What Does a Controller Do On A Golf Cart?
Golf cart controllers play an important part in which its main job is to control the speed of a golf cart.
However, many times, the controller tends to act up or simply stops working. This is when it is very important to troubleshoot the problem immediately.
Known as the heart of the EZGO golf cart, the controller’s core objective is to control the speed of the golf cart. It is a needed component in a AC and brushless DC motor. Without the controller, the golf cart will not work.
The speed controller is not present in the DC motor vehicles, which is why they do not have varying speeds.
However, a vehicle with a speed controller will have different speeds as it will change the voltage and current input based on user input.
This is why EZGO with controllers can be accelerated and decelerated and the rate of speed can be changed. Brushless DC and AC motors work using multiple electrical signals while rotating. Speed controllers generate the time-reversed signals.
Functions of the Speed Controller
Major functions of the speed controller of the EZGO cart are:
- Acceleration: The controller controls the speed of the vehicle. It also regulates the speed when you apply full throttle to the cart.
- Battery health maintenance: The controller makes sure that the battery is working well and is not overloaded.
- Parameter setup: The controller operates the EZGO cart as efficiently as it controls the speed parameters.
- Field awakening: The EZGO controllers make sure that the AC motors work efficiently at higher speeds.
Features of the speed controller
Regardless of the type of motor in the EZGO cart, these speed controllers have various other features to be counted.
- Thermal protection: This particular feature helps in keeping the controller temperature regulated. This will avoid the controller from heating up.
- Limiting motor current: This feature helps protect the controller and the motor if the controller gets overloaded.
- Throttle mapping: This feature provides proper and full control of speed to the driver. This changes the speed input response profile, giving more control at lower speeds.
- Limiting battery current: This feature of the controllers keeps the battery safe. It protects it from excessive discharge.
How To Tell If The EZGO Controller Is Bad
The EZGO speed controller is bad if:
- The governor is not attached to the engine.
- There is a bad connection between the battery and controller.
- The tow run switch is damaged.
Many times, the speed controllers of an EZGO cart are damaged or broken. These speed controllers are located under the EZGO cart seat. Check the speed controller’s attachment near the carburetor.
Steps to follow:
- Reach the engine area of the cart by lifting the cart seat.
- Locate the speed controller on the engine. It is placed on the gold cart motor near the engine.
- Locate the governor near the carburetor of the engine. It is a T-shaped rod and checks its attachment.
- Pull the governor near the carburetor and then check its attachment.
If the governor near the carburetor is moving and is not attached near the carburetor or is not moving at all, it is bad in both cases. In both cases, you need to replace the controller.
To get a more detailed checkup of the series speed controller, follow these steps:
- First, connect the voltmeter to the controller and the battery. Connect the voltmeter to the M terminal of the speed controller and the negative terminal of the cart battery.
- Now push on the cart pedal and check the full battery voltage.
- As soon as the full voltage is shown, push the entire pedal down.
- You will see that the voltage starts dropping down gradually to 0 or near 0.
- If the voltage is not dropping, then you should check the controller’s throttle input.
- If the voltage drops but the motor is not running, the chances are that something will start getting really hot.
In both cases, the controller is not working, and you should decide to replace it.
Why Is My EZGO Controller Getting Hot?
If the EZGO controller is getting hot, then the chances are that the controller has gone bad and there is some kind of motor load problem.
In general, if the EZGO controller is getting hotter, it’s due to steep rise and driving on higher roads. Then the reason will simply be that the load on the engine and motor is also causing the controller to get hot.
But if the cart controller gets hot even while on a short distance run or even if it is switched on, then it can be due to faulty wiring and connections. Or it can also be because the controller is damaged and it needs to be replaced.
Simple steps include:
- Check the speed controller.
- If it is hot, then change the controller.
- Then, check the connections because high resistance in the amperage circuit can cause the buggy to get hot.
How Do You Test The EZGO Speed Controller?
Before troubleshooting an EZGO cart controller, it is crucial to test the controller. The very first part of it is first to identify the cart drive system. This can be found out from the cart manual book (flow chart identification).
Before testing the controller, make sure that all the connections are tight and clean and also remove the controller cover. Also, put the rear of the cart on the jack stand to avoid any mishap or accident.
How to test a EZGO controller
- Connect the battery pack negative post to the negative of the meter probe.
- Connect the battery pack positive post to the positive of the meter probe.
- Switch on and then put the gear in forward, and then put the positive of the meter probe on the solenoid’s battery side.
- The reading should not be below the battery voltage.
- Now, put the positive of the meter probe on the solenoid’s controller side.
- The reading should be battery voltage minus 0.1 to 3 volts.
- If the voltage is less than that, then the resistor is likely faulty.
Checking the controller input
To check the controller input, follow these steps:
- Connect the positive probe to the B+ terminal and connect the negative probe to the B- terminal.
- When the resistor is removed and the pedal is not pressed in the last hour, the readings should be zero volts.
Checking the controller output
To check the controller output, follow these steps:
- Press the pedal of the cart until the solenoid clicks.
- Keep watching the voltmeter and see if it is showing the battery voltage.
- Now again, keep pressing the pedal and see if the voltage is going down or not.
Also, while doing the voltmeter testing of the controller from M- to B+, make sure that when the solenoid clicks while depressing the pedal, the voltmeter reads zero. Then, the voltmeter reading should increase to the battery pack when the entire pedal is on the floor.
Check if the voltage reading with the pedal completely down matches between terminal swaps; that is M- and B+ and B- and B+. If the voltage does not match, then either there is a throttle issue, or the controller is bad.
How Do You Troubleshoot A Golf Cart Controller?
If the cart is not moving forward or the speed is not getting regulated or there is a problem in controlling the speed, then the chances are that the controller is being erratic. Then, it is very important to troubleshoot the problem as soon as possible.
There are two kinds of controller systems: drive control system and precision drive system. Troubleshooting for both types of drive systems is very similar.
Follow these steps to troubleshoot the controller of an EZGO:
- When the cart is to be serviced or the controller needs troubleshooting, the maintenance switch under the seat needs to be flipped. Flip the switch and turn the tow maintenance mode on.
- Now, take the negative battery cable (black) and disconnect it. After disconnecting the black cable, take out the cover of the controller. Now attach the black cable again.
- Before going any further, check all the wires and cables and make sure that everything is well-connected to the controller. Check if there is any kind of corrosion, leaks, interference, or breakages in the cables.
- After making sure everything is in place and there are no damages to the wires, attach the probes to the positive and negative on the battery. After this, take the reading and write it down.
- Test the solenoid because a malfunctioning in the solenoid can cause erratic speed. Attach the solenoid post that is near the battery and positive probe. Compare this to the battery readings. If the readings are the same, then the solenoid is damaged.
- Lastly, check the output of the controller. For this, connect the +ve probe to the B+ terminal and –ve probe to the M terminal. Now press the accelerator and see the change in the readings. The reading should increase from zero.
- Check if the motor starts by pressing the pedal. If the motor does not start, then the chances are that the motor is damaged. But if there is no increase in the readings, then the speed controller is not working.
How Do You Repair The EZGO Controller?
If your EZGO controller is found to be damaged or is not working, two things can be done. Either the controller can be repaired or replaced.
In the case of replacement, one thing that needs to be kept in mind is that controllers are expensive and changing them can cause you to spend a lot.
Steps to repair the controller are:
- First, disconnect the battery and remove the cover that keeps the controller safe.
- Check the wires and cables that go to the controller.
- If the wires look like they have corroded, scrub them. Check if they are still intact and if not, simply replace them.
- Check the solenoid and if the solenoid is not working, replace it too. Remove the solenoid from the metal bracket and screws. Replace it carefully and affix the screws and bracket back on.
- Check the wires attached to the solenoid and replace them if needed.
- Now reconnect the battery and check whether everything is working by doing a battery test.
1997 EZGO TXT Controller
If you have the EZGO 1997 TXT, then the chances are you are looking for an upgrade. Of late, it has been seen that this cart is slowing down and tends to get hotter.
You can upgrade the following on a 1997 EZGO TXT:
- Upgrade the stock tires from 4” to 5” which will give the cart a lift.
- Upgrade the controller to give the overall speed of the cart a boost by 20mph or so.
- Get a 48v upgrade to give the power of the cart a new boost.
1998 EZGO TXT Controller
With continuous usage, if the speed of the 1998 EZGO TXT has decreased, it is better to give it some speed boost. To make it more effective, the speed can be boosted by a minimum of 15 to 20mph and the stock tires can be changed to give a proper lift to the cart.
You can upgrade the following on a 1998 EZGO TXT:
- Upgrade the solenoid to give a speed boost.
- Upgrade the controller to increase speed control; however, there can be a significant torque loss.
- Change the cable set, solenoid, and controller to give an overall boost of 20mph in speed.
2005 EZGO TXT Controller Upgrade
2005 EZGO TXT cart is one of the popular ones since it has some of the best features. The features include handles on the top, the plastic front bumper is not there, and the seatback is connected.
You can upgrade the following on a 2005 EZGO TXT:
- Get all-terrain tires to make the cart worthy of going off-road.
- Controller, cables, and batteries to give the cart a reasonable speed boost.
- A 6” lift so that the cart can pull some basic load.
How Do You Upgrade The EZGO RXV Controller?
This is one of the best unrivaled EZGO carts out there. It comes with AC drivetrain and makes the driving smooth with IntelliBrake technology. However, to make the cart even more efficient, you can upgrade its features.
You can upgrade the following on a EZGO RXV:
- Give the cart a lift to make it more effective on steep and rough terrains.
- Get a new controller of 600 amp to give a boost of around 20mph speed.