Golf Carts in Winter

November 24, 2007

A good golf cart can go head-to-head with an ATV in summer and win most rounds. In the winter it’s a different story. Although my machines have made many epic voyages on the frozen lakes (and occasionally snowmobile tracks), everyone will admit that the golf cart is not designed for winter.

My first machine, a Yamaha G1, had a reversible 2 cycle engine, so it started and ran well regardless of the temperature. Various bits would ice up, though, and require a defroster hose run from the tailpipe of my truck to the underside of the cart. With snowtires it had traction to rival a VW Beetle, though, so I got into lots of mischief with it.

A 2 cycle EZ-Go had a transmission whose cable would freeze, so it worked as long as you wanted to go forward.

When those two died I went with some trepidation to a four cycle EZ-Go. The first two winters with it were a write-off, as it would start fine and then starve for gas as it warmed up and not revive until the next thaw. Then on the Buggies Unlimited Forum last winter EZ-Go Mike, a contributor from Minnesota, told me the problem lay in the hose that runs from the crankcase to the fuel pump. Seems each piston stroke fires an impulse through the tube to power the fuel pump. He told me if I re-routed the hose so as to leave no place for moisture to accumulate, there’d be no more ice blockages shutting down the cart. After several tries I managed to twist the hose just right, and now it starts and runs fine in the cold weather.

The 4 ply trailer tires I use on the cart are useless in snow or mud, so today was the day for the winter tires. On they went and out I went to play, though to be truthful the snow was a little too deep for the EZ-Go. I had to stay on the flats or face a walk home.

Few things in life are as much fun as driving a VW Beetle over frozen snow into areas where one should not go. One of my old stories deals with this impulse:

A golf cart offers much the same sensations, though dulled somewhat. But then I’m not as keen on long walks home as I used to be.

UPDATE: When Charlie and his pal Shiva hit the farm on Christmas Day with bags of camera equipment and mischief in mind, the EZ-Go received quite a workout. They drove/pushed it through a foot of snow back to the woodlot, then mounted a remote-controlled camera outboard for some stunting shots.


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