Golf Cart Runs with Key off [Get the Problem Solved]

A Smooth running golf cart is the dream of every golf cart owner. But sometimes not being able to stop the cart is what creates a problem. Even though not common, golf carts running with the key off is a problem reported by many users. 

A stuck solenoid and shorted ignition key is the cause of this problem. Replacing the solenoid and fixing the wiring of your golf cart can resolve this issue in no time. 

If you want to know how to resolve golf cart runs with key off problems you should stay tuned with us and we will surely help you to fix the issue with your golf cart. 

Troubleshoot and Fix of golf cart runs with key off  

Sometimes golf carts start to move even when the key is turned off. The matter is concerning and can sometimes be dangerous. 

Running with the key turned off problem is not something that is very common but it needs to be diagnosed immediately. 

The problem can happen mainly due to two things. The solution to this problem is quite simple and you can easily diagnose this. So let’s dive in- 

Stuck solenoid

If your golf cart is running even when the key is off, the most probable reason for this is a stuck solenoid. A solenoid stuck is not so common but happens due to the lack of power to the solenoid. 

To solve the solenoid stuck problem you need to replace the solenoid and that should resolve the problem you are having. You have to buy a new solenoid to replace it with the new one. 

Shorted key

Another reason for golf cart runs with the key off problem can be a shortened ignition switch. On the ignition switch, there are two ends. One is the positive and the other is the negative end. 

Power should only be received on the positive end and the negative end is the neutral end. 

When a little amount of power comes to the negative end it overflows current and creates a short circuit, in this case, a shorted key. 

As the neutral end also gets power so the key is functioning all the time even when the key is off. 

The shorted key is an indication that there is something wrong with the wiring of the golf cart. You have to diagnose the wiring of the golf cart and fix the shorted key. 

Step-By-Step Process Of Replacing Golf Cart Solenoid 

Most of the time golf carts face any problem almost every time due to the solenoid. So, it would be wise to replace the solenoid first before trying any other fix. 

Replacing the solenoid is fairly easy and you can do that by yourself. As with any other procedure, you’ll need some tools. 

Tools you’ll need 

  • 9/16 Socket/Wrench
  • 7/16 Socket/Wrench
  • Socket Wrench
  • New Solenoid

When you have the tools you need at your hand you can get started. The procedure is simple and you just have to follow them step by step. 

Step-1: Ensure Safety 

First, you have to ensure that working with the solenoid is safe. To do so just loosen one of the battery connections and you are good to go. 

When you remove the battery cable you interrupt the power supply to the solenoid and it is safe now to work on it. 

Step-2: Open the Solenoid Box

The solenoid is located under the black box beside the battery. You have to open the box to get access to the solenoid. The box is secured with four bolts. 

Two bolts are at the bottom and two are at the top. Use the appropriate wrench to lose the four bolts. Now, carefully open the box and you can see the solenoid. 

Step-3: Remove the Old Solenoid

The solenoid has four terminals. Two smaller terminals and two large terminals. The smaller terminals have one positive and one negative end. Red wires are connected to the positive end and black wires are at the negative end. 

unplug the controller and remove the red and black wires of the smaller terminals using an appropriate wrench. 

Now, it is time to remove the larger cables. Use an appropriate socket to remove the two larger wires. 

Take the 7/16 Socket and remove the bolts that are mounted on the walls to take the solenoid out. 

Step-4: Install New Solenoid 

It is time to install the new solenoid you bought. First, take the new solenoid, secure it using the bolts, and tighten the bolts using a 7/16 socket. 

Now, put the red wires on the smaller positive terminal and the black wires on the smaller negative terminal. Tighten the bolts using the socket. Plug the controller into the place it was removed from. 

Put the larger wires on the two big terminals of the solenoid and secure it using the bolts. At this step, the new solenoid is successfully replaced. 

Step-5: Cover the Box 

Now put the box cover back in its place and secure it using the four bolts you removed before. 

Step-6: Battery Connection 

In the first step, you remove a connected wire from the battery. Now, place the battery wire back in its place and there you have a new working solenoid replaced. 

Wiring Check of Golf cart

If changing the solenoid doesn’t solve your problem, then the problem is with the ignition key. You have to diagnose the ignition key to resolve this problem. 

Most probably you have a three-position key. You need to check several things to diagnose the problem. 

  • Check the connectors and if those are wearout and rusty you should change the connectors. 
  • See if any of the wiring is overlapped or not. Also, make sure that the cover of the wires are also intact. 
  • The lights and other accessories need power. Check the power cable and make sure it is not providing power more than it should. 

If all these things are okay and you still face the same problem you should consult your dealership or a workshop. Only a professional can help you out now. 

Final Thoughts

A stuck solenoid and shorted ignition key are the main culprits for golf cart runs with key off problems. Diagnose your golf cart properly and follow the above-mentioned steps to replace the solenoid. 

Also, check for any issues with the wiring. Replacing the solenoid and fixing issues with the wiring should resolve your problem. If still the problem remains you should consult a professional to solve the issue.

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