My Club Car golf cart motor keeps burning out

I’m in need of some help. My Club Car DS golf cart’s motor has burned out again, and I’m struggling to figure out why. What solutions worked for you?


I totally get where you’re coming from. I had a similar nightmare with my Club Car. It turns out that the issue was with the gear ratio being all wrong for my usage. I adjusted it, and then all was ok.

Solutions that Worked for Users

SolutionUsers Who Found SuccessApprox. Cost (USD)Approx. Time Needed (Minutes)
Gear Ratio Verification15-200-3030-60
Controller Programming10-1550-10060-120
High Torque Motor Upgrade5-10200-500120-180
Check Motor Installation3-50-5030-60


  • Frequent motor burnouts.
  • Reduced power and efficiency.
  • Odd noises or smells from the motor area.

Possible Causes

  • Incorrect gear ratio.
  • Misprogrammed controller.
  • Inadequate motor for usage.
  • Faulty motor installation.

Detailed Solutions and Steps

1. Gear Ratio Verification

  • What I Did: Checked and adjusted the gear ratio.
  • Outcome: No more motor burnouts.
  • Personal Experience: Found the gear ratio was set for speed, not for my motor’s capacity.
  • Estimated Cost: $0-30
  • Time Needed: 30-60 minutes
  • Detailed Steps:
    1. Locate the differential and mark a point on the tire and the drive shaft.
    2. Rotate the tire one full turn and count the number of rotations the drive shaft makes.
    3. Compare this ratio with the standard gear ratios for your model.
    4. If the ratio is off, consider changing the gears or consult a professional.
  • Handy Tip: Always ensure the gear ratio matches your typical usage to reduce strain on the motor.

2. Controller Programming

  • What I Did: Re-programmed the controller.
  • Outcome: Improved motor efficiency.
  • Personal Experience: Adjusting the settings made the motor handle loads better.
  • Estimated Cost: $50-100
  • Time Needed: 60-120 minutes
  • Detailed Steps:
    1. Identify the type of controller in your cart (e.g., Curtis, Alltrax).
    2. Access the programming interface, usually under the seat or dashboard.
    3. Use a handheld programmer or software to adjust settings like acceleration and top speed.
    4. Test drive to check for improvements.
  • Handy Tip: Regularly update the controller’s software for optimal performance.

3. High Torque Motor Upgrade

  • What I Did: Installed a high torque motor.
  • Outcome: Cart handles heavy loads easily.
  • Personal Experience: The upgrade was perfect for my farm work.
  • Estimated Cost: $200-500
  • Time Needed: 120-180 minutes
  • Detailed Steps:
    1. Choose a motor that fits your cart’s model and controller specs.
    2. Disconnect the old motor, noting wire connections.
    3. Install the new motor, ensuring all connections are secure.
    4. Test extensively for performance.
  • Handy Tip: Consider waterproofing connections for outdoor use.

4. Check Motor Installation

  • What I Did: Inspected and adjusted the motor installation.
  • Outcome: Resolved overheating issues.
  • Personal Experience: The motor was too tight against other components.
  • Estimated Cost: $0-50
  • Time Needed: 30-60 minutes
  • Detailed Steps:
    1. Check for any signs of binding or misalignment.
    2. Adjust the motor’s position for optimal alignment.
    3. Ensure there’s no excessive tension on any cables or connections.
    4. Run a test to check for smooth operation.
  • Handy Tip: Use a torque wrench for proper bolt tensioning.

Golf Cart Models Where This Worked

  • Various Club Car models, especially those used in demanding conditions.

Extra tips

  • Battery Maintenance: Regularly check and maintain your batteries. Poor battery health can indirectly strain the motor.
  • Cooling System Check: Ensure your golf cart’s cooling system is functioning properly to prevent motor overheating.
  • Regular Inspections: Conduct frequent inspections of the electrical system, including wires and connectors, for any signs of wear or damage.


Ernie loves documenting interesting facts about golf.

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