How to Troubleshoot a Golf Cart Key Switch

By Jackson Lewis

golfer making a putt
No matter what brand of golf cart you own, it will eventually have problems starting due to normal wear and tear. These problems can range from minor to major. A common area for golf cart owners to troubleshoot is the golf cart key switch. By troubleshooting, identifying and repairing the switch yourself. you can save money on a mechanic.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy
  1. Confirm that your golf cart transmission selector switch is set fully to the forward, reverse or park direction, depending on your model of golf cart. If the switch is partially set in between modes, it can result in your cart failing to start correctly.
  2. Locate the ignition wire on your golf cart. This wire goes from the golf cart key switch assembly to your cart's starter.
  3. Visually inspect the solenoid area of the starter, where the key switch wire plugs into the cart. On some cart models, this end of the key switch wire can become dislodged during use on rough terrain. If you see that the wire plug is hanging free from the starter assembly or appears dislodged, plug it back into the solenoid or re-seat the plug and attempt to restart your golf cart.
  4. Replace the golf cart key switch wire if the connector to the key switch or solenoid is significantly frayed or corroded. Over time, corrosion will build up on the ends of the wire due to exposure to damp weather. Significant corrosion build-up can prevent your cart from starting consistently and ultimately result in the cart failing to start.
  5. Replace the golf cart key switch after replacing the key switch ignition wire as a last step. This will ensure that you replace the higher-priced part last while troubleshooting your golf cart key switch. After replacing the switch, your cart will start.

About the Author

Based in Memphis, Jackson Lewis has been writing on technology-related material for 10 years with a recent emphasis on golf and other sports. He has been freelance writing for Demand Media since 2008. Lewis holds a Master of Science in computer science from the United States Naval Postgraduate School.