Part of being a responsible golf cart owner is preparing it for winter storage. Unlike other vehicles, you won’t be driving your gas golf cart around during winter. During periods of disuse, such as winter, it’s important to protect your golf cart. Simply leaving it outside in the cold could damage the cart or its components, which is why proper storage is important.
Storing a gas golf cart involves several steps. First, it’s important to thoroughly clean the golf cart inside and out. Next, you should take measures to protect the engine, and its various components, including the carburetor, throttle body, and gasoline. You’ll also want to inflate and check the tires periodically.
Preparing your gas golf cart for winter storage doesn’t take much work, but it’s meticulous and takes time. However, you must follow them to a T, so your golf cart is ready to go when spring comes around. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to do, how to do it, and anything else you need to know about winter storage.
How to Store a Gas Golf Cart During Winter
Many of the steps you take to store your gas golf cart for winter are similar to how you would store an electric one. The main difference is that you’ll need to put more focus on the engine and fuel rather than the batteries.
Clean the Cart
The first thing you should do with any golf cart before storing it is to clean it thoroughly. The odds are that you don’t wash and clean your golf cart regularly throughout the year, so there is probably lots of buildup.
Take the time to scrape away bird poop, dirt, debris, grime, and other buildup. You should also take time to remove trash and objects inside the cart and dispose of them.
While washing and cleaning the cart, check for rust and chipped paint. Rust and chipped paint are your worst enemy during winter because the moisture created by cold temperatures will make things worse. You should make repairs as needed with rust-proof paint to protect the structural integrity of the golf cart.
Move It to the Storage Area
When the cart is clean and shiny, your next step should be to move it to the storage area. Most of the things you’re about to do in preparation for storage will make the golf cart immovable. Therefore, it’s important to have your spot picked and ready in advance.
The best place to store a gas golf cart is in a warm, dry area out of the cold. Freezing temperatures will wreak havoc on your batteries, and moisture will potentially get into the fuel lines or engine and cause damage. Therefore, a heated garage, barn, or shop is a good place to keep your gas golf cart.
Prepare the Battery
While taking care of batteries in an electric golf cart is more important, it’s still crucial to care for the battery in your gas cart. It helps provide power and electricity to your cart, and you’ll be left sitting without one that works well. Here are the steps for preparing the battery in a gas golf cart.
- Remove the terminal connections and clean them with a soft brush and a baking soda/water solution.
- Clean the battery thoroughly from top to bottom.
- Reconnect the battery terminals and ensure they’re nice and tight.
- Check the battery water levels and add distilled water if the levels are low.
- Fully charge the battery.
- Check the battery charge every month and recharge it whenever it drops below 70% charge.
- If you don’t want to take the time to check the battery regularly, you can hook the battery up to a trickle or automatic charger. Trickle chargers will charge the battery as needed and turn it off when the battery is fully charged.
Prepare the Tires
Next, check your tire pressure and ensure they’re filled to the correct psi. Most golf cart tires should have a psi of between 18 and 25. However, don’t take our word for it because all tires are different. The correct psi should be listed in your owner’s manual or on the side of the tire.
Aside from psi, you should also check the stability and tightness of the tires. You should also check for rust and corrosion around the tires and make necessary repairs.
Drain or Stabilize the Fuel
Depending on how cold the temperatures get and how long you have your cart in storage, there’s a good chance that your fuel won’t make it. Therefore, you have two options when it comes to your fuel.
Option 1: Drain the Fuel
Draining the fuel from the tank and fuel lines is the most surefire way to ensure it doesn’t damage your system. Fuel left in the lines and tank can solidify and cause serious damage.
When draining the fuel from a golf cart, you can remove the entire tank or siphon the fuel out with a hose. Both methods are surprisingly simple, and it’s entirely up to you which one you prefer.
Option 2: Stabilize the Fuel
Your other option is to add a fuel stabilizer to your gas. Adding a fuel stabilizer is quicker and easier than draining the tank, but there’s a chance that it won’t do the trick. However, if you follow the instructions on your fuel stabilizer and add it as needed, your gasoline should be good to go next year.
Drain the Carburator
Once the fuel is taken care of, it’s time to drain the carburetor. As with the fuel lines, any fuel left in the carburetor could harden and cause serious damage. Luckily, draining the carburetor is fairly simple.
- Locate the carburetor drain bolt on the bottom of the carburetor.
- Place a pan underneath the drain to catch the exiting fuel.
- Open the drain bolt or valve to release the fuel.
- Turn your golf cart on and press the gas periodically for five minutes to propel the movement of gas.
- Turn off the golf cart and turn the clutch while removing the key.
- Doing this will make it so that your valves are in a closed position.
However, if you added a fuel stabilizer instead of draining your gas tank, you don’t need to drain the carburetor. Instead, run the cart for several minutes after adding the stabilizer to get the stabilized fuel into the carburetor.
Protect the Throttle Body
For this step, you can do it before or after taking care of the fuel and carburetor. You’ll need to have the golf cart running, so protect the throttle body before draining the fuel and carburetor if you plan to go that route. However, if you add a fuel stabilizer, you can perform this step afterward.
To protect the throttle body, you’ll need to spray engine fogging oil over the top of the throttle body, carburetor, and engine, as you’re pressing on the gas pedal. Engine fogging oil provides a special coating that protects the engine and its components during winter.
Cover the Cart
Once you have each of these steps checked off, you’re ready to cover the cart for winter. Your best option is to invest in a $30 to $50 cart cover specifically meant for golf carts. These covers provide the most protection from frigid temperatures, ice, snow, debris, and other things that will damage your gas golf cart.
Do You Need to Winterize a Gas Golf Cart?
Winterizing is crucial if you’re not planning to use your golf cart during the winter months. You can winterize your golf cart by using the steps listed above. If you don’t winterize your cart, there’s a good chance that the fuel will harden, your carburetor and throttle body will get damaged, and your battery will be drained.
Can You Leave a Gas Golf Cart Outside During Winter?
If you have the option, you should never leave your gas golf cart outside during winter. It is always preferable to keep it in a barn, shop, or another type of building. If you have to leave it outside, however, you should at least keep it under a shelter to protect it from snow, rain, and falling objects.
Should I Take the Batteries Out of My Golf Cart for the Winter?
As long as you take measures to winterize your golf cart battery, as listed above, you don’t need to remove it from your golf cart during the winter. It’s important to check the battery periodically and ensure the charge doesn’t drop too low.
It’s also worth noting that freezing temperatures are potentially a death sentence to batteries. Cold temperatures kill battery cells, which are their lifeblood. Therefore, keeping your golf cart and battery in a warm, dry area for maximum protection is best.
How Do You Drain Gas From a Golf Cart?
Follow these steps if you decide to drain the gas from your golf cart.
- Insert a thin hose into your golf cart’s gas tank.
- Push the hose until you feel it touch the bottom of the tank and start to bunch up.
- Take a rag and put it over the tank’s opening around the hose to prevent splashing or air pockets.
- Take a compressor or blow gun and blow air into the gas tank.
- You can also blow air using your mouth if you’re long-winded enough.
- The force of air pushing down against the tank will create suction through the hose, resulting in gas coming out the top of the hose.
- Put a pan or gas can under the other side of the hose outside the tank to catch the draining gasoline.