How to Turn On A Golf Cart? Begin Your Golfing Adventure

Golf carts have become an essential mode of transportation on golf courses and in other recreational and residential areas. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a novice, knowing how to turn on a golf cart is crucial before hitting the greens.

To turn on a golf cart, locate the ignition switch on the dashboard or steering column. Insert the key and turn it clockwise. Engage the parking brake and ensure the gear selector is in neutral (electric carts) or park (gas-powered carts).

In the later part of this post, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of starting a golf cart, ensuring you’re ready to cruise around easily.

How To Turn On A Golf Cart?

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If you’re ready to hit the golf course and enjoy a round of golf, you’ll need to know how to turn on a golf cart. 

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced golfer, starting a golf cart is a simple process. 

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of turning on a golf cart so you can get moving and enjoy your game.

Step 1: Check the Key

Before starting the golf cart, make sure the key is in the ignition. The key slot is usually located on the dashboard or steering column of the cart. 

Ensure the key is fully inserted and turned to the “Off” position before proceeding.

Step 2: Check the Battery

Next, check the battery to ensure it has enough charge to power the golf cart. 

Look for the battery compartment, which is typically located underneath the seat or in the front of the cart. Make sure the battery terminals are clean and securely connected.

Step 3: Put the Cart in Neutral

To start the golf cart, it’s important to put it in neutral. Locate the gear lever or switch, which is often located near the driver’s seat. 

Move the lever or switch to the neutral position to disengage the cart from any gears.

Step 4: Engage the Parking Brake

Engaging the parking brake is crucial for safety. Look for the parking brake lever or pedal, usually located near the driver’s seat or floorboard. 

Pull the lever or press the pedal down firmly to engage the parking brake.

Step 5: Turn the Key

With the key inserted and in the “Off” position, turn the key clockwise to the “On” position. 

You may hear a slight click as the electrical system activates. Be sure to keep your foot off the accelerator pedal during this step.

Step 6: Release the Parking Brake

Once the key is turned to the “On” position, it’s time to release the parking brake. 

Lift the parking brake lever or release the pedal, allowing it to return to its original position. 

Ensure the cart is on a level surface and be prepared to hold the brake if necessary.

Step 7: Operate the Controls

At this point, the golf cart should be ready to go. Familiarize yourself with the accelerator pedal, which is typically located on the right side of the driver’s seat. 

Gently press down on the pedal to start moving the cart forward. Remember to apply gradual pressure for smooth acceleration.

What To Do When Your Golf Cart Doesn’t Start?

Experiencing a non-starting golf cart can be frustrating, but you can take several troubleshooting steps to diagnose and potentially fix the issue. You can get your golf cart up and running by following these steps.

Check the Battery

A dead or weak battery is the most common reason for a golf cart not starting. Ensure that the battery is fully charged and properly connected. 

Check for loose or corroded battery terminals, and clean them if necessary. If the battery is old or damaged, it may need replacement.

Examine the Key Switch and Ignition

Make sure the key switch is in the “On” position and functioning correctly. Inspect the ignition wiring for any loose connections or damage. If necessary, replace the key switch or repair any faulty wiring.

Inspect the Solenoid

The solenoid is responsible for transferring electrical current from the battery to the motor. 

Check for loose or corroded connections on the solenoid terminals. If the solenoid clicks when you turn the key, but the cart still doesn’t start, it may need replacement.

Verify the Fuses

Inspect the fuses in the golf cart’s electrical system. A blown fuse can prevent the cart from starting. Replace any blown fuses with new ones of the correct rating.

Test the Forward/Reverse Switch

The forward/reverse switch allows you to change the direction of the golf cart. Ensure the switch is properly positioned and not stuck in between gears. 

Test the switch by moving it back and forth while attempting to start the cart.

Check the Motor

If the above steps haven’t resolved the issue, it’s possible that there’s a problem with the motor. 

Inspect the motor’s wiring connections and make sure they are secure. If you suspect a motor issue, it’s advisable to consult a professional technician.

MaintenanceAnd Safety Precautions When Turning On a Golf Cart

Following safety precautions and performing regular maintenance is important to ensure their safe operation. 

By adhering to these guidelines, you can enhance the longevity and reliability of your golf cart.

Safety Precautions

  • Familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s guidelines and local regulations regarding the operation of golf carts.
  • Always wear appropriate safety gear, including a seatbelt if available, while driving the golf cart.
  • Ensure all passengers are seated securely and avoid overloading the cart beyond its recommended capacity.
  • Observe speed limits and drive at a safe and controlled pace, especially around pedestrians, other vehicles, or on inclines.
  • Stay attentive and avoid distractions while operating the golf cart.
  • Be cautious when making turns, and use hand signals or indicators to communicate your intentions.
  • Avoid sudden starts or stops to prevent passengers from being jolted or thrown off balance.
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.


  • Regularly inspect the golf cart’s tires for wear and tear, ensuring they are properly inflated and have adequate tread depth.
  • Check the battery’s water levels, terminals, and cables regularly, and keep the battery clean and fully charged.
  • Verify that all lights, including headlights, taillights, and turn signals, are functioning correctly.
  • Maintained the cart’s brakes by checking the brake fluid level and ensuring proper brake pad wear.
  • Keep the cart’s body and seats clean, and apply protective coatings to prevent rust and damage.
  • Lubricate moving parts, such as hinges and suspension components, to reduce friction and promote smooth operation.
  • Inspect the electrical wiring for any signs of damage, loose connections, or corrosion.
  • Regularly service the golf cart’s motor, including changing the oil, cleaning the air filter, and adjusting the drive belt tension.

Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced golfer, knowing how to turn on a golf cart is essential. This FAQ provides quick and clear instructions on how to do just that.

How Do I Turn On A Gas-Powered Golf Cart?

To turn on a gas-powered golf cart, locate the key switch or ignition switch usually found near the steering wheel. Insert the key and turn it clockwise until you hear the engine start. Once the engine is running, release the key, and the cart should be ready to drive.

How Do I Turn On An Electric Golf Cart?

To turn on an electric golf cart, locate the key or ignition switch near the steering wheel. Insert the key and turn it clockwise to power on the cart. Depending on the model, you may also need to engage the “run” or “forward” switch. Once powered on, the cart is ready to be driven.

How Do I Turn On A Golf Cart With A Push-Button Start?

If your golf cart has a push-button start, ensure the key fob or key card is within the vehicle’s range. Once inside the cart, press the “start” button firmly, typically located on the dashboard or console. The cart should start, and you can release the button once the engine runs.

How Do I Turn On A Golf Cart With A Manual Transmission?

For golf carts with a manual transmission, ensure the parking brake is engaged, and the gear lever is neutral. Insert the key into the ignition switch and turn it clockwise to start the engine. Once the engine runs, disengage the parking brake and shift into the desired gear to begin driving.


Turning on a golf cart is a breeze. Just insert the key into the ignition, gently twist it, and feel the engine come to life. 

With this simple action, you’ll be ready to hit the greens and enjoy a smooth ride on your golfing adventure.