Over time, your golf cart may start riding slower and becoming less powerful.
This situation may feel inevitable but is by no means something that you can’t fix.
Thankfully, there are many different steps that you can take to keep your cart running smoothly.
The following five items are among the most common issues that plague cart operation and can be easily fixed.
You may need some expert help in this situation, though, so be willing to reach out to help if you find yourself struggling at any time here.
Though it may cost you more, it is worth it knowing that your repairs are proper.
Electric Golf Cart Running Slow? (5 Things to Check)
1. Speed Sensor Issues
The speed sensor is a critical part of your cart operation that helps to ensure that it runs smoothly and efficiently.
It operates by gauging how fast you are driving and how much electricity is needed to maintain that speed.
When it ends up running into troubles, there is a good chance that your cart may end up running more slowly.
There are a few reasons that this problem occurs and worsens your speed.
First of all, if the speed sensor breaks down, your cart may improperly read your speed and think you are traveling slower.
As a result, it will send less power to your engine and cause it to produce less speed.
This problem is very frustrating and can make it hard to keep your cart running as smoothly and as quickly as you would like it to run.
Often, this process is one that can sneak up on you slowly or occur all at once when your speed sensor goes out.
In other cases, your speed sensor may end up not failing completely but malfunctioning sporadically.
When this happens, your golf cart is going to run slowly at random times and can be quite frustrating.
There are many different issues that may occur that can cause your speed sensor to fail.
Just a few of the most common of these problems that you need to watch for when driving your cart include:
- Speed Magnet Issues – When your speed magnet fails in your sensor, your cart is going to have a hard time keeping up speed and is likely to not only slow down as you drive but may even stop. This issue often causes a staggered driving style that is very frustrating and upsetting.
- Mud and Dirt Buildup – The speed sensor is not a delicate part and can withstand some wear and tear. However, if there is too much dirt and mud on its exterior, there is a good chance that it may struggle to run. This situation is very annoying but can be fixed by cleaning off the surface with a rag.
- Wire Problems – When the wires on your speed sensor start wearing down or become disconnected, there’s a good chance that your cart will slow down. Make sure to check the speed sensor wires to see if they are in full operation or if they have become disconnected or much too frayed.
- Age-Related Issues – Over time, your speed sensor may simply wear down and not run as smoothly as it did in the past. When this happens, you need to fully replace the sensor – there’s no point in doing any repairs because it will just need to come out eventually anyway.
Though these problems can often be fixed by doing a little DIY repair, you might need to work with a professional to ensure that things go more smoothly.
You may not have the expert skill needed to manage this situation and could probably use an expert.
However, if you feel comfortable with speed sensor repairs, make sure to find a schematic of your cart’s engine to help you out.
2. Low Battery Pack Voltage Levels
Perhaps the most common reason that a golf cart slows down is when it doesn’t have enough power output from your battery.
Often, this occurs if the battery pack charge is too low and your cart is out of power.
However, if your cart is fully charged and has no problems there, the voltage output may be to blame here.
As a result, it is important to know how to check this issue following these steps:
- Connect a digital volmeter to your battery pack and make sure that the connections are as fully tightened as possible
- Get inside of your cart and turn it on – you will need somebody to do this step for you or to hold and gauge the voltmeter connected to your battery
- Push the pedal to the floor as much as possible – keep your cart in neutral here to avoid running over anybody that may be helping gauge your cart operation
- Read the voltmeter to see how much power it produces – you should be getting a reading of at least 34-48 volts, depending on your model, when you take this step
- Check the battery connections throughout the cart if it does not produce this much power – something is wrong and the battery is not outputting properly
- Change any wires that many be in the wrong spots or that may be frayed – sometimes, this step is enough to get your cart in proper working order again
- Measure the total battery level – if your battery charge is just too low or free of charge, there’s a good chance that you just need to charge it up to get it working properly again
- Charge up your battery to the proper level and run the test again – you should be getting the minimum charge mentioned at this point (34-48 volts) if your battery is strong
- Consider replacing the battery or performing other repairs if the voltage output remains low – there’s a good chance that serious battery wear and tear is the culprit in this scenario
When you replace the batteries in your cart, it should start running properly again and not lose speed as you drive.
If for any reason your cart still loses power when you drive, there is something more at stake here than the battery charge.
As a result, you’ll need to take more steps to keep your cart in proper working order and to ensure that you don’t experience any issues.
3. Bearing Encoder Issues
The bearing encoder is an important part of your golf cart that provides you with a careful distribution of electrical charge throughout your cart.
It operates by encoding various elements of your cart’s operation and translating them to different impulses to keep the power running smoothly.
However, this part does have a tendency to wear out over time and start operating poorly.
There are a few different ways that you can gauge whether this problem is occurring with your cart:
- Gauge Your Slow Down Type – Does your cart start out fine at a normal speed and then start to slow down as you drive? If it does, there’s a good chance that the bearing encoder is failing on you and must be addressed as soon as possible to keep your cart running.
- Change the Battery – If you have recently changed your cart battery and it still experiences this weird and gradual slow down, you have encoder issues. Replacing the battery again is a waste of time because this issue will only recur when you drive your cart.
- Odd or Uneven Riding – Does your cart ride rather erratically when it starts to slow down? Often, this issue is related to the encoder bearing. As a result, you may need to talk to a repair expert to learn more about this part and what you can do to get your cart operating smoothly again.
The bearing encoder is a part that you should get an expert to help you with removing.
It’s not that you can’t do it on your own.
Many people have replaced this part without triggering any issues.
However, it is usually best to have somebody help you here because you have to carefully balance your cart operation and the bearing encoder in a way that can be tough without somebody helping out.
4. Ampacity Controller Faults
The ampacity controller on your cart helps to manage the amperature that it produces and uses as your cart drives.
When this part malfunctions, you’re going to run into some issues with your cart operation.
Typically, these issues include slowdown, sporadic speed issues, sudden surges in speed, and much more.
The issues that can plague this controller are often quite diverse.
For example, there may be faulty cables that cause the ampacity controller to fail.
Most of the time, this issue occurs when the controller has been improperly or poorly installed and maintained.
Make sure that you have professionals inspecting your cart regularly to ensure that you don’t run into any issues.
Doing so can help to prevent these common issues from plaguing you and your cart.
Other problems that may occur with the ampacity controller include the use of improper parts during repair and maintenance.
Sometimes, maintenance and repair experts may use aftermarket items that don’t fit properly on your ampacity controller and cause it to run poorly.
In some cases, this issue might even cause the controller to fail completely and leave you with a cart that runs slowly and which fails to have the kind of power that you want and which it is nominally capable of producing.
In almost all cases, you’re going to have to replace this controller with a new one to get it operating again.
Unfortunately, this part is not one that can be upgraded or fixed with minor repairs.
Yes, changing and improving the wires and their connections may help here.
However, there is an unfortunate tendency in these controllers to just fail completely and leave you with a non-operational part.
Thankfully, replacement isn’t too hard if you have a schematic or design to follow.
5. Forward/Reverse Switch Issues
Lastly, it is important to check your forward/reverse switch for any issues.
If this switch malfunctions and starts running poorly, your cart may slow down because it is confused about what direction you want it to go.
If it believes that you want it to go in reverse when you are driving forward, you’re going to have a cart that wants to slow down and may even start going backwards instead of forward.
Issues with the switch can include wiring failures that make it prone to sparks and malfunctioning.
These wiring problems typically occur where the battery connects to the switch and can be easily fixed by tightening the connection.
Frays in the wires may require you to replace them – thankfully, this step is usually quite easy and doesn’t take a lot of steps to properly perform and to the needs of your cart.
However, there are times when the forward/reverse switch malfunctions and needs to be replaced.
Most cart owners should be able to carefully remove the switch and replace it.
Start by taking the screws out that hold it down.
Disconnect the wires and take it out of the cart.
Now, place the new switch in its place after you connect it to the proper wires and connectors.
At this point, if the switch was at fault, your cart should no longer slow down and you should be able to keep it high-powered as you drive.
Note: These are just five of the most common issues that may cause problems with your golf cart speed.
They are not the ONLY things that may cause your cart to run slowly.
However, we feel confident that they are the most likely culprit that you’re going to experience.
If you run into any more complex issues and need expert help, reach out to mechanics who can provide you with the detailed repair steps that are necessary for keeping your cart running smoothly and efficiently in all possible operational driving scenarios.