How to Know If Your Golf Cart Starter Generator is Bad

19 Jul 2018

How to Know If Your Golf Cart Starter Generator is Bad

A starter generator works on the principle that movement of a wire in a magnetic field induces current in the coil. The movement is provided by connecting the pulley of the starter generator to the main axle of the vehicle via a belt. This produces current, hence the name ‘generator’ in starter generator.

A starter generator performs the following functions in a golf cart : 

Starts the cart
Charges the battery
Gives power to lights on the cart
Can give a small power supply

Here are the main signs to look for to check if there is a problem with the starter generator:

1) WHEN YOU TURN THE KEY, CART DOES NOT START
When you turn the key to start your cart but nothing happens or hear only a clicking sound, there could be a problem with your starter or your battery.
Now identifying if its the battery or not is fairly easy. Just turn on the headlights or interior lights. If they can light up well, then the battery is fine and it is highly likely your starter generator is bad.

2) JUDGING FROM ‘TIME TAKEN TO CRANK’
If it feels like it is taking longer than usual to get your cart cranking, it is an indication that your starter generator could be going bad.
Make sure it is not a battery problem by checking that the lights are turning on.

3) LISTENING FOR NOISE
If there is a ‘grinding noise’ coming when your cart is running, it is very likely that the gears in your starter are worn out and working improperly. This is the same noise that one hears when you turn the key on your vehicle that was already running.

4) STARTER TOO HOT OR SMOKE COMING OUT
If the starter gets too hot within a short period of time, it is a very strong sign that something is wrong with. Usually the voltage will also drop because of getting too hot.
If smoke is coming out of the starter, you know it is done for.

5) PULLEY OF STARTER NOT MOVING FREELY OR RUSTED
On looking at the starter generator, if the pulley looks rusted or does not move freely on moving by hand, this is a clear sign of your start going bad. You will have to change its pulley and the starter should work. However make sure the rust is only on the pulley and has not reached the starter. If it has reached, it is time to replace the whole starter generator.

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