If you have bought a used golf cart, the chances are that you might experience some problems with its motor.
But instead of rushing out and ordering a new motor, it is possible to rebuild your current motor, particularly if you’re handy and have some understanding of the mechanics of your cart.
So, in this article, we explain how you can rebuild your golf cart’s electric motor and introduce you to some alternatives if you’re not confident enough to take on the work yourself.
Can Electric Golf Cart Motors Be Rebuilt?
Yes, you can rebuild your golf cart motor if you notice some issues with it. In fact, rebuilding a golf cart motor will save you hundreds of dollars, as buying a brand-new motor for your golf cart is comparatively costly.
Fundamentally, you have two choices when it comes to rebuilding your golf cart’s motor: you can do it yourself if you’re handy, or you can take it to a golf cart repair shop and get an expert to help you out.
Of course, if you take your golf cart to a repair shop, it will cost more money as you will need to factor in labor charges in addition to the cost of parts and other materials.
So, with that in mind, we explain how you can rebuild your golf cart motor in this article, which we hope will save you money and help you get your golf cart back up and running to the expected standards.
How Do You Rebuild a Golf Cart Motor?
One of the primary reasons that golf cart motors need to be replaced or rebuilt is because of broken piston rings. So, here are the detailed steps that you need to follow in order to rebuild your golf cart motor:
- Disconnect the components that attach the cart to the motor (muffler, cables, etc.), and remove the motor from your cart.
- Identify and then remove the 10, 12, and 14mm motor head bolts that you see. You can do this by using a screwdriver and socket wrench. You might also have to clean the motor with a damp cloth to remove any grease and dirt.
- Detach the piston housing to access the cylinder and piston. If there’s an issue with the piston, you will be able to feel some slack. You can then remove the bolts at the foot of the cylinder before removing it and checking its condition.
- After removing the cylinder, you can detach the piston pin. You should remove any dirt from the outside of the piston at this stage. This enables you to remove the piston itself.
- Most broken motors require new piston rings, so you can then remove any rings that are broken, which you can do with a pair of plyers. Inserting the new ring around the piston is easy enough.
- You can then decide if you need to remove the base gasket before rebuilding the motor with the replaced piston rings.
We’d recommend videoing the process so you can watch the footage back when it comes to rebuilding your motor.
How Much Does it Cost to Rebuild a Golf Cart Motor?
If you rebuild a golf cart motor yourself, it will probably cost you less than $100. You just need to have access to the right tools, and you will need to buy any spare parts that you require for the rebuild. This is by far the most affordable way of repairing a golf cart motor.
However, if you’re not comfortable with a DIY approach, you can take your golf cart to a repair shop and ask a mechanic to help you out. Depending on how long it takes them, you could pay anything between $100 and $500 for the repairs.
Still, this is cheaper than buying a brand-new motor, as they typically cost in excess of $1,000 for most golf carts.
So, whether you have the confidence to do it yourself or if you prefer to rely on a professional to take care of the repairs for you, it’s always cheaper to repair and rebuild a golf cart motor than it is to buy a new one.
How Do You Fix an Electric Golf Cart Motor?
Your first job when fixing an electric golf cart motor is identifying any issues that it has. In the vast majority of cases, golf cart motors last for the best part of a decade without requiring any attention.
So, if you think your motor has a problem, your first step should be to reset it. You can reset your golf cart motor by identifying the reset button, which is usually on the chassis. This button returns your golf cart to its factory settings, providing you with a clean slate to work from.
This is an effective way of fixing the motor’s internal computer, which is one of the most common issues with a broken golf cart motor. If this doesn’t solve the problem, you can deconstruct and rebuild your golf cart motor by following the steps outlined above.
But again, if you’re not particularly confident, it’s probably a good idea to consult a mechanic before getting your hands dirty, as you don’t want to make things worse.
How Do You Change a Golf Cart Motor?
If you’ve decided that you need to change your golf cart motor and ordered a new one, it is possible to replace it yourself. The first step is to identify the motor, which is likely to be located underneath an access hatch (though it depends on the make and model)
Once you’re in, look for the motor terminals and disconnect the power cables. Next, look for the mounting bolts which hold the motor in place. You can then remove the bolts by unscrewing them with a screwdriver before popping the motor out.
Make sure you keep all of the screws and other component parts close by, so you can easily reattach them to the new motor. Once the old motor is out, retrace your steps and attach the new motor.
Although replacing the motor on a golf cart isn’t too taxing, you might benefit from taking your cart to a mechanic to help you with the process.
How Long Does a Golf Cart Electric Motor Last?
Most golf cart motors are designed to last at least ten years. So, if you own a relatively new cart, you shouldn’t need to worry about issues with the motor. If you do identify motor issues, you should contact the dealer right away to request them to look into it for you.
However, if you have purchased an old golf cart, you’re more likely to experience motor issues. If the previous owner used the cart excessively and didn’t take good care of it, you will possibly have to change it.
Therefore, before buying a used golf cart, we’d always recommend checking the motor and the other component parts before agreeing to the purchase. You should also ask for any paperwork that shows whether or not the motor has been replaced.
After all, the electric motor is one of the most critical components of your golf cart, so you need to be sure that it’s in good working order.
Golf Cart Motor Problems: What to Look out For?
As mentioned, most golf cart motors should last for the best part of ten years without causing you any issues. That being said, older golf carts might experience issues with their motors.
One of the most common issues is that the motor needs to be reset. As we’ve already mentioned, you can find the reset button on the golf cart chassis, which makes your job that little bit easier.
If nothing happens after resetting the motor, it might have burned out. We’ve already introduced the DIY steps required to fix the problem at home, but we will reiterate the fact that golf cart motors aren’t overly easy to fix.
Therefore, we’d always recommend taking your cart to a repair shop if you encounter any issues with the motor.
What About Golf Cart Electric Motor Rebuild Kits?
Depending on the make and model of your cart, you can identify motor rebuild kits on golf cart parts and accessories websites. These are typically available for older model golf carts and are available for the likes of Club Car and Yamaha models.
One thing to be mindful of is that these kits don’t necessarily contain the parts that you need to replace your motor. This is why it’s really important to diagnose the issue first before committing to a purchase.
So, if your cart seems to be losing power or driving badly for one reason or another, be sure to check out your motor and consider whether it’s worth investing in a DIY motor repair kit.
Should you experience any issues with your golf cart’s motor, you can repair and rebuild it yourself. However, it’s a relatively technical task, and it requires a reasonable level of mechanical knowledge.
Therefore, after identifying the issue with your golf cart motor, we’d recommend taking the cart to a repair shop, so a qualified mechanic can help you put the issue right.