Even if South Carolina never gets the snowdrifts you might see in more northern states, our winters still get cold — and the occasional ice storm can leave you cozied up inside, waiting for things to warm up again.
We have a few tips on how to properly prepare your cart so it will be ready when spring returns and you head back out on the golf course, around the neighborhood, out in the woods, or on the beach.
First Off: Clean Up the Cart, the Battery, and More
Before storing your golf cart or ATV for the colder seasons, it’s essential to ensure it’s been thoroughly cleaned. A simple mixture of soap, water, and some degreaser will help wash away any dried or caked-on mud, sand, grime, or dirt.
If the golf cart or ATV isn’t cleaned before heading into storage, not only will the debris be more challenging to clean off later, it will certainly take less time overall. It will also be easier to inspect for possible damage, wear and tear, or corrosion. Be sure to spray the battery. You’ll likely only need water, but if you notice serious corrosion issues, add a bit of baking soda to the mix and lightly brush the terminals. Rinse with water, dry with a towel, and your battery should be ready for winter storage.
Double-check to ensure that the connections on your battery are good, and then park your golf cart or ATV where you’ll leave it for the winter. We recommend investing in a cover to ensure that dust and debris don’t settle while it’s sitting still.
Next Up: Internal Preparation
Drain the gasoline from your cart if you use a gas-powered vehicle. Any fuel left over during the winter could gum up small parts in the carburetor or the fuel pump. Does your golf cart have a shut-off valve? Be sure it’s in the off position before your cart goes into storage. You will need to disconnect the fuel line from the tank if there isn’t a shut-off valve. Once the fuel is drained and the lines have been shut off, run the engine until it quits. Seal the gas tank once all fuel is removed.
The Final Step: One Last Tuneup
Perform the following steps to give your cart one final tune-up before retiring it for the season:
- Replace both the fuel filter and air filter
- Clean the oil filter (or replace it, if needed)
- If needed, remove the old spark plug
- Pour a half-ounce of oil into the spark plug hole (this keeps the cylinder from corroding)
- Install a new spark plug
- Check and change your oil if needed
- Check the rest of the fluids
And, Finally: Disconnect Battery Cables and Check Tires
You’ll want to disconnect your battery cables to prevent unforeseen electrical problems. It’s also a good idea to ensure your tires are fully inflated before storing, which will help to maintain their shape while not in use. Do not engage the parking brake. Leaving the parking brake on for a long time (such as two to three months of storage) can cause the cable to stretch. Just place small boxes or wooden blocks behind the tires to discourage movement.
Need Advice on Winterproofing Your ATV or Golf Cart?
Whether you’re an old pro at getting your golf cart put away for the season or you’d like some pointers on extending your cart’s lifespan and getting the most out of your investment, Go With Garrett’s Golf Cars and Specialty Vehicles is here to help! Our parts and service department is full of experienced technicians ready to help you. Reach us by phone at (864) 862 - 7709 for Greenville, (843) 881 - 8894 for Charleston, or contact us online at any time!