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My name is Josh, i have been a golf car repair mechanic for many years now and i love to do it. it has ended up being a side job for me, so I decided to go full time. I have noticed that many times i find myself diagnosing problems over the phone so i decided to try to help people online.
The idea is for you to pose a question to me and I will do what I can to help. since many problems can be solved by anyone who knows how to use a volt meter, and has an idea of how DC electronics work, I think this format may help many people out with there golf car woe's.
THINK: It is important that you have at least a basic understanding to DC electronics before you attempt "Do -it yourself" golf cart repair.
Now if this scares you, don't worry, cause it should. unless you read up and identify every part and know how to handle it. one thing you should know is that THIS IS DANGEROUS!! If you are not very careful with your tools and wiring, things can explode.. so with that in mind any and all work to be done should be started by tagging and writing down every wire BEFORE it is removed, so that reassembly is easy, and semi worry free. and never start anything until you remove a battery wire.
Identifying the problem ..It is very important to note exactly how the car is acting when problem occurs, and conditions (ex. climbing a hill, on take off, how long it had been driven before the problem occurred ) or in the case of it not running, were there any strange noises, remember even hearing a click will change the starting place for troubleshooting. all of these factors will help you or your tech identify the problem or if nothing else give them or you a place to start..
Now first we need to realize that although most golf are fundamentally the same (in there respective years) but the different makes will appear different or have a different wiring or more solenoids then the other, for instance; an old Harley golf cart will have i think 3 or 4 solenoids where a older Club Car will have 5. so realizing that for me as a guy that just enjoys working on them, i put aside the differences and just understand that it does not matter what shape it is in they work the same (except when the car has a controller then it is different all together....kind of).
So if the car is not running, the best place to start is the battery pack. check to see that all of the battery wires are not corroded, broke, or loose. then check the voltage. (depending on the car it should 36 or 48, or maybe even 42, just depends) after you have established that the battery's are good check the key switch, this can be done be disconnecting and ohm testing. then move on to micro switches ....
EXAMPLE: MICRO-SWITCH >>>>>>>
These are micro switches, lovely aren’t they... but seriously there can be many of these in your car and if your solenoid is not clicking then they need to be tested, this can be done again by disconnecting and ohm testing, remember to write down where the wires go back to and take care that they do not touch anything while disconnected!! ok now that we have ruled out micro switches it is time to move on to the solenoid.
These are examples of what a solenoid's look like, now testing these is much harder and more dangerous cause you have to do this test while battery's are hooked up.. notice that there are big post's and little ones, the little ones are the +/- in and when 36 48 or whatever volts are applied to them it clicks and completes the circuit connecting the two big ones. think of it as a fancy light switch. now to test them you need to remove the wires on one side of the big posts, usually one side will run to the battery and the other to a controller, a resister bank or contacts of some kind. if this is the case it probably picks up it's positive from the battery side of the solenoid so disconnect the other side, and MAKE VERY SURE THE WIRES DISCONNECTED TOUCH NOTHING!! this can be done by using electrical tape on the wire ends, it is best to do this while batts are disconnected then reconnect after your sure that it is safe. OK now it is time to test. push on the pedal, with ohm meter on both of the big terminals if there is continuity then the part is good (note: even if it clicks it may be bad) if there is no continuity then set your meter to d.c. volts and make sure you are getting the correct voltage, if you are, then the part is bad. if you are not getting the correct voltage go back and check all micro switches and key switch.
If the part is good and the car is not going then look beyond the solenoid/s and look to the contacts, controller, motor, f+r switch, and potentiometer.. getting in to that stuff is much harder and would take forever for me to explain all that, so if you have any questions regarding steps beyond that which i have already outlined please ask and i will do what i can to help..
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