Golf carts are designed to be very easy to control and shouldn’t require any specialized talent to run properly.
However, they can experience malfunctions that may make it harder for you to drive your cart.
For example, many issues may make it impossible for your golf cart to go in reverse, no matter how hard you try.
The following issues are the most common you’re likely to experience.
Golf Cart Won’t Go in Reverse
1. F&R Switch is Malfunctioning
The simplest and most likely cause of reverse problems in a golf cart is a malfunctioning F&R switch.
This switch – which stands for forward and reverse – is common on most golf carts and makes it easier for you to go forward and in reverse without requiring a lot of complex machinery or levers.
And, thankfully, these switches are usually the most common malfunction and the easiest fix.
In some cases, it may be possible for you to replace them without specialized help.
Typically, this problem focuses on the mechanics of the switch, which can become worn down over time and open up the cart to various types of issues.
For example, the switch itself may get worn down and no longer activate the proper interior buttons.
In other cases, the mechanics and the wiring of the switch get too old and make it nearly impossible to control your golf cart’s forward and reverse motions.
When this happens, you need to replace the switch to keep your car running smoothly.
Start by finding the F&R switch on your cart and tracing the wiring back to the housing.
In most carts, you’re likely to find the black housing underneath of your seat.
Others may have the housing elsewhere, so make sure to check your cart’s schematics to see where it is located.
In many cases, it is typically quite easy to find the housing because it will be black and very obvious.
Once you feel that you have found it, try to swap the black and the blue wire to see what happens.
If the cart will not move – you’ve switched the directions that the switch controls by changing the wire – then something may be wrong with that wire.
Replace the normal reverse wire with a new one and see what happens.
If the cart still doesn’t go in reverse when you utilize this technique, there’s a good chance that something more serious is wrong with your cart’s directional operation.
2. Controller is Not Working
The next most common problem you’re likely to experience with your golf cart is a malfunctioning controller.
Controllers for direction come in two varieties – forward and reverse.
As a result, a cart that will go forward but not reverse may have a broken controller for the reverse that needs to be fixed or repaired.
The problem with this issue is that there isn’t really much that you can do to negate costs or fix minor issues – the whole controller is likely going to have to be replaced.
Why is this the case?
The controller is a part that is much too complex for the average cart owner to fix without specialized help.
There are many different wiring elements located throughout the controller that may be malfunctioning.
Breaking them down in this article would take far too much room and would likely require a specialized section.
As a result, it is necessary to completely replace the controller, which is not an inexpensive option because it must be done by a professional.
Testing the controller is relatively simple – the wire-swapping trick we suggested earlier should give you an idea of whether or not your controller is malfunctioning.
However, you can also open up your cart’s motor and find the controller, which is split into two parts and should be connected to the F&R switch with the two wires connected to the forward and reverse controllers.
Once you have identified these parts, start up your cart and switch it to both forward and reverse.
Listen to the controllers as you change the switch – do either produce a lot of excess noise?
Your controllers should be fairly quiet but will make some kind of operative noise as they run.
If you find that your reverse controller doesn’t make any noise, then you probably need to replace it.
But if the reverse controller does make some noise, then you may need to check your cart’s wring.
3. Wires are Hooked Up Wrong
Like any type of engine or electrical element, a golf cart must be properly wired to ensure that it runs smoothly.
And in some cases, there is a change that your wires may not be hooked up properly.
Remember how we mentioned the check on the forward and reverse wires?
This problem is the most common wiring issue and can be easily fixed by swapping the wires.
However, this concern isn’t the only way that wires may be hooked up wrong or poorly on a golf cart and cause issues.
For example, you may find that these wires are not hooked up to your battery properly and not getting the power that they need.
Pay attention to how your battery is hooked up to the rest of the engine to get a feel for this possibility.
Examine not only the connections of the wires themselves but the quality of the wires.
Some may be frayed and end up not passing electricity properly.
When this happens, you need to get new wires in your cart to ensure that it moves forward and in reverse properly.
However, there are also situations in which your cart’s wiring may be improperly done after installing a new engine or upgrading it with a new one.
Often, this problem happens when cart owners try to handle their own cart repair and make mistakes.
That’s why golf carts come with wiring schematic plans – these help to make it easier to wire up a cart without making mistakes.
Examine your schematic and compare it to the way the wiring is done on the cart, paying special attention to the ways they hook up to the reverse controller and the F&R switch of your cart.
Replace any wires that obviously need to be upgraded due to frays and breaks, make sure that they are properly connected and strong, and close up your engine after double-checking the schematic for accuracy.
At this point, you should have your wiring back to normal.
You may want to have a professional help you with this step to ensure that it goes smoothly.
Now, try your F&R switch to see what happens.
If the cart moves properly, you’ve made the right move.
If not – and you’ve tried all the other fixes up above – there’s another problem that may be plaguing you.
4. Accelerator May Have Issues
The accelerator on a golf cart is one of the most important elements of its operation.
And when it starts malfunctioning, there are many problems that it might cause.
In most cases, it will likely cause your golf cart to not go in forward very well.
This issue is one that can be very challenging and frustrating and may require you to update the accelerator.
However, this part can also cause your cart to struggle in reverse and make it less adaptable to directional changes than you may want.
There’s an easy way to check your accelerator – get on your cart and turn the cart to forward.
Does the cart struggle to get up to speed or feel like it rides in a “jerky” manner?
Then there’s a good chance that the accelerator is malfunctioning.
Check your cart’s reverse capabilities by flipping the switch to reverse.
Do you notice the same kind of jerkiness?
Or does the cart simply come to a halt or hardly move at all?
If so, there’s a chance that the accelerator is just worn out and needs to be replaced.