How to Troubleshoot Golf Cart Choke (EZGO/Club Car/Yamaha)

Golf Cart with a Fixed Choke Cable


What Does a Choke Do on a Golf Cart?

A golf cart choke is often used when a cold engine is started. It controls the airflow when fuel is moved to the engine. The choke is released when the mixture is stabilized and the engine can operate by itself without any restriction of air.


Where is the Choke Located on a Golf Cart?

Golf carts make use of a mechanical choke as they don’t support fuel injection. The exact location of the choke depends on the brand, model and year of the golf cart.

Often, the choke cable knob on a golf cart is located near the driver’s leg or on the dash console.

In a four-wheeler John Deere Gator, the choke is located below the driver’s seat to the left of the gas fill.

To check out where the choke is located on your golf cart, you can look for a cable that pulls the choke plate that is present on the carburetor to a closed position. This position controls the flow of air to the engine.


Types of Choke Problems on a Golf Cart

A golf cart can experience many different types of choke issues. I highly recommend consulting a professional mechanic to fix your choke.


Gas Club Car

  • The cart runs only if the choke is kept on throughout the runtime due to sediment accumulation in the carburetor.


EZGO golf cart

  • The cart shows signs of poor gas economy because the choke opens only partly.
  • The engine of the cart tends to lose power or run rough due to incorrect choke adjustment.
  • The cart shows poor performance when running at low speed because the choke is on or pulled out.
  • The spark plugs of the cart get damaged due to choke seizure when the choke is closed.


Troubleshooting Golf Cart Choke Problems

Poor gas economyOnly partial opening of the chokeAdjust the choke
Starter has rotation but the engine is difficult to start or will not start at all• The engine is flooded with gas
• The engine is short of gas
• Push choke inwards. Wait for at least 15 minutes so that fuel is drained and start the engine again.
• Pull choke outwards and wait for the smooth running of the engine. Push choke inward again.
Poor performance of the engine when running at low On or pulled out chokePush choke inward
The engine starts losing power or shows signs of rough runningIncorrect or faulty choke adjustmentChoke adjustment to be corrected
Spark plugs get damaged continuouslySeizing of choke in a closed positionRepair needed for the choke

Golf Cart Needs the Choke to Start

A golf cart that only works when the choke is started will need to be fixed eventually. Here is how to troubleshoot the choke on your golf cart:


Issue when engine starts

There is a lean issue when the engine is started and is primarily because the carburetor tends to open up too fast. To fix it,

  1. Check the cable of the carburetor to see if it’s in good condition.
  2. Press the accelerator and check if the engine begins turning over before the carburetor gets opened up by the cable. If this is not happening, the accelerator cable that is present inside the electrical component box must be adjusted.


Crankcase seals broken or cracked

The crankcase seals are likely to be broken or have one or more cracks on it causing loss of crankcase vacuum.

  1. Check all the crankcase seals carefully.
  2. Replace all seals that show signs of damage.


Carburetor jet clogged

The carburetor jet is clogged resulting in the choke causing suction of the engine starting from the air cleaner right to the fuel bowl. To solve this problem,

  1. Dismantle the carburetor jet from the carburetor.
  2. Clean the jet thoroughly and check to see that there are no more clogs.
  3. Fit the jet back in place.


Drive belt of the golf cart is broken

Replace the drive belt with a new one. This can be done in just about five minutes without using any tool.


The fuel line has an air leak because of damage

Get a new fuel line fitted in place of the old one so that there is no more air leakage. You can use this chance to look for air leaks in the head gasket and around the base of the carburetor.

Vacuum leaks around the carburetor can be detected by moving a propane torch around its seams when the motor is up and running. Also, ensure that the gasket is seated properly.


Dirty or damaged valve in fuel tank

The fuel tank has a dirty or damaged check valve. Alternatively, the check valves under the Welch plug is at fault.

  1. Inspect the fuel tank for a dirty or faulty check valve. Also, check the one under the Welch plug.
  2. Clean the dirt surrounding the check valves.
  3. Replace the malfunctioning valve with a new valve.


Fueling problem in the engine

The engine of the golf cart is running lean and there is a fueling problem.

  1. Move a jet kit up in increments in the carburetor.
  2. Set the main needle to a slightly higher value than the present value.
  3. Replace the pulse pump with an electric pump.


The idle has to be adjusted and needs to be richened

  1. Remove the idle jet plug and drill it slightly.
  2. Richen the idle as much as possible.


The mixture screw is misaligned or out of alignment

  1. Put the screw back in its original place.
  2. Open the screw again a little by a 1/2 turn to 3/4 turn.


The vacuum or gasket connections or both are incorrect

  1. Check all vacuum and gasket connections of the golf cart.
  2. Correct the faulty connection. Often, the gasket on the carburetor is flipped on incorrectly.


The carburetor needs cleaning or is missing a component

  1. Check for dirt accumulation in the carburetor and clean it up immediately. The dirt build-up can cause the carburetor to heat up.
  2. Inspect the carburetor closely to see if all components are present. The absence of parts like fuel filters can trigger this problem.


Club Car DS only Runs when the Choke is applied

If your Club Car DS cart is only running when the choke is applied, you should read the following steps to fix this issue.

The fuel shut off switch is not in the correct position

  1. Check to see if the fuel shut off switch has turned accidentally. Sometimes, the turning of the switch can cause the motor to get stalled and fill the filters at the same time.
  2. Reset the switch back to the proper position.


The carburetor most probably dirt stuck or gummed up inside it

  1. Remove the carburetor from its position carefully and dismantle it.
  2. Clean each component separately and ensure that there is no dust accumulation. This may also be a good chance to inspect for damaged components.
  3. Assemble the carburetor by putting the clean components back in place again.
  4. Fix the carburetor back in place while ensuring that it’s not fitted loosely.


The adjustment screw is not set properly

Turn the screw in completely and loosen it once again by just a couple of turns.


The air filter has moved out of place

Take the air filter out and put it back in place. Remember to put the cover back as well.

You’ll often find that the air filter is not in the correct position. This will cause the crankcase vent tube behind the housing to get plugged.


There is a problem with the fuel pump

Get a rebuild kit for the fuel pump and rectify the problem. It might be a better option to consider replacing the pump and the fuel filters. 


The spark plug is not performing properly

Cleaning up the dirt/soot around the spark plug can solve the problem. However, if the problem persists even after the cleaning, buy a new spark plug. You can also consider doing a compression check and looking for a leak in the intake manifold.


Is it bad to run an engine with the choke on?

It’s quite common to forget to put off the choke once the engine has started running. This can at times cause damage to the engine. However, there may be no adverse effect if you have been riding your golf cart with the choke on only for a short time.

  • The engine tends to run rich, which will, in turn, increase fuel consumption and decrease the mileage. Depending on the condition of the engine, its performance can get affected because of the inability to draw the same amount of air as in high-speed situations.
  • If the cart has been driven for a long distance, there are high chances of deposit accumulation in the exhaust or engine. These deposits can be cleaned easily. But it may take a long time to clear them if there is too much deposit buildup.
  • The spark plugs and valves of the cart may get fouled up due to the richness of the engine. They will have to be removed and cleaned using a brake or carburetor cleaner followed by their reinstallation.
  • The speed of the golf cart tends to reduce considerably if it has been driven with the choke on for a long time.
  • The air intake will become less because there is a lot of unburnt fuel, thereby causing the emission to be high.



EZGO TXT/RXV Only Runs with Choke On

 If your EZGO TXT or RXV is only running with the choke on, please read the following troubleshooting steps.

Dirty or clogged filter in the carburetor

The carburetor is dirty or has a clogged filter. It could also be that the main jet is too small. To fix it,

  1. Remove the carburetor, clean it and put it back in place. Stale gas has likely accumulated inside the unit. You can consider dismantling the carburetor, cleaning each component and reassembling the carburetor. You can consider using a 12 or a 16-gauge wire for the cleaning along with a carburetor cleaning spray.
  2. Replace the small main jet with one of a bigger size.


Carburetor gaskets are faulty

The carburetor gaskets are at fault. They might have become loose and come out of place resulting in a lean mixture. To fix it, you must

– Tighten the two nuts that keep the carburetor in place. Use this chance to ensure that the gaskets are not broken.


Timing belt and gears are not aligned properly

The timing belt and gears are out of alignment. They may be misaligned by a degree or one tooth.

– Getting the timing belt and gears properly aligned can help to solve the problem.


Yamaha G1 Only Runs with Choke

A clear sign that their is a fault with your golf cart is when it only runs with the choke. Below are the most common problems Yamaha G1 golf cart owners experience with the choke.

The carburetor is experiencing a lean condition

Check for air leakage starting from the filter box to the head. It’s also worthwhile checking the compression.


Dirt accumulation in the inlet needle

The inlet needle and seat assembly may not be free-flowing. This may be because of dirt or dust accumulation.

Clean the assembly and ensure that the needle is moving freely without any restriction.


Air leakage

There may be air leaks because of cracks in the adapter plate housing the carburetor, carburetor, spacer, gaskets or air hose from the fuel pump to the engine. A missing plug in the bottom of the air box also causes the problem.

  1. Check for cracks in the above parts and do a replacement of the cracked parts.
  2. Get the air box fitted with the required plug.


Damaged crank seals

The crank seals may have got damaged. This is a common problem with 2-cycle carts.

Replace the crank seals, especially if you have not done so for a long time.


Exhaust valve shut off

The exhaust valve has shut off accidentally because of a disconnected linkage.

Get the linkage connected properly so that the exhaust valve remains open.


Yamaha G2 Golf Cart Needs Choke to Start

Below are the most common problems a Yamaha G2 may experience in relation to its choke.

There is a loose connection in the air cleaner box

Check all the connections to ensure that they are sealed and tight for preventing air leaks.


The main jet in the carburetor is partly or fully clogged

Clean the jet using a small wire and a carburetor cleaner.


The inlet valve, gasket behind carburetor or plastic spacer is burnt

Check for the burnt-out part and do a replacement. 


The fuel pump has got worn out

Replace the fuel pump at the earliest. It’s best not to work out on a repair on this part.


Club Car runs only with choke


Dirty fuel pump or carburetor

The carburetor or fuel pump is dirty because of bad gas accumulation. To solve this, clean the carburetor and fuel pump using an additive or ethanol-free gas.


Crack in the hose

There is a crack in the intake hose causing it to collapse because of air suction. Check the hose for cracks and replace the hose even if you find only a single hairline crack.


Ernie loves documenting interesting facts about golf.

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