Can I Use Synthetic Oil in My Golf Cart? (Synthetic Oil vs. Non-Synthetic Oil)

Taking proper care of the machines that support us so much in our everyday life is essential. Oiling your golf cart ensures safety, efficiency, and longevity for the engine. A common concern among golf cart users is whether they can use synthetic oil or not. 

You may be able to use synthetic oil in your golf cart, but you must ensure that the viscosity is maintained. I learned that synthetic oil shouldn’t be an issue if you maintain the viscosity and if the cart’s structure allows it.

I got to experience using both synthetic and non-synthetic oil for my golf cart. I’m sharing my thoughts so you can get an idea of what oil may work best for your cart. 

Can I Use Synthetic Oil In My Golf Cart

Synthetic oil or non-synthetic oil – which one is better?

Regular or non-synthetic oil is produced naturally from refined crude. On the other hand, synthetic or semi-synthetic oil combines synthetic elements and crude oil.

I used both synthetic and non-synthetic oil for my cart. Both oils worked fine in my case, and I maintained the viscosity level for both types of oil. 

I found synthetic oil to be more expensive compared to regular oil. But, it is known for offering a long run time and doesn’t require frequent changing. You will also see an increase in RPM.

Synthetic oil works better with smaller engines. However, some old carts may run better on non-synthetic oil. Now, when it comes to the manufacturers, some of them recommend using only non-synthetic oil for their carts.

Especially the ones who developed their golf carts with a splash system discourage using anything other than non-synthetic oil. 

Another difference is that non-synthetic oil can hold viscosity longer than synthetic oil. Now, this time difference is almost insignificant and hardly affects the performance of a golf cart. 

Over time, using regular oil can result in sludge accumulation in the engine. Synthetic oil has additives that can prevent this. It is also suitable for preventing corrosion. 

With all this in mind, synthetic and non-synthetic oil work well for gas golf carts, with some exceptions. The user’s choice and the manufacturer’s recommendation matter the most in selecting the correct oil.

Can I use synthetic oil for my golf cart?

You can use synthetic oil for a gas-powered golf cart. The most crucial factor here is what the cart was designed for.

Many users prefer synthetic oil over non-synthetic oil, but whether or not to use it comes down to the nature of your cart. Some carts are not designed to handle synthetic oil well. 

That being said, it doesn’t in any way mean that you can’t use synthetic oil. In fact, if your options are limited, go for the synthetic type, and don’t let your cart run on little or no oil, as that can cause severe damage.  

The best way to avoid unwanted situations is to abide by the owner’s guide. Many older carts are designed to operate on fully non-synthetic oil.

You may still use synthetic oil for those carts, but they were originally developed for conventional oil.

In older days, conventional or regular oil was always the first choice for golf cart owners, which is only normal as regular oil was the only option available for a long time. 

However, with the introduction of synthetic oil, people started taking an interest in it because of better engine security and an increase in oil change intervals.

Especially among modern-day cart users, both synthetic and semi-synthetic oil is quite popular.

Is changing the oil necessary for both gas and electric carts?

Like any other regular vehicle, golf carts need power to run, whether electric or gas. But electric carts don’t depend on oil to operate. They rely on electric motors. 

Therefore, you don’t need oil for your electric cart, so there’s no question of changing or refilling. However, gas carts operate on oil and need timely refills and oil changes. 

Regular maintenance is mandatory for both types of carts. Electric motors make maintenance simpler for electric carts as they have only around 50 moving components. 

On the contrary, a gas cart has more than 1000 moving components in its system. While an electric cart needs battery maintenance, a gas-fuelled cart requires a timely oil change.


Since the first introduction of golf carts, people have been stressing over the correct type of oil. Let’s look at some of the frequently asked questions regarding the use of oil in golf carts below.

What type of oil works best for a golf cart?

The oil type considered suitable for most golf carts is 10W-30 or 40 engine oil. However, you may need to apply SAE 30 motor oil in many older models. The best way to determine the correct oil is by the manuals

How much oil is good for golf carts?

Most golf carts have the capacity to hold around 1 ½ to 1 ¼ quart of oil. The safest way is to fill the cart with up to 90% of its oil capacity. It would be best if you considered following the manufacturer’s advice. 

How frequently should I replace the oil in my golf cart?

The general rule is to replace your cart’s oil after 600 miles or six months of running. If you use your cart a lot, you may need to do this sooner. It is better to check on the oil level and quality at least once every month.

Are older golf carts prone to wear and tear?

The critical factor here is the mileage. A golf cart, at its 70,000 miles, becomes sensitive compared to newer carts.
A good quality (flow rate) oil is needed to safeguard the moving components from wearing out.

Can I overfill my golf cart?

It would be best if you didn’t overfill your cart. Operating a cart with excessive oil is almost the same as running it with little or no oil and should be avoided.
If the crankshaft touches the oil, it can lead air into the system, which can be dangerous.


Like all other vehicles, a golf cart needs proper care and maintenance. Oil changing is essential to a gas golf cart’s maintenance routine. From my experience, synthetic and regular oil worked fine for my cart. 

However, If you only wish to use natural things for your cart, I suggest you go for the non-synthetic or regular oil. Synthetic oil should be fine if the manufacturer recommends it and if you go for the correct viscosity. 

You should change the oil regularly and timely, as it can help stimulate the engine and keep it going smoothly. Also, it will help you enjoy the luxury of driving your golf cart in good health for many years.

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