Yamaha Golf Cart Clutch Problems (Solutions Included)

The Yamaha golf cart is the perfect solution for any golf enthusiast looking for both convenience and functionality. The golf cart is versatile and allows the golfer to maneuver the large golf course with ease. The gasoline fuel drive system used by the Yamaha golf cart is very, efficient and responsive thanks to the Continuous Variable Technology (CVT) slip drive clutch.  This system eliminates the need to constantly change gears hence it offers simplicity which is ideal for most golfers.

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Yamaha Golf Cart Clutch Working Principle

The Yamaha golf cart uses a 4 stroke, gasoline, OHV single cylinder engine that is forced air cooled and produces 8.5kw (11.4 hp) of power and this allows the engine to do 3500rpm. Due to the fact that the engine has a limited range of rpm where it efficiently produces usable power the engine can’t be coupled directly to the drive wheels. There is need for a power transmission system that can convert the high engine rpm to low rpm, high torque wheel revolutions needed when the golf cart is starting to move off from stationary. When the Yamaha golf cart is now moving lesser torque and more wheel speed is needed hence the transmission needs to switch to a higher speed setting. To do this gear changing process efficiently the Yamaha golf cart uses a CVT slip drive clutch. The clutch allows the v-belt that uses automatic centrifugal engagement to vary in diameter between the driver (primary clutch) and driven (secondary clutch) shafts so as to switch between the torque and speed. The clutch can however develop problems that will be discussed below.

1. Clutch Failing To Engage

The clutch of the Yamaha golf cart can fail to engage particularly if there is a problem with the battery. This problem is particularity noticeable when driving up hills. As soon as one lets go of the brake, the clutch may refuse to engage. Usually to fix the problem, one may need to replace the battery. If this does not work, remove the back cover of the Yamaha golf cart clutch and take a look at the system as the problem may also lie with the clutch itself. The Yamaha golf cart clutch may slip while switching from neutral gear and the golf cart will make squeaking noises while shifting gears. The problem may be more intense when the golf cart is carrying a heavy load. This problem in the Yamaha golf cart clutch can be caused by worn out parts or buildup of dirt inside the clutch. To fix the problem, try cleaning the clutch and lubricating with a good quality lubricant.

2. Throttle Cable Issues

The Yamaha golf cart clutch may also fail to engage due to the throttle cable having problems. To solve this issue, jack up the rear of the Yamaha golf cart and try throttling the golf cart. If the golf cart refuses to throttle, then the problem might be with the throttle cable. Fixing the throttle cable should resolve the problem.  It is recommended to replace the clutch if it has been used for a long time. If the clutch is old, rusted and sticking, spray with WD40 and leave it for a while before trying to open it.

3. Loose Drive Belt

The Yamaha golf cart clutch can also fail to engage due to a loose drive belt. The belt of the Yamaha golf cart can become loose or fail to have the proper tension causing the clutch to fail to engage properly. To solve this problem, try to clean out any rust on the clutch system and check to see if the belt has the appropriate tension for it to function as intended. Inspect the Yamaha golf cart drive belt for any frayed edges or tears and measure the belt against the recommended specifications. If the belt shows signs of wear or damage, replace the belt with a new one for a smoother ride. A new belt should have a thickness of 1.09in (27.6mm). Replace the belt if the width reaches 0.95 (24mm). V belt width and outer line length should be 1.22* 39.76 in. (31 * 1010 mm).

4. Wrongly Positioned Weights In The Clutch System

When there are wrongly positioned weights in the Yamaha golf cart clutch, it may fail to engage or it may slip especially when the golf cart is loaded, causing squeaking noises and jerky rides. The weights inside the Yamaha golf cart clutch could be hanging up. To solve this problem, check to see if the weights are correctly positioned and reposition them correctly if need be. This should solve the problem of jerky rides.

5. Clutch Coming Of The Shaft

One problem that plagues the Yamaha golf cart particularly the G29 golf cart is that of the clutch that comes off the shaft. This problem is usually noticed when the driven clutch keeps falling off or becomes loose which then leads to the clutch coming of the shaft. To solve this problem try increasing the torque of the bolt that holds the clutch to a higher level. In most cases this should solve the problem and prevent the clutch from falling. Another solution is applying Loctite on the threads as this adhesive will help hold the clutch in place.

6. Loose Washer

There is a washer under the Yamaha golf cart golf clutch that helps in protecting it. If this washer is damaged in any way, then it could come loose leading to the clutch getting stuck. It has been observed that the washer usually fails after 3 months hence it should be inspected regularly to ensure there are no problems that develop with it. Also check if any bolts are bent or any parts damaged. This should address the problem and ensure the washer functions as Intended For a Long Time.


In conclusion it always a good habit to regularly inspect and maintain the clutch in good working order. Also check if any bolts are bent or any parts are damaged on the Yamaha golf cart clutch. This is because the clutch plays a crucial function of efficiently transmitting power to the drive wheels without the need for complicated gear designs. Regular maintenance will go a long way in ensuring no problems develop with the golf cart and it operates smoothly as intended.