How Fast Do Golf Carts Go? (Gas vs Electric)

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The speed of your golf cart will depend on what you own. Is it a gas or an electric golf cart? If it’s an electric cart, expect it to run from 20mph to 24mph. If what you own is a gas cart, its speed can only get as fast as 20mph. Clearly, it’s the electric golf cart that works faster.

You may wonder, is speed important? Do golf courses require slower carts? You are right on that part. They regulate the speed of golf carts. Normally, it’s between 8mph and 15mph. However, if you will use it for other purposes, such as driving around your neighborhood, improving the speed is a necessity.

Which is Faster: Gas or Electric Golf Cart?

With speed as the focus, the better choice should be the electric golf cart as it runs faster than a gas cart. Right out of the box, the electric cart can already run between 20mph and 24mph, according to North Florida Golf Carts. This is way faster than a gas cart as it can only run at a maximum of 20mph.

However, Yamaha golf carts, both gasoline and electric, are reported to have a similar top speed at 19mph.

But, is speed important in golf courses or country clubs?

Country clubs and golf courses regulate the speed of golf carts inside their facilities. Typically, the top speed should only be anywhere between 8mph and 15 mph.

If this is the case, why is there a need for a higher speed in golf carts?

If your golf cart is used for golf only, especially by your older family members or kids, the speed of 12mph to 14mph from an electric golf cart should already work fine. It’s safer that way, considering that golf carts have no seatbelts. However, if you will use it also for hauling and driving around your area, a boost in speed is necessary.

Some cities allow golf carts and other low speed vehicles to go around in 35mph zones’ streets if they can run between 20mph and 30 mph. However, to be street legal means to have headlights, seatbelts, rearview mirrors, and taillights.

Gas-powered golf carts are a good choice if you will use them to pull heavier loads. If you run out of gas, you can easily refill. On the other hand, electric golf carts are environment-friendly as they produce no emissions. Recharging them will cost you less than buying gas also. Which one is for you then?

Why Does My Golf Cart Go Slow

If you are using an electric golf cart, check the batteries. These may be the reason your golf cart is running slower and less powerful. Or, there may be other reasons.

You opted to buy an electric golf cart because it is economical, user-friendly, and more importantly, environment-friendly. Additionally, you chose it because it runs faster than a gas golf cart. Over time, however, you notice that it begins to slow down and do not go as far as it used to. Golf Cart Report can help you find the culprit:

  • Batteries – Batteries can be the issue! They begin to deteriorate; thus, do not hold as much charge—or they have no sufficient power output. But if your golf cart is fully charged and you see no problem there, check the battery voltage output.
  • Dirt or mud – The speed sensor can hold out some wear and tear. However, it’s a different story if it has too much mud or dirt on its surface. It will not run efficiently. You have no reason to get worried, though. Simply cleaning it is the solution—no sweat!
  • Speed magnet – When the speed magnet begins to fail, the golf cart will experience difficulty in maintaining its speed. It may slow down. Worse, it may even stop.
  • Speed sensor – Sooner or later, the speed sensor of your golf cart may wear down and before you know it, it’s not running as efficiently as before. If this is the reason your golf cart is going slow, you will have to buy a new one. Repair may no longer be necessary and may only cost you more. But have it checked by a professional first.
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Other reasons can also be wirings, bearing encoder, ampacity controller, and forward/reverse switch. However, if you think that you are actually facing a more complex issue, call an expert for help.

How Do You Make a Golf Cart Go Faster?

It’s only natural for you to want to increase the speed of your golf cart if you will use it for different purposes other than golf. You only need to do a few steps to make your golf cart go faster, writes GolfLink:

  1. Electric Motor – Replace your current motor with a higher power. Before you do this, however, check if the motor of your choice fits into the motor space. You can do this step for both the electric and gas golf carts. Additionally, you also have to enhance the amperage of your cart.
  2. Governor – Do an adjustment of the governor or totally get rid of it. The governor restricts the speed of golf carts. You will find it close to the accelerator cable if what you have is an electric golf cart. On the other hand, it is next to the cable that helps activate the clutch if what you have is a gas golf cart.
  3. Gear Ratio – Change the gear ratio so you can boost the golf cart speed. The majority of golf carts are set at a 12.5:1 gear ratio, making the carts run at a maximum speed of 14mph. Increase the gear ratio by at least 8:1 and the top speed will subsequently reach an estimate of 20mph. You may notice a slowdown, however, when you start to speed up the golf cart.
  4. Tires – Replace your old tires with larger ones as these covers more ground for each revolution. Therefore, making the golf cart run faster. You will read more about this on the next topic.
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Just a bit of caution, though. Increasing the speed of your golf cart may compromise its engine, as well as its overall structure. The braking and steering systems of the cart were designed at a specific speed. Please exercise caution in running it. You may also want to consult with a professional before doing this.

Will Bigger Tires Make My Golf Cart Faster?

The answer to this question is YES. Truth is that upgrading your golf cart tires and at the same time increasing their size is the easiest method—and most economical—of making your golf cart run faster. Regardless of what you own, installing new, bigger tires will definitely result in higher top speed.

Why should you opt to use bigger tires to increase the speed of your golf cart? Well, among the many ways to speed up your cart, this technique is:

  • More cost-efficient – It will cost you less than other speed upgrade options available. This is even if you use bigger or meatier tires for golf carts.
  • Easier to do – Regardless if your golf cart is old or new, changing it with bigger tires is faster and easier. You do not have to be an expert to be able to do this. Simply remove the current or old tires, install the new ones, and you are ready to go!

Using a lift kit may be required, depending on the make and model of your golf cart, as well as the size of the tires. If you are not sure about this, find a professional that can help you.

Doing this upgrade is not without a drawback. Using larger tires will affect the low-end torque. After the tire update, it requires more power to be able to turn the larger tires. To solve this issue, you have to do a clutch grade if you are using a gas golf cart. On the other hand, if you are using an electric golf cart you will have to increase the speed controller and other components.

An electric golf cart’s top speed is 24mph. On the other hand, a gas golf cart can run at the highest speed of 20mph. Generally, this is the fastest that they can go. Golf courses and golf clubs regulate cart speed so you must only reach a speed, from 8mph to 15mph so how fast do golf carts go really does depend on the rules you have to stick to!

But, you can make an upgrade to your speed if you want to. You have a lot of ways to do this, including changing to larger tires and replacing the electric motor. With a higher speed, you can already use your golf cart on the streets, depending on the location where it is permitted.

If unfortunately your golf cart begins to slow down, you have to check the batteries first. If not, other causes for this issue may be the speed magnet, speed sensor, or simply dirt. There will be times when you can do repairs; however, there will be times you already need an expert to help you out.