Though not as common as electric golf carts, gasoline-powered models are still available on the market.
They are designed for those individuals who want more speed and power from their carts.
Often, they are used by those who want to convert a cart into a low or medium-speed vehicle.
Whatever the case, owners must understand parts like the fuel pump on their gas-powered cart.
The fuel pump is a critical part of the operation of any gas-powered golf cart and has many different elements that can affect its operation.
By understanding how to install, test, and troubleshoot a fuel pump, you can avoid any complications that may occur.
Beyond that, you can better understand the different types of pumps.
The Purpose of a Fuel Pump
The fuel pump is a critical part on gas-powered golf carts because it helps to control the flow of gas throughout the engine.
It starts by pulling fuel from the tank and distributes it carefully to the carburetor or the fuel injection system.
The latter type uses a low-pressure method to avoid damage, while the former is more high pressure.
Typically, golf cart fuel pumps use fuel-injected pumps.
The importance of the fuel pump makes it one of those parts that is often easy to take for granted on a golf cart.
That’s because it is often among the strongest and longest-lasting elements of any golf cart engine.
However, when it does suffer from damage and other issues, it often ends up failing heavily and may put a lot of strain on your engine that can be very hard to manage or properly repair.
Therefore, it is critical to understand the various types of fuel pumps that may be used in a golf cart engine.
There are usually two different types – the mechanical and the electrical fuel pump.
As a result, you must make sure to read through these descriptions to understand how they operate and what to expect when you buy one.
Types of Fuel Pumps for Golf Carts
As mentioned above, most golf carts utilize an electric fuel pump for their operation.
These pumps generative positive electrical pressure, which is transferred to the fuel lines.
In this way, the pump pushes fuel throughout the engine.
Typically, this part of your cart is attached to the ignition switch and is usually located as near the gasoline tank as is possible for its installation.
By contrast, a mechanical fuel pump uses a flexible diaphragm to pump fuel throughout its lines.
This diaphragm controls the pump chamber volume by flexing according to fuel needs.
Typically, this operation is controlled via a small lever that is located near the camshaft.
The high-powered nature of this pump makes it something that many carts don’t need because it is much too high-pressure for many.
Throughout the rest of this article, we are going to focus on the electric fuel pump type because they are almost universally used in golf carts.
Some older models may use mechanical pumps – and you may see them on some off-brand types as well.
If necessary, we will discuss differences in installation and maintenance between these two types – but there isn’t much difference in these processes.
Is It Wise to Work on This Part Without Expert Help?
Many of our readers are skilled cart owners who have years of experience working on different models of golf carts.
Some even have mechanical experience that makes these types of repairs easier and more engaging.
Those individuals are to whom we are writing this particular article.
Those who cannot handle these fixes or who have no experience working with a cart engine may want to get experts to help instead.
That said, we also think that the fuel pump is a good part for amateurs to study because it may be useful as a transition to cart maintenance.
Put simpler, we believe that it is one of the easier parts to install, test, and troubleshoot in a cart.
As a result, you may want to start here if you are interested in getting into servicing your cart yourself but don’t feel comfortable working on more complex parts.
Ultimately, the choice is yours to make when you decide whether or not you want to work on this part yourself or if you want to get an expert to help.
Please make sure to read through the following sections carefully if you do decide to do your own repairs.
You’ll need the kind of expert help that we provide to ensure that you don’t make any mistakes that may end up making your fuel pump fail or become a liability on your cart instead of a functioning part.
Items You Need for These Steps
When installing, testing, or troubleshooting your golf cart, it is essential to understand what tools you’re going to need to perform these steps.
There are a handful of items that you will need to make sure that you get the best results here.
You should have them in your home if you do any type of engine work or have worked on building or other types of projects at any time throughout your life.
You’re going to need a screwdriver to handle many types of different connectors; a drill with several drill bits in case you run into any complications; a wrench that can be adjusted to various sizes; gloves and other types of protective gear; a can of grease to use for lubricating the part; and a small blanket that you can lay on the ground while you work on installing the fuel pump to your cart.
While you may not always need all of these parts – depending on the model you own – you should have them with you at all times to ensure that you don’t make any mistakes.
Make sure to check your golf cart before you start to see what kind of measurements it uses – are you going to have to get a metric set for your cart or will standard be good enough?
That depends on the manufacturer and the cart on which you’ll be working.
Beyond these tools, we also suggest that you find a friend who can help you with this process.
They can serve as an extra pair of hands and eyes to make sure that you perform all of the steps mentioned below properly.
Installing a Fuel Pump
Cart owners who want to install a fuel pump on their cart don’t have a lot of difficult work to do.
They do need to understand the construction of their cart and how to handle a few different steps.
Follow this process to get your cart’s pump in working order:
- Identify the fuel pump on your golf cart based on the diagrams provided to you
- Turn off your cart and make sure that it is properly parked before you begin
- Use a wrench to carefully disconnected the “Fuel In” and “Fuel Out” nozzles
- Disconnect all electrical wires from the pump
- Remove all screws holding the pump in place
- Place the old pump to the side or take it to a mechanic shop to recycle it
- Put the new pump in the same spot as the old pump
- Hold it down with the proper screws and attachments
- Attach the “Fuel In” and “Fuel Out” hoses first
- Reconnect the pump to its electrical wires
After you have finished this fairly simple process, it is important to test whether or not the pump is attached properly.
Make sure to turn the cart back on and start running it.
Did you notice any difficulty in starting the engine?
Or are you smelling any gasoline or oil scent that may indicate that hoses or other items may not be properly attached to your fuel pump?
If so, turn your cart off and get back to the pump to see what is wrong.
Most of the time, you probably just didn’t connect the hoses strongly enough and need to tighten them back up.
Conversely, you may have tightened them too much and caused damage.
Whatever the case, fix the problem, try the cart again, and keep repeating, as necessary, until you get the desired results here.
Just as importantly, you need to know how to test your pump when you run into complications to ensure that you spot any problems with its operation.
Most of the time, you’re just going to have a few loose connections that must be reconnected.
However, there is also a chance that you may have a more problematic issue that may require lengthy troubleshooting processes to properly handle.
Video Example Of A Yamaha Fuel Pump Install
Testing Your Fuel Pump Properly
After you have installed a fuel pump, you should have no issues with it for a long time.
However, there are cases in which your pump may end becoming an issue.
These typically occur for a handful of reasons and are often quite easy to manage if you understand the construction of your fuel pump and the various types of damage that may occur throughout its surface and interior.
The following steps are all essential for testing your golf cart’s fuel pump and making sure it runs smoothly.
They are something that most cart owners should be able to do on their own with little difficulty.
Make sure to follow these steps in order, unless you notice symptoms that indicate another concern may be to blame.
The full testing process to consider here includes how you should:
- Inspect the Fuel Lines – Replace these items on your cart if they end up getting worn out or causing your cart to run improperly. Sometimes, they may get frayed and cause leaks of gasoline that may become not only troubling to your cart’s operation but even dangerous for your health.
- Test the Vacuum Lines – The vacuum lines on your cart are necessary for providing a proper level of fuel pressure in your pump. When they fray, you’ll notice bursts of air coming from the sides of their rubber that may cause your cart to run poorly as it operates.
- Examine Oil Leaks – At the bottom of your engine, you should have a crankcase that is filled with oil and other items. Look at the bottom of this part to find any gas leaks that may be causing your fuel pump to run inaccurately. This issue is one that may require professionals to manage.
- Look Out for Contamination – Some fuel pumps may end up getting dirt, mold, and mildew on their outside and inside. This debris can cause the pump to run poorly and may trigger a myriad of operational issues that may make your cart break down and fail to run properly.
- Make Sure the Nozzles are Connected – The “Fuel In” and “Fuel Out” nozzles on your fuel pump are critical for moving gasoline properly throughout the engine. If these are not hooked up properly to your cart, you’ll find yourself running into a lot of unexpected issues.
- Watch the Electrical Connections – Make sure that all of your pump’s electrical wires are properly connected, including those to the battery and the ignition switch on your cart. Replace wires if they are frayed or torn.
At this point, you should know whether or not your golf cart fuel pump is running smoothly or experiencing issues with its operation.
In the next section, we’re going to examine a few symptoms that you may notice with your cart and what they may mean.
This type of troubleshooting is critical for cart owners and may help to keep you from spending too much cash on your repair steps.
Troubleshooting Your Cart – a Few Common Issues You May Experience
After you have tested your fuel pump after your installation, it shouldn’t run into any issues for years at a time.
However, there may come a scenario in which your fuel pump doesn’t seem to be operating smoothly.
Often, there are a few issues that may be occurring to cause this problem.
Thankfully, troubleshooting them is fairly simple and shouldn’t take you too much time.
By fully understanding each of these concerns, you can make sure that you repair or replace your pump and keep it in proper health.
These issues are among the most common and devastating you’re likely to experience.
Deterioration – A Serious Problem
A high-quality fuel pump is made up of several different elements that all work together to keep your cart in operating order.
However, age and time can cause these items to start to break down in unexpected ways and may make your fuel pump fail to operate.
Typically, there are a few different parts that are likely to start failing before other items do in your fuel pump’s chassis.
First of all, rubber vacuum and fuel lines are the most likely culprit here because they are prone to wear and tear.
Some may work their way off the ends of their connectors or develop frays in the side.
When this happens, you’re going to notice because you’ll see fuel on the ground after parking your cart and are likely to smell it in the air.
You’ll also run out of fuel more quickly as a result, too.
However, other elements of the fuel pump may also be deteriorating, such as various connecting chambers.
These may rust through if you aren’t careful and allow fuel to escape.
Often, these frays are quite small and may not be immediately noticeable on many models.
However, they will almost always get worse with time and expose your cart to a lot more serious issues as it ages.
Typically, you’ll notice this is an issue when your cart struggles to operate smoothly.
You may feel a jerk as you drive or experience other issues that make it hard for you to keep your cart in good operation.
We strongly suggest that you replace all of your fuel lines in this situation to see what kind of results that you get.
Usually, this should be good enough to stop most deterioration issues.
Unrelated Engine Issues – Not Uncommon for Many Carts
The frustrating thing about troubleshooting the fuel pump is when you run into unrelated issues that may have nothing to do with the pump.
This scenario is one that cart owners experience often and may have to consider before replacing their fuel pump.
Make sure that you read through all of these items to ensure that you fully understand what kind of concerns may be affecting you.
For example, your cart may have problems with the crankcase that feels like it may be related to the fuel pump.
This issue occurs when your crankcase is damaged or leaks and does not produce effective power levels.
The most important signs to watch for here include leaking oil – which should be located underneath of your cart – and problems with the case gasket as your cart runs.
You are also going to notice that your cart doesn’t run as smoothly as it did in the past.
That’s because you won’t have the kind of power that your crankcase would normally produce.
Therefore, it is crucial to make sure that you get this part checked as soon as possible.
Doing so can ensure that your cart runs smoothly and efficiently for years to come after you add your new fuel pump.
Don’t forget, though, that your cart may also experience engine problems – such as issues with the spark plugs – that may cause some power loss.
You should notice this issue if your cart seems to run erratically or experience loud sounds when operating.
In many cases, your engine may be just about to fail and you need to make sure that it is either repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
Debris Issues – Not a Minor Concern
Any part of your engine that has to pump or handle fuel is going to end up getting dirty over time.
Even fuel that has gone through a filter and careful distillation processes can end up with a lot of contamination that may build up in your engine.
When this happens, you’re going to have to take a few steps to ensure that you get your fuel pump back in operational order right away.
You’ll notice this is a problem because your exhaust will burn darker colors and your muffler may make loud explosion sounds.
Typically, you need to remove your filter and clean it out to ensure that this doesn’t become a problem.
You can also add an inline fuel filter in your engine to carefully remove the dirt and the debris.
Make sure to change your filter regularly in this scenario to keep your fuel clean and your pump from getting too filled up with upsetting debris.
Diaphragm Issues – the Final Thing to Check
Lastly, you may want to check the diaphragms between each of the parts of your fuel pump to ensure that they aren’t worn down.
These diaphragms connect the three sections of your pumps and help to keep them from failing or leaking.
Start by cleaning away all debris from the diaphragm and then carefully removing it to see if there are any signs of wear or tear on the diaphragm sides.
Replace these parts if they are worn down and your cart’s fuel pump should start running smoothly again.
However, if you perform these steps and the diaphragms are fine, your fuel pump may be the issue.
This problem occurs when the fuel pump gets too old and longer runs smoothly.
Listen for loud groaning noises when you run your cart – these sounds are often a failing fuel pump.