Why is my Golf Cart Backfiring?

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(Last Updated On: July 6, 2020)

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.

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