My Gas Golf Cart Won’t Start After Winter and How to Fix It

Depending on where you live, the winters can be long, cold, and harsh. They tend to wreak havoc on anything with a gas combustion engine, which tend to thrive in warmer temperatures. Therefore, it’s very important to properly winterize your gas golf cart. Failing to do so will result in a gas golf cart that won’t start after winter. 

The main reason a gas golf cart won’t start up after the winter is that you didn’t winterize it properly. Improper winterization can lead to dead batteries, bad fuel, or dirty oil. It can also lead to issues with the carburetor, spark plugs, or air filter.

If you have a gas-powered golf cart failing to start up after winter, you’ve come to the right place. Gas golf carts aren’t overly complicated machines, but they have several components that need to work to operate. This article will explain the top reasons for gas golf cart failure after winter and what to do. 

Reasons Your Gas Golf Cart Won’t Start After Winter 

Your Fuel is Gunked Up 

If you forgot to add a fuel stabilizer to your gas tank or drain your fuel, there’s a good chance it will gunk up during winter. Cold weather causes fuel to harden in the tank or within the fuel lines. If it hasn’t hardened, it’s also possible that dirt or grime has mixed with the fuel, and it has gone bad. 

How to Fix 

The only way to fix the issue of bad fuel is to remove the fuel and replace it. You can either remove the gas tank on your golf cart and dump the fuel, or you can siphon it with a hose. However, if it’s hardened too much, you may have to soften the fuel before removing it. 

Your Oil Has Gone Bad 

Like all combustion engines, your golf cart has oil coursing through it. Leaving your golf cart sitting all winter without winterizing will likely result in bad oil. Dirt, grime, and gunk can get into the oil, resulting in issues when you try to start your cart. 

How to Fix 

As with bad fuel, the only way to fix bad oil is to remove and replace it. You’ll have to go through the same steps you would for a regular oil change. 

  1. Drain the oil, catching it in a pan or can. 
  2. Remove and replace the oil filter. 
  3. Add fresh oil to the golf cart. 

Your Batteries Are Dead 

If you fail to fully charge your golf cart battery and maintain the charge throughout winter, it will likely be dead come spring. It’s also possible that your battery couldn’t handle the freezing temperatures of winter, and some of the battery cells died. Check the charge level to find out if your battery is the source of your issues. You’ll have to recharge the battery to get your cart running if it’s too low or dead. 

It’s also possible that your battery terminals are corroded, resulting in a weak connection. You’ll have to clean the terminals and remove corrosion if that’s the source of your battery problems. 

How to Fix 

While it’s possible to recharge a dead battery and give it new life, this isn’t possible if the cells are dead. Freezing temperatures kill battery cells, so it’s crucial to properly store your golf cart during winter. Once the battery cells are dead, you’ll either have to replace them or buy a new battery. 

Air Filter is Frozen 

One of the most common problems people have with their gas golf carts is the air filters. During winter, condensation forms when temperatures fluctuate between freezing cold and mild. If you don’t have the air filter compartment sealed on your golf cart, moisture will form on the air filter and freeze when temperatures dip. The result is a frozen air filter, which will keep your golf cart from starting. 

How to Fix

If your air filter is, or was, frozen at any time, you’ll have to replace it with a new one. Luckily, air filters are fairly cheap and easy to replace, making this one of the easier problems to solve. However, a frozen air filter is avoidable if you seal it properly and don’t let moisture in. 

It’s also preventable if you store your golf cart in a warm location where freezing temperatures and condensation can’t get to it. 

Bad Spark Plugs 

Gas golf carts have fairly small engines, which means they only have one spark plug. However, when this spark plug goes bad, it will prevent your golf cart from starting. The main way that spark plugs get ruined is if one of the attaching wires has become damaged or if the oil inside it goes bad. 

If you didn’t drain or treat your oil before winter, bad oil is likely the cause. However, it’s possible that a mouse or rat found your golf cart searching for warmth and chewed through one of the spark plug wires. 

How to Fix

If a bad spark plug is your issue, you’ll have to replace it to get your golf cart running. If the spark plug isn’t working because of a damaged wire, you’ll also have to repair the wire in question. To prevent spark plugs from getting damaged, treat or drain your engine oil and put a rodent deterrent around your golf cart to keep rodents away. 

Bad Carburetor 

While being a small piece of the puzzle, the carburetor is one of the most important components of a gas golf cart. It mixes air and fuel so that the fuel entering your engine isn’t too rich. This helps improve gas mileage and makes it so that your engine doesn’t get damaged by overrich fuel. 

If you neglect to add a fuel stabilizer to your cart before winter or drain the fuel entirely, your carburetor will likely get damaged. 

How to Fix

If your carburetor is the source of your troubles, you’ll have to repair or replace it. You can remove the carburetor and clean it out, removing the dirty fuel. However, if the damage is too extensive, you’ll have to replace the carburetor with a new one. 

How Do You Start a Gas Golf Cart After Winter? 

If you winterized your golf cart properly, starting it up after winter is a cinch. However, it’s a good idea to charge your batteries, check your fuel level, and change the oil before starting your cart after winter. You can avoid most major golf cart issues by doing these three simple tasks. 

How Do You Fix a Gas Golf Cart That Won’t Start? 

If you have a gas golf cart that refuses to start, it’s likely because of one of the things we examined in this article. However, if your cart doesn’t start up throughout the year, it could also be because of wiring issues, a blown fuse, a bad solenoid, or problems with the ignition. 

To get your golf cart running again, you’ll have to determine the source of the problem and repair it. The best way to do this is by using a process of elimination. Start with common problems like batteries, fuel, and oil. Next, move to more complicated ones like the wiring, ignition, solenoid, and fuses. 

How Do You Reset a Gas Golf Cart? 

To reset your gas golf cart, here’s what you need to do. 

  1. Turn the golf cart off. 
  2. Put the cart in neutral. 
  3. Set the tow/run switch to tow if your cart has one. 
  4. Disconnect the negative terminal from the battery. 
  5. Put the tow/run switch to run. 
  6. Put the cart in reverse. 
  7. Turn the golf cart on. 
  8. Press the gas pedal down and hold it there. 
  9. In 30 seconds, the reverse buzzer will sound. 
  10. Let the cart sit in this position for five minutes to reset it. 

Do All Golf Carts Have a Reset Button? 

While electric golf carts have a handy reset button on the motor near the battery terminal, gas golf carts don’t share this luxury. Resetting an electric golf cart is as simple as pressing the reset button. To reset a gas golf cart, however, you’ll have to follow the abovementioned steps.