Looking for a used golf cart to purchase? Great idea! It will be nice to take all that walking out of your golf game so you can conserve your energy. But buying the right golf cart isn't as straight forward as you might think. There are many variations and types available today from basic to highly modified. As a buyer, you have many options, but you want to be cautious that you don't take on someone else's shoddy golf cart. Knowing what to look for could save you a lot of money down the road.
Gas vs electric
If you go with a gasoline powered cart, it will probably be more powerful, which is better for hauling loads. They require fossil fuel and can be noisy and smelly because of the exhaust odor. Battery operated carts are quiet and odorless, but don't have the lasting power that gasoline powered carts do because of their charging cycle. Once the battery is drained, it can take 8 hours or more to recharge, possibly leaving you stranded.
If your choice is a battery operated cart, take a look at how old the battery is. You should be able to see the year of the battery stamped on the top of the battery post. Batteries over three years old will require replacement rather soon. Never assume that the batteries are the same age as the golf cart. You can expect to pay around $200 for a new battery.
Always take the time to test drive a cart. Don't be afraid to go over some rough terrain to really get a feel for how it handles. If the steering feels sloppy or delayed, this should be a red flag. This suggests worn out 'rack and pinion' steering boxes which are expensive to replace. And if these are worn, the rod ends and spindle bushings will likely need replacing as well. All of these components are expensive.
If the steering wheel pulls to one side or the other, it may be uneven pressure in the tires or mismatched tire sizes. Check the tire pressure to see if the problem corrects itself. If it does not, you may be looking at a bad wheel bearing that's causing dragging.
Take a good look at the tires. Are they the same brand? Do they have uneven wear? Uneven wear suggests alignment problems, worn out steering components or a bent frame. Mixed brand tires may indicate excessive use or a rebuild of old parts.
Check for brakes that respond quickly and that don't grind or squeak. If you have to replace the brake shoes, it's a simple repair and not costly. However, replacing the brake drum can be quite expensive. If there is rust and corrosion around the brake plates, this may indicate neglected maintenance on the cart.
It's good to be prepared when you start shopping around for an expensive item. Just take note of these simple recommendations, and you'll pick up a quality used golf cart in no time! If you have additional questions regarding golf cart functionality, contact a golf cart dealer, like Nix Golf Carts, for guidance.