5 steps to buying second hand electric
Buying a second-hand golf cart can be an inexpensive way to owning your own vehicle, however, if you get it wrong, it can end up costing you big. We have put together our 5 tips to make an informed decision and get value for your money.
Your assessment of the golf carts tyres should involve the following:
Do all the tyres have even wear?
With different wear on the tyres, this can indicate that there many underlying issues. There are many different issues that could cause this but the most common are alignment issues which can be caused by steering components or a bent frame.
Are they different brands?
Different brands of tyre can sometimes indicate that one or two have been swapped for alignment issues as mentioned previously. It can also be a result of a build that has been made up of spare parts. Both of these issues have longevity problems for the buyer.
Are the grooves deep?
The grooves should be deep and the tyres should have no visible damage to ensure you aren’t replacing them within the first 6 months of purchase.
You shouldn’t disregard buying purely because of the tyres, but they definitely should form part of your buying process.
The brand of golf cart is one of the most crucial elements of buying second-hand. There are a few reasons for this, but the main reason is that some brands have a much higher quality of build, with a greater warranty period because they are built to last. Club Car, Yamaha and EZGO are among the best when looking at second-hand carts.
The other advantage of buying a golf cart from a reputable brand is the cost effective and ease of finding replacement parts in the future. They are also much easier for repair shops to fix because they know what they are dealing with. Obtaining a golf cart that has been manufactured by a well-known company may ultimately be more cost effective as replacement parts will be easier to find and there will be more repair options available in the event of a breakdown.
Most reconditioned golf carts will come with a warranty, again from those reputable dealers. They will have had some parts replaced and most likely been repainted and enhanced. They can often be slightly more expensive, but the warranty and overall quality of the golf cart will add value to your purchase.
Batteries & Wiring
The key element you need to look at is the battery. This is because it’s often the most expensive part to replace. With new batteries ranging from $600 to $1,300 you want to get this component right when you are buying second-hand. The first step is checking the batteries for a date stamp. Generally stamped with an alphanumeric code that shows the manufacturing month and year. The letter indicates the month, while the number indicates the year. Golf cart batteries last for only six years so make sure you pay close attention.
The next step is ensuring there is no corrosion around the battery and the wiring is in good condition. It should be neat and tight with no chaffing on the moving parts. Short circuits can be an issue if the wiring is not in good condition. Be careful about modified wiring if it does not look professionally done. Be on the lookout for splices and taped up connections that do not seem to belong, and then pass on the purchase.
The final inspection consists of listening to the drive train as you test-drive the used golf cart. The cart should run smoothly and quietly. Turn off any radios and the like when you take your test ride. Grinding, excessive whining or clicking sounds are what you are listening for. The sounds a vehicle makes can tell you alot if you take the time to listen.
Body, Frame & Canopy
This will be the first part you see when inspecting the second-hand golf cart. When looking over the golf cart any rust or visible damage should be minimal and have an explanation. Some traders will refurbish a used golf cart before selling and others will sell as is. It makes a big difference in the condition so make sure you ask what work has been done on the second hand cart.
Watch out for any loose panels and if there is a canopy, give it a good shake to see if there are any unusual sounds and it’s tight and secure.
Frames are the most susceptible to corrosion in used golf carts. You want to make sure that there is no rust on the frame, as generally, if this is corroding then it can be very expensive to replace or you will be forced to scrap the golf cart and start again.
In an effort to make it easier for you when buying, we have put together a quick checklist for you to use to make sure you don’t forget any of the main sections.
Grab your free Second-Hand Buying Checklist here.