How to Troubleshoot a Golf Cart Engine

by Contributor

Golf carts are fun recreational vehicles and can be used for more than just playing golf. Most of the time when there's trouble with the golf cart engine, it's something minor.

Start with the most obvious problems first when you troubleshoot a golf cart engine. These obvious problems are also the cheapest to fix. Many times if an engine won't start or is running rough, we have a tendency to think it's a big fix. That's not always the case. Start by checking the least expensive parts first and then work your way up from there.

Make sure that all battery connections are intact and clean of corrosion. Battery terminals should be cleaned regularly to prevent build-up of materials that prevent the current from making it to the battery.

Get a voltmeter and check the switch voltage on your solenoid. The solenoid is the coiled insulated wire. Electric current passes through it and establishes a magnetic field. With the golf cart key on, clip a red lead to one of the smaller solenoid terminals. Hook the black lead to the ground terminal. Press the gas pedal to troubleshoot your golf cart engine. If there is voltage on the voltmeter, but the solenoid doesn't make a clicking sound, that usually means it has gone bad.

Check all fuel lines that connect to the fuel pump and the carburetor. All these lines must be completely intact, sealed and free of dirt and debris. Look for the smallest crack or hole. Check the fuel pump vacuum line for leaks.

Ensure that all spark plugs are firing and that spark plug lead end caps fit the spark plug snugly. Make sure they are not bent. Replace the spark plugs when in doubt. This is one of the cheapest and easiest fixes when you troubleshoot a golf cart engine.

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