Golf carts, while being small and efficient vehicles, are prone to an abundance of problems. For example, one of the most common problems that golf carts run into is when they start leaning more in one direction than another. Not only is a leaning problem inconvenient with golf carts, but it’s usually an indicator of a different set of problems.
The most common reasons a golf cart leans is that your tire pressure is off, bad shocks / springs, or frame damage. To determine if it is leaning, measure from the fender to the ground and compare both sides. Fixing your leaning golf cart can be as easy as inflating a tire, or replacing worn parts.
Regardless of what’s causing your golf cart to lean to one side, getting to the root of the issue is essential. The only way to do that is by examining your golf cart and using a process of elimination to solve the mystery. In this article, we’ll look at four of the most common reasons that golf carts lean, how to fix them, and a few additional things to watch out for.
4 Reasons Your Golf Cart is Leaning and What to Do
Check the Tire Pressure on Your Golf Cart
As we said before, low tire pressure is one of the most common reasons for a leaning golf cart. Most golf cart tires should have a psi of 20 to 22, but they can range from 15 to 25. It’s essential to check the tires on your golf cart and see what the recommended psi is. Next, you should use a tire pressure gauge to check the tire pressure on all four wheels.
If you discover that one or more of your tires is low on air, you should use an air compressor to refill it to the proper psi. Once the pressure is correct, check your golf cart again to see if it’s leaning. If not, then flat tires were the source of your problems. If it’s still leaning, however, you should check for the other issues we’re about to go into.
Bad Shock Bushings On your Golf Cart Suspension
Your shock bushings are designed to help lessen the impact and bump you feel when you go over a bump. If you’re missing one or more bushings, not only will you have a rough and uncomfortable ride, but your golf cart will also lean to one side. You should have a shock absorber by each wheel, which means that when they’re missing, there will be noticeable sagging.
Missing shock bushings can happen with new carts or old ones. Bushings wear out over time due to corrosion, and it’s also happened where golf carts get sold brand new, but someone forgot to install the bushings. Either way, you can purchase new bushings from most golf cart stores and distributors and install them yourself.
You can also take your golf cart to a certified golf cart mechanic and have them install the bushing for you. Either way, your cart should stop leaning and be as good as new.
Coil and Leaf Springs Settling on your Golf Cart
Coil or leaf springs are sometimes used in addition to shock absorbers. Like the absorbers, coil and leaf springs are bushings that are meant to make for a more comfortable ride and to reduce bumps and jolts. As with shock absorbers, these coils and springs can give out over time. It’s important to check them annually and ensure that they’re intact if your golf cart was designed to utilize them.
Another sign that coil and leaf springs are the issue is if you hear a rattling noise when you go over bumps. The rattling noise, in addition to a leaning cart and an uncomfortable ride, are surefire signs that the coil or leaf springs are to blame.
Possible Frame Damage
Finally, it’s possible that frame damage is the cause of your leaning cart. Luckily, golf cart frames are built very sturdily and are meant to last. As such, frame damage usually isn’t the underlying cause of a leaning cart, but it’s possible.
To check for frame damage, you’ll need to inspect the underside of your golf cart. Look for rust, bent metal, corrosion, and other problems. If you see rust, break it off and paint the area with rust-resistant paint. However, you’ll have to repair or replace the part in question if you see visible structural damage.
Damaged frames aren’t common, but they’re dangerous and very inconvenient. Therefore, checking your frame regularly and taking measures to prevent rust and corrosion is a good idea.
Why is My Golf Cart Pulling to the Left?
If you notice your golf cart pulling to the left, there’s a good chance it also leans that way when standing still. It could be because of any of the abovementioned problems, but it could also be due to a worn wheel clutch. If the clutch is the issue, it’s likely that your cart will also make grinding noises during operation. It’s also possible that you’ll notice a burning smell as you’re driving. You’ll have to replace the wheel clutch to get your golf cart working again.
How do You Smooth Out a Golf Cart?
Many issues we looked at that cause an uneven golf cart will also cause a rough ride. You should first check your tire pressure and see if it’s imbalanced from one side to the other. Adjust the tires accordingly, and see if your riding experience is smoother. If that didn’t work, it’s likely that one of your bushings or shock absorbers has worn out and needs to get replaced.
What Causes a Golf Cart to Lose Speed?
If you have an electric golf cart, a low battery is the most common reason for a golf cart that’s losing speed. With gas carts, however, a lack of speed is probably because your cart is aging and is showing signs of wear and tear. It’s also possible that the alternator is giving out, which will cause your cart to lose power.
What Causes an Electric Golf Cart to Buck?
The most common reason for a golf cart that’s bucking is because of bad or loose tires. It’s also possible that you have uneven tire pressure or the shock absorbers have given out. It’s important to use a process of elimination when checking for these issues so that you can find the right one.
These same problems that cause an electric golf cart to buck can also cause gas carts to do likewise.