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How to Adjust the Governor on a Golf Cart Maximizing Your Speed Potential

Golf carts are a convenient and fun way to get around a golf course, but they can be limited by their governors. Governors are devices that limit the speed of a golf cart, typically to 15-20 mph. This is done for safety reasons, but it can be frustrating if you want to go faster. If you want to adjust the governor on your golf cart, there are a few things you need to know.

In this article, we will discuss the different types of governors, the steps to adjust them, potential issues and solutions, legal and safety considerations, alternative methods for speed modification, and the benefits and drawbacks of adjusting the governor. By the end, you will have a thorough understanding of how to adjust the governor on your golf cart and make the most of its speed potential.

Understanding the Role of the Governor on a Golf Cart

How to Adjust the Governor on a Golf Cart Maximizing Your Speed Potential

Before we dive into the process of adjusting the governor, it is essential to understand its role on a golf cart. As mentioned earlier, governors are devices that limit the speed of the engine. They are installed in golf carts for safety reasons, as it prevents the cart from going too fast and potentially causing accidents.

Governors also help keep the engine running at a constant speed, which can improve fuel efficiency and reduce wear and tear. In some cases, the governor may also control the power output of the engine, resulting in smoother acceleration and deceleration.

Different Types of Governors

There are two main types of governors: mechanical and electronic. Mechanical governors are the most common type of governor. They use centrifugal force to limit the speed of the engine. As the engine speed increases, the weights in the governor move outward, causing the throttle to close and reducing the amount of fuel sent to the engine.

On the other hand, electronic governors use a computer to monitor the engine speed and send a signal to the throttle to close when the speed limit is reached. These governors are more precise and can be adjusted remotely.

Basic Guidelines for Adjusting the Governor

How to Adjust the Governor on a Golf Cart Maximizing Your Speed Potential

Before attempting to adjust the governor, it is crucial to follow some basic guidelines to ensure safety and proper functioning of your golf cart.

  1. Consult the owner’s manual: The first and most important step is to refer to your golf cart’s owner’s manual. It will give you specific instructions on how to adjust the governor for your particular model.
  1. Wear protective gear: Whenever working under the hood of any vehicle, it is essential to wear appropriate protective gear, such as gloves and eye protection, to prevent injuries.
  1. Turn off the engine: Before making any adjustments, make sure to turn off the engine and remove the key from the ignition.
  1. Use the right tools: Make sure to use the correct tools for the job, as using the wrong tools can damage the governor or other components of the cart.
  1. Make incremental changes: When adjusting the governor, it is best to make small incremental changes rather than big adjustments. This will help you find the optimal setting without causing any damage to the engine or governor.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Manual Governor Adjustment

How to Adjust the Governor on a Golf Cart Maximizing Your Speed Potential

Adjusting a mechanical governor is a relatively simple process that can be done by following these steps:

  1. Locate the governor on the engine: The governor is typically located on the side of the engine, near the carburetor.
  1. Loosen the locknut: Using a wrench, loosen the locknut that holds the governor in place. This will allow you to make adjustments to the governor setting.
  1. Turn the adjusting screw: Using a flat-head screwdriver, turn the adjusting screw either clockwise or counterclockwise to increase or decrease the governor setting.
  1. Test the speed: After making the adjustment, start the engine and take the cart for a test drive to see if the speed has increased or decreased. If it has not changed, you may need to make further adjustments.
  1. Tighten the locknut: Once you are satisfied with the speed, tighten the locknut to secure the governor in its new position.

Troubleshooting Common Governor Issues

While adjusting the governor, you may encounter some common issues that can affect its performance. Here are a few problems and solutions you can try:

  1. Governor not responding: If making adjustments to the governor does not change the speed of the cart, check the linkage between the governor and the carburetor. It may be disconnected or damaged, causing the governor not to respond.
  1. Engine racing: If the engine continues to rev up even when the throttle is released, it may indicate an issue with the governor’s internal components. In this case, it is best to seek professional help.
  1. Increased fuel consumption: If the governor is adjusted too high, it can cause the engine to consume more fuel, resulting in reduced fuel efficiency. Make sure to find the optimal setting to avoid this issue.

Benefits of Adjusting the Governor

The primary benefit of adjusting the governor on your golf cart is increasing its speed potential. This can come in handy if you use your cart for transportation on larger properties or industrial sites where higher speeds are necessary. Other benefits include improved acceleration and a smoother ride.

Moreover, adjusting the governor can also allow you to customize the speed according to your needs. For example, if you use the cart for different purposes, such as leisurely rides on the golf course and quick errands around the community, you can adjust the governor accordingly.

Potential Drawbacks of Adjusting the Governor

While adjusting the governor can have its advantages, it is crucial to consider the potential drawbacks as well. The most significant disadvantage is the impact on safety. Golf carts are not designed to go at high speeds, and adjusting the governor can increase the risk of accidents. Moreover, it may also cause additional strain on the engine and reduce its longevity.

Another drawback is the potential legal implications. In some areas, there are laws and regulations governing the use of golf carts, including their speed limits. It is essential to familiarize yourself with these laws and ensure that your cart remains compliant.

Legal Considerations and Safety Precautions

As mentioned earlier, it is vital to understand and adhere to the laws and regulations in your area regarding the use of golf carts. Make sure to check with your local authorities before making any adjustments to your cart’s governor to avoid any legal issues.

Moreover, it is crucial to take safety precautions when operating a golf cart at higher speeds. Always wear a seatbelt and ensure that all passengers do the same. Avoid sharp turns and drive at a safe speed according to the terrain and surroundings.

Alternative Methods for Speed Modification

If you are hesitant about adjusting the governor on your golf cart, there are alternative methods for speed modification that you can consider. One option is to invest in an aftermarket speed kit specifically designed for your cart model. These kits come with detailed instructions and all necessary components to increase your cart’s speed safely.

Another option is to install a high-speed gear ratio, which will allow the cart to reach higher speeds without affecting the governor or engine. However, this method is more complex and may require professional assistance.

Choosing the Right Adjustment for Your Needs

When deciding to adjust the governor on your golf cart, it is essential to weigh the benefits against the potential drawbacks and safety concerns. If you primarily use your cart for recreational purposes on the golf course, it may be best to stick with the factory-set governor. On the other hand, if you use your cart for transportation on larger properties, you may consider adjusting the governor to meet your needs.

It is also crucial to consider the type of governor on your cart. Electronic governors are more precise and allow for remote adjustments, making them a safer option compared to manual governors.

Professional Maintenance and Support

While adjusting the governor may seem like a simple task, it is always best to seek professional assistance if you are unsure or uncomfortable with the process. It will ensure the proper functioning of your golf cart and prevent any potential damage or safety hazards.

Moreover, regular maintenance and inspections by professionals can help identify any issues with the governor and address them before they become major problems. This will not only keep you safe but also extend the life of your golf cart.


Governors are an essential safety feature in golf carts, but they can limit their speed potential. By understanding the different types of governors, following basic guidelines, and knowing how to adjust them, you can make the most of your golf cart’s speed potential. However, it is crucial to consider the legal and safety implications and consult a professional if needed. With the right adjustment, you can enjoy a smoother ride and improved efficiency with your golf cart.