“EZGO” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by camflan
EZGO gasoline golf carts are renowned for their high power, strong controls, and their capability of handling a large amount of wear and tear.
However, these carts may also have problems from time to time, such as an inability to move.
When your EZGO gas cart won’t go forward or reverse, there are several different problems that may occur.
The following comprehensive list should give you the insight necessary for this problem.
EZGO Gas Golf Cart Won’t Go Forward or Reverse (Causes, Fixes)
Electrical cart problems are not uncommon and may cause a myriad of issues with a gasoline golf cart.
Remember – even though gas powers your engine, you still need a strong electrical flow throughout your cart to keep it operating.
When this flow is interrupted, your cart may be unable to receive instructions properly from your cart and may fail to move in one direction or the other.
For example, if your run/tow switch has malfunctioned, your cart won’t go forward or backward.
This switch is designed to change your cart’s operating mode from normal operation to increased power for towing.
Check the switch to make sure that it isn’t “stuck” between the two modes.
You may also need to hire a mechanic to replace the switch if it is wearing down and no longer operational.
This step will help to make it easier not only for your cart to run but for you to haul items, as well.
In other cases, your solenoid may not be operating properly and may not move electricity properly throughout your cart.
The solenoid helps to distribute electricity from your battery to elsewhere on your cart, such as to its many switches.
Though this part is more important on a fully electrical cart, it can still be an issue for a gasoline one.
For example, if it doesn’t receive the electrical signal from your froward/reverse switch or your accelerator, your cart will not move.
And what about your forward/reverse switch?
This part of your cart lets you set the direction that you want to go and can wear down over time and suffer from a myriad of operational failures.
This problem may also occur if the mechanics of the switch wear down and it no longer changes electrical flow properly in your engine.
For example, it may be permanently “stuck” between the two modes and need to be replaced by a mechanic to ensure the cart can run.
Ignition Switch May Be Malfunctioning
If your EZGO cart won’t even start or if it starts but won’t move, there’s a chance that your ignition switch may be to blame.
Most instances of cart start failure are tied to the ignition switch, as you may imagine.
There are a few different ways that you can test it to ensure that you get the most out of your cart.
Start out by hooking the wires of the switch – which are located beneath the dash and which are connected to the battery – to an ohmmeter or continuity tester.
These tools will track how much electricity your switch sends out when you turn it.
Now, turn your switch to “ON” and watch the meter.
If you don’t get a reading on any meter, then you have an ignition switch problem.
Even a relatively small reading is better than none but could also indicate an issue.
What kind of problems could be affecting your ignition switch?
That all depends on a few different factors and elements that are important to understand.
The elements of the switch could be failing, such as the various mechanics and switches in its interior.
Or the wiring could be going bad, as well.
Whatever the case, you need to talk to a cart mechanic to ensure that you get the best results for your cart’s needs.
Take the time to give the mechanic a better understanding of your cart and how it has been acting.
They’ll usually take the cart out for a ride to get an idea of why it may be riding so poorly for you.
Can you fix the wiring yourself if you notice any damage or corrosion on the ends?
You probably can because the wires aren’t typically too hard to remove or change.
However, that all depends on whether or not you feel comfortable with this step or if you have little to no experience with it.
The wiring can suffer from many types of erosion issues, including worn insulation and frays to the connections that can be very dangerous because they may spark and cause damage to your engine.
Make sure that you carefully install new wires on your engine to find any problems.
The EZGO gasoline golf cart uses the same type of wires that you’ll find in an electric cart or other types of golf cart options.
The colors will vary based on the different types of cart model that you own or operate.
Red and green aren’t uncommon, though you may find blue may be used for some carts.
Confront your manual to make sure that you are wiring your cart properly.
Next, if your cart will start but won’t move, you may have a problem with your battery.
Now, a gasoline golf cart isn’t as reliant on a battery for power as an electric model – which have multiple batteries that provide all their power – but they cannot run without a well-charged battery.
They provide the electricity that the spark plug needs to ignite the gasoline in the engine.
And the battery also helps to power items such as the forward and reverse switch and other important areas on your cart.
A battery in a gasoline engine should have a 12.7-volt charge when it is not running.
Place an ohmmeter on the battery to test this charge.
If it is lower than 12.7-volts, charge it and let it sit for a few hours.
Test the charge again.
If it holds the charge, the battery may be simply getting old and less powerful.
However, if the charge has dropped even a small amount after a few hours, you need to get the battery replaced because it is likely dying and will only get worse with time.
Can you replace a battery on your own without the help of a professional?
Yeah, we believe most people shouldn’t have a hard time.
However, you need to be very careful when you buy a new battery.
Read off all of the information about the battery – including its voltage output, the size of the battery, and various other data.
Make sure that you match these details with your replacement battery to ensure that you don’t cause any problems.
Remember – golf cart batteries come in many sizes.
And your battery MUST be designed for gasoline golf carts.
Electric cart batteries output charges at different rates and could damage your engine.
In fact, if you have an electric cart battery in your gas cart, there’s a good chance that your cart won’t move properly.
So make sure that you either choose your battery carefully or work with a professional.
Doing so can ensure that your cart runs smoothly.
And make sure that all wiring is properly connected to the rest of your engine to keep electric flow smooth.
Stuck Fuel Tank Float
A gasoline internal combustion engine is a remarkable invention, and is one that has mostly between tweaked up and upgraded over the years.
Major changes haven’t been necessary but one that has helped a lot over the years is the fuel tank float.
This float sits on top of your gasoline and gauges its level.
As the gasoline goes down, the float sinks with it.
And then the lever to which it is attached will move to show the level of gasoline in your tank, letting you know when your cart needs gas.
However, the float is like any other part of a golf cart and can wear down or get stuck.
For example, the float may get stuck in the “Full” position and cause you to run your cart to empty.
At this point, your cart won’t move no matter what you try.
Thankfully, this fix is relatively simple – if your cart has stayed on “Full” after you’ve been using it for hours, you can assume that the float is stuck and that it needs to be reset.
Thankfully, a quick wiggle is often enough to get it moving again.
However, a float that refuses to move with your gasoline – such as if it is stuck at the bottom of the tank – may also cause your engine some problems.
That’s because, in this position, the cart won’t send gasoline to the engine to operate.
Unfortunately, the cart will believe that it is empty and won’t even attempt to draw gasoline.
Instead, it will sit in one spot and continually warn you that you are out of gas, even if you just filled the cart up a moment ago.
Fixing a float stuck at the bottom of the tank is a little trickier because there will be gas in the tank.
You can probably use some type of hook to grab the float, though we usually suggest that you get professional help to manage this problem properly.
Thankfully, this fix is something that even an average cart mechanic can do quite well and quickly.
Just make sure that you understand that the engine needs this kind of help to properly run.
Spark Plug Damage
Spark plugs are a vital part of your cart’s operation and need to be in great shape to keep the cart running smoothly.
However, these can suffer slight damage or wear and tear concerns that can make them struggle to operate properly.
When this happens, your cart will likely refuse to go forward or backwards, no matter if your engine is running or not.
As a result, you need to know how to replace your spark plugs when you run into this issue.
Typically, a small golf cart engine should have no more than one or two spark plugs to check and update to keep them in full operation.
If you anticipate that your spark plugs are suffering from issues, it is important to open up your engine and check them.
Once you locate the plug, make sure that they are properly connected.
Wiring may come loose that makes the plug fail to operate or there may be corrosion or buildup on the plug that you must remove to keep it operating.
And if the plug is too damaged, you need to remove it and replace it with another to keep your cart smoothly operating.
Typically, you’ll be able to find appropriate plugs at a golf cart mechanic shop.
Ask the mechanics there what kind of plugs that you need and they can set you up with the best option.
Don’t think that spark plugs can be easily mixed and matched in your engine – this is a good recipe for damaging your cart and making it run very poorly, indeed.
Just as importantly, you need to make sure that your spark plug is also not damaged before you try replacing it.
A damaged spark plug may have cracks on its surface that spread throughout various areas.
When this happens, your plug may run erratically at times but probably needs to be replaced.
Pay attention to how your cart runs after you replace the plug.
If it feels awkward or like it is lurching, your cart’s timing may be off and you’ll need to get a mechanic to fix it for you.
Other Concerns to Take Into Account
The issues above are some of the most common and serious that you’re likely to experience with your cart.
However, they are far from the only ones.
This last section will touch on a few more minor concerns that may happen, all of which will keep your EZGO from running.
Thankfully, many of these fixes are things that you can do on your own without a lot of issue or struggle.
Air Filter Issues
First of all, you need to check your air filter to make sure that it isn’t clogged with dirt or other debris.
If your air filter is too dirty, it will refuse to run your cart and may cause problems.
In many cases, your engine will run awkwardly or poorly and may struggle to operate at all.
Thankfully, it is usually fairly easy to replace your air filter or have somebody else do it for you with little issue.
You should be getting your air filter replaced every six months or so, anyway.
Does your golf cart have a “buzzer” on it that goes off when you go backwards?
Most carts do these days.
What may surprise you is that this buzzer can affect how your engine runs.
When it is disconnected, the EZGO cart will read this as a failure and may stop your cart from forward and reverse movements.
As a result, you need to check the connections and make sure that they are as strong as possible to ensure that your cart doesn’t run into this issue.
The accelerator on your gasoline golf cart is a fairly simple part.
It lets you control how much gas flows to your engine and manages its speed.
However, the accelerator may get stuck and cause problems with your cart.
For example, if it gets stuck down, your cart may refuse to run in either forward or reverse because it doesn’t get the proper signals.
And wiring may also wear down around the accelerator.
When this happens, the electrical charge that it needs to run properly may not be there and cause the cart to run more erratically.
Get a mechanic to fix this problem.
Lastly, there is a chance that the muffler on your gasoline golf cart may be clogged up and unable to run properly.
This problem starts when too much-unburned oil gets into the muffler and gunks up.
When this happens, your muffler won’t expel fumes well enough and your cart may refuse to move.
The engine can also get damaged, as well.
A muffler cleaner may be all that is necessary, here, though you should probably – like always – get a professional to help you out with this situation.
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