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The Right Way To Winterize Your Golf Cart (Plus: How To Get It Ready For Next Season) - GOLFCARTSTUFF.COM™

The Right Way To Winterize Your Golf Cart (Plus: How To Get It Ready For Next Season)

A golf cart in the snow

Practical Tips To Winterize Your Cart and Get it Ready for Next Season


At this point in the year, golf cart season is starting to close as fall starts to set in throughout the country. You may be getting ready to put your golf cart away for the year and want to know how to best store it and ensure it is prepared for next spring. The closing of golf cart season is a great time to evaluate the state of your golf cart, and when properly stored, keep it in tip-top shape for next year. This article will walk you through the best steps to store your golf cart and what you need to do when gearing it back up for warm weather.

Winterizing Your Cart

Winterizing your golf cart has a few different steps depending on whether your golf cart is a gas or electric cart. However, there are some steps that every golf cart owner should take, regardless of whether their golf cart is gas or electric. Let's jump right in!

  • Pick your location.
    • You don't need to keep your golf cart in a climate-controlled storage room (although if you have access to one- go for it), but you want your cart to be somewhere where it isn't getting pelted with rain and snow. Exposure to wind, rain, snow, and sunshine can do a number on your golf cart, and you don't want "storing" your golf cart to be the thing that "ages" your golf cart.   
  • Lift your golf cart or take off your wheels and tires.
    • When the weight of your golf cart sits on the same spot on your tires for an extended period, this can often cause your tires to flatten or get out of round. If that happens, driving your cart will feel like driving on the rumble strip of the highway- no fun! If you remove the wheels and tires, make sure you set the cart's axle down on a piece of wood or something else with a little bit of "give" so you don't bend any of the metal on your axle.
  • Give your golf cart a good scrub down.
    • Before putting your cart away for the year, you will want to give it a good washing and detailing. Cleaning does more than spruce up your cart; it can also go a long way in keeping it running smoothly. For example, dirt and debris build-up on the wheel wells, axles, brake components, and cart wiring can cause issues with performance over the long haul. In addition, cleaning lets you look at all your cart components to see if anything is worn out or needs replacing before next season.
  • Put your cart in neutral.
    • Keeping your cart in park puts tension on your brake cable, and that tension over months at a time puts extra wear and tear on the cable. And listen, if there is one part of your cart you don't want giving out on you, it is your brake cable.

Alright, so with those general things out of the way, let's discuss some nuances with gas and electric carts.

Electric Golf Carts

For electric carts, there are a few additional steps you need to take before putting them in storage.

  • Battery maintenance.
    • The first and most important thing you will want to do is disconnect your cart from your batteries. Even though your cart is not on, the connection to your electrical equipment will have a slight drain on your batteries, leading to dead batteries or, even worse, minimizing their lifespan and power output. Although you can technically switch your cart from "Run" to "Tow," the best practice is to separate the connection completely. If you are storing your golf cart in a location where temperatures regularly drop below freezing during the winter, we would also suggest moving the batteries indoors for storage. For the ultimate battery maintenance, consider purchasing a small battery maintenance charger, like one of these from Harbor Freight.
Pro Tip - When disconnecting your batteries from your cart and each other, take a photo (or a few) before you remove anything. You can then reference this photo when you go to connect everything again. Nothing is more frustrating than not remembering how to put something back together, especially something as important as the wiring on your golf cart. 
    • Clean your cart power connection points and battery connection points with anti-corrosion gel.  
      • Cleaning the connections and putting anti-corrosion gel on them helps ensure the connection between your cart and its power source (the batteries) is clean and makes good contact when you get everything going.

Gas Golf Carts

Like electric carts, gas golf carts have a few peculiarities you need to be aware of when getting everything stored for the winter. 

  • Winterize your gas cart with a close-to-empty gas tank.  
    • Notice we said "close to empty," not "completely empty." Keeping some gas in your tank and lines prevents your lines from drying out and corroding. However, gasoline that sits for a long time can accumulate some gunk and start to lose some of its combustion ability, so you don't want a full tank of gas to sit for a few months and then run that through your engine. If you keep your cart close to empty, you can still protect your gas lines, and then, when the time comes to get your cart running again, you can fill it up with fresh gas to keep your engine clean. For more tips on gas expiration and how to best store it, check out this article by Rislone.
  • Keep your oil tank full (but keep reading to know when you should change it)
    • for similar reasons to the gas tank above. Keeping oil in your oil compartment helps to prevent your oil lines and components from rotting and drying out.
  • Disconnect your battery.
    • Disconnecting your battery prevents excessive battery drain during storage (for more details, read the section on electric cart battery storage above- the same rules for electric carts apply to gas cart batteries as well).

Last things before you lock it away...

Once you have everything broken down and your cart ready for storage, now is an excellent time to take stock of the overall status of your golf cart. At the season's end, how was it driving? Did you notice any rattling or any driving issues? If so, now is an excellent time to locate the issues and see what was causing the problem. In addition, if there are parts on your cart that need replacing, you will want to know that before you put your cart in storage so you can get whatever parts and accessories you need while it is fresh on your mind.  This way you can order them and get them installed or ready to be installed the next time you use your cart. 

Starting A New Season

Golf cart in the street with sunshine

Okay, so you've stored your golf cart and put it away for the season. Christmas has come and gone, the snow has fallen and melted (several times), and, lo and behold, the sun has started to shine again! Warm weather has arrived, and you are ready to get the golf cart back out. What do you do now?

First things first...

First, before you do anything, you will want to give your cart a good lookover. Does anything look out of place or like it was damaged during storage? Sometimes it is the obvious things we miss if we are in a hurry. You will also want to look over your golf cart's wiring. Ensure nothing has chewed or rubbed on any wire casing to expose the metal filaments and which can potentially cause a short in the electrical system. You will also want to check the area under and around your cart. By checking the surrounding area, you may be able to catch small leaks (oil spots or other fluids) or other issues that aren't as obvious when looking at your cart... "Hey, where did this bolt come from?" 

After that, if you removed your wheels and tires, you will want to get them back on the cart (check to ensure they are inflated to the proper PSI first) and do all the other "general" re-assembly tasks. Once that is completed, you can move on to some of the more technical aspects of cart prep. 

Electric Carts

For electric carts, start by getting your batteries back into their proper places in the golf cart and re-attach the wiring between the batteries and your cart (thankfully, you took that photo before removing the wires!) Before starting your cart, give your batteries a good charge... ALL the way to 100%. After that, you should be able to turn your cart on and get moving! 

Pro Tip: If your cart isn't running, check your "Tow/Run" switch and make sure it is in the "Run" position. It is easy to forget about that step, and you can pull your hair out trying to figure out why nothing works when all you have to do is flip the switch over. 

 Gas Carts

Give your cart a full gas tank and check your oil for gas carts. Depending on how long your cart has been sitting, the quality of oil you put into it, and the last time you changed your oil- it may be wise to give your cart an oil change. If you check your dipstick and notice any separation or the oil is very dark, that could indicate that your oil is diluted or dirty and needs a change. Put your battery back in its spot, re-attach the wires, and you should be good to go! 

Hopefully, this article has given you the tips and tools to get your cart stored away and ready for the start of next season. As always, if you have any parts or accessories that need replacing, we have the products and team to take care of you!

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