Troubleshooting Your Go Kart Engine: Stalling Problems

person working on go kart engine

A go kart engine nowadays can be either electric or fuel powered. Normally in amusement parks they use electric go karts because they can run indoors in a controlled environment and they do no emit any smoke.

Having a fuel-powered go kart engine requires adequate maintenance to run efficiently. Stalling problems occur in two circumstances, either problems with the ignition or problems related to fuel injection, or even a combination of both. Although today many world class car manufactures produce go kart engines that you can buy, normally you would find an old small engine and convert it into a go kart yourself. More often than not, lawnmower engines are used. When troubleshooting your Go Kart engine always remember to move one step at a time because if not, you’ll end up with a lot of confusing little engine parts all over the floor.


Motor oil is fundamental in an engine, therefore this will require regular maintenance. To change the oil you have to unscrew the plug in oil pan. After draining oil, replace plug and refill with fresh oil. There is no need to use very expensive oil for a small engine, just remember to change it every so often.

Fuel and Air Mixture

If the engine is stalling, check the air cleaner and if it’s dirty clean it with compressed air. Specialized cleaning solutions can also be used. If the engine is still stalling, the problem is the combination of air and fuel the engine is injecting. This is a tough job to repair, thus seek the help of a professional to ensure best results. Another problem that causes stalling is when there is a fault in the fuel pump

Carb and Spark Problems

If the latter doesn’t work then try disassembling your carburetor and clean throughout, if you think there could be a fuel and air mix problem then inspect it very carefully, cleaning the chambers at every step. Always use appropriate tools and a gentle touch to avoid further damage. While re-assembling make sure that all of the connections are secured tightly to avoid a vacuum leak, because this is quite expensive to repair afterwards.

If the engine doesn’t start after checking all of the above, the problem may be that there is no spark. This is not a stalling problem but is a very common problem both in car engines and small engines so have some spark plugs handy just in case.

Electrical Components

Small engines do not have many complicated electrical components but if you are not well versed in electronics you have to seek the help of somebody who does because you’ll never figure out what is wrong with your engine.

In general, always use a well functioning engine for your go kart, and do regular maintenance—it's very dangerous if the engine stalls when you are driving at a considerable amount of speed. Remember to use safety equipment such as helmets, knee pads etc to make sure no serious accidents occur due to engine failure.