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How To Hotwire A Golf Cart

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Video how to hotwire a golf cart
how to hotwire a golf cart
how to hotwire a golf cart

If you lose your golf cart’s key while you’re riding, you could end up in a problematic situation.

However, the following keyless-start methods can get your cart running until you either find the key or get your cart repaired.

Let’s take a look at the top 3 ways to start a golf cart without a key

Top 3 Ways To Start A Golf Cart Without A Key

1. The Screwdriver Approach

When your golf cart either fails to start or you lost your key, the first method you should try is the screwdriver approach.

This technique is one that many golf cart owners have had to master over the years, and it provides many benefits that make it worth your time.

And thankfully, you’ll need very few pieces of specialized equipment to perform this technique.

For example, you’ll need a flathead screwdriver, some wire strippers, and little else.

As a result, you shouldn’t have much difficulty performing this technique in your garage.

And make sure that you always take a few tools with you when driving your cart to ensure you can get it started.

This type of preparation also ensures that you don’t run into any driving problems on the road.

The Starting Process

Starting your cart with a screwdriver is a straightforward process and requires only a handful of steps, including the following:

  • 1. Verify that your ignition switch is on before you start by checking the location of your switch and ensuring it is turned properly.
  • 2. Blow into your ignition switch with your mouth to knock out any dust or debris. This step helps to minimize any fire dangers.
  • 3. Insert the screwdriver into your ignition switch as far as it will go. Stop pressing the screwdriver the moment it hits any excessive resistance.
  • 4. Turn the screwdriver in the ignition switch until your cart starts. This step takes several approaches to get right, so experiment a little.

This method often works best because it requires very little specialized training to perform.

Just as importantly, this technique can be done by just about anybody without causing severe cart damage.

Benefits of This Approach

The screwdriver method is probably the most commonly utilized technique for starting a cart when you’ve lost the key.

The following benefits explain why so many people used this method instead of any other when trying to start their cart because of how it:

  • Requires little dangerous electrical work
  • Almost always works with a little patience
  • Minimizes the risk of fire on your cart
  • Can be performed multiple times

These benefits make the screwdriver method the most beneficial way to start a golf cart without a key.

The fact that you aren’t working too heavily with wires makes this a good choice because you have a lower risk of accidentally damaging your cart.

Downsides or Dangers

Although the screwdriver method is almost always effective and safe for starting a cart without a key, downsides and dangers do exist.

The following problems could make this method more difficult for you and get you interested in another method instead:

  • Some people may not be able to perform this technique
  • Ignition switch damage could cause even more problems
  • Not everyone will have a screwdriver handily available

Though these downsides don’t outweigh the positives of this approach, you need to keep them in mind when trying it out.

For example, if your ignition switch is already damaged, you may want to try out another technique instead to avoid exacerbating the situation.

When to Use This Method

The screwdriver technique should be the first you try if your cart can’t start.

Though you need to be careful to avoid damaging the ignition switch, this method is the safest technique available and won’t increase your cart’s fire risk.

2. Hot-Wiring Your Golf Cart

The screwdriver method should start most golf carts with little difficulty.

However, there may come a time when this method does not work.

For example, you might damage the ignition switch with the screwdriver or lack the proper technique.

As a result, you may end up having to utilize the hot-wiring method.

The Starting Process

Hot wiring a cart is, in many ways, simpler than hot-wiring a car.

The wires are typically easier to find, and carts don’t have the same kind of security and protective measures common on automobiles.

This process includes these steps:

  • 1. Turn off the ignition switch to minimize your risk of electrocution. While you should have the ignition switch off, the power to the cart should be on to ensure that this process works.
  • 2. Locate the wires for your cart’s ignition switch. Most of the time, these wires are located behind your seat. Do a little checking on the cart diagram to ensure you find them.
  • 3. Use wire snips to cut these wires away from their connectors. Strip the end with your pliers to reveal the metal beneath while holding the wires apart to avoid electrical injury.
  • 4. Touch the engines together carefully to bypass the ignition switch and send power to your engine. Lightly touch the wires during this process, though, to avoid any electrocution risk.
  • 5. Continue step four until the engine turns over. Don’t hold the wires together too long during this process or you might end up triggering complications or even causing a fire.
  • 6. Wrap the wire ends carefully together after the cart starts and tape them closed with electrical tape. Now that the cart is started, you can safely tape the wires together in this way to keep the cart running and to avoid fire damage.
  • 7. Fix whatever problem made it necessary to hotwire your cart. The hotwiring process should only be done as a last resort, so fix the ignition switch or purchase a replacement key to avoid it in the future.

This surprisingly simple process is one that just about any cart owner can do if they cannot find their key.

But as mentioned in the instructions, this approach is one that you should only take if you are comfortable with electrical work and know how to handle wires without hurting yourself.

Benefits of This Approach

Although hot wiring should be a secondary approach for starting a cart without a key, it does have benefits that make it a good choice instead of using a screwdriver.

If the following benefits appeal to you, then you should seriously consider this method instead:

  • Requires little training to perform this technique
  • Works almost every time you try it
  • Won’t damage your ignition switch, like a screwdriver might
  • Gives you the start you need until you can fix the problem plaguing your cart

While these benefits make hot wiring a good choice for many individuals, there are dangers to this process that you need to understand.

Doing so will help you decide if you trust yourself with this process or if you should consider a different approach for it instead.

Downsides or Dangers

Though hotwiring is a useful technique from time to time, some dangers make it a problem for some people.

These common issues make hotwiring a tough situation to consider:

  • May increase fire danger if done improperly
  • Some may experience shocks while performing this technique
  • Can not be repeated multiple times

Although hotwiring is usually safe when done properly, poor wire fusion could still cause a small fire even if you start your cart.

That makes this method the more dangerous of the two by far.

When to Use This Method

The electrical dangers of the hot wiring experience make it one that you need to approach seriously and with caution.

Never hotwire a cart if you don’t feel comfortable stripping wires and taping them back together.

However, this method is the best choice if the screwdriver method didn’t work for you and you need to get your cart moving as soon as possible.

3. Replace the Ignition Switch and Key

Sometimes, you may be better just replacing and upgrading your current ignition switch.

Upgrading to a newer ignition will help to keep your golf cart more secure and safe from theft.

Final Thoughts

If your golf cart won’t start and you need to get it moving, contact a professional cart repair expert right away to get the help that you need.

These pros will ensure that your cart gets back on the road ASAP.

However, these keyless-starting methods can provide you with the help you need if specialists aren’t available or you need to get your cart moving right away to avoid a problematic or dangerous situation.