Why is My Golf Cart Backfiring? (Troubleshooting Guide)

golf cart backfiring

Why is my Golf Cart Backfiring?

  • The adjustment of the accelerator cable at the throttle plate has changed.
  • The clutch has been subject to wear and tear.
  • The exhaust system has poor quality gas.
  • The exhaust system has accumulated unburned fuel.
  • The micro-switch gets engaged with the ignition.

A golf can backfire due to the throttle plate inside the carburetor being open, or a incorrect throttle cable adjustment.


Golf Cart Backfires through the Carburetor

A golf cart backfires through the carburetor because of an open throttle plate. The accelerator cable at the plate is out of adjustment and in turn, stops the plate from closing when the microswitch makes contact with the ignition. The accelerator cable moves through the throttle plate before the click but the plate cannot do so.

You can try the following simple steps to fix the problem of the golf cart backfiring through the carburetor.

  1. Turn the ignition key to the OFF position and remove the seat fully.
  2. Press the accelerator pedal and listen for a low clicking sound. As you do this, observe the carburetor throttle plate to see if it starts moving before the click. If so, you’ll have to make some minor adjustments based on the manufacturer and year model of the golf cart.

Two common adjustments are given below.

  • If the accelerator cable passing through the throttle plate is held in position using a cable nut, loosen the nut and press the throttle plate till it’s closed. Once the plate is closed, tighten the nut once again. Ensure that the accelerator cable spring remains pressed against the throttle plate.
  • If you have a rod system between the carburetor and accelerator pedal instead of accelerator cables, adjust the length of the accelerator rod that is just in front of the carburetor. This will help to close the throttle plate completely.

Some golf cart owners have addressed this backfiring issue by following the steps below.

  • Observe the valve lash for a changed setting that results in the intake valve being too tight. Setting the valve lash to 0.005 inches may serve as a suitable fix.
  • Remove the excess fuel in the carburetor. To do this, turn off the choke and press hard on the accelerator pedal multiple times.
  • Check the air box and ensure it is sealed perfectly. Do a replacement if the lid is warped, the external hooks may be damaged or the rubber gasket could be damaged.
  • Check if the linkages have a binding problem and if so, loosen them. They should be able to move freely, failing which the carburetor will not close when the gas is let out.
  • Check for one or more batteries that may be accidentally hooked up backward causing the engine to turn in the reverse direction or set off the valve timing. Do the reconnection properly.


Golf cart backfires when I let off the gas

The golf cart backfires when you let off gas is because the carburetor butterfly isn’t getting closed completely. Air suction from the exhaust gasket is another possible cause.

Checking the carburetor and adjusting the return spring to its original position so that the carburetor is closed solves the problem.

Some other reasons and fixes are as given below.

  • The throttle lever on the carburetor stops moving before the microswitch turns off. You can make the adjustments mentioned in the ’Golf cart backfires through carb’ section.
  • The valve lash settings have changed. If it’s not set to 0.005 inches, setting the valve lash correctly may help solve the problem.
  • The choke has been pulled out or the throttle linkages are out of adjustment leaving the throttle body open. Pushing the choke back in and adjusting the linkages will solve the issue.
  • The bolts of the exhaust manifold have become loose. Tightening them will resolve the problem.
  • The exhaust is filled with excess gas. Rechecking the valves and rebuilding the carburetor should help.


Golf cart backfires going downhill

This is often because the rev limiter has moved out of position at full throttle. Backing it off a little can help to fix the problem.

A few other reasons and fixes are given below.

  • The exhaust gasket has an air leak. When the gasket is replaced, the problem will be sorted out.
  • An incorrectly adjusted throttle or an improperly seated air filter assembly triggers backfiring. Adjusting the throttle or proper seating of the air filter assembly will fix this problem.
  • The brake pedal is continuously pressed to the maximum extent as you go downhill. Applying only a mild pressure or no pressure at all on the pedal will help.
  • The muffler has become quite hot and is filled with gas. Allow the muffler to cool down and drain off the gas inside it.
  • The carburetor butterfly is open partly. Adjust the throttle linkage so that it gets closed completely.
  • The carburetor has dust and dirt accumulated on it. Remove the carburetor and clean it thoroughly. When it’s refitted, the problem would have disappeared.


How do I stop my golf cart from backfiring?

One simple way to stop the golf cart from backfiring is to use good quality fuel. Once this is done, ensure that the throttle plate is closed by adjusting the accelerator cable at the plate.


How to stop EZGO TXT golf cart from backfiring

The following are some ways EZGO TXT golf cart owners have stopped backfiring in their carts.

  1. Adjusting the governor so that the rev limiter doesn’t reach the maximum limit helps to resolve the problem.
  2. Readjusting the valves to 0.005 or 0.006 inches solves the issue. This adjustment may be needed because the engine is cold.
  3. Replace the muffler if there is a hole causing a leak. If it’s blocked, getting it cleared will fix this issue.
  4. If the microswitch doesn’t operate when the accelerator is pressed half way down, make the required adjustment to prevent the carburetor from opening excessively.
  5. Adjust the throttle linkage that ties the carburetor butterfly to the throttle plate for proper and free movement.


How to stop EZGO RXV golf cart from backfiring

For the cable adjustment, remove the cable and loosen the bolt connecting the linkage to the carburetor. Rest the linkage against the idle position and adjust the governor until it’s at the idle setting.

Tighten the bolt and connect the cable once again. If the governor bracket is misaligned, that may need an adjustment as well.

The following are some ways to stop an EZGO RXV golf cart from backfiring.

  1. Use a second spring on the throttle if the existing spring doesn’t have the required tension to close the carburetor completely when the accelerator is pressed. Throttle cable adjustment can also help.
  2. Look out for a faulty plug wire or Magnetoand replace the defective component.
  3. Check if the shaft of the carburetor throttle lever is bent and if so, replace the carburetor.
  4. Adjust the accelerator limit switch if it’s needed. Also, check for a leaking gasket and do a replacement.
  5. There are chances of a loose muffler or a leaking gasket. Tighten the muffler if it has become loose.


How to fix EZGO Marathon golf cart that backfires

The following are some ways to fix a backfiring EZGO Marathon golf cart.

  1. Open the air/fuel adjustment screw by an extra 1/4 turn or a little more.
  2. Loosen the idle adjustment screw of the throttle plate to the maximum extent possible.
  3. Do a cable/linkage adjustment if the carburetor butterfly moves before you hear the clicking sound of the microswitch.
  4. If the spring over the throttle cable between the cable stop and cable arm is missing or has lost its tension, do a replacement. Follow up with a recalibration of the governor.
  5. Adjust the throttle cable when you press on the pedal if it’s overly tight.
  6. There may dirt/dust accumulation in the jets. Remove the jets and clean the accumulated dirt/dust with a blowing action. Also, remove the brass screw above the carburetor, clean every thread and put it back in place.


How to stop Yamaha G2 golf cart from backfiring

You can try out the following to fix a backfiring Yamaha G2 golf cart.

  1. Do a re-jetting if the airbox is gutted inside. The gutting is likely because the original jetting is incorrect and the airbox isn’t sealed completely.
  2. Position the butterfly adjuster above the carburetor properly by moving it back and forth so that it just touches the butterfly arm.
  3. Replace the fuel with good quality gas a slow-quality gas can trigger backfiring.
  4. Change the float in the carburetor if it has a bad needle.
  5. Replace the faulty ground wire connecting the generator to the solenoid.


How to stop Yamaha G9 golf cart from backfiring

The tips given below can help to fix a backfiring Yamaha G9 golf cart.

  1. Loosen the screw that holds the butterfly on the carburetor by one full turn or even more. It may be very tight. Do it in steps until you find the problem solved.
  2. Fix the lid of an incorrectly sealed airbox tightly or replace a bad ignition.
  3. Set the valve lash to 0.005 inches because the valves may have gone out of adjustment due to a cold engine.
  4. Clean a dirty carburetor and spark plug. Also, consider changing the gas filter.


How to stop Yamaha G16 golf cart from backfiring

The steps below can stop a Yamaha G16 golf cart from backfiring.

  1. Replace the plastic manifold spacer between the carburetor and head if it’s cracked. Also, replace a leaky exhaust pipe or gasket.
  2. Loosen the big mixture screw which may be very tight, by a few turns. Often, you’ll not need to turn more than 1-1/2 turns.
  3. Replace the coil that may be damaged due to an overheating problem.
  4. If you have a lifted cart, replace the choke cable if it isn’t a utility cart cable.


How to stop Yamaha G29 golf cart from backfiring

The steps below can stop a Yamaha G16 golf cart from backfiring.

  1. If the governor is set to a high speed or RPM, adjusting it to a lower setting may work.
  2. Check the oil quality and levels. Do an oil change if it’s poor quality oil or fill oil to the required level.
  3. Tighten the loose nuts between the muffler and engine. Replace a blown exhaust gasket or broken header tube welds or flange.
  4. Replace worn out air bolts or carburetor gaskets causing air leaks and making the engine run lean. Use this chance to clean the carburetor.
  5. Adjust the throttle cable on the carburetor so that it isn’t too tight and there is enough slack when the pedal is released.
  6. Get a new fuel pump or new fuel lines fitted in place of the old damaged ones.
  7. Clean the float needle/seat thoroughly and make sure that it’s free of debris and dirt.


How to stop Club Car golf cart from backfiring

The following are some ways to stop backfiring Club Car DS and Precedent golf carts.

  1. Identify the faulty fuel pump, filter or tank, microswitch, spark plug or rev limiter and do the required replacement or repair. This is a good chance to clean the dirty parts as well.
  2. Clean the blocked air filter that is accumulated with dust and dirt.
  3. Consider opting for a different fuel if you think the cart has poor quality fuel.
  4. Adjust the throttle cable if you find it to be very tight.
  5. Remove or unhook the ground wire connection on the RPM limiter.
  6. Clean the exhaust and intake valves to remove the dirt.
  7. Increase the slack in the cable under the floor mat to close the carburetor and stop backfiring. This cable makes adjustments to the governor and carburetor.


Ernie loves documenting interesting facts about golf.

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