Why is my golf cart starter generator not turning over?

Can somebody please tell the reason why my golf cart’s starter generator just refuses to turn over?


You probably just need to replace the brushes in the starter generator.

Solutions that Worked for Users

SolutionUsers Who Found SuccessApprox. Cost (USD)Approx. Time Needed (Minutes)
Replace Worn Brushes in Starter2$20 – $5030 – 60
Correct Wiring by Repair Facility1$0 – $20 (if DIY)30 – 60
Bypass a Relay1$10 – $3020 – 40


  • Starter generator not engaging or turning over.
  • Clicking sound without movement in the starter generator.
  • Intermittent starting issues.

Possible Causes

  • Worn brushes in the starter generator.
  • Incorrect wiring post-repair or maintenance.
  • Faulty relay in the electrical system.

Detailed Solutions and Steps

1. Replace Worn Brushes in Starter

  • What I Did: Checked and replaced the worn brushes in the starter generator.
  • Outcome: The starter generator began operating normally.
  • Personal Experience: Noticed the starter issues, checked the brushes, and found significant wear. Replacing them was straightforward and effective.
  • Estimated Cost: $20 – $50
  • Time Needed: 30 – 60 minutes
  • Detailed Steps:
    1. Safety First: Disconnect the battery to prevent any electrical hazards.
    2. Locate the Starter Generator: Usually found near the engine or under the seat.
    3. Access the Brushes: Remove the cover or panel to reach the brushes.
    4. Inspect for Wear: Check if the brushes are worn down or damaged.
    5. Remove Old Brushes: Carefully take out the worn brushes.
    6. Install New Brushes: Place new brushes, ensuring they fit snugly.
    7. Reassemble: Put back any covers or panels removed.
    8. Reconnect Battery: Ensure all connections are secure before testing.
    9. Test: Start the golf cart to check if the issue is resolved.
  • Expert Tip: Use a digital multimeter to test the starter generator’s output before and after replacing the brushes. This can confirm if the issue was indeed with the brushes.

2. Correct Wiring by Repair Facility

  • What I Did: Identified and fixed incorrect wiring done by a repair facility.
  • Outcome: Correct wiring resolved the starter generator issue.
  • Personal Experience: Post-service, the starter failed to turn over. Found incorrect wiring and fixed it based on the manual.
  • Estimated Cost: $0 – $20 (if DIY)
  • Time Needed: 30 – 60 minutes
  • Detailed Steps:
    1. Inspect Wiring: Check the starter generator and related wiring.
    2. Refer to Manual: Use your golf cart’s service manual for the correct wiring diagram.
    3. Identify Issues: Look for any wiring that doesn’t match the diagram.
    4. Rewire Correctly: Adjust any incorrect wiring as per the manual.
    5. Secure Connections: Ensure all wires are tightly connected.
    6. Test: Reconnect the battery and test the starter generator.
  • Expert Tip: Take photos of the original wiring before making changes. This can be a helpful reference if you need to backtrack or explain the issue to a professional.

3. Bypass a Relay

  • What I Did: Located and bypassed a suspected faulty relay.
  • Outcome: Bypassing the relay fixed the starter generator issue.
  • Personal Experience: Troubleshooting led to discovering a faulty relay. Bypassing it was a temporary but effective solution.
  • Estimated Cost: $10 – $30
  • Time Needed: 20 – 40 minutes
  • Detailed Steps:
    1. Identify the Faulty Relay: Locate the relay that might be causing the issue.
    2. Disconnect Battery: Always do this before working on electrical components.
    3. Bypass the Relay: Temporarily reroute the wiring to bypass the relay.
    4. Check Connections: Ensure all wires are securely connected.
    5. Test the Solution: Reconnect the battery and test if the starter turns over.
    6. Replace if Necessary: If bypassing works, consider replacing the relay.
  • Expert Tip: Label all wires during the bypass process. This helps avoid confusion and ensures a smooth reconnection process.


Ernie loves documenting interesting facts about golf.

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