How To Test A Golf Cart Motor: The 3 Steps You Need

The golf cart’s motor is like the heartbeat of this humble vehicle. So, it is essential to keep it running smoothly. But have you ever wondered how to test a golf cart motor?

To effectively test your golf cart motor, start by testing the power source using a 120-volt tester. Next, perform a motor reset by locating the ‘Reset’ button on the motor and pressing it to restart the motor engine. Check the terminals by disconnecting and marking the wires. Lastly, connect A1 to S1 with a jumper wire and test the motor’s function.

If you want to learn the process deeply, keep reading. Today, we will guide you through the simple yet crucial process of how to test a golf cart motor.

How To Test A Golf Cart Motor: A Step-By-Step Guide

Through rigorous testing, you will know if your golf cart motor is functioning correctly or not. You can follow the steps below to effectively test your golf cart motor and diagnose any issues.

Step 1: Test the Power Source

Get a 120-volt tester, which you can rent or purchase from an electrical store. The tester probes should be clean enough to prevent unexpected electrical shocks. Insert the probes into a power socket and press the test button on the 120-volt tester.

If you receive a consistent charge reading, the power socket is functioning correctly. Now, try charging your golf cart from another socket to compare its performance. If the second socket also provides a positive result, you can use it for the testing.

Step 2: Reset the Motor

Sometimes, you can resolve minor issues with your golf cart by performing a simple motor reset. In order to do that, you should start by locating the ‘Reset’ button on your motor. Usually, this button can be found on the outside of the motor. There may or may not be a ‘Reset’ label.

After finding the ‘Reset’ button, press it. This will attempt to restart the motor engine of your golf cart. Repeat this process as needed to reset the motor.

Step 3: Check the Terminals

For proper motor testing, checking the terminals is essential. Before you proceed with this step, take pictures of the motor’s wiring for reference.

Move to the back of the golf cart and locate the motor. You will find four wires attached to the upper front of the electric motor, labeled A1, A2, S1, and S2. Use a pen or pencil to mark each cable with the appropriate port number before disconnecting them.

Unscrew the screws holding the cables in place on each of the four battery posts. Remove the wires from the electric motor and store the screws safely. Connect the A1 post of the motor to the S1 post using a jumper wire. Then, tighten the battery connection nuts using a wrench.

Connect one end of the negative lead from the jumper cable to a fully charged 12-volt battery’s negative terminal. Attach the opposite end of the negative jumper cable to the electric motor’s S2 post.

Connect the positive wire to the 12-volt battery’s positive terminal. At the same time, attach the opposite end to the electric motor’s A2 terminal. The motor should spin, and the back wheels should revolve.

After testing, remove the jumper wires and reattach the battery cables to the motor.

The following video is useful if you are seeking a visual representation of the process.

Note – Before you start testing your golf cart motor, make sure the power source is fully operational. It should be capable of providing a sufficient charge.

How To Test A Golf Cart Motor Solenoid

The solenoid in your golf cart motor is super important since it ensures power goes where it needs to. So, it is like the traffic cop of the electrical system. After learning the process of how to test a golf cart motor, you need to learn how to test a golf cart motor solenoid because the 2 processes are interconnected.

Here is how to test a golf cart motor solenoid:

What You Will Need To Test A Golf Cart Motor Solenoid

Basically, you will need the following items to test the solenoid of a golf cart motor. All items are very easy to find. So, you should not have any problem finding the following items.

  • Electrical tape
  • ½-inch wrench
  • Voltmeter

After having all the items in your hand, you should begin the process with the very first step.

Step 1: Disconnect The Wires

First, grab your wrench and disconnect the wires from the two larger solenoid terminals. If you have a gas golf cart, these terminals will be connected to the starter. For electric golf carts, they will be linked to the controller.

Step 2: Cover The Wires

Next, cover the ends of these wires with electrical tape. Doing so will keep the wires from getting frayed. Make sure they don’t touch each other accidentally. Also, double-check that the cart’s direction switches are in a stable position and the key is not in the “on” position.

Step 3: Adjust Your Voltmeter

Okay, now it is time to set your voltmeter (or multimeter) to ohms. Place one probe on each of the large solenoid terminals. The reading on the voltmeter should be zero.

Step 4: Inspect The Readings

Turn the key on and set the direction switch to “forward.” After that, press the accelerator pedal. Listen carefully for a clicking noise coming from the solenoid. If you hear a click, re-check the large terminals with the voltmeter.

The reading should be between 0 and 0.4 ohms. If it is higher, it means the solenoid’s contacts are bad and need replacing.

Step 5: Test The Solenoid in DC Mode

If you don’t hear that click, switch the voltmeter to DC volts. The range should be 200. Now, put the probes on the tiny terminals of the solenoid. Turn the key on and set the direction switch to “forward.” Then, press the accelerator again.

If the voltmeter reads zero and you still don’t hear a click, the solenoid is likely not the issue.

But if there is no click and the voltage is complete, it means the coil has failed. In that case, you will need to replace the solenoid.


How do you know if your golf cart motor is bad?

You can tell if your golf cart motor is bad by noticing a few symptoms. It will make strange noises, won’t run smoothly, or struggle to move the cart. Also, it might be a sign of a bad motor if it is not responding properly to the accelerator.

What type of motor is in a golf cart?

Normally, golf carts have electric motors, specifically DC (Direct Current) motors. These motors are powered by batteries, making them quiet and efficient.

How many watts is a golf cart motor?

The wattage of a golf cart motor can vary depending on the model and manufacturer. Typically, golf cart motors range from around 2,000 to 6,000 watts. You can always check the specifications of your specific golf cart model for the exact wattage.

Bottom Line

Learning how to test a golf cart motor is a fundamental skill for any golf cart owner. Your golf cart’s motor is the powerhouse that keeps you rolling. So, you should be patient and take enough time to test it periodically is a smart move. After testing your golf cart motor, you should clean your golf cart seats  since they will probably get dirty.

As a giveaway suggestion, give your golf cart motor the attention it deserves. Only then, you can enjoy a smooth ride on the fairway and beyond.

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