Cleaning your golf cart is very important to maintain it’s longevity.
Your golf cart engine needs to be cleaned sporadically to keep it running smoothly and efficiently.
We are going to take a look at both electric and gas engines, as they differ slightly.
The biggest difference in our process will be that you need to take care of interior elements of your gas cart that aren’t available on an electric cart.
Thankfully, these steps are pretty simple.
Cleaning the Exterior – Electric and Gas Engines
The following steps are designed to break apart any dirt or stains that may be on your golf cart engine – whether gas or electric.
The steps here are suitable for both engine types, so you shouldn’t have to do any changes up here.
We’re going to keep the steps as broad as we can because there will be some differences in engine design based on the engine manufacturer and their specifications.
1. Check for Dirt, Dust, and Other Elements
When you open up your engine compartment, you’re going to see a varying degree of dirt, stains, and even cobwebs throughout your engine.
The amount that you see will vary depending on how often you clean your engine and the steps that you took.
If you have never cleaned your engine before, you are going to see a LOT of dirt, dust, and cobwebs that you need to clean out now to keep your engine safe.
Pay attention to areas around the wires of your engine, including the electrical connections, because these can spark and run poorly if they get too dirty.
As a result, you need to use a duster to break apart any dust that you seen on these areas or a spray that absorbs and removes the dust.
Wipe away any dusting agent that you spray on the engine to make sure that it doesn’t coat on its surface.
You can also use a small brush to break apart dirt and other
2. Break Apart Any Stains
There’s a good chance that you have a lot of dirt, mud, and other types of stains on your engine.
We already discussed handling the lighter types of these contaminants on your engine – there, we were focusing on fresh and dry items that hadn’t stuck to the engine or become a gunk that caused it to run poorly or ineffectively.
Instead, we’re talking about these items that have become stained to your engine exterior and which won’t break apart with a simple duster.
You are going to need to bust out a brush here to break apart these stains, rubbing it across the surface, and using water and soap, as needed, to make sure that you clean the surface well enough for your cart to run well.
Make sure that you place a small mat underneath of your cart when you perform these steps because the dirt, dust, and mud that you break up will fall to the ground and may stick there if you aren’t careful.
And if you have time, make sure to get underneath of the cart to clean the bottom of the engine as well.
People often forget this step and the bottom is where most of the dirt is likely to be sticking.
3. Wash the Surface With Water
At this point, you need to wash the exterior of your engine with water and a little soap.
The soap should be a specialized one that is designed for this purpose.
When washing, you need to make sure that you pay attention to any open electrical elements that may be on your engine.
Avoid these areas to avoid electrical shock or damage to your engine that may make it run poorly and awkwardly.
Start by wetting the areas with a rag, first, and then adding soap a moment later.
Rub the soap across the surface and pay special attention to areas that are hard to reach, such as underneath various types of tubes and other elements of the engine.
Use your fingernail to break apart any lingering stains that may be sticking to the surface of the engine and refusing to come off without a little extra work.
Once you have given the engine a few scrubs in this way, wipe away the soapy water with fresh water and a new rag and then dry the exterior with another rag.
You need to make sure that the exterior is dry to avoid any complications.
And don’t forget to cover your engine back up when you are done to ensure that it is protected from any other contamination that may occur, such as dirt while you ride your cart.
Flushing Out the Interior – Gas Engines Only
If you own an electric golf cart, this section will not apply.
The following sub-sections are devoted to gasoline engines only, as they have a uniquely messy engine interior that must be flushed out periodically to keep them clean.
The following steps will get your engine back in operating order and ensure that you don’t run into any complications along the way.
1. Change Oil
Start out by changing the oil in your engine to ensure that it is as healthy and lubricated as possible.
Again, you don’t need to take this step if you own an electric cart – they don’t use oil and don’t have to perform any of these steps.
However, gasoline golf carts will need these changes and upgrades periodically throughout their life, so be prepared for that eventuality with your cart.
Start by jacking up your cart a little to get access to the oil drain plug beneath the engine.
It should be labeled as such and will be quite easy to find if you take your time properly.
Place an oil pan beneath of the plug and center it so that it will land directly in the center of the pan.
Pull the plug and wait for the oil to drain – this should take no more than a few minutes or so before it is done.
Now, seal up the plug once the oil stops draining and add a new quarter or two of oil to the engine, depending on how much your cart needs.
Take the oil container you just emptied and pour the old oil into it using a funnel – doing so makes it easier to take care of and discard, as you can take it to a recycling center where they can clean it and prepare it for reuse again for another cart.
2. Replace Lubricants
Now, you need to make sure that you pay attention to any other lubricants that may be on your engine and clean these off to make sure it is as clean as possible.
Remember – this step is for gas engines only, so if you got here by mistake and only own an electric cart, read the steps above the “Flushing the Interior” sub-section to know how to handle this process.
Doing so can save you a lot of confusion.
These lubricants are going to be found on your moving parts, such as various pistons, belts, and much more.
Check them to see if they are dirty or stained – often, they end up with various types of elements in them that make them less useful.
Use a strong rag to wipe them down and remove the lubricant – you may need a handful of rags to finish this step, so be prepared for that eventuality.
Now, find the proper replacement lubricants and carefully spray or apply them to the areas where you removed them.
You may want to use a sponge or a brush applicator to ensure that you cover every surface properly on your parts.
You don’t need to soak the areas with the lubricant but make sure that they are covered and that the parts can move smoothly in your engine with their help.
3. Add a Fuel Cleaner
The fuel in your cart is going to be a major contributor to a dirty engine.
However, there isn’t much you can do to clean it out except add a fuel cleaner to the engine.
The options here will vary depending on the type of cart you own and the manufacturer who creates it.
Typically, you’re going to want a cleaner that is compatible with the parts in your engine and the overall structure of your cart as well.
Adding a fuel cleaner is fairly simple.
Once you have found a brand and a type that is compatible with your cart, you need to pour it down into the gas tank and let it sit for a few minutes before you start up your cart.
Drive your cart for awhile to work the cleaner through the engine – typically, it is going to take a few rides like these to fully clean your fuel and your engine properly.
Without this type of cleaner, you’d need to take your engine apart and clean the individual segments with various kinds of products.
And while this type of fuel cleaner cannot handle all cleaning demands in some engines, it can at least provide you with the stronger and more resistant engine that you want and deserve as a cart owner.
And that is an advantage that you just can’t ignore for your high-quality cart.
4. Wipe Down Other Parts
Now that you have cleaned out the interior of your engine, it is important to wipe down other parts that you may have missed in other steps.
For example, you need to make sure that you take out your air filter – and your oil filter for the gas cart – and either clean them out or replace them.
These parts are usually quite easy to access and are inexpensive from golf cart manufacturing shops or online.
All you need to clean these parts is a small brush – to break apart grease, dirt, mud, and other stains – a bottle of water, and a rag.
You can use soap if you want but make sure that it is designed specifically for cleaning golf cart engines.
You should be able to figure this out by talking to the manufacturer of the golf cart or a repair shop near you that handle this type of repair and maintenance.
Make sure that, when using a cleaner, you carefully wipe it away with a second dry rag or paper towel to make sure that it doesn’t stay on the cart’s engine.
You can then move on to cleaning other areas of the cart, as well, such as the frame and more.
Doing so will ensure that you get the best cart for your money and that you don’t spend too much.