With a golf cart comes a golf cart owner’s responsibility—not the kind of accountability that superheroes have but one that every golf cart owner has to be able to manage.
Here’s the most obvious truth, however: a lot of golf cart owners tend to forget to care for their golf carts once they have one. As long as it works, right?
Hindsight is twenty-twenty, as the saying goes, and if you overlook the importance of maintaining your cart, you’re only delaying the inevitable. Your cart will start having minor repair issues, then it gets harder and harder to repair, and the bills will start piling up. Sooner than later, you’ll be better off buying a new one.
Indeed, perspectives change when you look at the long term. So here’s another obvious truth: it’s less of a headache to care now than later unless you have a good supply of KT tapes for emergency golf course tours in the event that your cart breaks down or, really, you don’t mind the replacement cost.
Once you decide to commit, you’ll be surprised how mindless and easy it actually is.
The following are simple yet very important things that you, like a golf cart owner, should know and keep in mind.
The health of your tires is paramount to a well-performing golf cart. They are susceptible to wear and tear, just like regular vehicle tires. That being said, they also require regular checks, repairs, and replacements.
There are different factors that contribute to tire wear: how frequently you use them, how heavy the loads usually are, how fast or slow you drive, and what the weather conditions they go through. They also have to navigate different types of terrain like concrete, mud, gravel, grass, and so on.
Out of all these factors, perhaps terrain type is one of the first considerations you should note when looking for tire replacements, but before anything else, you should know when you need to. Your rote tire-maintenance checklist for your golf cart should include the following:
Adjusting tire pressure. Frequently check if you have the right tire pressure. Too much pressure tends to lessen your traction and wear out the inside of your tires easily. If you’re driving on the road, too little pressure, on the other hand, will cause your tread to wear down easily. Less tire pressure is, however, more recommended for driving off-road as it will give you more traction.
- Determining your need for speed. Golf cart tires are designed to withstand only the standard speeds that most golf carts are designed to run. That’s not very much. So if you want to drive your car at faster speeds frequently, perhaps it’s best to consider buying new tires that could withstand and match your passion.
- Checking for irregularities. Check if there are any signs of malformations or irregular bumps on your tire. These may indicate that there’s internal damage that could warrant a change.
- Conducting a penny test. Take a penny, dip it into a tire groove, and see how deep it goes. The deeper the penny goes, the more tread the tire still has. Otherwise, that’s a sign that your tire might need a replacement soon.
Check the Brakes, Shock Absorbers, and Suspension
While the tires move your distances, your golf car’s brakes, shock absorbers, and suspension parts ensure that you get good control of your vehicle.
Brake failures, for example, are a common cause of golf cart accidents. See to it that all brakes on your wheels are functioning well before using your cart.
If you want to make sure that your cart travels in a linear direction and not annoyingly steers itself left or right like a bad grocery cart, you’d have to check for the suspensions and shock absorbers as well.
Different manufacturers may use different suspension parts. If you want to get a replacement, ask around for comparison.
Check Under the Hood
After you inspect control and navigation elements, it’s time to check what’s happening under the hood. This may sound intimidating, but if you have a car and have a basic knowledge of what’s under there, you don’t have to climb the learning curve.
For starters, you need to replace your filters and spark plugs regularly. Clean air needs to reach your engine so it can function adequately. A clogged or dirty filter prevents that.
Meanwhile, there are varying factors that cause your spark plugs to wear out, but the most common cause is aging. Keeping these parts up to date will save you a lot of money and frustration in the long run.
Batteries are more tricky but workable with good battery maintenance, nonetheless. Frequently check your golf cart batteries for loose wiring or frayed and broken cables. You should also be very strict about your rules for battery charging. A word of caution: never let it completely discharge. And to further prolong the battery life, always keep your batteries clean, and prevent corrosion from building up.
If you notice signs like the batteries are taking longer to charge now than they used to, your cart loses power very quickly, or there are leaks and bulges in the battery, it may be time to get your cart a battery replacement.
When Considering Modifications
Mods and custom golf carts are common but not necessary. Of course, there are many reasons why one should choose to modify a golf cart. It could be for an upgrade or purely for aesthetic reasons.
Whatever your reason may be, safety should still be a top priority. Yes, a golf cart may be small, and it might not feel like it warrants the safety precautions vehicle owners usually do with their SUVs and sedans, but there are plenty of modifications possible in the market today that can increase its risk as a transportation device.
Accessorize as needed, and choose only quality golf cart accessories. Keep this in mind the next time you shop for a lift kit or consider installing rear flip seats.