A golf cart has many different operational elements that work together to keep it from running down or failing.
For example, there are a handful of micro switches throughout the build of a cart that help to control certain elements and send the proper electrical signals to various elements of your cart.
As a result, it is important to understand just what these switches do on a cart.
Then, it is important to understand what may happen if they fail to prevent any concerns from impacting your riding.
Thankfully, these parts aren’t too complex but may still require professional help to repair and replace.
The Nature of a Micro Switch
Micro switches are not an uncommon part of many types of electronic devices.
And they are very prominent in many electric golf carts because they provide a myriad of operational benefits that keep them running smoothly.
In many ways, micro switches are exactly what their name suggests – a small switch that is used to manage different control elements on a cart.
Though they are not microscopic – they can be easily seen, maintained, replaced, and repaired with the naked eye and without specialized microscopic tools – they are designed to be smaller than most types of switches.
In this way, they can avoid adding too much weight to your cart and also provide you with the help that your cart needs for proper operation.
In a golf cart, you’re going to find a large number of these switches throughout its build.
For example, there is a micro switch located on the accelerator pedal.
This switch activates when you push the pedal and sends a signal to the solenoid.
When this happens, your cart knows that you are ready to accelerate and will send more power to your wheels to get them to move.
In a gas cart, though, this signal will start up your cart’s gas engine and keep it running smoothly and efficiently while you’re on the road.
Other places you may find a micro switch include in the FNR (forward-neutral-reverse) switch on your cart.
Here, the micro switch serves a similar role by activating a buzzer whenever you are in reverse.
In this way, those around you can know that you are backing up and properly prepare for it.
In most cases, these switches are pretty strong and rarely run into issues.
However, there are times when they may need to be repaired or replaced to keep your cart running as smoothly as possible on the road.
What May Go Wrong in a Micro Switch
The micro switch is a surprisingly simple part that doesn’t usually experience a lot of troubles with its operation.
However, there are instances in which it may malfunction and cause some concerns.
The following problems are among the most common and frustrating to handle:
- Stuck mechanical switch that fails to turn over when charged
- Wiring issues with the switch or the wires near it
- Failure with the overall structure that affects power flow
- Concerns with electrical flow throughout the components
- Dislocation from its standard position that may cause fault
- Tripped circuit breaker that may cause the switch to operate poorly
When this happens, it is important to know how to test your switch, which we’ll discuss below in the next section. Thankfully, these steps aren’t hard.
Testing a Micro Switch
If your micro switch is failing or you think it may be about to fail, it is important to test it properly.
There are just a handful of steps that you need to take during this test:
- Open the Area Near the Switch – Your micro switch is going to be somewhere beneath the chassis or body of your vehicle. For example, the pedal switch is located underneath of the dash near your pedal and you must open up these areas to expose them and find the switch. Doing so will make it easier to swap it out and get the best results for your upgrade.
- Find the Micro Switch – These switches are usually quite small and black and have two wires connected to them. They are an on/off switch with a very simple design. If you are uncertain, check the schematics of your cart to see where they are located. At this point, you can set up your test in a way that ensures your cart’s switch is properly operating.
- Attach a Voltmeter – Set your voltmeter continuity or OHMS – whichever setting you possess, as both read a similar flow of power – and identify the 36-volt side of the switch. This should be labeled directly on the body of the switch, making it quite easy to trigger. Usually, this is the input side on your switch and may be labeled that instead of the 36-volt side of the switch.
- Disconnect the Switch – The two wires that lead to your switch will be positive and negative. Identify them and remove the positive wire first – it is usually red – and hold it away from the negative wire. You may want to tape it to the side of your cart or a grounded part to avoid power flow. Now, remove the negative wire and tape it down in a similar way. Put the voltmeter probes on the proper terminals.
- Test With the Voltmeter – At this point, you should be getting a reading from your micro switch. It should read continuity, which means that electricity is flowing through it. If you don’t see continuity when the voltmeter is hooked up, check the mechanical switch – a small metal part – and flick it to its other position. In many cases, this should set it back to continuity.
- Flick the Switch – Manually push the metal switch mechanic to activate the switch. You should see the power on the voltmeter go to “No Continuity” or something similar. If this is the case, your switch is working just fine. However, if the continuity remains or you never get continuity, there is a problem here that must be addressed to fix your switch.
- Reset the Switch – Put the switch back to its original position and remove your voltmeter probes. Reattach the wires to the switch and close the hood or the area where you were testing the switch. Or you may want to leave it open if you plan on adding a new switch to replace the old one. This step is one that is often up to the person who is doing the test.
At this point, your micro switch can be changed out or repaired by you or an expert.
We usually suggest that you get an expert who can handle this process for you.
Doing so can stop you from experiencing unexpected failures, such as putting the switch in the wrong way and causing malfunctions.