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DIY Golf Cart Tune-Up: Your Basic Maintenance Guide

Keeping your golf cart running smoothly is important for reliability and performance on the course. With some basic maintenance and tune-up tasks, you can add years to your golf cart’s life. This guide will walk you through the key things you need to know to tune up your golf cart yourself.

The Most Important Maintenance Tasks

There are a few key maintenance tasks that you should perform regularly on your golf cart to keep it in top shape:

  • Inspect and replace worn tires and wheels. Look for uneven tire wear, cracks, or missing tread. Rotate tires every few months to extend life.
  • Check battery water levels monthly. Refill with distilled water to the fill line. Clean battery tops to prevent corrosion.
  • Lubricate moving parts. Apply white lithium grease to wheel bearings, suspension joints, steering linkage.
  • Check brake function. Adjust as needed to make sure brakes are not sticking or slipping.
  • Inspect lights and turn signals. Replace any burnt out bulbs. Clean lenses.
  • Wash underside and clean the engine area. This prevents dirt buildup and helps you spot leaks.

By making these maintenance tasks part of your regular golf cart care routine, you’ll avoid many common problems that can lead to breakdowns on the course.

Golf Cart Lift Kits

One popular golf cart modification is installing a lift kit. Lift kits raise the cart’s chassis and allow for larger tires. The lists below will help you in understanding golf cart lift kit types and sizes.

Full-Size Lift Kits:

  • Raise cart 2-6 inches for maximum ground clearance
  • Allow for installing 18-24 inch oversized tires
  • Require significant modifications to accommodate larger tires

Wheel Spacer Lift Kits:

  • Simple spacers mounted between axle and wheels
  • Provide 1-3 inches of lift
  • Allow fitting slightly larger tires

Suspension Lift Kits:

  • Use raised suspension components to lift the chassis
  • Provide 2-4 inches of lift
  • Retain same tire size with greater ground clearance

The amount of lift you need depends on your terrain and desired tire size. A full-size kit gives the most clearance for very uneven or off-road conditions. Minor lifts of 1-3 inches are popular for fitting larger tires while retaining a lower center of gravity.

Installing a Lift Kit

When installing a lift kit:

  • Use a service manual for your specific golf cart make and model
  • Lift the cart securely on jack stands before working underneath
  • Follow kit instructions to remove components like shocks or springs
  • Check steering geometry after installing lifted components
  • Have the cart aligned to account for larger tires after lift is complete

Take your time and work safely when installing a golf cart lift kit. Carefully following the kit instructions and properly aligning the cart will ensure optimal performance. Regularly inspect lift components to make sure all hardware remains tight. With a well-installed lift kit, you’ll be able to tune your cart for traversing more challenging terrain.

Basic Golf Cart Tune-Up Tips

Here are a few more tips for tuning up your golf cart:

  • Clean battery terminals with a wire brush to remove corrosion
  • Check spark plugs and replace if worn or fouled
  • Change oil and filter according to manufacturer schedule
  • Flush brake fluid and replace every two years
  • Check fuel lines and filters for cracks or blockages
  • Tighten any loose nuts, bolts, chassis fasteners
  • Listen for noise when driving – worn bearings or joints will make grinding or squeaking noises

Doing minor tune-ups like these before each golf season will add years of life to your cart. And taking time to properly understand options like lift kits will allow you to customize your cart for optimal handling and performance. With basic DIY maintenance skills, you can save money and always keep your golf cart in top running order.

Jeff Campbell