Troubleshooting Your Gas-Powered Golf Cart Motor

A golf cart parked on the green of a golf course.

If you have a golf cart you will eventually need to troubleshoot the golf cart motor. This is an easy thing to do quickly. Remember, it is a gas-powered engine that is not much different than your lawn mower or car. You are going to go through some of the same steps to troubleshoot the motor.

Minor Problems

Does the motor turn over when you try to start it? If not, the first place you need to look is the battery cables. Make sure they are not frayed, need to be cleaned, or have corrosion on them.

Also make sure they are tightly connected. A loose connection can cause there to not be enough current to operate starter. Make sure you check this on a regular basis.


Check the distributor cap for cracks. Take it off and check for moisture. If you see any wetness, leave it to dry and then try to start it again. Check the spark plug wires to see that they are free from breaks, cracks, and disconnects. If they are frayed or brittle, you will need to replace them. Take your spark plugs out and make sure the gap is set correctly. You can find out the gap setting from your auto parts store or on the spark plug box if you have one. While you have them out be sure they are not blackened or burnt. If they are, you will need to replace them.

Check the air filter element to make sure it is not clogged with dust. Gently hit it against your hand to rid it of all the dirt that is in it. If it gets too dirty it can cause your engine to not get enough air and stall out. Check the oil level and make sure you have enough and that the color is light and not black. If the oil is blackened or dark, you need to change it. Get a new oil filter and enough oil to refill the engine. Drain the oil through the plug on the oil pan underneath. Change the filter out and refill it with clean oil.

Gas Lines

You are also going to want to check all the fuel lines coming from the gas tank and going into the engine. Check for leaks, brittleness, and holes. If these lines have issues, you will need to replace them. This is easy to do as they are held on with clamps. Just get the new lines, unscrew the clamps, remove the old lines, and install the new ones reusing the clamps from before.

Fuel Filter

If your engine has a fuel filter you will want to change it regularly to keep the fuel system running smoothly. If you do all these steps on a regular basis, your golf cart should last you a long time. Regular maintenance is the key to making equipment last.