How to Maintain a Go Kart Engine

Lead Image
  • 2-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-200
What You'll Need
Oil drain pin and pan
Oil filter
Small funnel spark
Small spark plug wrench
Small spark plug gapper
Set of screwdrivers
Air filter
Clean cloth
Owner's manual

All automobile engines need to be rebuilt or repaired at one point or another, and a go kart engine is not immune to that. But one bad thing about it is the fact that they take a lot of abuse and may wear out faster. So doing tune ups and rebuilding are a regular part of go kart engine life.

Step 1 - Read Owner's Manual

Read through the owner's manual to know where the parts are located and what they are. Highlight important information and also refer to the engine, so you can recognize the parts. You may also want to highlight their Website URL and customer support number. Also check to see if they list where you can order replacement parts.

Step 2 - Drain Old Oil and Refill

Using the drain plug, drain out all old oil from the motor. Clean with the cloth and refill with new oil. Try not to spill the oil on the engine if you can help it, and also pour it in slowly. Then close the oil tube and wipe down the whole engine.

Step 3 - Check Spark Plug

two spark plugs, one rusted and one new

Locate the spark plug and inspect it for damage. You will be using the gapper to hold it and pick it up. If you see no damage, reinsert it. If you do find damage, write down the model number so you can buy a new one to replace it. You may also want to wipe it down and the area around it down.

Step 4 - Check Spark Plug Wires

Inspect the spark plug wires for any erosion or other damage. If you notice damage, write that down and order a new part. If it appears to be fine, leave it alone. However, you may want to wipe it down and make sure that it is not loose.

Step 5 - Clean and Inspect Air Filter

Use the owner’s manual to locate where the air filter is housed. Open it up with the proper screwdriver and take a good look at it. Does it appear to have holes or other flaws? If not, go ahead and clean it with warm and soapy water. Allow to dry before putting it back in. Also clean the area where it is stored with a degreaser.

Step 6 - Adjust the Carburetor

small engine in a go kart

Using the proper screwdriver, adjust the carburetor in your go kart engine. Unlike modern day cars, they use a carburetor to control the fuel to air ratio. Over time, you will need to keep readjusting it for every 5,000 miles that you drive it. Try to turn it counterclockwise to get it at the best level of optimization as possible.

Step 7 - Check Belts, Hoses, and Fluids

Look for wear and tear on all belts and hoses. Make sure hoses have a strong seal at the hose clamp. Also check all your fluids and add more as needed.

After you do that, test the go kart engine to double check the function. It should sound brand new again and be ready to drive. If not, redo the steps listed above and try again. If that still does not work, contact the manufacturer's customer support for more help or hire a professional to take a look at it.