Gas or Electric?
This is probably the most often asked question in the business! What type of cart should I Buy?
Gasoline powered golf cars are powered by traditional small gasoline engines with an oversized electric starter designed for frequent starting.
Electric golf carts are powered by an DC electric motor, supplied by 6 deep cycle batteries, and are normally sold with a special charger designed for the cart.
Both have advantages and disadvantages. Before looking at the pros and cons, here are a few automatic selection factors:
If your use of the cart requires continuous operation for over 2 hours, no stopping, then you need a gasoline powered car. Electric carts are designed for 36 holes of golf between charging. 36 holes of golf is about 12 miles, with starting and stopping.
If you plan to use the cart indoors extensively, then you need an electric car. There is no effective way to eliminate the exhaust fumes from a gas powered car.
If there is a need for no noise, then choose an electric cart. Gas carts are not very noisy, but electric carts make no noise.
Range before filling fuel tank: Up to 200 miles. (Differs significantly by make)
Avoid periodic cost of battery replacement. ($600-$700)
Familiar maintenance, similar to other small engines
Usually performs better in very hilly environments
Holds value better than electric
Requires annual tune ups, including changing spark plugs, filters and belts
More expensive to buy used
Noisier than an electric car
Difficult to drive very slowly…. They definitely go faster
Requires manual choking in cold weather
Produces some exhaust fumes.
Not always allowed in camp grounds and public parts
A few common uses and recommendations:
Remember always check with local ordinances and policies before making your purchase.
Either gas or electric
Gas if adding rear seat for steep hill use, or if teen-agers who will drive the car all day long. Otherwise either is suitable.
Electric if noise a concern. Gas if distance a concern
Either gas or electric
What is better, parts from a dealer or replacement parts?
For the most part, aftermarket replacement parts will work great on your cart. There are some areas that caution should be used in when you make a purchase.
Verify the warranty of the parts before making a purchase. Buy from a trusted source!!!!
How do I haul my golf cart?
Hauling a standard golf cart for the individual owner can be done one of two ways:
- In the back of a full-sized pickup truck, (this can be dangerous, please use caution when loading your cart)
- On a small trailer
If the full sized pickup has an extended bed (long bed) it will measure 8 foot with the tailgate closed, so no problem. Just drive it on! (See LOADING, below)
If the pickup is a standard bed, then you will need to leave the tailgate down and secure the cart solidly with heavy duty hauling straps. Since most of the weight of a golf cart is on the REAR WHEELS, we recommend backing the cart into the truck bed to reduce the amount of weight on the tailgate.
The best method for loading is with a pair of aluminum ramps made for this purpose. They are lightweight, will fit under the golf cart after loading, and they are arched to prevent bottoming out during the loading and unloading.
If you are very careful AND if you have the right terrain at both ends of your trip, it is possible to load by backing up to a ditch where the wheels of the truck drop down and the tailgate, in the down position, will touch the ground.
Lastly, we strongly recommend securing your cart with at least two nylon packing straps, ratcheted down tightly.
Can I use my golf cart on the street?
This is a complex question, because the laws on this subject vary widely, not just state by state but in many cases municipality by municipality. So first rule is: CHECK YOUR LOCAL LAWS. There is a federal standard for street legal use of golf carts. (not always used by state and local) This standard requires:
- tail lights
- brake lights
- max speed of 25MPH
- Seat belts
- hardened windshield
- Used on streets where posted speed limit is 35MPH or less.
There is a special category of golf carts called “Low Speed Vehicles” which usually meet the street legal requirements. To be an LSV the vehicle must also have a 17 digit VIN number. Many states will allow this type of golf cart to be registered as motor vehicles and used on streets with posted speed limits of 35MPH or less. Finally, there are often residential neighborhoods where local authorities simply don’t enforce laws and ignore golf carts in a particular neighborhood. Use this option at your own risk!
What is the difference in golf cart windshields?
All windshields are not alike!
Folding windshields, in particular, are made with varying materials and assembly techniques. Here’s a brief explanation to help you as a consumer understand the various windshields available. One interesting point: They all look alike! Your only assurance is to do business with an organization you trust.
Materials used in windshields:
- Acrylic: This is your basic material, often known by manufacturer trade names such as Plexiglas. Acrylic is the hardest of the three materials we will review, which has advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages: Cost: Acrylic is the least expensive material. Scratch resistance: All plastics will scratch, but acrylic, being the hardest material, is more scratch resistant than the other materials.
Disadvantages: Shatter resistance. The harder the material, the easier it is to break. A golf ball or any abject striking a standard acrylic windshield will cause it to break, and if the force is sufficient it will shatter.
- Impact-modified Acrylic: This is the material most often used on Factory fleets. Standard acrylic is “modified” during its manufacture by adding rubber to the plastic. This makes the windshield more resistant to impact, hence the term impact modified. A golf ball or other object striking an impact modified windshield (sometimes called “high impact”) will most likely crack or damage the windshield, but will not shatter, providing a safer windshield. Since this material is softened somewhat by the addition of rubber, it is less scratch resistant than standard acrylic and more care has to be taken when cleaning impact-modified windshields. Impact modified acrylics cost more than plain acrylics, and are the middle product price-wise.
- Poly-carbonate: This is the Cadillac of materials cost wise, and is the only material that can take a significant direct hit from a golf ball or other object and not break. This is possible since the material is softer, and it actually gives when hit by an object. Poly-carbonate thus provides the safest windshield. Poly-carbonate is also often known by manufacturer trade names, the most common being Lexan. However, since it is the softest of the three materials it is the least scratch resistant and greatest care must be taken when cleaning to avoid scratching. Starting with 2017 models, Yamaha is now offering a Polycarbonite windshield as standard on its new carts. All of the above are typically available in clear or gray tint, which doesn’t affect the above advantages and disadvantages, other than that gray tinted windshields cost a little more than the clear.
There are two materials factors to be considered: the plastic, already discussed, it’s thickness, and the hinge materials. The materials discussed are offered in varying windshield thicknesses. Hinges are the source of many customer satisfaction problems. Some manufacturers use PVC for the folding seam. This material is not resistant to ultra-violet rays, so the more time the windshield is exposed to sunlight the more brittle it becomes. As it becomes brittle, it tends to crack at the seam.
Acrylic is the least expensive, and Poly-carbonate is the most expensive. Thinner windshields are less expensive that thicker ones. Good hinges are more expensive than ones that will rapidly deteriorate. Like so many things, you tend to get what you pay for. And remember that they all look alike. You get what you pay for. Buy from a trusted source!!!!
What is the proper way to water golf cart batteries?
Keeping electric cart batteries with proper level is critical to life of the batteries. The cardinal rule is: NEVER LET WATER LEVEL GO BELOW TOP OF THE PLATES. Battery plates exposed to air rapidly become useless.
The proper time to add water is right AFTER charging, not BEFORE. Adding water before charging may cause the acid to bubble over spewing acid onto the connectors and the frame of the vehicle. After charging, add water to about 1/2 inch from the top of the battery. Be sure to leave a little air space for expansion.