The Governor on a Golf Cart (Adjust, Remove, Replace!)

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If you own a gas-powered golf cart, you might know that it has a governor attached as a standard. But what exactly is a governor, and what does it do?

Here, we run through everything you need to know about the golf cart governor, including how to adjust and remove it so that you can increase the speed of your cart when you’re playing golf with your buddies.

What is a Governor on a Golf Cart?

The governor on a golf cart is a mechanical device installed by the manufacturer to control its speed. Although they’re an essential safety feature of golf carts, it’s possible to adjust the governor if you need or want to manually.

Yamaha G2, G9, G11 Gas Golf Cart Accelerator Cable | Pedal to Governor 60-1/2'

It’s relatively easy to locate the governor, as it’s close to a small metal rod near the golf cart’s clutch. 

Equally, if you’re not comfortable adjusting the governor, you should hire a golf cart mechanic to do the work on your behalf.

Governors are installed on most gas golf carts and have long been a critical safety feature within the industry. 

If you buy a used golf cart, it’s important to check whether the governor has been adjusted, as this will affect the speed of your cart.

So, read on to find out everything you need to know about golf cart governors – how to adjust and remove them – and other helpful tips that can increase the speed of your golf cart.

What Does a Golf Cart Governor Do?

The primary role of a golf cart governor is to control the cart’s speed.* Manufacturers install a governor on gas carts as standard to control the cart’s speed and to ensure that you cannot exceed a specific speed when the cart is in use.

CLUBRALLY Club Car Precedent Gas Golf Cart Governor & Accelerator Throttle Cable Snap in Kawasaki FE290/FE350 2004-2011, Replace 102336001 102513102

It regulates the speed by preventing the engine RPMs from increasing your speed beyond a set limit, usually no more than 20mph, and as such, adjusting the governor can enable you to increase the top speed of your golf cart.

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Helpfully, it’s relatively straightforward to adjust the governor, and you can adjust the speed of your cart by loosening the tension on its springs. 

Depending on the cart’s make and model, you might also need to make slight adjustments to the throttle lever.

But ultimately, a golf cart governor is there to regulate the speed of the cart, and it’s something that you can easily adjust if you want to travel at faster speeds on the golf course!

Does an Electric Golf Cart Have a Governor?

No – governors are only installed on gas-powered golf carts, and the speed of electric carts is regulated differently. Therefore, adjusting the speed of an electric cart is more complex than making slight adjustments to the governor, as is the case with gas carts.

To increase the speed of an electric cart, you can try the following as alternatives: 

  • Replace the speed control: If you replace the speed control system on your electric cart, you can typically increase its speed to 20mph or above.
  • Replace the motor: One of the best ways to increase the speed of an electric cart is to replace its current motor with a high-speed/torque upgrade.
  • Replace the battery: If your electric golf cart is relatively old, replacing the battery can significantly affect the cart’s speed and performance.

So, while electric golf carts don’t have a governor that you can adjust to make your cart go faster, you can try out the above tips, which can contribute to increased speed.

How Do You Adjust the Governor on a Golf Cart?

If you own a gas-powered golf cart, the good news is that you can adjust its governor with relative ease by following these simple steps: 

  • Step 1: Locate the small metal rod near your golf cart’s clutch. You can then adjust the cable from the metal rod before turning the nut counterclockwise, making the cable longer. If you can’t change the length of the rod, you will need to adjust the governor internally – as explained below.
  • Step 2: Open your golf cart’s access panel to access its engine. You might be able to pop it like a car hood, or it may necessitate unscrewing the panel, depending on the make and model of your cart.
  • Step 3: Identify the golf cart’s governor – locate the thickest cable that runs from the gas pedal to the engine. It passes via the governor on the way to the cart’s carburetor. You can then use a wrench or a screwdriver to loosen the tension on the governor’s springs, enabling you to reach higher speeds in your golf cart.
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What Does Removing the Governor Do?

In some cases, removing the governor from your golf cart will make your golf cart faster. It’s essentially a way of de-restricting the speed, meaning that your car can reach speeds of 20 mph or higher as the governor no longer constrains it.

However, in other instances, removing the governor from a golf cart can cause engine failure, meaning that you might have to replace it.***.

You must also realize that removing the governor will almost certainly void your warranty, meaning you will have to fork out the expensive repairs yourself.

As such, if you want to increase the speed of your golf cart, it’s better to adjust the governor instead of removing it.

After all, adjusting the governor enables you to travel much faster, and there isn’t any need to remove it. 

The last thing you want is your engine to fail, so it’s best to leave it in place!

Is it Legal to Remove a Governor from a Golf Cart?

It’s not illegal to remove the governor from a gas-powered golf cart, but you need to recognize a few ethical considerations. 

First, you should only remove or adjust the governor on a cart you own – for instance, it’s not appropriate to adjust the governor on a rental cart.

It would help if you also recognized that governors are installed on gas-powered carts for a reason, and they’re a crucial safety feature.

If you remove them to drive your cart more quickly, you need to do so responsibly and ensure that the extra speed isn’t a danger to you or other people.

If there are any speed limits at the golf course or within the community in which you’re using your golf cart, you should still adhere to them, whether or not your golf cart has a governor.

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But ultimately, if you own a gas-powered golf cart and want to increase its speed, removing or adjusting the governor is perfectly legal.

How to Remove the Governor on a Gas Golf Cart?

Should you wish to remove the governor from your golf cart, you can follow the steps listed below:

  • Open up the access panel and remove the relevant cable from the carburetor. You can usually pull it off, but you might need to use a screwdriver if it’s tight.
  • Trace the cable until you find the governor, which typically sits on top of the engine. Once you’ve traced the cable to the governor spring, disconnect it at that side as well.
  • Disconnect the governor from the gas pedal and reroute it to the carburetor.
  • Using a wrench, remove the bolt attached to the gas pedal shaft. Adjust the bolt a few times until you achieve the right speed. Then, tighten the bolt and start the cart.

If you need more confidence with the above steps, it’s best to hire a golf cart mechanic to remove the governor on your behalf.

How Fast Can a Golf Cart Go Without a Governor?

Without a governor, most golf carts can reach speeds of around 20mph. With a governor, many gas carts are restricted to speeds of 14-16 mph, which undoubtedly makes a difference to your cart’s performance.

This being said, you should be mindful that every cart is slightly different, and the make and model of your gas-powered golf cart will influence how fast it can go with or without a governor attached.

But the bottom line is that adjusting or removing the governor from your cart will give you a much-needed speed boost. 

If you follow the tips introduced throughout this article, you shouldn’t have any issues with making the adjustments.

Conclusion

Although the governor is an important safety feature on gas-powered golf carts, it can be easily adjusted or removed if you want to increase the speed of your cart.

You can follow the instructions outlined above if you wish to remove or adjust the governor yourself, or you can call a mechanic to work on your golf cart’s governor on your behalf, depending on how confident you are!

Sources and References

  1. https://www.golfcartgarage.com/blog/how-to-adjust-a-golf-cart-governor/ * 
  2. https://luxeelectriccar.com/how-fast-do-electric-golf-carts-go/ **
  3. https://www.golflink.com/how_4062_remove-governor-golf-cart.html ***