The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Electric Club Car trouble

golf cart flipped on its side

The golf cart stopped going last week and I finally got a chance to start the troubleshooting process.

We've been running it pretty hard lately on some rough ground, and my first thought was to take the batteries out so I could flip it on its side to see if anything had gotten damaged.

Everything looked fine, and the batteries measure a full charge. It could be the solenoid, or a problem with one of the switches. The next step will be to seek some professional advice from the guy we took it to last year.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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On a positive note, there's no way we could have flipped a farm truck on its side like that!
Comment by anna Fri Jul 16 16:55:28 2010

Check the fuse. Possibly the contactor that switches the current to the motor has fused, as those tend to do when they wear out. That should have tripped a fuse.

In case it isn't obvious; if it is a blown fuse, don't just replace it. Fix the cause first!

On the other hand, it could also be that the controller is fried. :-) There are several people making aftermarket parts for golf karts. It shouldn't be difficult getting parts.

You might find these schematics interesting.

If you have s simple series motor installation, and you drive a lot of hilly terrain, think about replacing it with a regenerating system. That would necessitate replacing both the electronics and the motor, though.

Comment by Roland_Smith Sun Jul 18 16:51:02 2010
Does this piece of data change anything --- the golf cart doesn't go, but we can hear something happening when we turn it on and push down the "gas" pedal. Any advice is greatly appreciated! I need the golf cart up and running ASAP because my fall garden wants more manure. :-)
Comment by anna Sun Jul 18 18:47:50 2010

Well, if it makes a noise, then probably the controller works. It could then be several other things;

  • loose wire
  • malfunctioning contactor
  • malfunctioning foot-switch
  • malfunctioning forward/reverse switch
  • worn-out brushes
  • damaged coil in the engine

Disconnect the battery leads before checking all the wire connections!!

With a multimeter set to measure DC voltage and a schematic you should be able to check which parts of the system get a voltage when the circuit is live to narrow down the cause, but be careful not to create a short-circuit.

Comment by Roland_Smith Mon Jul 19 02:15:00 2010
I ran this by Mark and he agreed, but said he thinks it's time to bring in an expert. Electrical problems can be so tricky... We'll let you know what the problem is once we trick someone into walking back through our floodplain to take a look.
Comment by anna Mon Jul 19 13:17:40 2010

What was the problem? My golf cart is doing the same thing. Thanks Sean

Comment by Sean Sat Jun 21 19:03:47 2014
When in forward my 1986 clubcar golf cart makes a wineing noise n doesn*t want to move reverse seems to run fine
Comment by Anonymous Mon Sep 29 17:03:51 2014
Comment by RICHARD MARTINNO GO Wed May 13 10:13:48 2015
Our 99 club car is also making one click and won't move. After reading the recommendations of a pro to look at it we are having it picked up . I will try to update with the cause/repair.
Comment by Judy Fri Jan 29 19:46:37 2016
My 1987 DS electric Clubcar ran out of control. It would not stop and it appeared to speed up when pressing the brake. What will cause this to happen?
Comment by Carl Fri Nov 25 19:55:30 2016
our cart just stopped running one day. replaced all five silinoids and still wont make a sound or run. Plug in the charger and it doesn't show that its charging
Comment by Jacqueline McNichols Fri Sep 20 16:03:31 2019

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