How to Test a Golf Cart Motor

Lead Image
  • 1-2 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-80
What You'll Need
120-volt wall socket voltage tester
12-volt battery tester

Owning a golf cart requires a lot of care, including constantly testing the motor. Early detection and troubleshooting motor problems can save you from spending a lot on repairs. So, if you come across problems, confirm that the motor is functioning properly by following the steps below.

Step 1 - Test the Source of Power

Before you check the motor itself, first test the source of the power: the wall socket where you charge it. Take a 120-volt tester and use the probes to confirm that there is power reaching the socket. If there is no voltage reading, first reset the circuit breaker by flipping the switch that provides electricity to that socket. Test again, and if there is still no reading, contact an electrician to have the socket replaced.

Step 2 - Check the Batteries

After making sure the wall socket is working, it’s time to check if the batteries are the problem. These will have two clamps with cables attached to them. Insert the screwdriver into the slot on a clamp and turn counterclockwise to remove it. Repeat this step with the other clamp. Then, test the voltage of the battery by touching each side of the wires to your 12-volt tester. This needs to be done to check all the batteries, as even one not working can cause your motor to malfunction. Don’t forget to remove the clamps before testing the other batteries as well. If at any time the tester shows less than 12 volts, the batteries need to be replaced.

Step 3 - Uncover the Motor

Finally, its time to check the motor itself. This will be located under a panel, usually at the back of the cart. This panel will be held on with four screws, so just make quick work of them with your screwdriver, and set everything aside in a safe place on a towel.

Step 4 - Detach the Wires

Either take a picture of the motor wiring or ensure that everything is labeled clearly enough that you can reattach everything easily when the time comes. Detach all the wires to the motor. Ensure that none of the terminals are grounded to the motor as well.

Step 5 - Check the Terminals

First, check the F1 terminal with the 12-volt battery tester if it’s not grounded to the motor frame. Then, make sure that continuity is present between the F-1 and F-2 terminal and A-1 and A-2 terminal, but not between the two—A-1 to F-1. This test will show if there is something wrong with the motor, even if the required 36/48 volts is applied.

If your motor has an S terminal instead of an F, then test the S-1 to the A-1 terminal to make sure there is no continuity. Then, test the S-2 terminal, to the A-1 terminal for no continuity.

These continuity tests will help you determine where the problems with your motor lie. If you don't feel that you have the experience to approach motor repairs with this information, then take your cart to a repair specialist and tell them about your tests before they start.