Golf Cart Choke: Basic Principles

What is a golf cart choke?  Where is located on my golf cart?  What does it do? And howGolf Cart Choke: Basic Principles do I operate it?  These are all common questions we receive from customers who are unfamiliar with these principles.  Within this discussion, we hope to help answer many of those questions.


What is a golf cart choke and what does it do? In most general terms, a choke is a device (mechanical or electrical) which restricts the air flow to the engine to compensate for a lack of fuel.  A golf cart choke is commonly used when starting a cold engine to restrict air flow while the fuel gets to the engine.  Once the mixture stabilizes and the engine can run on its own without air restriction, the choke is released.

Where is it located on my golf cart? As the choke principle applies to golf carts, it is generally a mechanical device instead of electronic as fuel injection is not widely used on golf carts at this time. The most common type of golf cart choke is a cable based device which is used to mechanically pull the choke plate on the carburetor into a slightly more closed position to restrict the air flow to the engine.  This style of golf cart choke usually has a knob on the operator’s end which is pulled to activate the cable.    Depending on the brand, year and mode of your vehicle, the choke cable knob may be located on the dash console or beside the driver’s leg.   Below are a few pictures showing common golf cart choke locations.

Golf Cart Choke: Basic Principles

Golf Cart Choke: Basic Principles

The second most common type of golf cart choke is the button style.  This is primarily only used by Club Car, but since they are one of the “Big Two” golf cart manufacturers; there are a lot of golf carts driving around with this style of choke.  The general principle of this choke again involves restricting the air flow to the engine, but rather than use a choke plate at the carburetor, the choke button physically and manually restrict the air at the point where it enters the intake system.

The older Club Car DS models have a golf cart choke button located on the driver’s side of the vehicle, behind the driver’s left leg.  The newer Club Car Precedent models also have a button style choke, but it is generally located in the center of the cart towards the floor mat on the firewall to the engine, between the driver and passenger.

Golf Cart Choke: Basic Principles

How do I operate my golf cart choke? Basic details of operation were outlined above.  However, in a nutshell, the golf cart choke only needs to be used when the engine is cold or for the first start of the day.  There is generally a slight delay from the time you attempt to start the golf cart before the fuel actually arrives at the engine to run. This delay is due to the time it takes the fuel to travel from the tank to the engine.  The choke is used to compensate for the low fuel levels during starting by restricting air flow.

To operate your golf cart choke, first locate it and determine if you have a button or cable style.  Next, turn your key ON.  Depending on your vehicle, either push the choke button or pull the choke cable while pressing the accelerator pedal.  If you pay close attention, you’ll quickly locate the “sweet spot” which is a position on the accelerator which causes the engine to start to fire as the fuel mixture is in the appropriate ratio at that spot.  Try to keep you foot on the pedal at the sweet spot while holding the choke.  After a moment or two, the engine should start and run on its own.  After the engine is warm, the golf cart choke does not typically have to be used if the cart is stopped.  Once the engine cools down, the choke may need to be employed to get it running again.

We hope you’ve found this discussion information and helpful regarding the use of your golf cart choke.  Check back every Tuesday and Thursday for more new blog articles from Golf Cart Talk, the world’s premier blog for all things golf carts!

By Michael Williams

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