It is still early in the season here in Tennessee and we are getting a lot of calls about golf carts not starting, as well as golf carts not charging. Our last article addressed the problems that may arise in electric carts, so I thought we could put out some information to help you all with your gas golf carts as well. We had three carts in just last week with starter generator issues, so what better place to start our blog than to address those issues that we found.


How to test your Starter Generator while it is still on your Golf Cart:

(You can test the starter generator while it is off of the golf cart, but I will save that for another time)

First, does the golf cart start?

The starter Generator does two things as you may guess by the name. One is to generate electrical current to charge the battery, the other function is to start the golf cart. So, if the golf cart runs then the starting function is working fine.

To check this properly you would need to make sure that the battery is fully charged and reads 12 volts or more. Turn the key to the on position and press the throttle on your Golf Cart. Did the motor begin to turn over? If so then the starter is working fine. If not, that doesn’t mean that the starter generator has failed. There are a few micro switches and a solenoid that have to be working correctly to turn on your starter generator. I’ll show you how to bypass these in a minute.

If the Golf Cart starts, Does the Starter Generator Charge the Battery?

The second function of the starter generator on a gas golf cart is to charge the battery while the cart is driving. For this test you will want to either place the rear of the golf cart on jack stands, so that the back tires are off of the ground and spin freely, or if you have a Club Car Gas Golf cart then you can simply place it into maintenance mode. Here is a video we made on how to do this:

For this test, you will need a voltage meter. If you don’t have one, here is a link to buy one: Craftsman 34-82141 Digital Multimeter with 8 Functions and 20 Ranges

Now, with the rear of the cart lifted or the golf cart in maintenance mode, have a friend press the accelerator pedal and get the engine running. While the golf cart is off the battery should read around 12 to 13 volts. While the golf cart engine is running you should get a reading of over 14 volts. If so, then that would mean that your starter generator’s charging function is working as well.

Now obviously you would not be going through this article if your cart were running fine, so if the problem is not the starter generator then you can call us and we can set an appointment for service or try and walk you through the problem you are having.

Written By: 

Matthew McCulley
McCulley’s Golf Cars Inc.

McCulley’s Golf Cars Inc is a full service Golf Cart garage offering sales, parts, and service on all major brand of golf carts, including Yamaha golf carts, EZGO Golf Carts, and Club Car Golf Carts. We offer customization with lift kits, lights, seats, custom paint and more.

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How do I know if my Gas Golf Cart’s Starter Generator is working?

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