When E-Z-GO introduced its RXV model golf cart in 2008, it was a drastic departure from the “norm”, in the fact that it has no mechanical wheel brakes. Rather than use traditional wheel brakes, E-Z-GO elected to go with the inherent regenerative braking available with AC, coupled with a disk style motor brake pad located on the end of the motor. We recently had an RXV golf cart in our shop with serious problems to this brake disk, which nearly resulted in a serious accident for the driver.
For the record, we are located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC; therefore we have some very steep terrain to contend with. A local customer, whom we sold an EZGO RXV to a few years back called for a service visit following a serious brake issue. Following several days of smelling a “burning brake” smell, the motor brake finally completely failed on the customer resulting in a collision with a nearby bush. Fortunately, they were driving on a flatter portion of the local course, instead of one of the more steep areas. If this had occurred in a steeper area, the collision and resulting damage could have been much worse.
As we understand, the motor brake on the EZGO RXV is controlled in an electromagnetic fashion. The circular shoe comes in contact with the brake disk when parking or when braking is needed. The signal to “brake” is controlled via a brake sensor and a throttle sensor on the brake / accelerator pedals respectively.
At some point, the motor brake disk shoe material had gotten so hot in this example, that it not only caused the shoe to become brittle and crumble, but also changed the entire color and temper of the metal casing around the brake system. The brake described is pictured above and below.
Anything mechanical or electrical, including this brake system can be subject to fail. But, brakes are not a system which should be ignored, or neglected due to the risk of serious injury and damage. In our initial inquiry to the customer, we were told that the cart wasn’t driven far after the “burning” smell started. However, in later conversations, it was discovered that the customer had been experiencing this for weeks leading up to the incident.
The bottom line is that a little bit of preventative maintenance goes a long way. If you skimp on the annual service visits with your local dealer, you do so at your own risk. As with any machinery, routine maintenance should be performed at least annually to ensure that everything is in proper working order.
By Michael Williams