How To Make Your Golf Cart Faster With 5 Simple Upgrades
Golf carts were never meant to race at LeMans or the Indy 500, but they should provide a reasonable level of speed and efficiency. If you own a golf cart and it feels a bit sluggish to you, it might be time for an upgrade. You could take it to a repair shop and request that they look and make some changes to soup up the system. But if you’re handy and good under the hood with a toolbox, you might want to take a crack at it yourself. With a few basic tricks and adjustments, you can bring your golf cart up from 15 – 20 miles per hour to a roaring 30 or more. Before you get started, review your owner’s manual, and investigate the proper tools to use before delving into these tips on how to make your golf cart faster with five simple upgrades.
Lighten the Load
The first and easiest thing to do is to assess whether your cart is being shackled by the weight it carries. When any vehicle is loaded down with extra weight, it forces the engine to work harder to make the wheels spin and move the vehicle. The tires are likewise flattened, leaving them to spread further across the road or other surface, causing more contact and friction. That’s basic science. The solution then is to see if your cart is being weighed down by extra weight. If you have a rear seat kit installed but never have that many passengers, remove it. You can’t afford to carry dead weight. Assess what you have stored on the cart. Even if it seems lightweight, it adds drag to the cart. If you don’t need to bring it anywhere, dump it or store it elsewhere. Keep it clean as well, especially if it’s picking up dirt and debris on the sides and undercarriage. Also, remember to dump your garbage. The improvement in speed might seem negligible, but it all adds up.
Bump Up Your Batteries
Before switching out your batteries, see what kind you have first, the voltages required to power your cart, and whether you can make a switch to a different brand or type. If your cart is running on standard lead-acid batteries, that’s extra weight you don’t need providing less power than you’d like. Consider a switch to 48-volt lithium golf cart batteries. The lack of lead will lighten things up, they take less time to charge to full power, and they last longer, all of which provide you with greater range and top speeds.
As for voltage, check your golf cart’s owner’s manual to see how high you can go. The greater the voltage, the more power your battery can provide, which will in turn make your cart that much speedier. Keeping a lead-acid battery clean around the leads will ensure the smooth flow of electricity but save yourself the trouble with clean-running lithium batteries. While you’re checking your battery, make sure the cables are all in good shape and working at optimal levels, and replace them if they’re looking shabby. While you’re at it, ask yourself if you’re charging your batteries long enough, or if the battery itself is on its last legs. Sometimes, slowness is a sign that you’re not giving the pitiful thing enough time to re-energize, or it simply can’t sack away enough power to take you where you want to go quickly enough. If you have questions about upgrading your batteries, contact us, and we can discuss your options.
Upgrade Your Tires
This one might require a trip to the shop, but if you’re familiar with your cart’s tire size and brand, you can order them online. Better tires always mean a better ride, whether you’re driving a golf cart or an 18-wheeler. Tires need to be firm, the grooves in the tread need to be uniform, and obviously, the tires should be leak-free. Bigger tires can give you a smoother and swifter ride, so investigate trading up to a larger brand. Be sure to maintain the tires by keeping them clean and inflated to the proper pressure, and watch for nicks, scratches, bubbles, and other imperfections that can interfere with your ride. On average, golf cart tires last anywhere from four to seven years, but you should watch them carefully as the years roll on. You may be able to catch things that are slowing you down well before you need to replace your tires.
Change Your Controller
The controller on your golf cart is the device located on the back of your engine that is used to increase power to the engine, thereby increasing speed. You might want to leave this job to a professional because performing work on the engine yourself can invalidate a warranty. However, if you have the chops, replace the controller with one that allows for faster acceleration. The change in speed will be noticeable, so prepare to adjust your driving habits so the cart doesn’t get away from you! Also, disconnect the battery while working on the cart since you run the risk of electric shock during such modifications. Again, if you don’t know what you’re doing in there, don’t do anything and consult with a mechanic who’s seen and done it all before. If you’re bringing it in to a pro to switch out the controller, discuss the possibility of upgrading your engine as well. Your cart may be able to accommodate a bigger engine that can pour on the power.
How’s Your Driving?
Before you look at the cart, take a moment to look at how you’ve been treating it, and the sort of terrain and treatment it faces. When considering how to make your golf cart faster with five simple upgrades, note whether your cart is facing too many hills, muddy ground, random road hazards, and stop-and-go driving. If you push your cart too far, don’t be surprised if it pushes back, or doesn’t push forward at all because of the punishment it’s been through. Drive carefully, perform regular maintenance, shelter it from the elements, and keep those batteries charged. It’ll reward you with faster speed and longer service as a result!