Hot Starting Issue with a Club Car Precedent

cartmaster

Cartaholic
My thinking is if you are seeing a low voltage after the solenoid I would expect there is nothing coming back from the generator?
 

Bigal11

Member
I understand that but I'm still at a loss on how I never have an issue unless we take it down the road for an extended period of time. We drove it around the property for the last 2 months on a regular basis without any issues. I've had the voltmeter on it the whole time and never saw the drop until yesterday when we went far enough for it to get up to max temperature. The battery has never been below the 11.7v even yesterday when this happened. The starter generator is less than 2 years old.

On the schematic there is a green wire on the starter that is listed as a high temp wire. What is this wire? Why listed as high temp?
 

Bigal11

Member
Did I get blocked or something. I usually get a response fairly quickly but it's been 4 days now.

I'm not doubting any of you guys I'm just trying to understand how the starter/generator can be the issue if the battery still checks over 11.7V but around 4V at the solenoid. Novice golf cart guy here but do work on autos so I'm comparing all this to an auto. I know they are different, that's why I'm asking the questions.
 

HotRodCarts

Cartaholic
If the battery is only 11.7 volts my guess would be the cart isn't charging. Charge it first then hook your meter to the battery and take the cart for a ride and see what the voltage is at half to full throttle to make sure it's charging. Lets rule that out first.
 

Bigal11

Member
11.7 is after full charge. It's checked this after every full charge since this issue started 3 years ago. It could be that I'm checking it at the cable mounting bolt and not actually on the battery post itself. I'd have to remove the cable to check the post because it's a side mount and cable covers the lead post.

I've driven around the property for the past few weeks with voltmeter on it and the voltage varies depending on the depression of the pedal. At full throttle around the house it reads over 11V at all times. Half throttle about 6-8. It's only when driven long enough to come up to full temp that the voltage starts dropping at the solenoid but not at the battery.
 

HotRodCarts

Cartaholic
If the battery voltage is only 11.7 volts after charging it the battery is bad. I would still connect your meter directly to the battery posts and run the cart to make sure it's charging. You should see around 14 volts at half to full throttle.
 

Bigal11

Member
Could be my meter. This is a new battery as of March this year and the 2 previous batteries never showed above 12 either. Brand new meter but stranger things have happened.
 

Bigal11

Member
Even if meter is bad it still don't explain the major drop in voltage between solenoid and battery when engine compartment is at full temperature. Constant voltage is constant voltage. I have NEVER have an issue starting when battery is showing 11.7 and is a cold to warm engine. Turns over with zero issues and fast, not dragging at all. The battery checks 11.7 when this happens hot and it won't start and then after it cools off it still checks 11.7 and starts fine.
 

cartmaster

Cartaholic
I am going to jump back in here. I have not replied again yet as I don't know this particular brand or model of cart. I am going to make some observations and maybe assumptions.
A fully charged battery will read 13.6-13.8 volts after a full charge. Either your battery is bad, the charge circuit is not fully charging it, your meter is not reading correctly or you have a bad connection at the battery posts.
Give the battery another full charge and read the voltage directly on the battery posts without it connected to the cart. If you still only get 11.* volts, we need to address this first before checking the wiring on the cart.

Now I need some clarification from you. When you are checking each side of the solenoid and seeing way less volts on the generator side, is this with the engine running or not? If the engine is running and the charge circuit is working, you should see around 14.5 volts at the battery and both terminals of the solenoid.

You need to see 13.* volts at the battery before pressing the pedal, then when you push the pedal, you should see the voltage drop to around 10/11 volts and then rise to 14.5 volts or more once the engine starts and revs rise enough to energise the starter to become a generator. You should see these voltages at all the points I mentioned previously. If not, we need to find out why.
You ask about the green wire. I cannot comment on your particular cart, but generally a thin green wire at the starter/generator will be connected to the voltage regulator to control rate of charge back to the battery. Ideally, I need to see a wiring diagram of your model of cart to further diagnose what is happening here.

The battery voltage at rest is what concerns me at the moment. Maybe it needs to be load tested to confirm it is good and a different meter should be tried to confirm actual battery voltage.

With a six cell lead acid battery I would expect a minimum of 13.2 volts at rest a few hours after charging either with a proper wall charger or charging from the cart being driven.
 

Bigal11

Member
OK I finally had a chance to check out a few things. Battery fully charged around 13v. When the issue happens the battery reads less than 11v but while sitting you can watch the volts rise steadily and then when it reaches about 11.7 or more it'll start back up and run until you stop and the voltage is back down below 11v.

I was reading another forum and a guy had a similar issue. He was told that he had his starter/generator wired backwards and it was rotating the opposite direction than it was supposed to. The one that told him that said that his cart would still start and run like normal but that the generator wouldn't charge or charge slower running backwards. Is this true? Could this have been my problem all along? Which direction should my cart turn and is the rotation looking at it from the pulley side of the starter? He never responded back so I don't know if that solved the problem or not.
 

cartmaster

Cartaholic
I assume you know which way the engine turns when running, If so the starter / generator will turn the same way as the engine. Remove the S/G belt and press the pedal to see if it actually turns the same way as the engine. I would assume it does, as the engine runs fine when it starts?

I want to go back to the low volts at the solenoid. If you have good battery volts and you are not getting it at the solenoid, can you confirm whether it is the battery side of the solenoid or the starter side? If it is the battery side i think your battery to solenoid cable may be showing a high resistance and needs replacing. You can check this with a jumper wire of the same or bigger profile between battery and solenoid. I need to go back over the thread to see if we have spoken about and tested ground connection as this is often overlooked as being a part of the circuit.
 

cartmaster

Cartaholic
Next stage i guess will be voltage drop testing under load through the circuit. Both positive and negative sides until we find the fault.
 

Bigal11

Member
How can I make sure the starter is charging the way it should? Would putting the voltmeter directly on the starter show me that?

The low volts at the solenoid was on the starter side. Yesterdays post was the voltage at the battery which basically showed the same results.

All connections (ground and hot side) were removed, cleaned and checked for broken wires before yesterdays post.
 

cartmaster

Cartaholic
Infinity or zero. Any resistance will create heat and loss of power.
If the low volts are on the starter side of the solenoid but you have battery voltage on the battery side, then there is a fault in the solenoid.
 

cartmaster

Cartaholic
To check if the starter is charging, place your meter leads on ground at the starter and starter side of the solenoid, and you should get around 14.5 - 15 volts, if you get it there, move the lead to the battery side of the solenoid and compare the voltage. If it is lower on the battery side, suspect the solenoid. If you get good volts there move the lead to the battery and compare again. If voltage drops, the battery lead is suspect. If you get good voltages at all these points suspect the ground anywhere back to the negative battery post.
 

Bigal11

Member
Thank you cartmaster. The voltage at the battery checks and drops out just like it did on the starter side of the solenoid so I think that would lead me to the cable between starter and solenoid or the starter itself. Correct? Or possibly ground? Wouldn't that rule out the solenoid and cable from solenoid to battery? What about voltage regulator? Could that play into this somewhere?
 
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