My Club Car gas engine is making a knocking noise

My Club Car’s gas engine just started making this constant, maddening knocking noise. It’s totally throwing off my game and stressing me out. Has anybody else dealt with this kind of issue? How did you fix it? I’m desperate for any suggestions or advice you might have!


I had a similar issue with my Club Car a while back. It turned out to be the drive clutch buttons wearing out. I replaced them along with the button spring, and it worked like a charm. The noise was gone, and the ride was smooth again. It’s a pretty simple fix and doesn’t cost much either. Definitely worth trying.

Solutions that Worked for Users

SolutionUsers Who Found SuccessApprox. Cost (USD)Approx. Time Needed (Minutes)
Replacing Drive Clutch Buttons1$15 – $2030 – 60
Tightening and Aligning Control Cables1$0 – $50 (if DIY)30 – 90
Changing Oil and Adding Sea Foam1$20 – $4020 – 40


  • Persistent knocking noise, particularly at low RPMs or when the engine is about to stall.
  • The noise seems to originate externally, possibly around the clutch.

Possible Causes

  • Wear and tear of clutch components.
  • Engine oil issues or sticky hydraulic lifters.

In-Depth Solutions that Worked

1. Replacing Drive Clutch Buttons

  • What I Did: I replaced the worn-out drive clutch buttons and the associated spring.
  • Outcome: The cart ran smoothly, and the annoying knocking noise was gone.
  • Personal Experience: The noise was similar to a hammer hitting a pot, especially at low speeds. Changing the buttons was a game-changer.
  • Detailed Steps:
    1. Safety First: Disconnect the power source to avoid any accidents.
    2. Access the Clutch: Remove the drive clutch from the engine.
    3. Replace Worn Parts: Carefully replace the old buttons and the spring with new ones.
    4. Reassemble: Put the clutch back together and ensure everything is aligned correctly.
    5. Test Run: Reconnect the power and test the cart for any unusual noises.
  • Handy Tips: Regularly inspect the clutch for signs of wear. Catching issues early can save a lot of hassle.

2. Tightening and Aligning Control Cables

  • What I Did: Adjusted and secured the control cables properly.
  • Outcome: The cart’s performance improved significantly, and the knocking noise disappeared.
  • Personal Experience: This adjustment was simple yet effective.
  • Detailed Steps:
    1. Locate the Cables: Find the control cables, usually near the engine or under the seat.
    2. Adjustment: Tighten any loose cables and ensure they are properly aligned.
    3. Testing: After adjustments, test the cart to check if the issue is resolved.
  • Handy Tips: Regular cable maintenance can prevent many mechanical issues. Lubricate the cables periodically for smoother operation.

3. Changing Oil and Adding Sea Foam

  • What I Did: Drained the old oil and refilled with new oil, adding Sea Foam as a treatment.
  • Outcome: The engine ran better, and the knocking noise reduced significantly.
  • Personal Experience: This seemed to soothe the engine and reduce the noise.
  • Detailed Steps:
    1. Drain Old Oil: Safely remove the old engine oil.
    2. Refill and Treat: Add new oil and a suitable amount of Sea Foam.
    3. Engine Run: Let the engine run for a while to circulate the new oil and additive.
  • Handy Tips: Regular oil changes are crucial for engine health. Using additives like Sea Foam can help clean and maintain hydraulic lifters.

Golf Cart Models Where This Worked

  • 2001 Club Car DS
  • 2007 Club Car FE350


Ernie loves documenting interesting facts about golf.

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