Troubleshooting: Electric Golf Cart Will Not Run

by Kris Ramsay
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golf cart image by Earl Robbins from

When your golf cart will not start it is understandably frustrating and annoying. Much like a car, the timing of your golf cart not starting is never convenient. After the initial misery, it is important to know what steps to take to get the root of the problem to rectify it in a timely manner. Knowing the primary components of what makes a golf cart go is key to knowing how to fix it should anything go wrong.

Step 1

Check the battery connections. Make sure the battery terminals are all connected and free of erosion. If the terminals are dirty, purchase a battery terminal cleaner spray and use it on the terminals then try to start the motor. The cleaner spray is available at auto retail shops and in most automotive sections of chain retail stores.

Step 2

Test the batteries. Disconnect the cables from the battery terminal using a flat-head screwdriver. Using a 12-volt battery tester, test each battery's voltage by attaching each side of it to the wire leads on the tester. Replace any battery showing less than 12 volts.

Step 3

Reset the motor. Remove a panel in the rear of the golf cart using a screwdriver. When the motor is exposed, search for a small red button. Most often, the button is located where the wires enter the motor. If the button is sticking out, push it back in.

Step 4

Test the wall socket that the battery is plugged into. Test the voltage of the socket by plugging in a 120-volt tester. If you do not have one, simply plug in some other household appliance. The wall socket will either be giving 120 volts or not working at all which means you may have tripped the circuit breaker.

Step 5

Examine the keyhole and key switch. Insert the key and turn it to the "off" position and "on" position. Feel that it moves smoothly and their are no obstructions. Ensure that the key switch is in the "forward" or "reverse" position and not in neutral.

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