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There are so many important parts that contribute to the mechanical performance of your golf cart, and shock absorbers are key.
But what do you need to know about the shocks within your golf cart, and how do you tell if they’re bad?
Here, we explain everything you need to know about shocks for golf carts, so you can make the necessary adjustments to ensure your golf cart drives and performs as it should.
Do Golf Carts Need Shocks?
Golf carts require shock absorbers, and some are equipped with leaf springs. These soften the ride and ensure the journey is smooth over rough and bumpy terrain.
As is the case with shocks on cars, you need to be careful when you take your cart over difficult terrain, as your shocks suffer from wear and tear over time.
If your golf cart doesn’t have shocks, or if the shocks on your cart are heavily worn, it will seriously affect your ability to control the vehicle, particularly when you take it off-road. Also, poor shocks and suspension can cause your vehicle to veer to one side or another.
When you get your cart serviced, a mechanic will check the condition of your shocks and suspension and recommend a replacement if required.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about getting the right shocks for your model of golf cart to ensure that your vehicle drives as you would expect when you’re out on the golf course.
What Do Shocks Do on a Golf Cart?
Shocks are an important part of a golf cart’s mechanical makeup, as they help you to maintain control of your vehicle. When your shock absorbers become worn or damaged, your vehicle is more likely to veer to one side, making it difficult to stick to a straight line.
One of the reasons that they’re so important is that shocks lessen the vibrations caused by uneven terrain and protect the other component parts of your suspension from damage. If your shocks aren’t working properly, it can affect various other aspects relating to the drivability of your golf cart.
If you are careful with the way that you drive your golf cart and don’t often head out on dangerous or rocky terrain, you shouldn’t need to replace your shocks very often, and your mechanic will inform you of any damage or need for changes at a regular service.
Let’s take a look at how long shocks typically last on a golf cart and what you can do to ensure your cart drives as it should for as long as possible.
How Long Do Golf Cart Shocks Last?
Generally speaking, shocks wear out every 50,000 to 100,000 miles. However, they can wear out much faster if you drive aggressively or if you regularly drive on difficult terrain, which is common for owners of off-road carts and other utility vehicles.
Ultimately, the durability of shocks largely depends on how often you use your cart, how far you drive it, and the condition of the surfaces on which you drive. All of these things contribute to how often you will need to replace the shocks on your cart.
If you don’t keep a record of how far you drive or how often you use your cart, we recommend getting your shocks checked at an annual service when a mechanic takes a look at some of the other aspects of your golf cart’s inner workings.
But it’s really important to drive your golf cart responsibly, as aggressive driving over difficult terrain will cause unnecessary wear and tear on your shocks and may even cause issues for the drivability of your golf cart.
How Much are Golf Cart Shocks?
The price of golf cart shocks depends on a range of factors, including where you buy them from, as well as the make and model of the golf cart in question. You can buy shock absorbers for around $50 on popular e-commerce websites.
You will also need to factor in the cost of labour which can be anywhere upwards of $30 per hour, but it depends on where you live. As such, if you get your shocks replaced by a mechanic, expect a bill of $100+ for the work carried out.
If you have an understanding of how your golf cart works, you can replace the shock absorbers yourself, which offers considerable savings as far as labour is concerned.
Another option to consider if you’re hoping to save some money is to look for used parts, but you need to be careful with this approach. The last thing you want is to be stuck with old shock absorbers that don’t last particularly long, so it’s much better to opt for a new set of shock absorbers if your cart requires them.
How to Know if My Golf Cart Shocks are Bad?
The best way to tell if your golf cart shocks are bad is to check if they’re leaking oil. You can also look out for other signs of damage when you examine the shocks, which could be shown by peeling, cracking, or off-centre rubber shock covers.
If you can clearly see physical damage on the shock covers, it’s likely a sign that the absorbent liquid is escaping, which means that the shocks are likely to be ineffective.
Another sign that your shocks are bad is that your golf cart nose dives when you’re braking. If you feel like the cart dips quickly toward the ground when you brake, it’s a reasonable sign that the shocks or struts are damaged.**
In some instances, you might also be able to hear that the shocks are worn, which is evidenced by an unnatural scraping sound. Equally, if your golf cart veers right or left when you’re trying to steer straight, it’s another sign that the shocks need to be replaced.
How to Install Shocks on a Golf Cart?
If you have decided that your shocks are bad, it’s important to replace them before you cause any damage to your cart’s suspension. Typically, replacing the shocks on any type of vehicle is a job that is best left to the mechanics, as it is relatively complex and involves knowledge of how your golf cart’s suspension works.
However, if you wish to replace the shocks on your golf cart yourself in order to save some money on the cost of labour, this excellent video runs you through the necessary steps to replace the shocks on certain carts, including EZGO models. ***
But as is the case with any mechanical issue with your golf cart, if you’re unsure of how to make the adjustments yourself, it’s best to take your cart for a service and let a mechanic do the work on your behalf. After all, you don’t want to make things any worse than they already are!
Are Golf Cart Shock Upgrades Worth It?
If you think that your golf cart’s shocks are faulty or damaged in any way, then it’s undoubtedly worth upgrading them. This is because a cart’s shocks affect the drivability of your golf cart and can also negatively influence the suspension and other key parts of your cart’s mechanical makeup.
Therefore, whether you do it yourself or ask a mechanic to work on your shocks on your behalf, investing in new shocks is undoubtedly worth it. You will notice a significant improvement in the way that your cart drives and will be able to enjoy a much smoother ride as a result.
Also, leaving faulty shocks on your golf cart can have a detrimental impact on a range of other aspects of your cart’s general condition, so it’s never a good idea to leave parts on your cart that you think or know to be damaged.
So, although it will cost some money to invest in some new shocks for your golf cart, it’s not something that you should ignore, as it is a problem that will only get worse over time.
What About Shocks for Lifted Golf Carts?
If you own a lifted golf cart, shock absorbers are even more important than they are on standard golf carts due to the fact that your suspension has been raised. This is because they provide additional stability and a crucial cushion, which are key when your vehicle sits so high off the ground.
You can also adjust shocks for your lifted golf cart, which ensures that you can elevate your golf cart as desired. There are multiple options available for lifted golf carts, be it front heavy-duty coil shocks or rear shocks that spread the cushioning out over the rear wheels.
Of course, you need to be mindful of the way that you have customised your vehicle, as the customisation will affect the shocks that your golf cart requires. Again, if you’re concerned about which shocks to apply to your lifted golf cart, it’s best to speak to a mechanic.
Ultimately, shock absorbers are an essential component of any lifted golf cart, so make sure you have the right shocks to attach to your vehicle to ensure you don’t encounter any unnecessary issues when you’re out on the course.
Shocks are an essential part of any golf cart and contribute to the way that your vehicle drives. If your shocks are damaged or faulty, your cart might veer to one side, and inferior shocks can also affect the suspension of your cart.
While shocks typically last for quite a long time, you will need to get your cart mechanically checked and serviced at least once a year to make sure that your shocks are in working order.
And although it’s possible to change the shocks on your golf cart yourself, it makes sense to get your vehicle serviced by a professional to make sure the job is done properly.