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It has four wheels, an engine, and a steering wheel. In all essence, your golf cart is a vehicle, but as you may know, it is not like the car parked in your garage right now.
The whole purpose of a golf cart is to be an efficient and comfortable form of transport, one that eliminates the need for you to walk miles in search of your golf ball.
The golf cart’s maintenance is key to ensuring the drive remains smooth and the cart doesn’t break down unexpectedly. Many people often compare a cart’s mechanics to their car and ask whether golf carts have oil filters.
Gas golf carts will normally have oil filters while an electric golf cart will not.
Whether you can make this comparison between a car and golf cart depends on whether the golf cart is powered by gasoline or an electric motor and the engine type.
Oil filters are usually a feature only specific to gasoline-powered engines as they require regular oil changes.
There is a lot more to consider when determining whether your golf cart has an oil filter or not. Let’s take a closer look at the golf cart oil filters and things you should know about them.
Do Golf Carts Have Oil Filters?
As mentioned above, whether or not a golf cart has an oil filter depends on the type of engine it has. While gasoline-powered engines are more powerful, they require oil to operate properly (just as your car or motorcycle would).
However, golf carts don’t have an oil drain plug that you can simply unscrew to drain all the oil out.
To drain the oil from your engine, you will need to use a vacuum pipe right at the oil filter itself, i.e., where you add it from. In most models, there is an indication on top of the oil cap either in written form or a shape of an oil drop.
A golf cart usually requires between 1 ¼ to 1 ½ quart of engine oil. Just like your car, the oil you choose for your golf cart is a matter of personal preference.
Most of the newer golf cart models do not have oil filters in their engines. The engines use the ‘splash style’ positive lubrication system instead of removable engine oil filters.
Understanding How Oil Filters Work
Normally, engine parts are suspended in the engine oil where, as the gears turn and collide with each other, small parts break off that mix with the oil. As more parts break off, the engine starts getting more viscous and filled with impurities.
This is indicated by the changing color.
Without the oil filter, this debris would continue to float in the engine oil and may get lodged in the engine parts, including the piston, which is extremely dangerous. This would also reduce the life of engine oils significantly.
The engine oil must pass through the oil filter, where the small debris and other impurities get caught, leaving behind a relatively clean oil for your engine.
On the other hand, in the splash lubrication system, the gears, cylinders, and pistons are exposed to the oil mid-operation.
There is a scoop next to the lowest part of your engine’s connecting rod, where the oil is stored in a trough. As the engine operates, it pumps the oil from the crankcase oil sump to the trough, through which the rotating connecting rod dippers pass in each cycle.
The cycle gets dipped in the oil-filled trough, taking only as much oil as needed to ‘splash’ the oil onto the cylinder, lubricating the entire system in one go. This also limits the degree of impurities the oil develops, ensuring a longer life of the oil.
You will find that the splash system itself is relatively more expensive, but it saves cost in the long run against the cost of oil and filters. There are no removable engine oil filters to worry about.
Yamaha is the leading company in terms of this technology. This system aims to limit the confusion among people about their golf carts, especially regarding their oil filters.
That is not to say, though, that there is no room for an oil filter in a splash system at all. Yamaha and several other golf cart manufacturers recommend that users read their cart’s instruction manual thoroughly to ensure their model doesn’t have a filter. You might have to use oil filters later to improve engine or oil life further.
Checking the engine should also be a priority if you buy the golf cart secondhand. Remember, not changing the filter may end up clogging the filter line, hence leading to engine chokes, oil leaks, and a range of other problems for your golf cart.
How To Change The Oil On Your Golf Cart
The oil and filter changing process will vary slightly from golf cart to golf cart, but the overall idea will remain the same. I have tried to generalize the process as much as possible to help you replace the oil and filter for almost any golf cart.
Some things you’ll need include:
1. A lint-free rag
2. An oil-drain pan
4. Compressed air or degreaser
5. Engine flush oil
7. 10W-30 grade engine oil (suitable for golf carts)
8. Suction pipe and motor
Before starting the oil change process, start the golf cart and let it sit idle for a while. The idea is to warm the oil up to increase its flow rate.
Park it on a level surface and apply the parking brake.
➢ Most models now have the oil cap underneath the seat, but some also have it in the back.
➢ Go under the cart with a flashlight and see if your model has a drain plug. It should be similar to your car’s drain and fill plug.
➢ Clean the top of the engine’s oil cap and the surrounding area with the lint-free rag.
➢ Open the oil cap.
➢ Place the suction pipe into the engine and turn the motor on.
➢ If there is a drain plug, open it up and put the pan underneath.
➢ Wait for the oil to drain out.
➢ You will find the oil filter within a triangular metal housing attached to the engine with three bolts.
➢Remove the bolts with a wrench and pull the filter out. If warm, use oil filter pliers.
➢ You can flush the system before or after installing the filter, but we recommend only flushing it out if you don’t plan on changing the filter.
➢ Clean the surrounding area and reinstall the new filter.
➢ Make sure that the bolts are tightly shut, insert a funnel into the opening and start pouring your oil in small increments. Make sure the oil isn’t leaking from anywhere.
➢ Once done, remove the funnel and install the cap.
Changing the oil and oil filter is a relatively simple process but a crucial one nonetheless. This process is generalized, so make sure you read the instruction manual that came with your cart before commencing to identify any different steps.