Every golf cart, regardless of whether it is gas or electric, uses a small but powerful device called a solenoid.
Solenoids are constantly working in your golf cart, and are what allows the electrical current from your battery to provide power to the rest of the vehicle.
Because solenoids are responsible for so much, they are one of the more common parts on a golf cart that will need to be replaced. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly a solenoid is, and why it’s so integral to keeping your golf cart functioning properly.
Solenoids are to golf carts like hearts are to people
Just like your heart is constantly pumping to keep you going, every time you start your golf cart or press down on the pedal, your cart’s solenoid is working to transfer energy from the battery to either the starter/generator on gas powered carts, or the traction motor in an electric golf cart.
Your solenoid is constantly at work, so check on it regularly to make sure it’s still in good condition.
On a day that your cart gets moderate to heavy use, your solenoid can start and stop up to 1500 times per day and will conduct about 300 amps per use (in an electric golf cart). It’s actually pretty surprising that solenoids don’t break down more than they do.
Solenoids are Simple, But Powerful
A device that is so integral to the operation of your golf cart might seem like it needs to be very complex for it to work. On the contrary, solenoids are actually pretty small devices and are made up of two main sections.
First is a steel plunger, and second is a coil made up of thin wire.
Every time you turn your cart on or press the pedal, a small amount of voltage passes along the wire coil and triggers the steel plunger to close. This process allows energy from the battery to directly contact your golf cart’s motor so that it can run properly.
Solenoids should be inspected regularly
The ability of your golf cart to function properly depends largely on the solenoid. If the solenoid is broken and not working correctly, you may notice your golf cart won't start, picking up speed, or even working at all (issues with acceleration could also be caused by a bad speed controller).
As technology advances, solenoids are becoming more reliable. However, it’s still important to have them inspected every once in a while so that you don’t get a nasty surprise when you try starting up your golf cart just to realize your solenoid went bad.