Why does my EZGO engine keep backfiring?

My EZGO golf cart’s engine just won’t stop backfiring, especially at lower speeds. It’s ruining my golfing experience and I’m clueless about what to do.


Try adjusting the valves as this worked for me. It’s a bit of a technical fix, but it should stop your ezgo from backfiring

Solutions that worked for users

SolutionUsers Who Found SuccessEstimated Cost (USD)Time Needed (Minutes)
Valve AdjustmentMultiple$0 – $3030 – 60
Governor AdjustmentMultiple$015 – 30
Replacing Igniter1$50 – $10030 – 60
Throttle Plate and Idle Screw Adjustment1$015 – 30


  • Persistent engine backfires, particularly at low throttle.
  • Inconsistent engine performance and occasional stalling.
  • Rough running and reduced engine efficiency.

Possible Causes

  • Misadjusted valves leading to improper engine timing.
  • Governor malfunction causing erratic engine speeds.
  • Worn-out or faulty igniter disrupting ignition sequence.
  • Misaligned throttle plate and idle screw affecting air-fuel mixture.

Detailed Solutions and Tips

1. Valve Adjustment

  • What I Did: Carefully adjusted the engine valves to the specifications recommended by EZGO.
  • Outcome: Significant reduction in backfiring and smoother engine operation.
  • Personal Experience: This adjustment brought a noticeable improvement in engine behavior.
  • Estimated Cost: $0 – $30 (DIY; higher if done professionally)
  • Time Needed: 30 – 60 minutes
  • Detailed Steps:
    1. Ensure the engine is cool before starting.
    2. Locate the valve cover and remove it to access the valves.
    3. Use a feeler gauge to measure the gap between the valve stem and rocker arm.
    4. Adjust the nut on the rocker arm to achieve the correct gap as per EZGO’s specifications.
    5. Recheck the gap after tightening to ensure accuracy.
    6. Replace the valve cover and test the engine.
  • Expert Tip: Regular valve maintenance is crucial for older carts. Consider doing this adjustment during routine service.

2. Governor Adjustment

  • What I Did: Fine-tuned the governor to control the maximum engine speed.
  • Outcome: More stable engine performance and reduced backfiring.
  • Personal Experience: The cart ran much smoother after this adjustment.
  • Estimated Cost: $0
  • Time Needed: 15 – 30 minutes
  • Detailed Steps:
    1. Locate the governor, typically near the carburetor or transmission.
    2. Adjust the governor spring or linkage to change the engine’s RPM limit.
    3. Perform small adjustments and test drive after each change.
    4. Continue adjusting until you achieve a balance between performance and engine stability.
  • Expert Tip: Be cautious not to over-rev the engine, as this can lead to other mechanical issues.

3. Replacing Igniter

  • What I Did: Swapped out the old igniter with a new, compatible model.
  • Outcome: More reliable ignition and a noticeable decrease in backfiring.
  • Personal Experience: This was a game-changer for the engine’s ignition system.
  • Estimated Cost: $50 – $100
  • Time Needed: 30 – 60 minutes
  • Detailed Steps:
    1. Disconnect the battery to ensure safety.
    2. Locate the igniter, which is usually near the engine or under the seat.
    3. Remove the old igniter, taking note of all connections.
    4. Install the new igniter, ensuring all connections are secure.
    5. Reconnect the battery and test the engine.
  • Expert Tip: Choosing the right igniter is key. Make sure to get one that’s compatible with your EZGO model.

4. Throttle Plate and Idle Screw Adjustment

  • What I Did: Adjusted the throttle plate and idle screw for optimal air and fuel mixture.
  • Outcome: Improved idling and less frequent backfiring.
  • Personal Experience: This required some trial and error but was effective.
  • Estimated Cost: $0
  • Time Needed: 15 – 30 minutes
  • Detailed Steps:
    1. Locate the carburetor and identify the throttle plate and idle screw.
    2. Adjust the idle screw to ensure the throttle plate closes but not completely.
    3. Test the engine at various speeds to check for improvements.
    4. Make further adjustments as needed for smoother operation.
  • Expert Tip: A properly adjusted throttle can significantly improve engine performance. Don’t overlook this during regular maintenance.


Ernie loves documenting interesting facts about golf.

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