If you live on a large number of acres, in a beach community, or in a small town, golf carts are an exceptional way to get around and complete the various tasks you need to complete day to day. However, if you are driving your golf cart through a number of different terrains including pavement, grass, sand, and others, you will want your golf cart to ride as smoothly as possible.
In general, there are quite a few different problems that can cause a golf cart to have a bumpy ride. Narrowing down these various problems can be frustrating, but fortunately enough for you, the top five ways to make your golf cart smoother are listed down below. Therefore, if you are currently looking to make your golf cart ride smoother, you should continue, and keep reading!
The Five Most Common Reasons Your Golf Cart is Riding Bumpy
As previously stated, a golf cart can begin to exhibit a bumpy ride for a number of reasons. However, the five most common reasons a golf cart’s ride is bumpy are worn-out shocks, faulty tire pressure, dirty oil or an old oil filter, worn-out suspension bushings, problems with the cart’s lift kit, or it needs a lift kit. While each of these problems can cause a golf cart to ride poorly, fixing each issue can also substantially smooth out the ride of a golf cart. To address each of these issues and smooth out your golf cart’s ride you will need to:
1. Replace Any Worn Out Shocks
While the shocks and struts on a golf cart shouldn’t need replacing for several years, if you have an older golf cart that has been used constantly throughout its life, this is a good place to start trying to smooth out its ride.
Testing out the shocks and struts is fairly simple. To do this, you will need to stand on the bumper of your golf cart and press it down several times. If you hear any type of squeaking noise or any chatter coming from the struts or shocks it is most likely time to replace these parts.
Another way to test is to jump up and down, if the golf cart suddenly stops then the shocks are good. If it keeps going up and down for a short period of time after you stop jumping, then you need to replace your worn out shocks.
If you are unsure if your shocks or struts need replacing you can always bring your golf cart into a professional repair shop. However, if you can identify and change out the faulty parts yourself you will save yourself a good amount of money.
If you do realize that you need to replace your shocks or struts, you can purchase these parts from a variety of retailers online. Before purchasing you will want to make sure you are familiar with what type and size of shocks and struts your golf cart is currently equipped with.
Shocks are very inexpensive and can run from $40 for a pair of two OEM replacements to upwards of $250 for nice coilovers.
2. Fix the Faulty Tire Pressure
With a lot of other bells and whistles drawing their attention, it is not uncommon for a golf cart owner to overlook the tire pressure on their golf cart. However, when the golf cart tire pressure is less than ideal or overpressured it can cause serious side effects to the cart’s overall performance. When the tires on a golf cart either have too much air or not enough, the cart can start to ride more bumpy than usual.
If it has been some time since checking the golf cart’s tire pressure, this is the perfect place to start. Keeping the cart’s tires balanced is a great way to improve the overall performance of the golf cart. Hopefully, after fixing this issue you will notice a substantially smoother ride. After all, it doesn’t get much easier than just having to fill your tires up with a few pounds of air pressure.
3. Change Your Golf Cart’s Oil & Oil Filter
If your golf cart is powered by gas, its motor operates similar to any other gas-powered engine. Subsequently, just like any other gas-powered engine, a gas-powered golf cart needs oil and an oil filter to run smoothly. When this oil and oil filter is not changed regularly it can result in poor performance and in extreme circumstances irreversible damage to the golf cart’s engine.
Checking the golf cart’s oil fluid and filter should be a part of regular maintenance. However, if you are having problems with your golf car’s bumpy ride, you should check out the oil and filter to try and address the issue as it may be excessive engine vibration causing your bumpy ride.
If you check out your cart’s oil and oil filter and think it is dirty and in need of a change, perform this maintenance as soon as possible. Once you change out the old oil and replace the oil filter, you should notice the golf cart start to ride smoother.
4. Replace Worn Out Suspension Bushings
A suspension bushing is a small rubber pad that is integral to your golf car’s suspension system. When force is applied to your cart’s suspension system, this bushing absorbs some of this force and pressure and displaces it. This function results in a significantly smoother ride.
When these bushings are worn out and deformed, a golf cart’s ride can suffer. If you are noticing new problems with your golf cart’s ride, check each of the suspension bushings and replace them if they are worn out. This replacement will not only result in a smoother ride but will also improve the health and performance of the golf cart’s suspension system.
5. Fix Any Problems With Your Cart’s Lift Kit
If the cart has a lift kit installed on it, this could be the root of all of your bumpy ride problems. There are a variety of different types of lift kits that are commonly installed onto golf carts. These lift kits are normally installed to improve the golf cart’s clearance or increase the smoothness of a golf cart’s ride. However, when a golf cart lift kit is installed incorrectly or after they become damaged over time, it may actually cause a golf cart to ride and perform worse than it did before the lift kit was installed. In addition to making sure your cart’s lift kit is installed properly, you will also want to make sure the lift kit is paired with the correct size tires.
If your golf cart’s lift kit and tires are not compatible, you could experience a bumpy ride and a poor performance until the issue is resolved. Normally, every lift kit comes with instructions and tire size guidelines. To make sure your tires are not the problem, you should research these guidelines and make sure the tires fit properly.
6. Add a Lift Kit to your Golf Cart
If you have a really bumpy ride and ride off paved roads a lot, you may benefit from a lift kit to provide a better suspension than stock and provide more ground clearance.
Summary: Fixing Your Bumpy Ride
When your golf cart is performing and riding smoothly there is nothing better. However, when it is riding poorly and bumpy, you will likely want to address the issue as soon as possible. The various problems discussed above are the five most common reasons why a golf car may ride bumpy. To fix these issues you will simply need to resolve the issue that is causing your golf cart to ride poorly in the first place.
If you address all of these issues and still don’t see the ride improvements you were hoping for, you may need to take your golf car to a licensed mechanic. This mechanic may spot another problem with your cart, or they may simply suggest that you install a smoother lift kit onto your golf cart. However, in general, the easiest way to smooth out your golf cart’s ride is to ensure every one of its elements is serviced and functioning properly. Good luck!