Frequently Asked Questions

About GolfCarCatalog.com

How long have you been in business?

Our humble beginnings can be traced back to a small golf car repair shop started in the early eighties.  We went e-commerce in the mid-nineties and now most of our business is conducted online.  But the repair shop is still here, if you know where to look…

Where are you located?

We are located in the extreme northwest corner of North Carolina.  We are about six miles south of Boone on Highway 105 in a small community called Foscoe.  Situated 3333 feet above sea level, Boone is about 50 miles from Virginia & the same from Tennessee.

Do you have a printed catalog?

No, we do not. We stopped publishing a printed catalog when we went online. We were adding new products at such a rate that keeping a printed catalog up to date because impossible. By the time we’d print it, the catalog would be out of date.

General Maintenance

What is the fuel/oil ratio of my… ?

1965-68 Harley-Davidson Utilicar – 5 oz per gallon. That sounds like a lot, but that’s Harley’s specifications.
1969+ Harley-Davidson – 1.5 oz per gallon

How much oil should I put in my… ?

E-Z-GO 4-cycle – 48 oz / 1.5 qt of 30W
Yamaha 4-cycle – 32 oz / 1 qt of 30W
Club Car 4-cycle – 40 oz 1.25 qt of 30W

Are air filters reusable?

Some specially-made air filters are cleanable.  Most cleanable filters are the older, wire-fame style. They can be washed with automatic dishwasher soap (doesn’t leave a film) and air-dried.  It is not recommended to blow out any air filter with an air hose.  By using high-pressure air, you may enlarge the holes in the porous paper or cause a hole.  However, in most cases, air filters are so inexpensive, it is usually recommended to check them a minimum of twice a year and change when dirty.  If you use the vehicle off-road or in a particularly dusty area, you may need to change it more often.

Serial Number Locations

Club Car

Underneath the passenger side dash compartment where it meets the floorboard.

Columbia Par Car

Located on the driver’s side rear upper spring mounting plate.  May vary

E-Z-GO

Inside or just below the passenger’s dash compartment.

Harley-Davidson and older Columbia Par Car

Inside the engine compartment, usually just above the rear driver side tire of the car, stamped into a metal plate riveted to the frame.

Melex

Inside or just below the passenger’s dash compartment.

Yamaha

It could be in one of two places. If your entire body tilts backward to access the engine or battery compartment, look for it stamped into the metal just below where the rear bumper mounts bolts to the frame. If only your seat tilts forward for battery or engine access, look inside the engine or battery compartment, on the portion of the seat which tilts forward right behind where the floor mat ends.

Batteries

Is it okay to leave my car charging for extended periods of time?

Leaving it to charge overnight is fine, but leaving it plugged in while on vacation is a bad idea.  If there’s an electrical storm while you’re away, one lightning strike can destroy your electronic speed controller, or any number of other electrical parts.

Should I always keep my car charged?

Yes, you should never allow the batteries to become discharged for long periods of time.  IAs a battery becomes discharged; lead sulfate begins to form, clogging the sponge-like pores in plates.  If left uncharged long enough, it will ruin the battery.  Also, if you live in a colder climate, keeping the batteries charged will prevent freezing.  A fully charged battery will not freeze until 50 or 60 degrees F below zero.

How much water should I put in my batteries?

The water should completely cover the plates inside the battery, but should be about quarter inch below the bottom of the fill tube.  Our battery filler bottle will automatically stop at the proper level, eliminating the guess work.  Always try to use distilled water if possible.  The minerals, chlorine, and/or fluoride, not to mention others, present in tap water can react with the lead in the battery and reduce the life of your batteries. However, if you don’t have distilled water handy, tap water can be used.  As a general rule of thumb, if the water is drinkable, then it can be used to fill your batteries.

How do I test my batteries?  What is specific gravity?

You will first need to purchase a hydrometer to perform this test. The specific gravity of golf car batteries should be between 1.250 and 1.280 at 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  This is the specific gravity of the electrolyte solution within the battery at 80 degrees compared with 1.000 being the specific gravity of water at the same temperature.  The acid solution should be 1.250 times heavier than water at this temperature. To correct for the air temperature at which the reading is taken, add or subtract .02 for every 5 degrees difference from 80 degrees.  It is never recommended to add acid to your batteries unless the battery was spilled.  Most of the acid is contained within the porous lead plates and does not readily evaporate.  Usually, just add distilled water up to a quarter inch from the bottom of the battery fill tube.

The specific gravity does not indicate your pulling power or the distance the car can go under a load.  It only indicates the state of charge as measured by the amount of sulphuric acid in the electrolyte.  As the charge drops, the specific gravity reading will drop and approach that of water.  To test the batteries for capacity, you will need to apply a battery load test or a discharge test to see how they hold up with a 300-amp draw on the batteries.

How old are my batteries?

The battery codes will differ with the manufacturer, but only slightly.  Below is the most commonly used date code system.  The code will either be stamped into the battery posts or applied to the top of the battery with a sticker.

Battery Code Examples

A=Jan

8=1998

B=Feb

9=1999

C=Mar

0=2000

D=Apr

1=2001

So a code of F9 would mean the battery was manufactured in June of 2009 ( or 1999).

How can I tell if one of my batteries is bad?

Contrary to popular demand, a voltmeter is not an accurate or acceptable method of determining the validity of a battery’s state of charge.  Detecting a bad battery can be tricky and sometimes elusive.

First, you’ll want to drain the battery charge as much as possible.  A bad battery will appear good except in a state of extreme discharge.  A discharge machine is the most acceptable form of draining the batteries.  However, these machines are extremely expensive and really wouldn’t be worth your money unless you run a repair shop.  If you don’t want to buy the discharge machine, simply drive the car around or put the rear wheels up on jack stands & run it until it is virtually dead.  This is often the only way to detect a bad battery.

Next, you’ll need to place another amperage drawing load on the batteries while in the discharged state.  Usually, the easiest way is to use a battery load tester.  This places an amperage draw of about 75 amps on the battery.  A good battery will drop a fraction of a volt and then hold steady voltage.  If the battery voltage continues to drop off while using the tester, you may be looking at a bad battery.  Replace if necessary.  One bad or failing battery will kill the car.

Can I replace just one of my batteries?

Yes, you can.  However, there are some other considerations.  If you have a single bad battery, and the batteries are not too old, replacement may not be a bad idea.  However, if you have more than one bad battery, or they are 6 or 8 years old, it is recommended to change the whole set.  If you place a new battery into a car with old batteries, you will not get the full life or capacity out of the new battery.  For lack of a better term, batteries tend to seek “the lowest common denominator”.  The new battery’s performance and capacity will be quickly brought down to the level of the used batteries.  Replacing just one battery will result in a reduction in the overall performance of the new battery, but but is more cost effective than replacing the whole set.  Beware, old batteries and cheap batteries will nickel & dime you to death.  Once you start replacing more than one battery, the loss in performance can start to outweigh the cost of just biting the bullet and buying a new set of batteries.

Acid is bubbling out of my batteries!  Is this normal?

Venting, or gassing, is a normal occurrence when your batteries are charging but this should not leave puddles of acid on the battery tops.  If the batteries have been overfilled with water before charging then the cells may spill acid out.  This is not good for the batteries, the battery racks & hold down brackets or battery cables & cable ends.  If the acid is coming from anywhere other than the caps on top of the battery, you may have a leak.  Spilled acid will ruin the smooth finish of a concrete garage floor, if left untreated.

How do I neutralize excess battery acid that has leaked out or bubbled over from my batteries?

Any acid can be neutralized by a simple base.  You can use a professional acid neutralizing solution or a simple baking soda wash will work.  Be sure that the caps are securely on your batteries and that you don’t get any neutralizer inside the battery.

Tires and Wheels

What size are standard golf car tires?

Most golf car manufacturers sell their cars with an industry standard tire and wheel assembly.  The steel wheel measures 7″ across and is 8″ in diameter at the bead where the tubeless tire seats.  The wheel has four 1/2″ lug bolt holes centered on a 4″ circle and it has an 18 x 8.5 x 8 tire mounted on it.  That means 18″ tall (ground to top of inflated tire) by 8.5″ wide (tread width) by 8″ inner diameter (at the bead seat).

What is a “negative offset” wheel?

Negative offset wheels have an off-center mounting flange (the flat plate in the middle of the wheel that your lug bolts come through) that is moved toward the car.  Standard OEM wheels have the mounting flange in the center of the wheel.  A negative offset wheel has the mounting flange moved towards the car’s hub (usually about 4 inches from the outside of the wheel and about 3 inches from the inside).  This, in effect, causes the whole tire and wheel assembly to be moved outward, away from the car, more than a regular tire and wheel would.  Negative offset wheels are perfect for adding wider off-road tires to your car. Without moving these wider than normal tires away from the car, you may experience the tire’s inner edge rubbing against the rear fender wells or frame, or the front leaf springs & frame when turning sharply.

What is the proper inflation for a standard golf car wheel?

We recommend that the tires (both front and rear) be filled the same.  Proper inflation is between 20 and 22 PSI.  If you are using the car off-road, you may want a little less pressure for extra traction, especially if you are using ATV style tires.  If you have back pain you can lower the tire pressure of a gas powered car to 10 or 12 pounds.  For an electric battery powered car low tire pressure greatly increases the rolling resistance of the tire.  This creates a much larger load on the batteries so they can’t push you as far.  For most purposes it probably wouldn’t matter.  Both too much tire pressure and too little tire pressure will cause premature tread wear.

Charger Troubleshooting

My charger clicks and hums like its on, but the needle doesn’t move.  What’s wrong?

The charger may be working, but has a faulty ammeter (the needle gauge). There is a simple test to determine if your charger is actually working.  You will need a voltmeter to perform this test.

With the charger unplugged from the car and the key off, touch the positive probe of the voltmeter to the main positive terminal of your battery bank and the negative probe to the main negative terminal of the battery bank. This reading is what is called “battery reference voltage”, which is the voltage present in your batteries while not under a load or being charged.  A 36-volt car will have about 36-37 volts and a 48-volt system will have about 48-49 volts.

Leave the probes in place and the key off.  Plug in the charger until it clicks like it is on. The reading should jump up to around 40 volts or more for a 36-volt car or around 52 volts for a 48-volt system.  If the reading increases significantly, the charger is good and the ammeter is bad.  If the reading does not increase, there is a problem inside the charger, the charger plug or in the charging circuit of the car.  A good place to start is to check the wires & wire ends that lead from the charger receptacle in the car to the main positive & negative posts of the battery pack.  The fuse and diodes inside the charger can fail as well.  Be sure to see the following Question.

I left my car unattended for a few months, and now my charger won’t come online.  I have a newer model charger (Total Charger, Powerwise, Lestronic II, or Accu-Charge). What’s the problem?

Most modern golf cars have a kill switch or a “Tow/Maintenance” switch inside the battery compartment.  If you did not flip this switch to the “TOW” or “OFF” position, the car’s batteries will be drained at a rate of about 1 millivolt per day due to the controller’s need for slight power.  After a few weeks the batteries will become weak or dead.  The newer electronic chargers must sense a certain amount of voltage in the batteries for the charger to come online. I f the charger doesn’t come on, the batteries are below the critical level of voltage the charger is trying to sense.

To remedy this problem, you will need to find an old style non-electronic 36 or 48-volt charger and plug it into the car in order to bring the batteries back up to the ‘critical voltage’ the charger is looking for.  It’s usually around 31 volts, but will vary between manufacturers.  You may need some type of adapter to plug the old style charger into your car.  Once the old charger is plugged in, it will probably only take about 30 min or less to bring the batteries up to the ‘critical’ voltage.  Do not over charge with the old charger.

Another option is to charge two adjacent batteries together in a series with a 12-volt auto-style charger. You will need to do this 3 times; once for each of the three sets of two batteries. Once the critical voltage level is reached, use the normal charger and charge as usual.  For 8-volt batteries use a 10 minute charge per battery using a low amp 12-volt auto-style charger.  Connect the leads before you turn on the charger and only charge each battery for 10 minutes max.  Once the critical voltage is achieved, the normal charger will come on to charge.

Don’t forget to check that the house circuit the charger is plugged into in fact actually works.  Plug in a lamp or other electrical device to test the circuit.

My charger won’t cut off.  What’s the problem?

If you have an automatic charger and a bad battery, the batteries will never reach the ‘cut-off’ voltage the charger looks for to switch itself off automatically.  Modern chargers track voltage rise in the battery pack.  When the voltage stops rising, the charge is near complete and the charger is programmed to cut off.  The charger doesn’t know one of your batteries is dead, so it keeps trying to charge the pack trying to get the voltage up to the ‘cut-off’ point.

This problem can also be caused by a bad circuit board in automatic chargers. Automatic chargers have one or more circuit boards which sense the appropriate cutoff voltage. If the board is malfunctioning, it may not sense when the appropriate voltage is reached and cause the charger to continue the charge cycle.

Another cause could be a bad mechanical timer common in older manual chargers. Most of these chargers did not have a solid state cutoff circuit, but rather a manual timer, sometimes set by hand and others not.  If the timer goes bad, the charger will run continuously, badly overcharging your batteries.  Fix this situation immediately.

Mechanical Problems – General

My car’s engine runs, but the wheels won’t turn.

The problem sounds like a stripped brake hub/drum. The inside hole of a brake hub/drum is splined for traction against the splined axle.  The axle transfers the power from the differential through the brake hub/drum and on to the wheel.  The brake hub/drum is constructed of a softer metal than the hardened axle and it is designed to wear out first since it is easier to replace and costs a lot less. The problem of power not being transferred to the wheels is caused by the splines stripping out of the hub/drum and the axle is spinning within it. The hub/drum must be replaced.  To help prevent this from occurring, be sure to check and tighten the hub/drum retaining nut annually.  It should be torqued to 70 ft/lbs. using a torque wrench.  Tighten the nut to the next castle (if needed) so as to be able to insert a new cotter pin.

This can also be caused by broken or stretched transmission shifter cables and, occasionally by stripped out spline (E-Z-GO) or a missing key (Club Car) on the driven clutch/differential input shaft interface.  This is usually caused by a loose or missing retainer bolt.

My car runs without me pressing the accelerator.  What’s going on?

The solenoid may be sticking in the ‘ON’ position, never allowing the starter to rest. Listen for a click when you turn the key on.  If there is one, the solenoid may be sticking.  The solenoid should not click until the pedal is depressed about an inch or so.  Also, listen for a click when you release the pedal.  If there is no click, the solenoid may be sticking in the ‘ON’ position.  This condition can cause lots of problems such as the car running away or excessive heat build up causing melting and burning.  This problem is common on E-Z-GO & Melex pre-90 model cars.

The accelerator micro switch may be out of adjustment causing the solenoid to stay on while the key is in the “on” position.  Put the foward and reverse lever in the “neutral” position.  Remove the seat and slowly press the accelerator pedal down.  Listen for a low, almost inaudible, click when the pedal first moves and another click as it returns to the rest position.  If there are not two clicks, especially a first one, the accelerator micro switch is never really shutting down to turn off the car.  The adjustment will vary depending on the type of car, but will basically involve adjusting the arm to properly activate and deactivate the micro switch.  When the switch is off, there will be no current to the solenoid.  When the switch is on, it will allow current to the solenoid.

My golf car has developed some play in the steering system.  What are the possible causes?

This is probably caused by unlubricated metal-to-metal parts wearing against each other.  First, determine that the steering wheel is not loose on the steering shaft.  Then check the steering box to be sure it is tight to the frame.  The gears inside the steering box and the steering rack will wear and become sloppy over time.  The tie rod ends are one of the big culprits of steering play.  Worn kingpins & king pin bushings, and bad front wheel bearings can all cause steering to become less than perfect.  Golf cars must also have the correct front end alignment, just like your street car, to have the proper steering feel.  Otherwise unexpected wandering & darting can result.

Mechanical Problems – Electric Cars

My car runs fine on level ground, but seems to lose power on inclines.

Loose or weak battery cable connections anywhere in the electrical system can cause a serious loss of hill pulling capability.  Burned or pitted contacts at the wiper speed switch, or a bad ‘high speed’ solenoid can cause the car to be slow in older speed control systems.  A failing ‘pot box’, the potentiometer is what tells the motor how fast to spin, could be giving a bad signal.   

You may just have an older car.  Older standard ‘series wound’ electric motors cannot develop as much speed as newer motors, and there is no easy way to give these cars more power without a motor change.  Modern motors and electronic speed controllers can operate at higher speeds than the older ‘series’ wound motors can.

A set of old & weak batteries, or just a single bad battery, may be the culprit.  Make sure the car is fully charged.  Batteries usually last about 5 years, but with proper care and maintenance, they can sometimes make it 8 to 10 years, depending on use patterns.  Our battery load tester will help determine the quality of your batteries.

Finally, low water in batteries can also cause a loss of power in your electric car.  Use only distilled water.  Be sure the water completely covers the battery plates and is about a quarter inch below the fill tube.  Our battery filler bottle makes this operation simple.  It fills the batteries and stops when the water reaches the correct level.

My car doesn’t run or is acting very strangely.  What’s going on?

Your batteries may be low on water or one or more batteries is failing.  Both a battery load tester and a battery filler bottle will help to analyze and prevent this.  You may have loose, burned or melted control wires or power cables.  Burned or melted cable ends are often caused by loose connections and weak & loose cable ends by corrosion on the battery posts.  Make it a habit to tighten all cable connections and clean your batteries regularly.

Solenoid failures are very common in electric vehicles.  The solenoid is the main switch that permits battery current to get to your motor.  It switches on & off every time you press the gas pedal and stays on the whole time you have the pedal down.  Your controller may have gone south.  A bad controller is usually responsible for any number of weird problems with electric cars.  If your car is acting really strange, then replacing the controller may be the answer.  Controllers are expensive and can be tricky to accurately troubleshoot.  It is best to consult a service manual.

You may have a motor getting ready to fail, which can cause an electric car to act really strangely, including continuous beeping in modern cars with ‘regen’ braking.  With all cables disconnected from the motor, use an ohm meter to test for continuity between the S1and S2 field terminals.  If there is no continuity, the field is bad.  Also, test for continuity between the A1 and A2 armature terminals.  If there is no continuity here, the armature or brushes are bad.

Are the resistors on my car supposed to get as hot as they do?

Resistors do get hot and this is normal for older electric golf cars.  The resistors are pieces of coiled metal, which offer a specific resistance to the electric current based on the number of coils and the gauge of the wire. The reason they heat up is due to the fact that heat is a by-product of electric resistance. Resistors were used to control the car speed in older cars. Hooked into a series of micro-switches and solenoids, the different sized resistors cause the current to flow at different speeds. The larger the gauge of the resistor and the fewer coils allow electric current to flow faster with less resistance causing the car to move faster.

The wires and/or cables in my car keep melting.  What’s the problem?

The most common cause for this problem is a loose connection somewhere.  A loose connection will cause the current to encounter resistance, causing heat to build up and then melting.  Each year, perform a thorough check of all relevant heavy power wires in your golf car.  Preventative maintenance is easy and will save a lot of time and trouble in the long run.

Corrosion on battery cables or wire ends can also cause resistance in the circuit and cause heat buildup and melt the wires. Be sure to clean off all corrosion on a regular basis to avoid more serious long-term problems.

Mechanical Problems – Gas Cars

My car runs fine on level ground, but loses power on inclines.

If choking helps, it’s most likely a fuel problem.  Low compression in the bottom end may be killing the vacuum system, which powers the fuel pump.  The low compression may be due to a leak or a blown gasket.  The fuel pump vacuum line or fuel lines may be deteriorated or broken.  All of the lines connected to the fuel pump and carburetor must be intact and sealed in order for the fuel pump vacuum system to work properly.

If choking doesn’t help, then the engine may have weak top end compression or the drive or driven clutch may be the problem.  The top end compression starts to fail when the piston, the piston rings, the cylinder or the cylinder head gasket have excessive wear.  The driven clutch is frequently at fault when the car has trouble climbing hills. Usually the inner spring between the two inner clutch flanges is broken or the plastic clutch ramps are worn to the point where they can’t function properly.

A weak ignition system can cause this as well.  The spark at the spark plug should be blue and stretch out a 1/4″ or so when drawn away from engine ground.  If the spark color is orange or yellow it indicates a weak ignition system.

My 2-cycle engine is back-firing!

The backfiring is usually caused by the carburetor throttle plate being slightly open, which allows gas to flow into the cylinder, before the ignition system comes on to produce a spark.  For this system to work properly, the spark should be to the plug before the gas gets into the combustion chamber inside the cylinder.

This is probably happening because the accelerator cable is out of adjustment at the carburetor throttle plate on the carb.  With the key off and the seat removed, press the accelerator pedal down.  You should hear a low, almost inaudible, “click” from the accelerator micro switch before the accelerator cable causes the carburetor throttle plate to start to open.  The cable may move through the plate, but not actually move it.  Be sure the micro switch clicks before the plate actually moves, not just the cable.  If this isn’t set correctly, loosen the cable nut behind the plate with an Allen wrench. Press the throttle plate lever all the way closed and compress the nut and spring (if applicable) against the plate and tighten nut in place. Try the test again until the adjustment is right.

There’s no fuel getting to my carburetor!

Is there fuel in your gas tank?  Seriously, we’ve seen this more times than we’d care to admit.  Go and double check.  No, really!!

Low compression in the engine may be causing the vacuum system (which powers the fuel pump) not to work.  In a 2-cycle engine this may be caused by a head or base gasket leak, broken rings or blown crank shaft seal.  In a 4-cycle engine a bottom end gasket leak or crank seal leak may cause the problem.  A bad fuel pump is not out of the question but they are fairly reliable.

Also, check for a hole or cracks in the fuel lines or vacuum hoses.  If there is even a pinhole in any of the lines to and from the fuel pump, the vacuum system will be compromised.  The holes can be caused by dry rot or by pinching and rubbing.

Finally, it may be a problem within the fuel pump.  The fuel pump may have a ruptured diaphragm or a leaky gasket inside.  Remove the fuel pump to examine.  Before you take it apart, scratch a line straight down the side.  The pump has several layers & gaskets and there is only one right way to reassemble it.  Once inside, check the diaphragms and gaskets for leaks or holes.

My car has trouble starting. Sometimes it cranks fine, and other times it won’t.  What’s the deal?

It could be one of four things. Your battery may be weak and about to fail.  The electrical system must have a constant 12 volts in order to turn the starter/generator over and power the ignition.  You can test the battery with our battery load tester.

Also, battery terminals may be corroded.  Disconnect the battery wires and clean the connectors and terminals thoroughly with a terminal scraper.  Work on them until they are shiny all around for a good metal-to-metal connection.

The starter/generator brushes may be excessively worn.  As a general rule, once the brushes are worn down below the guide that keeps them in place inside the starter/generator, they should be replaced.  The Forward/Reverse switch on 2 cycle cars can also give problems.  The cables from the switch to the st/gen can short out to each other if the insulation is damaged.  The contacts inside the F/R switch can become pitted & burned making good electrical flow impossible.

Finally, a flat spot on the starter/generator may cause intermittent starting.  To test the starter, turn the drive clutch (attached to the crankshaft of the engine) about quarter turn and try starting again.  If the car starts right up, you probably have a flat spot on the commutator of the starter.  To correct the problem, disconnect the battery and all wires to the starter.  Remove the starter from the car and disassemble.  Lightly sand the commutator (moving part in the center of starter).  Be sure to examine carefully for signs of melting or burning at the cable connection terminals.  After you reassemble the starter and reinstall it, try starting the car.  If it still doesn’t work, the starter will need replacing.

My car’s engine is not firing at all.  What’s wrong?

This could be caused by one of several things:

Check the spark plugs for fouling.  Fouling means that there is some obstruction in the spark gap (distance between the end of plug and prong). There may be a piece of trash, dirt, or metal stuck inside.  Another cause of spark fouling is just carbon build up, which is inevitable.  Replace your plug(s).

Check the battery for charge with a load tester.  If your battery is weak (below 10 volts), you could experience great starting difficulty.  If the battery has a low charge, recharge with a 12-volt trickle charger overnight and try again.

The spark plug end or spark leads may be loose or damaged.  Make sure the spark plug lead end cap fits the plug tightly and is not bent.  Inspect the spark plug leads for looseness, burning, or melting.  If any of these problems occur, replace the leads.

The wiring for the ignition system has a short or faulty ground.  Inspect all wires that are related to the ignition thoroughly for any breaks, melting, looseness, or touching metal.

The ignitor may be bad.

The ignition coil may be faulty.

Why does the muffler on my 2-cycle engine drip oil and is this normal?

Unlike the newer 4-cycle engines, the fuel and oil are mixed in a solution and burned together in the 2-cycle engine.  The 2-cycle engines are not as efficient or as clean as 4-cycle versions.  Over time, unburned fuel and oil is exhausted and flows through the muffler where it gets trapped.  Eventually, the oil builds up to a point where the muffler is practically full and there is no place for it to go but out.  This is somewhat normal for 2-cycle engines, especially older ones, and there is no way to stop it from happening.  The only real solution is to replace the entire muffler assembly.    Be sure that you are not putting too much oil in with the gas.  Many people use way too much oil.  Most of the golf car 2-cycle engines require 1 or 1-1/2 ounces of oil per gallon of gas.  Use a superior grade of 2-cycle oil.

Is smoking or a bad odor normal for my older 2-cycle engine?

Again, the 2-cycle engines burn a gas oil mixture, unlike the 4-cycle versions. This mixture of gas and oil can cause a bad smell.  The smell generally increases with age of the car.  Smoking is also an unavoidable problem inherent with the 2-cycle engines. Excessive smoking is often caused by too much oil in the fuel mixture, a buildup of oil in the muffler as mentioned above or poor compression in the engine.

Upgrades and High Performance

Can I convert my electric car from a 36-volt system to a 48-volt system?

Yes.  However, unless you are a professional in the golf car field, we do not recommend upgrading a 36-volt car up to 48 volts. You would be opening a very large can of worms and looking at spending several thousand dollars on this project.  In addition to changing the motor and controller, all the wiring, fuses, solenoid, resistors and diodes would have to be upgraded.  All power wires would need to go to a 4 gauge size instead of the 6 gauge usually used on 36-volt systems.  This will probably end up being several hundred feet of wires.  You can get plenty of power by sticking with the 36-volt system, and just upgrading the motor and controller.

How do I hook up 12-volt lights (or any other 12-volt accessory) to a 48-volt car?

There is no combination of 8-volt batteries which will give you 12 volts of power.  Two batteries will give you 16 volts, while one only offers 8 volts.  The only way to get 12 volts out of a 48-volt system is to wire from the batteries, to a 12-volt reducer, and then to whatever device is being installed.

In either system, it is always recommended to install a voltage reducer in the series.  If you were to wire a set of lights or CD/tape player to just two 6-volt batteries in a 36-volt system, you will decrease the life span of those particular two batteries as compared to the others (esp. if you use the lights or CD player a lot).   The voltage reducer would be wired into all the batteries of your car.  This way, the load of the power being drawn from the accessories is taken evenly from all the batteries instead of killing a couple prematurely.

Miscellaneous

The product I’m looking for is not on your site. Do you have it?

If you are looking for something that isn’t on our site, give us a call.  We may be able to order it for you.

What are the dimensions and weight of a golf car with a top?

Dimensions will vary slightly depending on the manufacturer.  On average, golf cars are approximately 6’ H x 4’ W x 8’ L.  If you are building a storage shed, don’t forget to make your shed door larger than these dimensions to allow for some clearance and to get into & out of the car.  Golf cars weigh about 900 to 1000 lbs. with batteries or gas.

Do all golf cars have “standard” keys?

Yes.  Each manufacturer has a standard key for their golf cars.  The keys have changed from time to time, but generally are the same for most cars.  One E-Z-GO key will usually fit all E-Z-GO products.  However, there are exceptions.  Unique key switches are available for most cars and provide an increased level of security when parking your golf car in public places.

Will a golf car fit in the bed of my truck?

Yes and no.  A standard two passenger golf car without a rear seat kit or a bed will fit in the bed of a full-size pickup truck and you can close the gate.  Usually larger Ford, Chevy, and Dodge trucks will accommodate a golf car.  However, if you have a smaller compact truck like a Nissan, Toyota, Datsun, Ford Ranger or Chevy S-10, then you’re out of luck.  It can be done but not very easily.  You’ll have to drive over the fender wells and getting it out will be difficult and may damage your truck or the car.

 

10 thoughts on “Frequently Asked Questions

  1. restoring an electric golf cart. need help identifying to get started for parts. from the 50′s or 60′s? has a Furnas Electric control plate with FJ4509 on it. says “power car” on front. no other labelling found so far. 3 wheeled cart.
    Thanks,
    Mark.

    • Hi Mark,

      If the golf cart is truly from the 50′s- or 60′s parts may be difficult to find as we see often with carts of this age. But, you never know until we check. The best place to start would be to identify the vehicle. Then we can determine if parts are available or if parts from other golf carts could possible interchange. We might be able to help in the ID process, but I’d likely need to see some pics of the cart in question. Can you either post some pics on here for my review or feel free to e-mail me at mike@golfcarcatalog.com and I can review in that fashion. We’ll be glad to help if parts are available.

  2. Hello. I have an 86 club car. recently I gave it a tune up. I changed the brushes on my st/gen. cuz one of my friends told me the clicking i was getting sometimes when I would start the car was because of the brushes. It ran good for a couple of days then all of a sudden the clicking came back. The next day when I was gettin ready for my round i pushed on the pedal and all my cart did was click. Real fast and then nothing. I pushed the pedal. No click I lifted the seat and saw the accelerator cable plastic cover smoking. I had my friend push the gas pedal and the cable got red hot. The solenoid went out a few weeks a go so I replaced it and since it was my first time I took pictures of all the wiring before so I knew exactly hot to put everything back together. I took pictures of the st/gen wiring also like I said just to make sure It was all done right. I really dont know what else to do. I traced all the wires and nothing that I can find is shorting out. I havent played golf for three weeks since my carts been down. I broke my legs in a serious accident a few years ago so walking long distances is out of the question. Somebody please help!

    • This could be one of several things. First thing that comes to mind is that your engine is that your engine has a bad or faulty ground. This would explain why the accelerator cable got hot and caused the case to smoke. Electricity will always find a way and follow the path of least resistance. If a bad ground was present, it would follow the next easiest piece of metal to connect to ground. The accelerator cable was it. On your cart, there are two grounds, one from the battery to frame and one from the starter to frame. Be sure to check both of those careful, and clean / tighten accordingly. Fairly certain this is the cause.

      Could also be a battery / voltage regulator issue. Any time I hearing “clicking” described on either a gas or electric cart, it is a good sign of low voltage. The solenoid is cutting in and out because the voltage is to low to hold it closed. Classic symptom. Check your battery voltage with a load tester. A simple voltage test without a load is not a valid test of capacity. Be sure that it doesn’t drop more than 1.5 volts or so under a load. If so, you could have a failing battery. Of course, it could be a voltage regulator or starter issue that caused it. Jack the rear wheels up and run the engine. Test at the battery for voltage. It should go from around 12V at OFF to up around 14-14.5 volts when running. If not, your starter and or voltage regulator is not recharging the battery properly.

      Let me know if you have further questions.

      Mike Williams, Product Development Director

      • Hey. Thanks Mike. The ground that connects from underneath the voltage regulator to the engine wasn’t connected. Guess I forgot that one. Well I put it back on and the cable didnt smoke anymore. I replaced the accelerator cable and it worked the way it should So I appreciate the advice on that. Still having the clicking issue so as soon as I can ill get a load tester and jack up the wheels and see. Thanks for all your help.

  3. Well I tested the load with the wheels jacked up the other day. Voltage was between 14 and 15 but the clicking is still there. If i push the pedal down hard it wont start. When I push the pedal to release the brakes then right after push on the pedal very softly it starts but clicks until the cart speeds up to full throttle. Full Throttle. Good Load. Half Throttle. Clicking. Guess its time for a new Starter/Gen.

    • I would suggest that you’ve got a bad starter/generator. Sometimes alternator shops can rebuild them because of the similarities. Give me a jingle if you need one as I’m sure we can source it for you.

        • We’ve been doing this for 37 years and I’ve never heard of such a thing. If you get the appropriate starter/generator, you shouldn’t have to do anything like that. But, the important part is getting the appropriate one for your cart. Older 2 cycle golf cart engine actually turn both ways inside the engine, and direction is not changed via a transmission. They run in one direction for forward and and the other for reverse. It’s important to get a 2 cycle s/g in that case so it can spin either way depending on which way the current polarity is flowing. In newer 4 cycles,the engine and starter/generator only spin one direction and the direction of the vehicle is changed via the transmission. In Club Car especially, they’ve used engines which rotate clockwise and counter-clockwise. it is very important to get the correct one that matches the rotation of your engine. Whichever side of the cart you are looking at the engine from, you should look dead on at the bolt on the primary drive clutch (on engine). When looking directly at it, observe which way it turns (CW or CCW) and order accordingly. You can find all of our starter/generators here .

  4. It wasn’t the starter generator. Had it rebuilt. still clicks. New solenoid new voltage regulator. New Micro-switches. Still clicks. The only thing I can think of is a short somewhere.

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