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How to Check Your Golf Cart for a Bad Solenoid


I have been a golf cart technician for eight years, and I enjoy it. I am Club Car certified and factory trained.


In this article I am going to explain how to check a solenoid for problems.

On a typical solenoid there are four posts called terminals. There are usually two large terminals and two small ones. Battery voltage is applied to the two small terminals to activate the solenoid, which then connects the two large terminals together. From time to time, the two large terminals malfunction and the solenoid needs to be replaced.

Follow These Simple Steps to Check the Solenoid:

1. You will need a couple of tools: a voltmeter or multimeter, and (typically) a ½” wrench.

2. Disconnect any cables from the two large terminals. Be sure to wrap the cable ends in tape, and keep the ends separate from each other.

3. With the key off, and the cart direction switch in a neutral position, set your voltmeter to ohms, and place a probe on each large terminal (see first image below). There should be no reading.

Open lead

Open lead

4. Now, with the cart's direction switch in the forward position, and the key on, step on the accelerator. You should hear a click coming from the solenoid. If you do...

5. Set your voltmeter to measure ohms, and place a probe on each large terminal (see image below). You should have a reading of 0 to 0.4 ohms. Anything higher, and it means that the solenoid has faulty contacts and should be replaced.


6. If you did not hear a click coming from your solenoid, then grab your voltmeter and set it to DC volts on the 200 scale, and place a probe on each of the small terminals.

7. With the key on and the cart in forward, step on the accelerator.

  • If the voltmeter shows full battery voltage, and there is no click, the coil inside the solenoid has failed and will need to be replaced.
  • If your voltmeter remains at 0, then there is a problem somewhere else in the cart.

NOTE: When buying a new solenoid, be sure to buy one that matches your cart's voltage. Most golf carts are either 36 volts or 48 volts. The voltage will usually be written on the side of the solenoid.

Troubleshooting a Solenoid Using a Voltmeter (Using Continuity Instead of Ohms)

Troubleshooting Solenoid on 1987 Club Car

36-Volt Solenoid

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Otto Bumberger on July 19, 2020:

What if, on an electric golf cart, with the large solinoid terminals removed and taped, you get full voltage on the small terminals even though the throttle pedal is not pushed. The solinoid is brand new. Bad micoswitch?

John long on July 04, 2020:

I have a G-1 Yamaha golf cart. My problem is trying to run at low speed it seems to cut out and then sometimes I press down on accelerator and there is nothing there for a minute. I didn’t know if I should change over to electric fuel pump? Not much has been upgraded but runs good fully open.

George on June 07, 2020:

solenoid clicks while driving

Edward Tigchelaar on June 06, 2020:

I have a 2007 Club Car 48 V New Batteries put in a year ago Batteries are fully charged Battery Light on dash keeps coming on whether key is off or on. It comes on for a minute or two Then shuts off for a short spell

Yves on June 01, 2020:

i have 1984 club car , a soon as I put the swicht on fowart the cart start to move ,even whit the key off and not touching the accelerator, need solution please

Peyton on May 08, 2020:

I have a 06 ezgo 36 volt it got in water and want do nothing I've tested motor it works fine put a new solenoid on it and controller and still doesn't click replaced fuses what else could it be

Zack on May 03, 2020:

My 2018 ezgo will not move when changing forward to reverse or vice versa. If I turn the key off and back on it will then go in the direction I want to go.

dale on April 13, 2020:

I have a 1983 ezgo 36volt cart. While driving home ,I let off the accelerator then I pushed it in and heard a spinning noise, but cart wouldn't move

Pat on November 16, 2019:

My 2007 48 volt Yamah cart goes about 5 feet and turns off. I switch to tow and back, it resets but does the same thing. I replace the controler, no change. Is it the solenoid?

Jim on October 27, 2019:

Yamaha G29 cart runs then stops when I flip the run tow switch all is ok then repeats its self , any help would be appreciated

Milton on August 28, 2019:

Precedent club cart runs then stops when I flip the run toe switch all is ok then repeats its self , any help would be appreciated

REMorris on August 26, 2019:

I have a 2002 Club Car DS. Driving it around my yard, it felt like it tried to go into reverse on its own. Drive tire actually slid. I let off accelerator and it started coasting forward. I eased on accelerator and no problem. Backup alarm was not sounding during the event. I built up speed and it felt like it was jerking some trying to repeat same issue. Thoughts?

Wyel Price on August 26, 2019:

I have a G1 Yamaha golf cart, I’m trying to find out why is it that when I try to go forward or backwards it hesitate for a min before it takes off and then jerks off. It also does not go to fast either. Is there anyone that can tell me what the problem may be? Thank you.

Robby Wrench on August 22, 2019:

Robert, try unplugging the wire leading to the oil sensor and see if it stays running.

Robert mcdonald on August 21, 2019:

1989 gas club start's and run's and just quit's, then it wont start!

Charles DeMoss on July 25, 2019:

My E-Z Go was off charger about 3 weeks, It ran fine when started up but then began jumping. Now, when trying to accelerate, we hear three clicks while slowly pushing down on the accelerator and then it starts jumping. It does it in forward and reverse.

Len Bleth on July 23, 2019:

2011 Club Car Precedent. Jitters when I press on the accelerater.?

Barely moves ?


Michael Kane 86 on July 23, 2019:

I had one of my batteries blow up. I replaced it, but now it runs a little then it slows and stops. If I turn it back on it runs a little again then slows to a stop.

ed joyce on July 17, 2019:

My Club Car was off charger about 3 weeks, It ran fine when started up but then began jumping. Now, when trying to accelerate, we hear three clicks while slowly pushing down on the accelerator and then it starts jumping. It does it in forward and reverse. Have charged it and checked the water level in the batteries.

Murv on July 10, 2019:

I have a club car 1981 36 volt one of the solenoid the contacts keep burning up could someone tell me how the resistor works. And could this be the problem.

Bill kitts on June 06, 2019:

Have a 2008yamaha golf cart fully charged run for a bit then slows down and stops switch it to tow then back to run and it will go a little then stop can any one please help me

Terril Lucas on May 24, 2019:

What would make a golf cart shake and vibrate

Len Macivor on May 16, 2019:

I was driving my electric cart , stopped then when i press gas pedal it does'nt go ? but I can hear something spinning ? Doesnt go forward or reverse ?

Stan Smith on May 10, 2019:

Installed new batteries 36 volt now the charger continues to charge the new batteries I have tried 2 different chargers what is my problem

Kristi on April 05, 2019:

No information was given afterward we failed the last selection. We had zero on voltage which told us there was another problem someplace else in the cart. Any suggestions?

Terry on March 31, 2019:

Own 1998 (48 volt) electric club car. Cart has run fine. Then this morning when decelerating it starts to go into reverse. Sometimes the reverse buzzer sounds. If I decelerate very gradually I can avoid this. But fact motor attempts to go reverse while going forward can’t be good. Anyone else had this problem or suspect a cause.

Bryan on March 24, 2019:

Thanks for this it definitely helps! My question would be, what if the solenoid has 6 terminals? Would the testing be the same?

Anthony Martin (Brisbane) on January 19, 2019:

club president 2008 serial no PQ0804-868249, what causes the front assembly to start lowering and start rubbing on the front driver side wheel please

Mitchell east on December 01, 2018:

I have a 2011 Yamaha 48 volt golf cart and when I try to drive it it will start to go and travel about five feet then stops altogether you can hear solenoid click but need some help working backwards through the components

Tom on November 07, 2018:

If solenoid is bad will it cause the cart to go slow

Maurice McKirgan on October 04, 2018:

2007 Yamaha golf cart full charge. From hole 2 batt indicator show power decreasing until hole 15/16 have to stop asindicator & power way down. Batts again checked & showing 23.6v over pair(still good). Most puzzling thing -when cart towed to home 15mins away batt indicator now showing full bar & charger stating "AC power good" !! Any ideas

Brien on September 26, 2018:

My club car where the solenoids are. There are coils of wires connected to them. The first set of coils where they connect. The second bolt and nut glows hot and sparks. Would you have an idea what is causing it to do that

TP on September 03, 2018:

Put a Hybusa engine in an '85' Club Car golf cart . you can get to the hole almost as fast as the ball ! ! !

Andrew on August 23, 2018:

I am having the same problem as Jwanton...my cart runs grate for about a min or 2 then slows down to a craw ..let it sit and then will run fine for a min or 2 slow back down

Chris Michalek on August 20, 2018:

I hadnt driven the cart in 2 weeks, I did not have it on the charger at all during those 2 weeks. When I got in the cart, it backs up just fine, when I put it in forward it make a clunk noise from the back, then stopped. I put on the brake, then stepped back on the gas and it moved forward but very slowly like the battery was dead. I charged the batteries, didnt work. I checked the water level in the batteries and fille them to above the cells, and charged over night, nothing. all wires are tight, the batteries are taking a charge ( i watched the water in the batteries bubble as I charged it and the charger meter went from 15 AMP to 0 AMP, then clicked off indicating that it charged) where else can I look?

gene olson on August 09, 2018:

where can I get a solenoid for a 48 volt club car golf cart? thanks gene

Claudbirch69@gmail.com on July 08, 2018:

I change the batteries on my bad boy golf car when I push on the pedal it want go


Dan Stenvold on June 15, 2018:

82 club car - no forward, reverse worrks fine!. It just quit and there is no clicking sound from a selinoid possibilities???

Lamar Ping on June 03, 2018:

1994 parcar electric, press the pedal it takes off in 4th will not stop until you turn off the key. Even if you let off the pedal????

Kenneth Chance on May 31, 2018:

I have a gas golf cart rxv ezgo every thing works but wont engage to run it clicks .could battery be bad

Ron on May 11, 2018:

I have a 2005 ezgo 36 volt cart It stopped running. I had no clicking sound so I replace the solenoid. I now have clicking but it still will not move. What should I be checking text.

marc swarthout on May 06, 2018:

How do I get an answer???

Rubon76 on May 01, 2018:

My EZ Go doesn't click and it reads 0 when I put the probes on the small ends of the solenoid. So what could it be? controller? How does an electric golf cart ground and where do I check this?


Ronald LeBlanc on May 01, 2018:

Where can I look at all the answers to these questions

Kyle1971 on May 01, 2018:

I have 2011 Yamaha drive, the cart is fully charged 48volts will drive for a couple minutes then starts slowing down and stops, if I wait a few minutes switch it to tow then back to run the cart starts up drives slow, if I park it for a couple hours the cart starts out normal speed then dies again.

The lights work even when cart dies and bettered with my multimeter are telling me 48volts. Please help..

Bruce on April 30, 2018:

My Yamaha 48 volt cart jumps at the start then runs ok,but clicks while sitting still. Any ideas

Daniel Stinson on April 12, 2018:

2010 club car precedent; Could not charge, using Power Drive 3, batteries were very low . Charged each battery till they had enough voltage to trip the charger. It worked but then the charger wouldn't automatically shut off. Checked on line and by passed the controller. Now my charger charges for about 15 min shuts off but won't come back on automatically. Any Suggestions

GolfCartAnnie on April 02, 2018:

I have a 2005 EZgo txt golf cart. It will drive about fifteen minutes then slows down, starts stuttering, then completely stops. I let it sit for a while and it will go another few minutes. The batteries are about three years old and show that they are fully charged. Any suggestions what could be causing the problem.

Joe New field on March 24, 2018:

I have a 42 volt Western. I had a bad cell on one of my 7 batteries so I replaced it. In doing so I accidentally hooked it up backwards. After reversing the wires I can't get it to move or even light up the charge indicator light. Only the head light s come on. What would your experience lead you to believe is causing this?

gene olson on March 19, 2018:

I have 6 x 8 volt golf cart batteries. all batteries show bad on the tester. they still have plenty of power. all six of the batteries show bad. has the batteries changed to opposite polarixed the wrong way or what is wrong with them when you there try to charge the battery it will charge for shot time and then it does'nt charge anymore in all the batteries?

Karen Richards on March 18, 2018:

I have a 2006 IR , My problem batteries are good , But when I run it within 2 minutes it is as if the brakes were put on . It won't budge. It also runs really slow..

alan bergamini on January 26, 2018:

My electric (48volt) club car 04 model bucks or jerks when going very slow could it be the Solenoid

Larry Thompson on November 26, 2017:

Same problem as some of the other people. I have a 1993 ez-go marathon, the batteries are charged but has no power. Could it be the solenoid?

Lowell Warren on October 25, 2017:

I have a used 4 wheel ezgo 36 volt golf cart Marathon with new battery and i find it sluggish when not pulling much of a hill. i use it in a paved rv resort park and so the seems to be a problem. i have used carts before on the course and there was no problem with the cart. is there something that would keep the car with low power when the battery are fully charged.

Bill colucci on October 22, 2017:

Where is the solenoid on a 2010 polaris breezemail golf cart

Steve on June 24, 2017:

I just purchased late model club car cart. When putting it in reverse or forward u hear little bit of clicking n what sounds like arcing from the motor. It set for about a year. Could it be the selempire

Jwanton on June 04, 2017:

Checked the solenoid like you side got the readings like you said seems to be working correctly!!! But I still have the same problem as before, runs great for about 25 minutes then slows down to a crawl!! Batteries still have full charge 36 volts!! As it sits for awhile seems to run right again, and it's starts all over again!!! Please help lost in this one!!!

Jimmie on May 30, 2017:

I have an electric club car 48v. My daughter and her friends rode it until it died completely and got towed behind a 4 wheeler for a little bit before flipping the switch to tow. The batteries are testing fully charged. Any insight to what it could be are greatly appreciated

Jessica on May 25, 2017:

Can somebody give me a idea what's wrong with my golf cart when I'm driving it pushing the gas and jumps what could cause this problem

I have a 2005 Yamaha electric golf cart and we put new batteries in but won't move.the head lights work but that's all. Any ideas. on May 20, 2017:

Need help

Dave on May 14, 2017:

my polaris breeze will start to run but die if I press the accelerator all the way down. The lights also go out for a second or two. I have to cost to a stop and then I can start again. in reverse it's normal, I can push the pedal all the way down without any problems. Any ideas of what I should check.



r reid on April 21, 2017:

2006 club cart electric goes 3 rounds some days then some

days 3 holes checked charger its ok it will be going fine then its like i hit a hole and it barely goes

wwelsh62 on April 15, 2017:

What causes a 36 volt golf cart to move forward & reverse without being turn on

Bigbb1909 on March 31, 2017:

Checked the solenoid like you side got the readings like you said seems to be working correctly!!! But I still have the same problem as before, runs great for about 25 minutes then slows down to a crawl!! Batteries still have full charge 36 volts!! As it sits for awhile seems to run right again, and it's starts all over again!!! Please help lost in this one!!! Bigbb

David on February 11, 2017:

05 ezgo 36 V, hurricane Matthew flooded my garage, upgraded the following, 4.45 hp motor, 400 amp controller, 2 Awg cables, HD Solenoid w/ 3 amp diode, pedal box switch, throttle sensor, it’s running again but doesn’t have the expected power, any ideas? Thanks

Bob and Ginger Bendickson on February 04, 2017:

I have a 2002 electric club car was golfing the other day and it was running great. I started to go and all of a sudden it just stopped. It would not go forward or in reverse. Any suggestions?

herb reid herbreid63@gmail.com on January 16, 2017:

i have a 1995 36 volt club car golf cart .it goes in reverse great but in forward it is sluggish and low on speed . it doesnt have multiple silonoids .and resister coils . just one solanoid and a controller box . ant idea what might b wrong ?

ray on January 12, 2017:

mike i think your problem is from a cable under the throttle pedal. there is a cable in a box under the rubber mat that goes from the box back to the motor area that rusts and the throttle gets stuck wide open

Mike on January 09, 2017:

I have a 1994 gas club car - runs ok except I only have high speed nothing in between - to go slow have to let up on throttle so motor quits then hit throttle again at highest speed to keep momentum

bc on December 31, 2016:

joellelove...i am having same issue with mine

Leslea on December 27, 2016:

I have a 2008 EZ Go RXV that goes forward and reverses but makes an awful sound. The only time it sounds right is when it is doing a circle. Was told it is the rear end, but wasn't told what to do to fix it. Any suggestions?

joellelove on November 24, 2016:

2012 club car electric precedent hesitates 7 to 10 seconds from pressing GO pedal and it happens in either direction. Batteries in the cart are new. I hear the detent in the MCOR click when I depress the GO pedal there is the delay then I hear a click in the rear of the cart and then it moves. What could it be or what do I need to test specifically?

Danny on October 13, 2016:

My 36volt 2001 ez go odd model will move about a inch and stop same in reverse

Tom on September 13, 2016:

Had new batteries installed in my club car 2008 ran it came time to charge will not take a charge kicks the charger out

Jack Hilton on August 29, 2016:

I have a 1998 Yamaha gas. It started to crank hard. I replaced the fuel filter and spark plug. It ruined great for a while but now is hard to start and while driving it if you hit a bump it will die had to toe it home. Any help please

TheRebelRouser on August 21, 2016:

Howdy got a 36Volt ClubCar and when U shift into either gear it will move even with with the KEY off. Checked the Key switch it's OK left wires off and still moves when shifting. My shade tree mind makes me think it's the solenoid can U help please

Jan on August 14, 2016:

I went through your instructions on testing the solenoid, however the voltmeter remained at 0, so the problem is somewhere else with the cart. 1994 Club Car Electric. Any idea as to where to check?

Mike on August 14, 2016:

The stripe on the diode should be toward the positive (red) terminals

Dan on August 12, 2016:

The small solenoid terminals on my 2013 Yamaha G29 YDRE have one red wire with yellow stripe and one red wire with black stripe. Does anyone know which direction the diode should be installed?

mark on August 09, 2016:

what happens if put the two small wires on the solenoid wrong will this damage the solenoid?

ktty on August 06, 2016:

I have a gas golf car, I run for awhile and the it start jerking along. I have to stop and wait and most times it takes off and goes ok for awhile, may do it again or not. if it is still doing it I just wait. Sometimes it smells flooded other times it looks like its getting no gas, what could the problem be?

Chicago Bob in Iowa on August 05, 2016:

I have Yamaha G8 gas, starts and runs fine then just quits. then some times it will start and sometimes it won't, starter just grinds. I,v replaced the solenoid, fuel filter, and checked for loose wires. ?

Steve W on August 04, 2016:

2001 Ezgo Freedom---electric. Playing 18 holes it only happens once or twice in a round. When you start off it seems to jump a little then runs smooth. What do you think is the problem?

Judith on August 04, 2016:

I have a ez go 136. When i turn it on, press peddle reverse or forward there is vibration, but it will not move. Vibration seems to be a large cylinder sitting just behind the batteries...would love some help

Golfcardr (author) from Arizona on July 31, 2016:

Sandy, do you have a forward and reverse lever by you right leg, or do you have a forward and reverse switch on the dash?

Sandy on July 31, 2016:

Bought an EZGO electric used. No serial number in the usual places. I was looking for something I lost in a field and was driving over it slowly. After a while the cart stopped going. Put it in reverse and it backed up. Put it in forward and it zoomed forward. Went slowly and it went for a while and then the same thing. It wanted to go forward but couldn't. Then reverse again, etc. Happened 6 times in a row. What's up?

loyde on July 25, 2016:

I have a 2007 ruff&tuff 48v-6person EV. as soon as the key is on and the f/r switch is depressed the cart goes as if on full throttle. the throttle pedal does not give any input when depressed.otherwise everything works normally. does this seem like a throttle micro switch problem,solenoid problem or throttle potentiometer issue. any input is appreciated,thx

Tom O'Neill on July 25, 2016:

I have a (94) 36V Club car with the exposed resistor coils and a stepper speed switch and single selonoid. The r cart has 1 year old batteries and runs well except recently there seems to be no low speed. When pushing the throttle the cart jumps in what seems to be second speed. It seems to be skipping the lowest speed setting. The first coil resistor seems good with no break but the jump in speed makes it very uncomfortable to drive from a stop. What should I be looking for?

Albert D. Mesale Jr. on July 24, 2016:

Hi, I have a 96 club car ds 36v. it will only run full speed and sometimes the throttle sticks. I used WD 40 on all the moving parts and it seems to be better, but still have the issue of it only running wide open, pressing down on the pedal it jumps and goes into wide open.

Ed on June 24, 2016:

I had a cart that was working fine but needed new batteries, after replacing them the cart won't go forward or backward even though the reverse makes the buzzing as if it wants to go backward. I first connected the new batteries with the positive and negative reversed so I may have fried something.


Gerald taylor on June 20, 2016:

I have 09 Ezego 36v it has had a slight hesitation lately and last week after use we plugged it in and the next day all the batteries were totally dead and the charger quit I recharged all of them individually new charger on order. The problem is with the positive connected and touch the neg. I get an arc, in drive mode not tow every thing off and in neutral. Pull the controller loom and no arc. I am reading about 25v 3 large cables on module box w/neg cable removed. Am reading 25v across the selonoid no neg to battery.

Ernie Church on June 18, 2016:

Club car runs in reverse but not forward

Rich on June 11, 2016:

I have a Club Car (2006 or 2008) golf cart. It will just stop for no good reason. I've had two shops run all sorts of diagnostic test using their computers and they can't seem to find the problem. I've talked to a few other folks and they seem to think it may be the solenoid. How do I confirm? Also, how do I determine which solenoid I need to buy if mine is bad?

Shade tree Sam on June 02, 2016:

Golfcardr..Thank you so much for your precise instructions...even for this ol head to understand Going to buy a solenoid

Neil Powell on May 29, 2016:

I have a 2004 club cart, I've chick the batteries and there all good, my problem is it takes off good, but then slowes down, it still runs but don't have any speed, I've built Hot Rods so I have the tools to work on it, I just don't know where to start is fhere any place I can get a manual, so I can trouble shoot it.


Neil Powell

danz on May 23, 2016:

2005 par car

I have changed the pot box and the fwd/rev contactors. Is it possible the controller is going bad?

johnnyrockman on May 22, 2016:

to add to my issues....I have connected the new solenoid (hoping I have the correct wiring on the small post) and now when I switch from tow to run......I don't hear any noise....where before I could hear the batteries click in. Could the wiring be backwards on the small post....or do I do need to reset the OBC? How do I do this on the 1998 club car? It has no noise it makes when I put it in reverse. Can I still go through the process for 5 minutes and get it to reset?

johnnyrockman on May 22, 2016:

I am replacing a bad solenoid with a new one.....but not sure which small terminal post wire is hot and which is neutral. They are not marked on the old solenoid. I have one that is black...and the other is red/white stripe. Is the black wire hot?

Aj ds on May 20, 2016:

Hello I have a 1988 Club Car DS all the solenoids are on it click but the car still won't move anyone could tell me how or what I can do to fix it? Would really appreciate the help anyone.

Golfcardr (author) from Arizona on May 19, 2016:

Dan, sounds like you may be looking at a pot box, or possibly in a 2005 a LAD. Both are throttle position sensors and you only have one or the other. It's a little too much to explain how to check here so I would call Columbia Parcar and find your closest dealer. Their number is 1800-222-4653

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