How to Test Golf Cart Solenoid with Multimeter? Easy Guide

 As an efficient and eco-friendly mode of transportation, golf carts are a common sight on golf courses and in many communities. One crucial component of these electric vehicles is the solenoid, which plays an important role in smooth operation. 

A solenoid connects the golf cart's electrical circuit to its power source, allowing it to move forward or backward. Solenoid failures can cause frustrating breakdowns and disruptions on the golf course. To ensure your golf cart remains in excellent working condition, you should know how to test golf cart solenoid with multimeter. With the help of multimeter you can also test starter solenoid.

How golf cart solenoid works?

The solenoid on a golf cart controls the flow of electricity from the battery to the motor. When you press the accelerator pedal, the solenoid engages when a signal is sent to it. As a result, the battery's power is connected to the motor, which allows the cart to move. 

How golf cart solenoid works

The solenoid disengages when the pedal is released, cutting off the cart's power. Therefore, it ensures that electricity flows only when necessary, allowing your golf cart to move forward or backward smoothly.

Common Symptoms of a Faulty Golf Cart Solenoid

If a golf cart solenoid fails, a leisurely ride can quickly turn into a frustrating one. Identifying the symptoms of a problematic solenoid is the first step to diagnosing and resolving it. Solenoid distress is characterized by the following symptoms:

1-Clicking Sound: 

If the solenoid fails, you will hear a distinct clicking sound when you accelerate the golf cart. As you press the pedal, you may hear this click repeatedly.

2-Intermittent Power: 

You may experience intermittent power loss or jerky movements while driving your golf cart if the solenoid malfunctions. It is possible for a solenoid to fail to engage properly, resulting in a disruption of the flow of electricity to the motor.

3-No Movement: 

Common Symptoms of a Faulty Golf Cart Solenoid

The golf cart may not move at all if a solenoid completely fails. Nothing happens when you press the pedal, and you're left wondering what went wrong.

4-Stuck in One Direction: 

It may be indicative of a solenoid problem if your golf cart is stuck in either forward or reverse. This problem can be caused by a solenoid not shifting the cart into the desired mode.


If a solenoid is under stress, it may become excessively hot to the touch. Overheating solenoids affect performance and pose a safety risk.

Gathering the Necessary Tools

Having the right tools and materials is essential before you begin testing your golf cart solenoid with a multimeter. It ensures a smooth and accurate testing process. You will need the following:

Tools for testing golf cart

Accessing the Solenoid

Testing your golf cart requires access to the solenoid. Steps to reach the solenoid are as follows:

Step#1 Locate the Solenoid

Locating the solenoid in your golf cart is the first step. Under a protective cover, it's usually located near the batteries

Step#2 Disconnect the Battery

how to disconnect golf cart batteries

In order to ensure your safety, disconnect the battery of your golf cart before you begin. While working on the solenoid, this step prevents electrical shock and other accidents. Start by disconnecting the negative terminal, then the positive terminal.

Step#3 Remove Protective Covers

Use screwdrivers or a wrench to remove any protective covers or panels obstructing your access to the solenoid. During this process, make sure not to damage any components or wiring.

How to Test Golf Cart Solenoid with Multimeter? Step By Step Guide

A multimeter is a methodical tool for testing golf cart solenoids. Here is a step-by-step guide to performing the test.

Step 1: Prepare Your Multimeter

How to test golf cart solenoid with multimeter

Obtain a digital multimeter and set it up. For accurate readings, make sure it's in good working condition and has fresh batteries.

Step 2: Set the Multimeter Range

how to set multimeter on resistances mode

Set your multimeter to the resistance or ohms (Ω) range. To get an accurate reading, adjust the multimeter's range higher than the expected resistance.

Step 3: Connect the Multimeter Leads

how to connect multimeter probe to golf cart solenoid

You should be able to identify the solenoid's main terminals - usually, there are two large terminals. These terminals should be connected to the multimeter leads. The red lead should be connected to the battery terminal, and the black lead to the motor terminal on the golf cart.

Step 4: Measure Resistance

How to test golf cart solenoid with multimeter

A multimeter will display the resistance value in ohms, allowing you to determine if the solenoid is working properly. A measurement of 0 to 0.4 ohms should be obtained.

Step 5: Check for Continuity

For a solenoid to function properly, continuity is essential.   Your multimeter should be set to continuity or beep mode. Connect one multimeter lead to the battery terminal and the other lead to the motor terminal to test continuity. A beep or reading indicates continuity, which means the electrical path is complete. 

how to set multimeter on continuity mode

Try the other solenoid terminal if there is no continuity. Your golf cart's electrical system can be tested using this test to identify wiring or solenoid problems.

Step 6: Observe Voltage

Choose a DC voltage setting on your multimeter, typically 20V. Turn off your golf cart. Connect the black multimeter probe to the metal frame of the solenoid or to any grounded point in order to ensure a good connection. Attach the red multimeter probe to the large terminal on the solenoid where the main battery cable is attached. The multimeter should display the voltage when the golf cart is turned on. 

how to set multimeter on DC voltage

At the battery terminal of the solenoid, you should see a voltage reading when you press the accelerator pedal. There may be a problem with the control circuit if there is no voltage.  The purpose of this test is to ensure that the solenoid receives the correct voltage for proper operation. It is best to replace the golf cart solenoid if you notice any fault after knowing how to test golf cart solenoid with multimeter.

How to Replace a Faulty Solenoid?

In the event that your golf cart's solenoid is indeed faulty, you should know how to replace it. As a seasoned golf cart technician, here's how to replace a faulty solenoid:

Step#1 Gather Replacement Parts

Make sure you have a new solenoid on hand before beginning the replacement process. Replacement solenoid specifications must match your golf cart's make and model. Mounting hardware may also be required along with the solenoid.

Step#2 Disconnect the Battery

Start by disconnecting the golf cart's battery, just as you did when testing the solenoid. When replacing electrical components, it is important to remove electrical power in order to prevent accidents.

Step#3 Locate the Faulty Solenoid

Identify the faulty solenoid that needs to be replaced. In most golf carts, it's near the batteries, but consult the manual or wiring diagram if you're unsure.

Step#4 Remove the Wires

Disconnect the wires connected to the solenoid carefully. Mark their positions if necessary or take note of their positions. In order to ensure that the new solenoid's wires are correctly connected, this step is crucial.

Step#5 Unmount the Old Solenoid

You may need to use a screwdriver or wrench to remove the old solenoid from its housing, depending on your golf cart model. During this process, be careful not to damage any surrounding components or wiring.

Step#6 Install the New Solenoid

Install the new solenoid after removing the old one. Install the appropriate mounting hardware on the golf cart to secure it firmly.

Step#7 Reconnect the Wires

Connect the wires to the new solenoid, making sure they are attached to the correct terminals. Make sure everything is properly seated by double-checking your connections.

Step#8 Reconnect the Battery

It's time to reconnect the golf cart's battery once the new solenoid is installed and the wires are connected. Connect the positive terminal first, then the negative terminal. Secure the connections by tightening them.

Step#9 Test the New Solenoid

To confirm that the replacement was successful, Start your golf cart and now you don’t hair a clicking sound when starting your golf cart. If you hear a clicking or unusual sound, you probably made a mistake when installing it.


You should always put safety first before testing golf cart solenoids. If you wear safety gloves and goggles before you begin working, you will reduce the potential risks. If you are familiar with how to test golf cart solenoid with multimeter, you may be able to save your money from hiring a technician. Take immediate action if you notice any damage or faulty wires on the gold cart solenoid.