How to Adjust & Tighten Loose Steering (Club Car Golf Cart)

Club Car golf cart has loose steering

Why Is The Steering Loose On My Club Car Golf Cart?

The cause of loose steering on a Club Car golf cart is worn out tie rods, worn out bushes or loose kingpins.

Driving my Club Car golf cart for around four years, suddenly one day I found at times the steering wheel of my cart working loose. Inspecting the wheel area, I found that it is time to change some of the parts as they are the primary reasons for the steering wheel coming loose.

  1. Worn out tie rods – The tie rods and the wheel spindle and the brushes wear out. I happened to me. Again I found that the tie rod along with the bearing slops has also worn out. I replaced them and centered the steering wheel, and my cart worked fine.
  2. Worn out bush – Once, everything was fine in tie rod area, but my cart-wheel was still loose. 
  3. Loose kingpins – It was another cause of my Club cart Golf cart working loose. I changed the spindle and the spindle as they were worn out, and my cart worked fine.
  4. Faulty working of the rack & pinion arrangements – Overtime, the racks and pinion arrangement does foul in the golf cart. It happened to me to my previous cart. Once I tightened the nuts and bolts, greased them and at another time I had to change the entire assembly and solve the problems.


I looked at the aluminum case that houses the upper and lower bushing and found they are loose as they have worn out. I replaced the bushings which resulted in a steady steering wheel.


How to adjust the steering on a Club Car Golf Cart?

Steering of the Club Car Golf cart needs adjustments like any other four-wheeler at some intervals. Sometimes the steering becomes tight and sometimes too loose to control the cart.

Proper steering alignment or adjustment is needed to overcome the problems. I gauged the problems in my way and solved them.

  1. Unscrewing the central nut – Upon removing the steering wheel cover, found a central nut and unscrewed it. I used an adjustable wrench because I was not sure of the nut size. Later I found out to be in between 15 to 16 inch. Avoid popping up of the steering wheel; I didn’t unscrew wholly.
  2. Pulling the steering wheel upward – I have a metal punch as well as a rubber mallet. I prefer rubber mallet in place of metal punch as the former prevents mechanical damages while pulling out the steering wheel. The steering wheel is kept aside after pulling out. 
  3. Keeping the threads equal – The threads on either side of the steering rack should be equal, and the jam nuts of the rack and the shaft twist are not in contact. I used a wrench for adjusting the routing wheel.
  4. Realigning the wheel – Bring the wheel position to the centre. Extracting the knuckles, I adjusted and then repeated the same thing, turning the steering wheel for the other way. Few times, bringing back the wheel to the default position and adjusting solved my problem keeping the rack in a neutral position.


How to fix loose steering on a Club Car golf cart

The Club cart Golf cart’s steering gets loose at times and needs to be tightened and fixed. It happened to me many times, and I followed the systematic procedures to fix it. 

  1. Jacking up the wheels – The Club car golf cart is lifted with the jacks’ help to free the wheels from the floor. I also placed wooden blocks at strategic places under the chassis to remove the jacks keeping the wheels free.
  2. Rotating the steering wheel and adjusting the rack – After lifting, I rotated the steering wheels a couple of times from the lock, noting down the slippage or foul play. Turning the wheel slightly on either side, I got rid of the neutral position of the rack. 
  3. Adjusting the lock nut – There is a large locknut that can be adjusted with a wrench. It is needs to rotate counter-clockwise. After that, I used a screwdriver too to tighten the central bolt. I turned is clockwise till the nut got a good grip of the rack. 
  4. Tightening the locknut – Now, it is time to hold the center bolt that has been adjusted so that the locknut can be tightened. I followed the process and did the same. My loose steering wheel was fixed, and I lowered the cart again with the jacks’ help to have a smooth drive. 


How to tighten the steering on a Club Car Golf Cart?

One day I noticed that the Club Car Golf cart that I was driving needed the steering wheel to turn more clockwise than anticlockwise to keep it aligned with my driving directions. The reason was that my steering wheel had turned loose and needed tightening. I followed the simple process and solved the issue.

  1. Securing the wheels – I jacked up the cart and rotated the wheel on one side until the last lock noted down the slippage area. The rack was moved to one side, turning the steering.
  2. Loosening and adjusting the nuts – The adjustment nut at the bottom was loosened slightly while the middle adjustment nut was tightened. Turn forward and move backward the nut, keeping it between 22.5 to 45 degrees and connected to the rack. 
  3. Tightening the nut – Now, I turned the nut clockwise with the help of a wrench. However, there was a binding. I overcame this binding by adjusting and loosening the nut by another 22.5 degrees. 

I downed my cart from the jacks and back on the road with proper more confidence and greater control of the steering. 


1988 Club Car DS loose steering

It is a common problem in old model carts. It is a 22 years model and owned by my friend. He brought the cart to me to fix the problem. I saw that the steering wheel was playing too much. 

  1. This model of the cart has rack & pinion steering. Hence the first thing that came into my mind was to tighten the rack screw.
  2. I tightened the rack guide screw. Then I checked the gear and found it ok. 
  3. The ball joints and the rack guide rod were dry. I greased them, and they became smooth with easy movement without any foul of the steering.


1992 Club Car DS loose steering

My 1992 Club Car DS steering loosened quite often. I used all tips and tricks like tightening the adjustment and locking nuts.

  1. It worked for some days, and again the steering turned loose. Tackling the potholes and the bumps on the driveway and the garden became difficult day by day. I greased the joints, guide rods frequently, but the solution was never-ending.
  2. Finally, I opened the steering gearbox one day and found the main gear and few smaller ones have worn out. They were beyond servicing.
  3. I replaced the full gearbox procuring it online and a reasonable price. The only problem while replacing I faced was to keep the steering straight and stable. The replacement was finished within three hours with my unprofessional skills. 


  1994 Club Car DS loose steering

Fixing the 1994 Club Car DS loose steering wheel needs some mastery on the subject. My cart was having loose steering and searching the internet; I found that the problems can be overcome by regularly maintaining them. 

  1. Generally, the tie rods get worn out or the steering linkages damaged due to overuse. However, maintaining them regular intervals prolonged the service until one day when the gearbox and the rack and pinion arrangements were replaced.
  2. I took my friend’s help for moving the steering wheel, either way, keeping the tie rods fixed. There are few bolts on the wheel that can be adjusted, and I tightened them with proper wrenches making sure they are not too tight, which can jam the steering. 
  3. The gear was ok until I replaced them, but I greased all the moving parts after cleaning and adjusting them to have a smooth drive. 


2004 Club Car DS loose steering

The loose steering wheel of 2004 club Car DS may be due to worn out tie rods, breaking of the pin, or worn out rack and pinion gear. It can also happen if the nuts’ adjustments get displaced, or the joints and the gears get dry and forcing the driver to play more with the steering. In my case, it was the nuts and dryness of the parts. 

  • I jacked up the car, checked the tie rod and the bushings, and found they are ok but dry. I greased them properly. 
  • While inspecting the pin that locks the tie rod, I found it not only dry but worn out and making a creaking sound, which I was unable to hear while I drove the cart. I replaced the lock pin after greasing the socket. 
  • I greased the pinion after cleaning them, and they worked fine. The nuts on the steering rod were also adjusted to avoid foul play.

Thus, with these types of maintenance, I prolonged the life of the moving parts of my 2004 Cub car DS before new spares replaced them.  


Ernie loves documenting interesting facts about golf.

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