Is your golf cart making your ears ring and waking the neighbors when you drive past their house? Is it impossible to carry on a conversation with your fellow golfer because of the noise? Instead of shelling out big bucks for a new super quiet electric golf cart, are you wondering if there are ways in which you can make your current golf cart a little quieter?
How can you make your gas golf cart quieter? Adding (or improving) insulation and a muffler are the two easiest ways to reduce the sound coming from your gas golf cart. Before looking to improve the insulation and/or muffler, you should also check to make sure there’s nothing mechanically wrong with your cart, causing it to sound louder than it should.
You’ll also want to be aware of what the engine size of your golf cart is, and how much horsepower it has. For some of the bigger engines, your options for improvement will be a little more limited. You can always consider getting an electric golf cart if noise is your top priority in selecting a golf cart.
Read on for a guide on how best to improve the noise of your golf cart!
What Makes a Gas Golf Cart Noisy?
There are several main factors that contribute to the noise level of your golf cart:
- Engine size (Horse Power): Gas powered golf carts typically range in size from 10-12 Horse Power (HP). While more HP will allow your cart to travel faster, it will also increase the noise of your cart while traveling. If noise is your top concern, you’d want to buy the cart with the lowest available HP.
- Lack of Insulation: Since the size of your engine directly causes the amount of noise, it would make sense then that the amount of insulation you have surrounding the engine of your golf cart contributes to how noisy the cart is. The thicker the insulation, the quieter it will ride! Furthermore, your insulation can get quite dirty and grimy, making it less effective. Replacing old, thin insulation with something thicker can help reduce the noise from your gas powered golf cart.
- Mufflers: While having a muffler on your gas golf cart is not a requirement, adding one is considered a courtesy and might drastically improve the noise level of your cart. Mufflers help take away noise, and your golf cart will be quieter with a muffler than without. If you do have a muffler, make sure it’s properly maintained. Any variety of maintenance problems like cracks or rust on your muffler can cause additional noise, and repairing or replacing the muffler might not be that difficult of a task.
- Mechanical Problems: Is there a problem with your golf cart? If you’ve got a problem with your shocks, motor, transmission, etc., that could be causing increased noise that will get better if you fix what’s broken.
When thinking about noise pollution as it relates to your gas powered golf cart, there are several primary areas to consider: engine size, insulation, the muffler, and mechanical problems. Once you own your golf cart, there’s not too much you can do about the engine size. That would have to be decided upon before you buy the cart. So, let’s focus on improving or adding the insulation and mufflers, and on making sure there’s nothing broken in the golf cart that could be fixed.[Related Article: How To Soundproof Your Expensive Tractor Cab – A DIY Guide]
Improving the Insulation of your Gas Golf Cart
One step you can take to reduce the noise on your golf cart is to add or improve the insulation surrounding the engine. Lining the engine compartment with a high-density foam material that is designed to deaden sound is the way to go.
Here are a couple of products that would work:
- Noico Sound Deadening Mat – This product is relatively inexpensive and easy to apply. It’s very thick, 80 mil, which helps to maximize the amount of sound it deadens. It also has a special built-in indicator, which will tell you if you installed it correctly. There’s a special embossing that will only be lined up properly if it’s installed right. That helps makes installation foolproof!
- Damplifier Pro™ Deadening Mats – This is very similar to the above, but a different brand. It’s a bit cheaper.
Installing this insulation should be a fairly easy DIY project. A lot of this insulation comes with pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) backing so you can follow the instructions and apply this insulation in a matter of minutes. It’s basically just a process of peel and stick.
Insulation under the Seat of Your Gas Golf Cart
Can you put insulation under the seats to reduce the noise? The short answer is yes, you can, but it’s a safety hazard. While adding padding or insulation will help with the noise because it helps retain heat from the engine, it is considered a fire hazard, and therefore isn’t recommended.
There is no insulation designed for under the seat. Anything you would try to add under the seat would be after-market, and you would be using insulation not for its intended purpose. All of this adds up to a risk that is not worth taking.
Muffler Silencers on Gas Golf Carts
What is the best way to silence your cart’s muffler? The easiest way to reduce the noise coming from your muffler is to add a silencer.
If you purchased your golf cart first-hand from a dealer, you could try asking your dealer directly if they sell silencers. If not the dealer, you can also try contacting the manufacturer of your cart.
Here is a good YouTube video that explains how to install a new exhaust system (muffler) on a gas golf cart:
Be warned, not all silencers are created equal, and some are tougher to install than others. You should read the installation instructions before purchasing, as some silencers even require welding to install them.
Can you use an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) silencer on your gas golf cart?
You might think that an ATV is similar to a golf cart and that what works to help silence an ATV would work to silence your golf cart. Generally, it is a bad idea to use an ATV silencer on your golf cart, and it is not recommended.
There have been some attempts at using ATV silencers on golf carts, and it usually is unsuccessful. ATVs and golf carts are a little bit too much like comparing apples to oranges. It’s best to keep them separate and not co-mingle any parts. You risk more harm to your cart than good, and the risks outweigh the rewards.
Different Muffler Options for Your Gas Golf Cart
It might be best to replace your current muffler with a new, quieter option. Here are some options for mufflers that might improve the noise and be more effective than the one currently installed on your cart. Before purchasing, please make sure they are compatible with your specific golf cart. All are available on Amazon:
- Reliance Power Parts Golf Cart Muffler – Fits EZGO Marathon Gas (2 cycle) 1976-1987 (except 1983).
- Yamaha Exhaust Muffler – Fits most Yamaha golf carts.
- Kohler Muffler – Fits Kohler 7, 10 & 12 HP Engines.
- Walker SoundFX Muffler – Fits many Suzuki models.
- Club Car 84-91 Gas Golf Cart Muffler – Fits Club Car Gas Golf Carts, Years 1984-1991
There are a lot of mufflers out there available to replace your existing one. Read reviews, check prices, and above all else – make sure the one you buy will fit your cart!
Another Option for Quieting Your Gas Golf Cart
There’s a product available on Amazon that is specifically designed to buffer noise and vibration on gas golf carts.
Rubber Snubber – this serves as a shock absorber that also buffers noise and vibration.
This fits right on the frame where the engine sits, which helps it buffer away a lot of the engine noise. It fits on most gas golf carts: “all 1984 & Up Club Car DS and All 2004 & Up Club Car Precedent, gas golf carts with the 341cc, 290cc or the 350cc and 400cc engines
This also includes the following Club Car Carryall and Turf gas utility models: Carryall I, II, II Plus, VI (long flatbed), Turf II, Turf II XRT, Turf Carryall 272 models, Tour All, Fairway Resort Villager Trans-Porter, Trans-Sender XRT 800 and 810 utility trucks.”
Not only is it versatile and fits most carts, it’s also very inexpensive, making this is a quick and easy option to try, perhaps before getting carried away with adding insulation or a fancy muffler.
Is there a Mechanical Problem with your Gas Golf Cart?
If you’ve tried adding insulation and improving the muffler and haven’t seen much improvement, let’s make sure there’s not a bigger issue at play. Is your cart functioning correctly?
There are some mechanical problems with your golf cart that could increase the noise. Let’s make sure you don’t need anything fixed. Here are some common problems with golf carts that would increase the noise:
- Motor – Is your golf cart’s motor bad? If it is, that could be a large source of your noise problems. You should be regularly servicing the motor, just as you would a car. If it needs replacing, while it will cost some money, a new motor could offer you a much quieter cart.
- Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) – Have you ever had the transmission go out in your car? While expensive to replace, the car just will not run correctly without a smooth transmission. Just like a car, the transmission in your cart can go bad. If it does go bad, your cart will not run smoothly and could be extra noisy.
- Shocks – If your cart is extra noisy when going over bumps, the shocks or struts could be going bad. Pay attention to if the noise worsens when going over bumps, as that will be the biggest trigger that it’s your shocks gone bad, as they are meant to absorb bumps and make for a quiet, peaceful ride even on the bumpiest of terrain.
- Controller – The golf cart controller could go bad. This essentially controls the speed of your golf cart. Replacing this will affect the speed and power of your cart, and noise is directly related to engine size and power. You could see some noise improvement here if you fix your controller.
Make sure you are periodically performing maintenance on your gas golf cart or taking it to the shop to have it professionally maintained. Many of the above mechanical difficulties can contribute to increased noise in your gas golf cart. By fixing these, you could greatly reduce the amount of noise your cart makes.
Add a Sound Bar to your Gas Golf Cart
Why are you looking to lower the noise of your cart? Are you worried about bothering neighbors, or are you just sick of hearing the loud drone of the engine? If it’s just for your own pleasure, consider adding a sound bar to your cart, and letting the music of your choice over power the noise of the engine.
If you’d like to purchase a sound bar for your cart, there are two primary things to consider:
- What is its waterproof and dust rating? This should be obvious. Golf carts are open, and you might find yourself on a dusty golf course or stuck in a thunderstorm. Will the sound bar be able to withstand water and dust?
- How does the sound bar perform under frequency ranges? You’ll want to make sure it’s got the capability of performing under a variety of frequencies.
Here are a few great options for sound bars available on Amazon:
- Wet Sounds STEALTH- Bluetooth Sound bar – This is perhaps the highest price of the bunch, but also offers the highest sound quality ratings.
- Weather Proof Audio System Speaker – This has Bluetooth connectivity with a range of almost 30 feet – great for if you are golfing and want to stay connected to the music if your phone is in your pocket on the course.
- Bazooka Bluetooth Party Bar with LED Illumination System – This has a party system! Blink out your LED lights so you can bug your neighbors both audibly AND visually!
- MTX Audio MUDSYS31 Bluetooth Overhead Audio System – This has Bluetooth streaming available as well as an AUX input you can plug into and has a sleek weatherproof design.
While a sound board is not going to help you make friends with your neighbors, adding a sound board would likely give you piece of mind. If you can’t hear the noise, it’s not really there, right?[Related Article: Soundproofing A Car In 4 Simple Steps]
Alternatives to a Gas Golf Cart (Electric)
While fixing up your gas golf cart and improving the noise pollution might be your first option, might there be another choice? No article on noisy gas golf carts would be complete without at least mentioning electric golf carts.
Not only do electric golf carts accelerate very quickly and quietly, but they also make very little noise once they are running. Even the newest and most high-tech gas-powered golf carts will never be as quiet as an electric golf cart. If having the quietest golf cart is your top priority when selecting a golf cart, then electric is the way to go.
If buying a new cart is an option for you, here are some pros of why you should consider an electric golf cart:
- They are much friendlier on the environment than a gas cart, as gas golf carts cause both environmental emissions pollution and noise pollution.
- They are typically cheaper to purchase than gas golf carts.
- They cost less to maintain and operate, as there are minimal repair costs, and you don’t need to purchase gas to run them.
Sold on buying an electric golf cart? Are they quiet? Electric gas golf carts are much quieter than gas golf carts.
Even if you were in the market for a new cart, electric might not be the way to go. They are definitely quieter than gas. If noise is your only priority, then start picking out an electric golf cart. However, gas golf carts have their own set of pros… They generally are more powerful, go faster, and pull larger weights. Deciding between electric and gas really comes down to what the priorities are behind your decision. For less noise, you also get less power.
While gas golf carts will always be noisier than electric golf carts, there is some hope out there that you can stop wearing ear plugs while driving your gas golf cart! Once you’ve made sure there are no mechanical problems causing extra noise, then take a look at improving or adding both insulation and a muffler, and you should be able to find a way to quiet down some of the noise your gas golf cart is generating.