Steering problems in EZ-GO golf carts can be due to worn-out tie rod ends, loose steering components, and misaligned wheels. To fix this problem, inspect and replace damaged parts, tighten loose connections, and ensure proper wheel alignment.
Above all, regular maintenance and lubrication will help prevent steering problems from occurring again.
Even though your golf cart is still in top condition, it can experience steering problems, especially when you drive it often on uneven or rugged terrain. This happened to my recently purchased 2013 EZGO RXV electric golf cart. I got it with a drop spindle lift kit and custom tires, and the steering was extremely loose.
Being mechanically inclined, I tried replacing the steering gearbox and the steering. Still, the steering remained a little loose. Upon researching other golf cart owners who have experienced similar issues, I discovered this is a widespread problem, particularly with people using EZGO.
I had a productive chat with the local technician in the area and did further mechanical practice to figure out the most common causes of steering problems, how to trace them, and their perfect quick fixes.
Generally, a steering wheel that makes the cart turn too little, too much, or not at all is already a problem. No matter the cause, the fixing process takes patience because it concerns the steering.
It all comes down to knowing what to look for and how to tackle the particular issue.
1. The Steering Is Misaligned
Misalignment of the steering is one of the common problems diagnosed with defective EZGO Golf Carts. The primary cause of this misalignment is when the wheel is turned excessively to either left or right with the steering.
In such a situation, all you need is a tweak in the alignment system—a steering adjustment—to get the steering more responsive. The following steps can guide you on how to go about the process:
Step 1: Use an adjustable wrench to loosen the central shank nut attached to it.
TIP: If you remove the nut, the steering wheel may pop out, so be conservative.
Step 2: Tap the wheel with a rubber mallet on both sides and pull it upward. I recommend using a rubber mallet instead of the metal punch many technicians use because it helps prevent damage while loosening it.
Step 3: Once the steering wheel comes off, put it back on and make the threads on either side of the steering rack even.
Step 4: Check and ensure the shaft twists aren’t interacting with the jam nuts in the rack. You can make this happen by adjusting or tightening the routing wheel with a wrench.
Step 5: Rotate the wheel to the center and align it to your preferred adjustment. Bring it back to the default position and repeat on the opposite side.
After doing this, you are probably dealing with loose steering and still find your EZGO golf cart giving you problems.
2. The Steering Is Loose
When fixing loose steering problems in golf carts, an area of focus is the tie rod. Adjusting the tie rod of your EZGO cart will fix loose steering. But in rare cases, the problem is traced to bushings, pinion and rack arrangements, or even the steering box.
I will not dwell on the possibility of a steering box, pinion, or rack arrangement because the critical solution usually replaces those parts due to worn-out problems. You can contact a technician for such a task.
However, if the loose steering is traced to the tie rod adjustment, it needs tightening. Here’s how to fix it:
Before you proceed with the steps, I recommend you get a small floor jack to lift the cart due to the limited ground clearance of these vehicles. You also need to attach wheel chocks to the back wheels. Now follow these steps:
Step 1: Use the wheel to turn the rack to one side.
Step 2: Locate the bottom adjustment nut and loosen it with a wrench. Remember to use a flat screwdriver if what controls the middle adjustment is a screw. If it’s a nut, then the Allen wrench will work perfectly.
Step 3: Rotate the middle adjustment clockwise to attach to the rack. Again, turn counter-clockwise by a 22.5- to 45-degree angle. Repeat this step to assess the binding.
Step 4: Lift the cart to remove the jack, then remove the chocks once they are firm on the ground.
Step 5: The connection between the steering and wheels must be tight and synchronized with the entire machinery.
TIP: If the steering wheel is not binding well when rotating the middle adjustment clockwise to attach to the rack, the tie rods may be faulty and need replacement.
3. The steering is hard
I have read and seen many technicians talk about fixing EZGO golf cart steering problems on forums, but only a few people address the issue of stiff steering in these carts.
At one time, the 2013 EZGO RXV Electric had a complex steering problem. The wheels move in direct proportion to the steering wheel. But when making a turn, it feels like there is an immediate resistance to the turn, followed by breaking through that resistance for less than a quarter turn. It will often occur in both directions.
If this situation sounds familiar, you shouldn’t hesitate to change parts without knowing the problem.
In most situations, stiff steering on EZGO golf carts is traced to a faulty steering box. However, the culprits can be the ball joints and the steering wheel.
Before calling the attention of a dealer technician, I had pulled the steering wheel, but all looked normal at that end. I replaced the left front A-Arm because the bolt was severely worn and off-center, but that didn’t make a difference.
Upon the inspection of the dealer technician, the steering box was the culprit. More precisely, the steering column had to be replaced because it got bent at the joint where the yoke goes into the steering box.
So, if your EZGO golf cart develops stiff steering, the steering box is a significant area to look at above everything else.
Still No Dice?
If you’ve tried all the above fixes and your EZGO golf cart isn’t as responsive as it used to be, then there’s possibly more than meets the eye (especially if you’re running on older models like 1989 EZGO RXV and 1996 EZGO TXT model)
In such a situation, you need the help of a technician to take a professional look at the problem. But remember that no matter the model you use, new or old, steering problems can surface anytime.
Golf courses are uneven or rugged terrain, and the steering wheel can get off-centered or loose when dealing with it.
So, above all, inspect the steering wheel periodically and adjust it whenever necessary, using the right tools. Most routine front suspension and steering maintenance consists of periodic inspections for loose, worn, or damaged components, alignment checks, and lubrication of ball joints and wheel bearings.
EZGO manufacturer has guided you through their models’ maintenance, repair, and service procedures.