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Golf carts can seem mysterious until you jump into one. The small, silent cart can seem pretty daunting from afar, but using them is fairly straightforward.
They are very convenient and can help you avoid getting exhausted as you walk from the tee to wherever your ball is.
Modern golf carts use electric motors and are designed specifically to be an eco-friendly alternative to traditional gas ones. However, despite the evolution, one common question remains; do golf carts have reverse?
Golf carts do have a lever that controls which direction the motor turns and hence, can have reverse capabilities as well. Unfortunately, though, not every golf cart has the option of going reverse.
Since every golf cart is different your model will have the capability of having reverse but it might not be present on your exact model.
Let’s take a closer look at how to make your cart go in reverse and how to operate one properly.
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How to Make Your Golf Cart Go in Reverse?
Making your gas-powered golf cart go reverse is relatively easy. There will most likely be a gear-like lever next to the steering wheel or on the other side (depending on the model).
Simply pull or push it in the opposite direction to make your golf cart go in reverse.
The gas-powered cart can be put in reverse gear without you having to turn the cart off or getting off.
If, however, you have an electrical golf cart, you may have to dig around a little in your cart. Usually, there is a small lever under the driver’s seat.
You will have to get off to flip it. Some models have you flip it while some have you pull it; this is known as a controller.
Again, this depends on the model you choose to work with, but there is a definite chance that the lever won’t be labeled.
You will have to turn the engine off before switching gears, mind you. Once pulled/flipped, you will (as usual) need to push the brake pedal and then start the engine. If you hear a beeping sound as soon as you turn the key, know that you are now in reverse.
Simply let go of the brake, and you are good to go.
A golf cart’s top speed varies depending on the model you go with. Some models can go up to 45 mph, but you can find these models mostly in Alaska and Texas.
It is important to note that electric golf carts are faster than gasoline-powered golf carts.
The average top speed for a gas-powered golf cart is 19.9 MPH, while the average electric golf carts can go 25 MPH or more. The battery and engine power (electric and gasoline respectively) also dictate the speed.
In reverse, golf carts usually go up to 15 MPH, but if the controller malfunctions (or is about to), you can expect the cart in reverse to be faster as well.
This way, you can know beforehand that something is about to go wrong with the cart.
How to Operate a Golf Cart
Operating a golf cart is relatively easy. Here is a quick guide to help you drive the cart.
Step 1. Put on your seatbelt first.
Step 2. Start by placing the key in the ignition. Some later models are also coming with a push-start option. You will need to keep the fob in your pocket in this case.
Step 3. Turn the key to the “on” position first.
Step 4. You can start it from here with a gentle turn of your wrist because the engine doesn’t require that much energy. Before you turn, though, you will need to push the brake pedal all the way down.
Step 5. Turn the key gently or push the button to start the cart. Do not remove your foot from the brake pedal yet.
Step 6. Listen for any sounds the cart may make. If you hear a beeping sound, your golf cart is in reverse. If you have a gas-powered golf cart, you can skip steps 7 to 9.
Step 7. Turn the key back counter-clockwise or push the start/stop button to turn it off.
Step 8. Lift the seat and find the controller.
Step 9. Pull or flip the controller switch and repeat the starting process.
Step 10. With the brake pressed, move the lever towards the forward’ or ‘backward’ position, if any.
Step 11. Make sure the lever is locked before you let go of the brake.
Step 12. Depress the brake a bit. This should get it out of its locked position. You will hear a slight pop when you depress it, indicating that the lock is now released. When you apply the brake again, you may hear a bunch of clicking sounds.
Step 13. Release the brake slowly. If you release it immediately, the cart will give you a jolt as golf carts will work at 100% capacity.
Step 14. Lock the brake back when you are parking it. Remove the keys, and you are good to go.
It is important to note that because golf carts are light and tall, they run the risk of toppling over. Make sure you apply the brakes softly when turning to slow down.
Furthermore, compared to normal cars, golf carts require a bit more effort to turn. The steering wheel is stiffer than your car, so prepare for an adjustment.
Before you move a cart from the starting point, make sure that the cart is working properly. With the brake locked, flip the reverse switch or pull the lever to see if it makes the beeping sound.
When turning it on, also consider how long it takes, as it would dictate the battery’s condition.
Gas Vs Electric Golf Cart Durability
Gas golf carts are relatively cheaper than electric carts and have always had reverse capabilities. Unfortunately, though, these carts don’t last that long, particularly their engine.
You may have to replace it within 10 to 12 years with proper use. If abused, this number can drop significantly.
Electric golf carts, in contrast, are more expensive (if you go for a durable one, of course). They are much more environmentally friendly, are silent, and much more durable.
The electric engine, even if abused, can last for 15 to 17 years. Even then, the damage isn’t as extensive as what a gas-powered cart will see at the same time.