Golf Cart Fuel Pump (How to Test, Install, Fix Empty Filter)

golf cart with a fixed fuel pump


How Does a Golf Cart Fuel Pump Work?

A golf cart pump has a simple design and is smaller than fuel pumps in other vehicles. It is a vacuum-powered pump that uses pressure from the crankcase. This pressure is called pulse and is generated at the bottom of a piston in the cart when the crankcase turns.

The pump also has an inlet and an outlet. There are two diaphragms that separate the inlet, outlet and pulse from one another.

When the diaphragms start pulsing, the fuel is moved from the gas tank to the inlet chamber. From here, the fuel gets transferred to the outlet chamber and then to the other parts of the engine.


Can you Put an Electric Fuel Pump on a Golf Cart?

Yes, it’s possible to install an electric fuel pump on a golf cart. The fuel pump must be powered from that side of the solenoid, which features the starter motor.

In other words, it must be connected from the large post of the solenoid that goes towards the starter. This ensures that the pump operates only when the starter gets running.

Keep the vacuum line plugged off. Also, keep the fuel pump off the battery until it’s primed completely.

Often, an electric fuel pump is chosen to overcome problems related to vacuum leaks between engine and pump, clogged siphon tubes and old gas tanks.


Why Does My Fuel Filter Stay Empty?

The fuel filter of the golf cart is designed in such a way that the motor operation does not get affected when the fuel filter is half full.

If the fuel tank of an EZGO golf cart is empty, there is likely to be a problem in the vacuum tube that connects the crankcase and the fuel pump. The tube may either be completely damaged or have just a hairline crack that drains off the fuel.

Consider replacing this tube. Also, check to see that no other tubes connected to the fuel pump are cracked. The clamps on all the connections must also be intact.

If the fuel filter of a Yamaha golf cart is empty, disconnect the fuel line coming from the carburetor followed by a turnover of the motor. This should release a stream of fuel. After this, consider pulling the vent out and sucking through it. This will help to clear blocks in the vent if any.


What Happens If my Golf Cart Runs Out of Gas?

If your golf carts runs out of gas, the engine will stop running. This in turn stalls the cart and makes it difficult to control the braking and steering.

The fuel line will be filled with air causing the fuel injectors to get clogged or the fuel pump to get damaged. You must do the following if you experience such a situation.

Pull the gas cart over to the right side of the track and turn the hazard lights on. Call up the road assistance team for help or head straight to the closest gas station.

If you don’t have a can, you can request the staff for a gallon can. After getting a gallon of fuel, pour it into the tank. This will help to get your cart running so that you can take it to the gas station to top up the tank.


Types of Fuel Pump Problems

Deterioration of rubber fuel and vacuum lines

  • Check for gasoline smell from the fuel and vacuum lines. Often, very small damages or pinholes are not visible. This is why checking for the smell is very important.
  • Replace the rubber line from which the smell emanates.


Debris buildup

  • Remove the fuel pump from the golf cart and take out each component. Although an inline fuel filter helps in controlling the debris buildup, some debris inevitably gets accumulated over time.
  • Clean each component using a cleaner or gas specifically intended for this purpose.
  • Assemble the fuel pump once again.
  • Fix it back in its original place in the golf cart.


Fuel breakdown due to long-term storage

  • Unhook the gas lines from the golf cart.
  • Drain the fuel inside the fuel pump into an approved gasoline storage container.
  • Empty the contents of the carburetor. You can use this chance to clean the carburetor inlet.


Engine problem

  • Check for a damaged engine or a leaky crankcase that limits the power production. You might also look out for problems with the case gasket, a faulty crankshaft seal or oil leak.
  • Replace the worn-out part or parts after confirming that they’re beyond repair. If a part can be repaired, you can try doing that first.
  • If there is an oil leak, take the cart to the service personnel for their assistance in fixing the problem.


Ethanol Mix

  • Opt to buy fuel from stores that sell pure gasoline without traces of Ethanol. This is slightly expensive but a cheaper deal compared to when you have to replace damaged parts because of the rust deposits that occur in the fuel supply.
  • Get a fuel stabilizer fitted for the smooth running of the golf cart engine.
  • Ensure that the engine is completely dry before you store it for a long time when the season ends.


Clogged fuel pump

  • Remove the bolts of the fuel pump.
  • Take the fuel filter and diaphragms out without damaging them.
  • Clean the other parts of the pump, especially the tank and cap vents as they tend to get clogged.
  • Reassemble the pump and ensure that it’s placed in position properly.


Diaphragm damage

  • Disassemble the fuel pump and take each component apart.
  • Replace the broken or torn diaphragms using a rebuild kit. The reason for the damage is often due toa lack of maintenance or extensive use.
  • Assemble the fuel pump and place it back in its original position.


Vapor lock

  • Connect a marine primer bulb in between the fuel pump and the fuel tank.
  • Pump the bulb for a while till the carburetor is loaded fully with fuel.
  • Start the engine and check if it continues running without the priming action. If it does, there is a vapor lock.
  • Replace the existing hose from the fuel tank to the filter with a slightly larger hose. This ensures that the filter is never dry and has some fuel always, which in turn prevents vapor lock.


How to Prime a Golf Cart Fuel Pump

Club Car DS

  1. Turn the engine of the golf cart on and remove the gas cap.
  2. Keep a rag around the filler hole.
  3. Blow hard into the gas tank. You may have to do this a few times until the engine starts purring and the fuel filter has fuel in it.



  1. Remove the fuel line that is connected to the carburetor.
  2. Place a rag around the filler hole.
  3. Blow hard into the tank until a solid stream of gas starts coming out of the fuel line.

If you’re not able to follow the above methods, you can use a primer bulb to help with the priming. In case this doesn’t help either, check for a clogged filter or a kinked line.


How to Test a Fuel Pump on a Golf Cart

  1. Check the vacuum and fuel lines if the carburetor fails to get sufficient fuel. These lines are made of rubber and tend to deteriorate over time. Gas leaks or gas odors are signs of faulty fuel lines. A damaged vacuum line has a drastic effect on the fuel pressure as the power of the vacuum gets lost. This causes excess air to be sucked in. Often, the vacuum line may have very minute damage in it that is not visible outside.
  2. Like a gas leak, the golf cart fuel pump should also be tested for oil leaks in the lower part of the engine or crankcase. This usually happens because of a defective case gasket or crankshaft seal. It’s recommended that you take the assistance of service personnel to resolve the problem as it needs expertise.
  3. Check if the fuel pump has an accumulation of debris, dirt or other contaminants. Although an inline fuel filter between the pump and tank keeps most of these elements at bay, some contaminants may still make their way inside. To get rid of them, remove the pump from the cart and disassemble it. Often, there will be just three sections separated by two diaphragms.

To make the re-assembly easy after cleaning, draw a line across the sections.

  1. Inspect the diaphragms for tears or damage. These are generally fragile thin plastic sheets. If you find any problem, do a replacement with a rebuild kit. To check the diaphragms, you will have to dismantle the fuel pump as mentioned above.


How to Install a Fuel Pump on a Golf Cart

In a Yamaha G9 golf cart, the pulsar line or the outer hose outlet must face downwards.

In an EZGO golf cart, the installation is in the following order.

  1. Gasket
  2. Spacer
  3. Rubber O ring
  4. Fuel pump


EZGO Fuel Pump Pressure

The fuel pump pressure of an EZGO golf cart is 295PSI. Sometimes, getting new plugs connected and making the required adjustments to the governor can help in achieving this.


Yamaha Golf Cart Fuel Pump Pressure

The fuel pump of a Yamaha G14 golf cart has a standard pressure of 178PSI. The minimum pressure must always be 142PSI.

An electric fuel pump in a Yamaha G2 cart often has a low pressure of 3 to 5PSI with 1/4-inch lines. In some cases, the fuel pump gets activated when the fuel pressure is lower than 2PSI. It gets turned off when the pressure reaches 4.5PSI.


What type of Fuel to Use for Golf Carts

The best fuel for golf carts is 87 octane fuel. This is the most commonly available fuel in gas stations. This fuel also has the added advantage of being the cheapest option most of the time.

The main reason that this type of fuel is considered as the best option is that the ethanol content in the fuel is just 10 percent or lower. You can also opt for fuel that has still lower ethanol levels.

Some golf cart owners run their carts with 93 octane fuel or higher because this fuel helps them to get better mileage. However, it’s often not recommended to use such high-octane levels because they can lead to many problems such as damaging the engine or stalling the cart.


What Octane to use in a Golf Cart

Golf cart manufacturers recommend using 87 octane fuel for in golf carts.

However, golf carts that are used extensively, carry heavy loads or operate in high altitudes may require a higher-octane fuel. But this can be detrimental to the life of the golf cart as mentioned above. To overcome the problems, you can consider fitting a fuel stabilizer to the golf cart.


Ethanol-free Gas for Golf Carts

The best place to get ethanol-free gas for golf carts is from convenience stores or home centers. Some of them sell ethanol-free fuel although it’s priced a little on the higher side.

However, if you aren’t able to get the fuel from such stores, opt for gas stations that sell 87 octane fuel. This fuel has only 10 percent or less of ethanol that is almost negligible.

If the gas in your golf cart has ethanol in it, you can opt for treatment measures like Sta-Bil Ethanol Treatment available in most stores. Add half an ounce to the full fuel tank every month.

If you’re using ethanol-free gas in the golf cart, it’s advisable to always opt for this treatment. It’s not a good idea to use a combination of ethanol-free and ethanol-containing fuel or keep switching from one fuel type to the other.


Fuel Stabilizer for Gas Golf Cart

There are various options for fuel stabilizer for a gas golf cart. One of the best options is to use a Seafoam. However, you must take care not to add too much Seafoam at a time. You can add half a bottle of seafoam to 5 to 6 gallons of fuel.

Although Seafoam is not very combustible, it acts as a good stabilizer when the cart is in storage with the fuel in it. Seafoam also helps to protect the engine against ethanol and restore its performance.


Can I use Ethanol in a Golf Cart?

A golf cart may have no problem if ethanol is used in trace amounts. However, excess or periodic usage may do more harm than good. The aluminum fuel components of the cart tend to get ruined or gummed up.

In some cases, the plug gets toasted or the carburetor will require cleaning quite often. Ethanol is hygroscopic and therefore has the capability of absorbing moisture content. This can cause rubber hoses to deteriorate. Hence, it’s not advisable if the fuel lines are quite old.

If the cart is going to rest for a long time such as a month or more, it’s advisable to use an additive like Seafoam or Sta-bil to gum the ethanol in the fuel.

Add the required quantity per gallon of fuel and drive it for a minimum of half an hour before resting it. This will help to ensure that the additive enters the complete fuel system.


Premium Vs Regular Gas in a Golf cart

Some golf cart manufacturers recommend using premium gas along with Sta-Bil Marine Formula Ethanol Treatment for their carts. Premium gas is preferred  over  regular fuel stabilizer.

However, there are also golf carts that give good performance with regular gas as long as it’s unleaded.

Also, premium gas which is more expensive than regular gas is often ideal for golf carts with high compression engines.

Sometimes regular gas is a better choice such as when the golf cart runs at low rpm, like when getting into a parking space or a garage.


Ernie loves documenting interesting facts about golf.

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