring, short or open circuit, and improper adjustment of accelerator and brake pedals
  • Controller – check for loose wires and a failed speed controller
  • Motor – check for loose wires and open or shorted windings.

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My cart seems really slow – what can I do?
First of all, “slow” is a matter of perspective. Think about the age of your cart as compared other carts you travel with. Do others have larger motors or new carts with programmable speed control?

Second, is your cart getting a full charge?

  • Charger connections – check for loose wires at the receptacle and at the batteries
  • Charger – check for incoming power, charger cord and plugs, and output. Also check the charger relay and fuse.
  • Onboard computer – check to see if the computer is the problem by plugging the charger into another cart. If the charger works fine and you have already eliminated the items above, then it may well be the computer.

Also check your batteries to see that they are all properly wired in the series and connections are secure. Loose battery terminals or connections are often the culprit. Certainly battery age and condition is a major factor as well.

Other potential causes:

  • Motor – loose wires or failed motor
  • Potentiometer – improper adjustment or failed potentiometer
  • Half-speed reverse limit switch – may have failed in the closed position or be improperly wired
  • Controller – may be overloaded and need to cool while removing part of the load, possible failed speed controller
  • Brakes – brakes may be dragging and require adjustment
  • Tires – underinflated or flat tires

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I can’t find any problem with my electric cart but I would like it to go faster.
First, do you have a 48-volt non-regen or non-IQ cart? Second, what size motor and controller do you currently have installed?

If you have a “fleet” motor (3.1 HP) you probably also have a 225 amp controller. In this case you will see a real improvement with a 3.75 HP motor and a 300 amp controller. There are other upgrades from there that you can discuss with your dealer.

If you already have a 3.75 HP motor then you should ensure that you have the 300 amp controller to go with it. Otherwise you may not be getting all the power you could out of the existing motor.

If you have a 3.75 HP motor and 300 amp controller and still are not happy with the performance but there are no identifiable problems, you may want to consider the new IQ system which can be programmed up to 19 mph. Or we can build you a custom cart to your specifications using a 5.5hp or 11hp motor.

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My cart used to back up slowly but now it goes just as fast in reverse as it does in forward.

  • F&R Half-speed reverse limit switch – check for loose wires or failed switch
  • Half speed resistor – check for disconnected or failed resistor

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My cart goes only in reverse – it won’t move in forward (or vice versa).

  • F&R limit switch – check for loose or broken wires, clicker on the switch, and for improper wiring
  • F&R switch – check for continuity of switch contacts

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The tail light on my cart melted. Are the light bulbs really that hot??
Probably what has happened is that your accelerator pedal was engaged while the Park brake was on. This can happen when something like a rubber mat or other item gets stuck under the bottom edge of the accelerator pedal, and keeping the accelerator limit switch actuated. When this switch is actuated other systems that work when the cart is on continue to work (like the tail lights, for instance).

When this switch is actuated it tells the motor to send juice. However the brakes are on because your Park brake is engaged. This results in heat and a melted tail light lens.

In fact, this is a serious potential hazard as heat can ignite nearby items and start a fire.

For this reason, we very much discourage customers with Electric carts from using the rubber mats unless they have the new style with a larger opening for the pedal area. In any case, you certainly need to exercise extreme caution with them and other items that could affect the accelerator pedal.

Special Note: The new Precedent Model Club Car has LED style tail lights that do not get hot and do not require bulb replacement.

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7. Troubleshooting a Gas Cart

My cart sometimes won't start right away - what should I look at?
First, remember that on a gas cart you will need to use the choke button to ensure that there is gas going to the system, especially if the cart has been sitting for a while. Other things that you can look at are:

  • Spark plug condition
  • Spark plug wires - Are they corroded or loose?
  • Loose connections to ignition coil or rev limiter
  • Ignition coil - Is it failing at times?
  • Low cylinder compression
  • Water or dirt in the fuel system or carb
  • Clogged or dirty fuel filter
  • Clogged exhaust system
  • Adjustment on carb
  • Starter/generator belt may be slipping

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The cart will start but sputters and doesn't run smoothly - what can I do?
Check the same items listed above and also look at the fuel pump for any malfunction. Possible cause could be low fuel pressure to the engine.

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I can hear the engine runs but it doesn't catch.
Some things to check are:

  • Make sure there is fuel in the tank - seriously!
  • Fuel lines and filters are not clogged
  • Spark plug condition
  • Spark plug wires
  • Loose connections to the ignition coil or rev limiter
  • Ignition coil failure
  • Flooded engine from excess choking
  • Kill circuit grounded
  • Fuel pump malfunction

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The engine seems to be overheating.
Check to see if the fan screen is partially blocked or plugged. Also check the governor for adjustment. Finally check the carb to see if the proper main jets are being used for your altitude.

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The engine is catching before I hit the gas.
Check for carbon deposits on the piston head or in the combustion chamber. The spark plug head range should be checked to ensure it is properly fitted to the engine and for the use of the cart. We usually use a BPR5ES on a 1991 and newer Club Car (with FE290 engine). On a KF82 engine we use BPM4A. Also, make sure that the fuel is not contaminated.

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While driving my cart seems to lose power.
There are a number of causes for this depending on when the cart is losing power. For example, is it on hills only or on the flat? Some areas to check are:

  • Exhaust valve may be restricted with carbon deposits
  • Muffler or exhaust pipe may be restricted with carbon deposits or other obstruction (We have seen carts that have nests built in them and this will definitely affect performance.)
  • Ignition coil
  • Air filter - Is it clogged or dirty?
  • Adjustment of governor - remember that you may sacrifice low end torque (related to hill climbing) when the RPMs are set too high. In the mountains we often recommend around 2600 RPMs.
  • Throttle linkage adjustment
  • Low cylinder compression
  • Spark plug condition
  • Restricted fuel flow
  • Clutch is not backshifting properly

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The carburetor keeps flooding. What could cause that?
Check the inlet valve for leaking, dirt, wear, and damage. The float in the carburetor may be damaged or need adjustment, or the float needle valve may not be functioning properly. Also check to see if the carburetor vent is blocked.

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I turn the key and hit the gas and get nothing.
First check to see that the neutral lockout cam is the in the right position. Check fuses and battery. Then you can check:

  • Starter control circuit
  • Starter/generator - sometimes the brushes inside are the problem
  • Starter solenoid
  • Accelerator pedal microswitch
  • Keyswitch
  • Neutral lockout microswitch
  • Wire condition in starter/generator circuit
  • Cylinder or crankcase flooded

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