EZGO golf carts are often among the most reliable and effective on the market, and they possess a large number of benefits that make them well worth consideration.
However, they contain a large number of parts that may fail on you unexpectedly, such as the inductive throttle sensor.
This part is one you rarely see discussed but is very important to the overall performance of your cart.
As a result, it is important for EZGO cart owners to understand this part and how to test and replace it, as needed, to keep their vehicle running as smoothly as possible.
There are several tests that you can use to gauge the operative quality of this cart, each of which is specific to certain areas of the sensor.
We go over all three here to give you an idea of how to perform them and when to do them.
If for any reason these tests do not find the problem with your cart or if you feel uncomfortable with replacing the sensor, you need to reach out to a professional cart repair expert to handle these repairs and replacements for you.
What is the Inductive Throttle Sensor?
Before we start testing and replacing this part on your EZGO cart, it is a good idea to know what it does and why it is so important on your cart.
The inductive throttle sensor is a part installed into your cart’s electrical system and is designed to control your speed.
It works along with the speed controller and other similar parts to ensure that you get enough power for your cart whenever you run it.
Typically, the throttle sensor is connected to your cart via a wiring harness and is attached directly to the direction sensor.
These two parts work together to produce not only the proper speed for your cart but the direction as well.
For example, when you press your gas pedal down, an electrical signal gets sent to the inductive throttle sensor to get an idea of how much speed that you want.
Once this part receives that signal, it sends an electrical signal to the throttle in the cart to produce the proper speed.
Likewise, when you turn your cart’s wheel as you drive, signals get sent to the direction selector that tell your cart into which direction you should turn.
These steps occur almost simultaneously when you move your cart and should keep it in good operating order.
Like all parts, though, there is a chance that the inductive throttle sensor may wear down and need to be tested and replaced.
There are a handful of different ways that you can test this part in your cart.
We’ll go over at least three of them here and give you a great idea of how to keep your cart in proper working order without any difficulty for years to come – these steps can also save you money on part replacement, too.
Testing Methods You May Use
There are a few reasons that you want to use each of these testing methods – you usually choose them based on what may be wrong with your cart and what areas of the cart’s electrical system are affected.
For example, you use Alltrax controllers to check for problems with the throttle voltage.
In some instances, the throttle may not send a proper amount of electricity to your cart or to the sensor, causing it to malfunction.
By using these controllers, you get an idea of how much charge is coming through your system and whether or not you need to replace or adjust these parts to keep your cart smooth.
And when you use a four-wire Molex plug test, you are checking the wire harness and the throttle box for various types of corrosion and other types of problems.
Typically, this test requires you to open up your cart and take a look at your engine’s interior.
However, we’ll go over this process in more depth below to give you a better feel for how to properly handle it in your cart.
Lastly, the proximity detector is a device you hook up directly to the sensor to see if it is malfunctioning in any way that may require replacement.
This process is usually the last one that you try because there are often less severe issues that plague this part.
However, when you use the proximity detector, you are looking for problems that may be more persistent and which may require replacing that part.
Alltrax Controller Tests
The Alltrax controller is a part on your cart that works with your throttle sensor to manage electrical flow.
This test is often the most accurate way to identify inductive throttle sensor problems.
However, it does require a bit more work than the other tests that we will discuss.
The steps below should give you a good idea of what problem is affecting your sensor:
- Start by jacking up your golf cart to get easier access to this part of the cart’s bottom
- Identify the six- or 10-pin connector and carefully pull it out so that you can measure the pins
- Put the key in the “On” position in your Run/Tow switch on the cart
- Switch the F/R switch into a forward position to test your cart
- Place your voltimeter testing pins on the throttle pins to see how much voltage you get
- When the cart is running with no throttle, you should get about 10 volts here
- Have somebody push the pedal down to the floor and then take the voltage reading again
- At this point, you should have a reading of six volts or so from your voltimeter
- Pay attention to the voltage amount if you get higher than 10 at any point here
- If you have a reading of 12 volts, your sensor is faulty and must be replaced ASAP
- By contrast, a voltage reading of 14 indicates a broken wire on your throttle
If you finish these readings and your cart’s throttle still seems to be operating poorly, it is time to move on to the next few tests.
These tests are sometimes simpler than this process but are not as extensive or as comprehensive.
That said, they are still critical if you cannot find any issue with your cart when you use the Alltrax controller test outlined above here.
Molex Plug Tests
The Molex plugs are a critical part of your inductive throttle sensor and help to keep your cart operating as smoothly as possible.
However, this part is uniquely exposed compared to other parts of your throttle and may suffer from a myriad of corrosion issues that must be checked before you try the next few tests or replace your sensor.
This process includes the following steps:
- Park your golf cart and place bricks behind the wheels to keep it from moving
- Open up your cart’s interior and identify your wire harness and your throttle box cable
- Look for the four-wire Molex plug – it will have four wires, as its name indicates
- Unplug the connector and plug it back in again to reset its connection
- Start up the cart in this position and run the throttle
- If the throttle still seems to operate poorly, disconnect and reconnect the plug again
- Clean off the connectors between each disconnect and connection to remove any corrosion
- Inspect the plugs if the cart refuses to start to see if they are corroded or damaged in any way
- Add marine-grade butt splices to the wires or connectors if they are corroded
- Put silicone dielectric grease on the connector before you do any crimping
- Replace the four-wire Molex plug with another if other steps fail you here
Reach out to a professional if you don’t feel comfortable replacing the plug yourself.
Alternately, you can also solder certain areas of the plug to eliminate the need to use it.
However, this step is usually not a good one and is something that should be avoided if you feel uncomfortable working with welding equipment or any other items that may require extensive and heavy hands-on work.
Testing the Proximity Detector
The proximity detector is an important part of your golf cart because it helps to make sure that your electrical flow is smooth and even.
Testing your sensor using this part requires you to know how to identify it and knowing how to test it with various types of voltimeters.
Let’s break this process down into steps to make it easier for you to understand how to do it properly:
- Park your cart and put bricks behind the wheels to keep it from moving
- Open up the cart’s hood or the back seat to find the engine where it operates
- Identify the proximity detector – use your cart’s schematic to find what is often a large and yellow part
- Unhook it from the battery on your cart and place these cables to the side to be safe
- Hook a voltimeter up to this part on the proper positive and negative terminals
- Start up your cart and press the accelerator pedal down slowly as it runs
- Watch the voltage that comes from the proximity detector as the cart runs
- Write down these voltages and then turn off your cart to avoid shocks
- Reconnect your battery wires and close the hood of your cart to finish up
Your voltage output should be within the limits that we mentioned earlier – or between 6-10 volts with a difference no more than 0.4 to 0.6 or 1.5 to 1.7 volts.
This output may vary depending on the different cart models that you own, though for EZGO, it is usually well within this range.
If you find that there is a signal discrepancy, it is time to replace the sensor on your cart to ensure that it is safe to run.
Replacing the Inductive Throttle Sensor
Thankfully, it is fairly easy to replace your inductive throttle sensor following these steps:
- Take off the rocker panel on the driver’s side of your cart
- Lift up the floor mat and look for a cutout on the floorboard
- Remove the cutout and take off the screws from the pedal box
- Find the inductive throttle sensor and remove its connecting screws
- Place a new sensor in its place and replace everything you removed
If for any reason you feel uncomfortable with these steps, reach out to an EZGO dealer or repair expert and they can handle them for you.
Doing so ensures that you get the best results and that your cart is in proper running order.