Troubleshooting Gem Golf Carts

By Steve Smith

The Polaris Gem electric vehicle has increasingly found use on golf courses as golf carts. Gem vehicles can experience problems that relate to the battery and drive mechanism. There are other problems that arise from the parking brake and driver controls, which are different on some models. You can troubleshoot these parts individually if you are experiencing problems with your golf cart. The most common problem with the Gem golf cart is a lack of performance and slow drive speeds.


Difficulty: Moderate
Step 1
If the cart is not moving in one direction, first check the Gem's driver controls. These are located on the dashboard in many Gem models. Open the panel under the dashboard to access the wires behind the switches and inspect the area. If there are burnt wires, the driver switch must be replaced. Other Gem golf carts have a pull lever that changes the direction of the vehicle. The access to the lever is under the seat. Perform the same inspection and replace the part by ordering another one through Gem or your retailer.
Step 2
When the golf cart starts under-performing or moving very slowly, the most common problem is the battery. Gem uses a 72-volt electrical system. Test this theory by turning the key on and ensuring it is in the "on" position. Press the pedal; if the cart does not move or barely moves, the battery is dead. To fix this, remove the battery and attach it to a charger. An electric charging station will also tell you if the battery is dead or functional.
Step 3
If charging the battery does not fix your Gem golf cart, then test for more problems. First, release the parking brake lever and ensure it is in the off or down position. Then depress the accelerator. If the cart does not move, check the springs on the brake and brake assembly to ensure it is not locked on the wheel.
Step 4
Inspect the battery terminals to ensure there is no corrosion around them. Also inspect the cables for cracks or exposed wiring. The final thing to check is that the cables are connected to the drive motor. The connection is made on the motor, which is located over the wheels just above the shocks.
Step 5
The drive control is the final mechanism to check for an under-performing Gem golf cart. This mechanism controls the speed of the cart. Wires leading to this mechanism can come loose, or become damaged by corrosion. Inspect them carefully and replace them if necessary.
Step 6
Inspect the accelerator pedal on the floor of the Gem golf cart to make sure the pedal is engaging the drive motor. A broken bracket or snapped spring can affect the speed of the cart. Check under the floor of the cart to inspect the entire length of the accelerator arm for damage and replace if necessary.


About The Author

Steve Smith has published hundreds of articles on a wide range of topics, including cars, travel, lifestyle, business, golf, weddings and careers. His articles, features and news stories have appeared in newspapers, consumer magazines and on various websites, including and Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from University of New Hampshire Durham.

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