Often times, buying a used golf cart can be tedious. There are many brands, and within those brands there are an even greater number of variations and types of carts available, ranging from the most basic of models to some that are wildly modified. You, as a buyer, have many options. As with any type of larger purchase, caution should be imparted to ensure that you don’t inherit someone’s albatross. Knowing what to look for, could save big expenses later.
Here at Big Moose RV Sales, we sell Yamaha Golf Carts. One of the best brands in the industry!
We always have a good inventory on the lot, but we can also special order just about any type of cart that you could think of, especially if there are certain accessories you are looking for. We will also soon be carrying a number of different styles, and potentially some off-road vehicles as well!
Really, the first decision comes down to power. Gas or electric are the only two options here, and each has its strong and weak points.
GAS POWERED GOLF CARTS
Gasoline powered golf carts are often more powerful, and are well suited for utility service or hauling heavier loads. For those that are environmentally conscious, or not thrilled about engines, it certainly uses fossil fuels and can also emit odorous exhaust fumes. With gas power, these vehicles typically have a much further range than battery powered carts. They also carry less wait time once the fuel has been run dry, as you can simply fill them back up and keep going. On the other hand, there is certainly something to be said for requiring more maintenance than battery powered golf carts, since regular oil changes, preventative maintenance, tune-ups, and the potential for mechanical issues must be considered.
BATTERY POWERED GOLF CARTS
Battery operated golf carts are certainly stealthier and significantly more quiet than gas powered carts, and they are also virtually odorless. The biggest downfall to using battery power is that it only gives you a very limited range between charge cycles. Then, when the batteries have drained, you are now unable to use the cart until they can be recharged, which can take 8 hours or more. Battery powered carts are also not able to carry the heavier loads that gas powered carts can. Nonetheless, these types of carts are extremely useful and environmentally conscious. They often excel in the same environments as gas powered carts, such as golf courses (naturally), campgrounds, farms, warehouses, dealerships, and even homeowners that have larger properties. It simply depends on the application you will be utilizing the cart for as to which power source would suit you best.
A FEW IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER
After on which power source is best for your application, and you’ve found the potential “candidate cart,” you’ll have a few things to consider in order to know what you are buying before you write the check, hand over the cash, or sign on the dotted line for financing. Never purchase a golf cart without first taking it for a drive.
Notice Any Tire Wear.
Take a general assessment of the tires and their condition. Make sure they are they all the same brand, and that they have similar and even wear. Uneven wear can be indicative of alignment problems, a bent rim or frame, and the potential for worn out steering components. Tires of mixed brands can indicate that the cart may have seen excessive use, or be a rebuild of junk parts. These are, of course, warning signs and may not necessarily be the case, but it’s important to note as you continue looking over the vehicle.
Check the Steering.
When you take the cart for a test drive, try to take it over some rough terrain as well as a solid concrete driveway. Sloppy, or loose steering, or any clicking, clacking or clanking should be an immediate concern for you. These are all components that are not necessarily cheap to replace, even if you are mechanically inclined enough and have the time to complete the work yourself.
Look At the Frame.
If at all possible, get down and look at the frame of the golf cart. If you can lift the vehicle, even better. You’ll be looking for rust, structural damage, holes, dents and bends in the metal, and anything else that is indicative of damage or problems of any kind. This kind of damage can not only affect the carts’ performance, but it can also pose safety hazards, especially during an accident.
Listen and Feel the Brakes.
When you are test driving the golf cart, listen for squeaks, growling or grinds when you hit the brakes, which can indicate warn pads and potentially score rotors or drums if left unrepaired. Feel for slow responsiveness before the cart begins to slow when you press the pedal, or if the capability of the brakes to even slow the vehicle fades as you are pressing the pedal. If the vehicle pulls or favors one side, it could indicate that uneven wear is happening for some reason, or that pads on one side are newer than the others, or the calipers have or are beginning to fail. Also feel for vibrations in the pedal, which could indicate warped rotors or a problem with brake drums.